Sky and Space Global is holding discussions with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) about the use of its novel nano-satellite technology in the region.
Nano-satellite narrowband services to the Caribbean region will be provided by SAS' Pearls constellation once deployment commences in 2019. This supports the SAS business model of providing connectivity to equatorial locations such as the Caribbean, where these services are required.
In 2017 SAS successfully launched its ‘3 Diamonds’ nano-satellites as a proof of concept, and on 12th July this year successfully demonstrated the narrowband network’s capabilities at the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) conference held in Georgetown, Guyana.
Guyana typifies the overall market SAS is focusing on more than 2 billion people worldwide that reside in the equatorial belt in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Cellular penetration is growing rapidly in these regions, but a lack of infrastructure severely limits services available to the local populations.
SAS is also working with officials in various other countries in South East Asia, Africa and Latin America, to bring affordable communications to ‘Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. The timetable calls for launching a constellation of 200 nano-satellites beginning next year with full scale deployment by 2020.
The commercial discussions with the CTU are focusing on the offering of a full range of connectivity services in the Caribbean region, which currently lacks the necessary infrastructure. The inter-government treaty organisation is responsible for supporting the development of the ICT sector in the Caribbean and has assessed the suitability, applicability and possible use of the SAS narrowband platform throughout the region.
Affordable communication services such as nano-satellite based communications will enable Caribbean countries to use ICT in agriculture (E-agriculture) in a way that supports the achievement of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development goals such as economic development, social inclusion and environmental protection.
“Providing affordable connectivity to the unconnected is key for driving digital inclusion and economic growth in the developing world and for tackling poverty and improving education and healthcare," says Meir Moalem, CEO and Managing Director of SAS. "SAS is the first company to successfully use narrowband connectivity provided by nano-satellites to deliver a voice call, text messaging and financial transactions capabilities, among other world firsts. The discussions with the CTU constitute a significant step for securing additional strategic partnerships for the company’s constellation of nano-satellites."