SAS in talks with CTU about nano-sats

UK-based Sky & Space Global is stepping up efforts to bring nano-satellite narrowband services to the Caribbean region as part of wider plans for equatorial communications.

In order to target the Caribbean, SAS is holding discussions with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) about the use of its technology, as the deployments of the SAS fleet is due to start in 2019.

SAS said this supports its business model of providing connectivity to equatorial locations such as the Caribbean, where these services are required. Over the equatorial region, the company estimates that between 2.5 billion and 3.5bn people have limited access to reliable infrastructure and that, of these, 750 million have no access at all. To this end, SAS is also working with officials in various other countries in South East Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Services include search and rescue, disaster management, emergency response, security alarms and recreational tracking. This is in addition to many other services including cellphone applications, offshore communications, smart farming, interactive TV, airplane, vessel and animal tracking, water and electric metering, grid monitoring, ATM and more.

SAS plans to deploy a constellation of 200 sophisticated nano-satellites over the Equatorial Belt and they are expected to be fully operational in orbit in 2020. Going forward, the company plans to upgrade and replace 25% of its constellation every year.

SAS also develops proprietary network management software systems that enables satellites to autonomously manage deployment, orbital control, and M2M with little interference from ground stations.

The company plans to derive revenue from wholesaling to regional telecoms providers, global corporates, governments and airline & shipping companies. Reseller agreements for bandwidth will be another revenue generator.

“Providing affordable connectivity to the unconnected is key for driving digital inclusion and economic growth in the developing world and for tackling poverty and improving education and healthcare," says Meir Moalem, CEO and Managing Director of SAS. "SAS is the first company to successfully use narrowband connectivity provided by nano-satellites to deliver a voice call, text messaging and financial transactions capabilities, among other world firsts. The discussions with the CTU constitute a significant step for securing additional strategic partnerships for the company’s constellation of nano-satellites."

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