The demand for quality data connectivity is growing in Africa. Telecom operators are stepping up actions to deal with it. But investments are still largely in urban areas. Faced with rural areas that remain poorly covered, satellite operators are mobilizing.
British satellite broadband connectivity provider Avanti Communications and Turkish communications satellite operator Turksat announced on Tuesday (September 13th) the strengthening of their partnership which will enable them to meet the growing demand for broadband connectivity in Africa . Under the terms of the five-year agreement, they will pool capacity and coverage from Avanti’s HYLAS 4 and HYLAS 2 satellites with Turksat’s new Turksat-5B satellite to achieve their ends.
Kyle Whitehill (pictured, right), Avanti’s President and CEO, said the partnership expressed the two companies’ shared goal of “addressing the digital divide by creating better connections in regions across the world where terrestrial infrastructure is limited “.
Hasan Hüseyin Ertok, Chief Executive Officer of Turksat emphasized that this “ partnership will unlock great potentials, bring more value and convenience to many customers across many verticals .”
According to the World Association of Telephone Operators (GSMA), the rate of people who access the Internet in sub-Saharan Africa is currently close to 30%, although the number of people covered by the telecom network is around 54%. Ericsson justifies this situation by the large presence of 2G which still represented nearly 38% of network technology in 2021.
In some countries, 2G is still largely dominant in rural areas. In other countries where 3G is already quite widespread, the poor quality of service also hampers the access of urban and rural populations to quality data. Satellite operators see these weaknesses as a market in which to consolidate their presence.