Vodafone partnered with Amazon’s satellite connectivity company Project Kuiper, a move to use the latter’s low earth orbit satellites (LEO) to extend 4G/5G coverage for Vodafone and Vodacom subscribers in Europe and Africa.
In a statement, Vodafone Group explained the LEO satellites can deliver 4G/5G connectivity to remote locations with little traditional infrastructure such as fibre or microwave solutions.
Project Kuiper will connect geographically dispersed antennas back into Vodafone’s core telecom networks. This, the operator explained, enables Vodafone and Vodacom to offer 4G and 5G services in more locations with less time and expense compared to building fibre-based or fixed wireless links back to its core.
As part of the partnership, the companies will also roll out Project Kuiper’s high-speed broadband services to “tens of millions” of people from underserved communities. Also, being explored are additional enterprise–specific offerings to provide businesses with comprehensive global connectivity solutions, such as backup service for unexpected events and extending connectivity to remote infrastructure.
Vodafone Group CEO Margherita Della Valle said: “Vodafone’s work with Project Kuiper will provide mobile connectivity to many of the estimated 40% of the global population without internet access, supporting remote communities, their schools and businesses, the emergency services, and disaster relief. These connections will be complemented further through our own work on direct-to-smartphone satellite services.”
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO said: “Collaborating with Project Kuiper gives us an exciting new path to scale our efforts, using Amazon’s satellite constellation to quickly reach more customers across the African continent.”