VENTURES AFRICA – In the quest to provide faster and cheaper broadband service to remote and underserved areas, the British satellite firm, Avanti has launched its broadband satellite into space.
The company has said the satellite – Hylas 2 – will offer high speed connectivity to southern and eastern Africa, the Middle East and the central Asia.
In a report by the BBC, Avanti chief executive, David Williams was quoted saying: “We have always believed there is a huge opportunity for satellite communications services in emerging markets because growth for data and voice services is high whilst supply of telecoms network capacity is low.”
Avanti’s satellites can offer up to 99.9 percent uptime, irrespective of meteorological conditions because they operate in the 30Ghz section of the radio spectrum using the Ka-band frequency.
With this technology, African rural areas would be able to enjoy broadband service at a faster speed than the average 256kb per second managed in Kenyan urban centres.
The satellite broadband service provider said its monthly service charge for a 8MB connection speed could go for 20 pounds ($31), a very cheap option compared to the $80 monthly broadband service charge in Nigeria for crawling speed service.
The name – Hylas, was carved out of the term: “Highly Adaptable Satellite”, a phrase that describes a key feature of the satellite, which is the ability to direct its beams to different areas of the continent in order to satisfy demand.
Avanti launched Hylas 1, its first satellite into orbit, in 2010. Its Hylas 2 satellite launch cost 280 million pounds ($438 million). The company plans to launch its Hylas 3, in 2015.