The seminar was attended by service providers and integrators from SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa) countries, the US and Europe.
On 12 November 2013, in the framework of AfricaCom-2013 (Cape Town, South Africa), the Russian satellite communications operator, RSCC, held a regional seminar on ‘New Russian Satellites and New Opportunities for Satellite Networks in Africa’. The seminar was attended by service providers and integrators from SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa) countries, the US and Europe.
The seminar attendees noted that the potential of the telecommunications markets in the SSA countries is far from uniform. Everywhere advancement of mobile communications and broadband access apps are curtailed by energy deficit. When offering straightforward and affordable satellite solutions to the SSA markets, the operator is expected to address a number of additional issues including UPS arrangements in field conditions, service personnel training and provision of required equipment. Given high risks of local conflicts and complicated logistics, most ground infrastructure projects become too costly and even economically unviable.
Yet, it is precisely communications and internet that are the drivers of development in the region, and the key to Africa’s riches. According to WorldBank data, a 10% broadband penetration increase in a developing country yields a 1.5% GDP growth. Access to information resources and communications boosts business activity and competitiveness of a country, region or specific business. Over the past five years the number of satellite-supported corporate networks has grown two-fold. According to analysts’ forecast, the capacity of the regional mobile apps market will reach $23bn by 2018.
While noting the growing impact of the BRICS communications companies in setting up state-owned infrastructure projects, the participants have highly appreciated Russia’s return to this sector of the SSA economies. RSCC’s offer of simple and affordable solutions based on domestic and US and European equipment have been received with genuine interest among the attendees from South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Namibia and other countries of the region. The participants have noted that the RSCC satellites scheduled to be launched in 2014 will be in high demand for setting up national networks and providing appropriate conditions for the work of international missions, development of national TV and radio networks, telemedicine and other services for the general public.