(Ecofin Agency) - OneWeb has finalized the deployment of its low-earth-orbit satellite constellation. To ensure the distribution of its services in Africa, it is building partnerships with local actors.
Satellite operator OneWeb announced on Monday, May 15, a distribution agreement with integrated communications service provider iSAT Africa Ltd to provide broadband connectivity services in Central, West, and East Africa, even in unconnected and underserved areas.
Under the agreement, “iSAT Africa will offer a variety of integrated communication solutions for enterprise connectivity, remote access, and rural connectivity, tailored to fit the needs of businesses and communities in Africa.”
The new distribution agreement is part of OneWeb's strategy to gain a foothold in the highly competitive African Internet connectivity market, driven by the growing demand for high-speed connectivity and the accelerating digital transformation. In recent months, the company has signed distribution agreements with telecom service providers such as Paratus, Orange, Q-KON Africa, Airtel Africa... The company has also finalized the deployment of its low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation.
Its actions reflect the renewed interest of telecom operators and connectivity service providers in space technology to extend the reach of their networks. Satellites have proven to be more practical in bringing connectivity services to all communities on the continent, even in remote areas that are hardly accessible by terrestrial networks.
According to the 2022 edition of The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa report by the GSM Association (GSMA), 515 million people were using cell phone services in sub-Saharan Africa in 2021, representing 46% of the region’s population. The same report states that only 40% of the region's adult population is connected to mobile Internet services.
Isaac K. Kassouwi