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Hybrid solutions beginning to dominate East Africa’s connectivity landscape

Satellite combined with other technologies like fibre to form hybrid solutions is seen as pivotal to efforts by industry stakeholders to increase broadband connectivity in East Africa.

Alaa Alsadi, Business Development Director for Middle East and Africa at IEC Telecom Group said that combined with other technologies, satellite technology can increase the levels of connectivity.

“(Satellite) works best in combination with other technologies like fibre or GSM as a hybrid solution, that can help African countries to achieve (their) digitalisation goals and plans in much faster time and with higher reduction in cost and expenses, compared to building GSM or fibre infrastructure to cover remote areas,” said Alsadi.

Oscar Mwai, CEO at Ostatech Limited, an IEC Telecom Group partner, said, “Digitalisation can empower business owners with reduced infrastructure investments and state-of-the-art hybrid technologies. It is almost a virtuous circle to see innovations in technology creating opportunities for increased entrepreneurship, and increased incentives for doing business in Kenya creating the demand for more connectivity.”

The two companies have partnered to roll out technology that will support markets including government, finance, military and the private sector, to implement end-to-end connectivity infrastructure.

According to a recent Space in Africa report, there are more satellite companies deploying services in Africa.

“Some national governments have launched operational GEO satellites to provide internet services to underserved and remote locations and government installations and for military purposes. Such countries include Algeria, Egypt, Angola, and Nigeria,” the report stated.

It listed several companies as among those expected to make a mark in the region, including Eutelsat, SES, Inmarsat, Avanti Communications, Yahsat, and Intelsat.

The market research also predicts a surge in Low Earth Orbit satellites as ROI in terrestrial networks continues to erode owing to the cost of new base stations in rural and underserved areas.

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