World Mobile using LEO satellites to expand network in Africa
Mobile telecommunications firm World Mobile is expanding its network across Africa following a series of successful pilot tests using low earth orbit (LEO) satellites – specifically StarLink - in the US and UK.
According to the company, it tested the use of StarLink’s satellite network as a backhaul option for providing internet to its AirNodes (the network’s internet access points).
“The connection delivered impressive broadband speeds, latency, and stable connectivity with download speeds of up to 400Mbps,” World Mobile stated.
It added that the tests demonstrated that remote connectivity with the LEO satellite, which serves as a constellation network connecting AirNodes, can provide robust Wi-Fi services.
Using innovative satellite and relay technology with stratospheric balloons, it plans to provide connectivity in hard-to-reach areas within Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania.
World Mobile continued: “In Zanzibar, an archipelago of 1.9 million people, where the average income is USD 1,000 per year, World Mobile is targeting areas where there is minimal or no connectivity. It is underway in deploying its hybrid mesh network to deliver affordable mobile connectivity in the region through a network of AirNodes and aerostats with a coverage radius of up to 70 km.”
World Mobile said it is in advanced talks to expand its network to other African countries, such as Mozambique and Nigeria.
Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile, reiterated, “It is extremely encouraging to see that our technology and infrastructure works well with StarLink. We will conduct further pilot tests using other LEO solutions to see how we can potentially incorporate satellite internet constellations into our offering. They have the potential to dramatically enhance our proposition and accelerate our global rollout.”
Satellite internet constellations are among the many backhaul technologies available to World Mobile’s network, “which adapts its connectivity infrastructure to the needs of each region, allowing it to deliver efficient and affordable connectivity where other mobile operators cannot reach.”