Read time: 3 minutes

SEACOM launches LEO satellite service for enterprise clients

By , Africa editor
South Africa , 16 Apr 2024
Alpheus Mangale, Group CEO, SEACOM.
Alpheus Mangale, Group CEO, SEACOM.

As satellites play an increasingly important part in Africa's future connectivity architecture, SEACOM yesterday announced the debut of an all-new low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite service.

According to the company, the service is currently accessible to SEACOM enterprise clients and represents an evolutionary shift in connectivity in South Africa, complementing existing terrestrial broadband infrastructure and technologies.

It stated that the launch follows a two-year process of engagement with industry partners.

The announcement of SEACOM's project comes at a time when satellite networks are being positioned as crucial for enhancing connectivity in Africa, providing access to information, and connectivity for education, health, and other key services.

Most recently, four cables were damaged in shallow waters off the Ivory Coast, causing an internet outage.

The disruptions affected Southern, Eastern, and West African countries due to the cable breakages, making satellite a feasible alternative

Speaking to ITWeb recently, Juanita Clark, CEO of Digital Council Africa, noted the importance of satellite communication in addressing connectivity gaps, particularly in underprivileged areas.

Clark said Africa is undergoing a rapid digital revolution, which is pushing up demand for connectivity, and satellite should be considered as one of the solutions.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the secretary-general of the International Telecommunications Union, has also been quoted on record as saying that satellite networks are vital to boosting connectivity.

Yesterday, SEACOM announced it installed its LEO satellite equipment in South Africa, and the company had completed all essential trials.

It said: “LEO satellites orbit the Earth at an altitude of 2,000 kilometres or less, the same altitude at which the International Space Station currently orbits. The area is essential for economic-related activities such as communication, transportation, and observation.”

Clayton Codd, GM: sales at SEACOM South Africa, said: “Our clients have watched closely and have been very responsive. They’re interested in the capabilities and overall potential of LEO connectivity technology and are attracted by the element of innovation and the stability it could bring to parts of their business.”

With the service's introduction, SEACOM says that clients will be able to integrate LEO satellite access into their network infrastructure and business continuity plans.

According to the firm, the launch also involves SEACOM partnering with one of South Africa's premier financial service providers, which will employ LEO to enhance the company's network access capabilities and assure reliable product and service delivery.

Alpheus Mangale, Group CEO, SEACOM, said: “The end goal is to make the LEO service an essential value offering for organisations of all shapes and sizes. Connectivity is on track to become a wholesale service made up of different technologies that work together to meet clients’ needs and deliver the uptime and performance that’s expected from market leaders. By holistically improving enterprises’ operational capabilities and providing always-on connectivity, we are enabling them and ushering in a new wave of digital transformation.”

Looking ahead, Mangale envisions LEO playing a substantial role in SEACOM’s corporate social responsibility and associated initiatives.

He said: “There are so many opportunities that can be explored with the power of partnership. By getting major industry players together and uniting them with the common thread of broadband connectivity, we can make significant changes and transform the lives of all South Africans.” 

Daily newsletter