How Satellite Technology is Driving Digital Transformation in Latin America
In the run up to the Mobile 360 – Latin America in Mexico City, Insights360 spoke with Karl Horne from SES to discuss how satellite technology is supporting mobile and fixed broadband to create seamless coverage in remote areas.
“According to the ITU, more than half of the world’s population remains unconnected to fixed or mobile broadband services” Karl said. “In many parts of Latin America, broadband penetration remains low, impeding the economic productivity gains that result from better and more ubiquitous broadband services. Addressing this challenge, satellite technology is playing an increasingly critical role in expanding coverage in rural and remote areas where other network technologies are either economically infeasible, physically impossible to deploy, or in some cases suffer from reliability issues. At SES, we are advancing the state of satellite innovation to make extending networks simple, seamless, standards-based and cloud-ready, enabling our customers to reach new markets and deliver services in remote areas faster and with less risk.
Collaboration for change
“Our recent collaboration with BT Latin America is an important case study in demonstrating how a top-tier network operator can bridge the digital divide in Latin America. As BT Latin America seeks to reach new businesses in the region, SES is delivering a fully managed, turnkey “virtual network operator (VNO)” solution, enabling BT and their connectivity partners to extend business services in remote areas. By leveraging SES satellite, teleport ground infrastructure, remote terminal and network management assets, BT Latin America can connect thousands of remote business sites with minimal capital expenditures and less operational risk than if they deployed a satellite network themselves. The result for BT is gaining back the freedom to focus on their core business of acquiring new customers and delivering superior customer service.
Developing Digital Societies
How will this connectivity change the lives of those living in previously unconnected areas? “According to research firm NSR, satellite-based enterprise service revenue will grow at a 6% compound annual growth rate from 2019 to 2027” he said. “Our experience in the Latin American market tells us that industry verticals such as energy, banking, e-government, and hospitality are the key growth drivers of enterprise satellite services in the region.
“By helping these industries connect to the cloud and to the internet, our customers—telcos and mobile network operators—play an instrumental role in driving economic productivity gains in their home country or region. When high-capacity, low-latency connectivity reaches underserved areas, businesses can more fully participate in a digital transformation of their enterprises, achieving productivity gains, but also integrating them more effectively into their global ecosystem of suppliers, partners, and customers. Similarly, individual consumers and end users can now participate in and enjoy more of the digital life that is enriching all of us.”
The Next Wave of Innovation
When asked about how the industry is evolving, Karl refers to next generation satellite technology and how these innovations will serve SES customers. “We think the next wave of innovation is in non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellites, which are engineered to deliver the reach, performance, and high availability required for IoT, 5G mobility, distributed edge, and cloud-based applications and services anywhere on the globe. SES has a clear head start in this area with our O3b MEO fleet, which we operationalized more than 5 years ago and remains the only commercially proven NGSO constellation. In fact, we just added 4 more satellites to the first generation O3b MEO fleet, which currently serves millions of users in nearly 50 countries worldwide with mobile broadband and cloud-ready connectivity services.
“Looking to the future, our next-generation system, O3b mPOWER, will build on the current O3b MEO fleet with exponential improvements in scalability, performance and system flexibility. For our customers, this means harnessing commercially proven technology from a trusted partner to open cloud, IoT, AI and mobile data markets everywhere.”
SES will be exhibiting at Mobile 360 – Latin America, when speaking about their attendance at the event, Karl says; “In Latin America as in the rest of the world, a digital transformation is underway offering new capabilities based on IoT, AI and a wide range of edge and cloud services. These will help drive economic productivity and improve societies for generations to come. This transformation will require a significant evolution in connectivity, adding more agility and intelligence to our wireless, wireline, and satellite networks. The idea of Mobile 360 – Latin America is to bring innovators together to advance the state of intelligent connectivity, so it’s an important event for the region.
“One of the central challenges to making intelligent connectivity a reality is figuring out how to extend advanced services to rural, remote and otherwise underserved areas. Satellite technologies have a critical role to play in ensuring everyone in Latin America benefits from intelligent connectivity. To this end, we’re here at Mobile 360 – Latin America to demonstrate how we’re helping customers reach and create new markets by making satellite a seamless, mainstream part of the network ecosystem.”
Karl Horne is the Vice President of Fixed Data Solutions at SES Networks. Karl will participate in the panel “Unlocking the Potential of AI and IoT” Mobile 360 – Latin America from 4-6 June 2019 at the Hilton Mexico City Reforma in Mexico City.
The views and opinions in this piece reflect those of SES Networks and not necessarily those of GSMA.