Tue. Feb 27th, 2024
OneWeb Makes Moves to Dominate South African Internet Connectivity Market

United Kingdom-based satellite communications firm OneWeb is determined to conquer the internet connectivity space in South Africa. As a rival to Elon Musk’s Starlink, OneWeb is racing to establish its presence in the local market. In an effort to gain an edge over its competitor, OneWeb has formed partnerships with local internet players to expand its reach across the country’s broadband market.

OneWeb recently announced a partnership with Paratus South Africa, a top-tier specialist connectivity provider. Through this collaboration, Paratus will leverage OneWeb’s low earth orbit (LEO) satellite services to enhance its connectivity offerings in South Africa. This will enable the provision of combined LEO/geostationary satellite (GEO) services to enterprises operating in remote parts of the country’s major sectors. The adaptability and scalability of OneWeb’s system make it a promising solution for addressing the unique challenges faced in Africa.

In another development, Q-KON, a Techno Park-based player, has incorporated OneWeb’s services into its smart satellite spin-off called Twoobii. A leading digital bank in South Africa has already launched operations using the Twoobii service, benefiting from non-stop, high-speed internet connectivity. The bank is considering expanding this service to more branches, offering low latency connectivity, branch online management, data backhauls, Wi-Fi, and ATM services.

OneWeb’s involvement indirectly powers one of South Africa’s top digital banks and demonstrates the utility of its LEO connectivity solution in the financial services sector. With the demand for point of sale connectivity in the South African financial sector estimated at 10% of the total installed base of 2 million POS trading points, there is a significant need for satellite network capacity.

On the regulatory front, OneWeb has obtained full licensing from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa). This positions OneWeb ahead of Starlink, which is yet to fulfill all the legal requirements for a local launch. While Starlink’s kits are gaining popularity through back doors, the service remains illegal in South Africa.

OneWeb’s expansion plans extend beyond South Africa, with a focus on Libya and other African countries. The company aims to provide satellite connectivity in collaboration with leading mobile network operators. Meanwhile, Starlink has officially rolled out its services in several African countries. The competition between these two satellite operators will shape the future of internet connectivity in Africa.

FAQ Section

Q: What is OneWeb?
A: OneWeb is a United Kingdom-based satellite communications firm.

Q: Who is OneWeb’s rival in the internet connectivity space?
A: OneWeb’s rival is Elon Musk’s Starlink.

Q: What is OneWeb’s strategy in South Africa?
A: OneWeb is determined to establish its presence in the South African market by forming partnerships with local internet players to expand its reach.

Q: What is the partnership between OneWeb and Paratus South Africa?
A: OneWeb has partnered with Paratus South Africa, a specialist connectivity provider, to enhance its connectivity offerings using low earth orbit (LEO) satellite services.

Q: Who has incorporated OneWeb’s services into their operations?
A: Q-KON, a Techno Park-based player, has incorporated OneWeb’s services into its smart satellite spin-off called Twoobii.

Q: How is a leading digital bank in South Africa benefiting from Twoobii?
A: The digital bank is benefiting from non-stop, high-speed internet connectivity and is considering expanding the service to more branches.

Q: What significance does OneWeb’s involvement have in the financial services sector?
A: OneWeb’s involvement indirectly powers one of South Africa’s top digital banks, showcasing the utility of its LEO connectivity solution in the financial services sector.

Q: Has OneWeb obtained licensing in South Africa?
A: Yes, OneWeb has obtained full licensing from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

Q: How does OneWeb’s licensing status compare to Starlink in South Africa?
A: OneWeb is ahead of Starlink, as Starlink is yet to fulfill all the legal requirements for a local launch. Starlink’s service remains illegal in South Africa.

Q: Where does OneWeb plan to expand its connectivity services?
A: OneWeb has plans to expand its services beyond South Africa, with a focus on Libya and other African countries.

Q: What is the future of internet connectivity in Africa?
A: The competition between OneWeb and Starlink, the two satellite operators, will shape the future of internet connectivity in Africa.

Definitions:
– Low Earth Orbit (LEO): An orbit around Earth that is relatively close to the surface, typically at an altitude of 2,000 kilometers or less.
– Geostationary Satellite (GEO): A satellite that orbits Earth at the same speed and direction as the planet’s rotation, allowing it to remain fixed in a constant position relative to an observer on the ground.
– Latency: The time delay between the transmission and receipt of data.
– Point of Sale (POS): The location where a transaction takes place, such as a retail store checkout counter.

Suggested Related Links:
OneWeb
Starlink
Paratus South Africa
Q-KON
Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa)