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SMEs taking up the call to connect the unconnected

telecomworld 2018 Daily Highlights Day 2

Underlying all the debates at ITU Telecom World 2018 is the need to connect the unconnected, bringing online as many of the world’s people as possible to enjoy the social and economic benefits of the digital economy. And SMEs from around the world are setting out innovative ideas on just how that can be achieved.

Introducing itself as the world’s first free satellite internet service, UK-based Quika offers free broadband services at no or limited cost to consumers, ideally in partnership with USF funds, NGOs or international organizations.  Quika uses GEO and LEO constellations to provide high-speed, low-latency Ka-band internet using high throughput satellites, bypassing the challenges of lack of infrastructure and affordability.

Supported by Quika’s commercial activities, the service is available to all individuals and businesses, starting in Africa and the Middle East – and will be rolled out to other developing countries in a bid to drive up internet adoption and reduce economic and social inequality.

Another approach is taken by Global Plan, from Japan, using innovative optical cable solutions for high-speed internet access at very low cost. Its practicable and affordable broadband option aims at closing the urban-rural divide – and has demonstrated just how rugged and efficient it is with its free wifi zone in the world’s most difficult environment, around the Mount Everest base camp.

Also on the showfloor is MzansiSat, a South African company working to share the power of global connectivity with the African continent, supplementing existing service providers with the nation’s first sovereign High-Debit and Throughput Satellite (HDTS). The aim is to provide South Africa with secure telecom and broadband capacities for private and public sector stakeholders at very competitive rates – helping to internet adoption, industry and economic development.