20/04/20215 Minutes

Partnerships for connectivity enable a brighter tomorrow in Africa

As host for this more than two-hour event GVF introduced welcoming remarks from Intelsat and a keynote address from Liquid Satellite, following which three expert panellists contributed to the moderated discussion, Enabling a Brighter Tomorrow in Africa.

In 65-minutes of moderated discussion, Hans Geldenhuys, Managing Sales Director,  Intelsat; Wynand Richter, General Manager Sales and Commercial, Liquid Satellite; and, Adrian Raisbeck, Founder & CEO, mbora provided an overview of the range of affordable connectivity solutions they are providing in the region which meet the varied needs of communities.

Related and additional questions covered the following topics:

  • How is Covid-19 impeding the bridging of the digital divide and how is the pandemic manifesting itself as a driver of an even greater need for that vital bridge?
  • Is there a definitive, single, one-size fits all, Wi-Fi Hotspot solution or are there many different flavours, and what variables/parameters determine the appropriate flavour to apply to a given market demand situation?
  • What other examples of fully integrated solutions approaches are brought to bear on the markets served within the African continent?
  • Why should mobile operators should include satellite backhaul in their network planning strategies?
  • What are the “creative partnerships” referenced by the session description, how are such partnerships are developed and brought to bear on solutions creation and deployment, and to what extent are new business models and creative partnerships contributing even greater weight in favour of satellite/satellite-hybrid approaches?
  • Does the emergence of broadband connectivity demand from specific end user markets reflect actual evolutionary structural changes in economies with new industries, or is established industry finding satellite (including hybrid) solutions more mission-critical and/or more affordable?
  • Are there any particularly evident trends to illustrate that government(s) is/are increasingly getting behind the usage of the latest innovative satellite broadband solutions for its/their own needs?
  • African nations must sometimes deal with disaster and emergency situations other than the current circumstances of the pandemic. Are the innovations you are partnering to deploy suited also to disaster response situations? Has this already transpired?
  • Regulators from Africa often comment that satellite solutions are too expensive. How do we tackle such concerns?


Following the panel discussion Scott Mumford, CEO, Liquid Satellite and Brian Jakins, Regional Vice President Sales, Intelsat joined GVF in a Fireside Chat on the theme of Partnerships for Connectivity! Twenty-minutes of informal discussion encompassed various themes, building on the panel discussion and exploring the specifics of the Intelsat-Liquid partnership capabilities for extending mobile connectivity anywhere, with increased resiliency, optimised network capacity, and extended network coverage. Particular questions included:

  • As new satellite capacity comes on stream, accelerating the downward trend in bandwidth pricing, what else needs to happen to ensure the translation of this trend into service cost reductions to affordability levels?
  • With reference to relationships with end user customers, how is prioritisation of ICT to achieve digital transformation manifesting itself in different regions
  • In both broad continental and narrower sub-regional or national terms, how are regulatory and licensing frameworks helping to facilitate the implementation of innovative broadband connectivity solutions? Is regulation keeping pace with new thinking from the satellite and satellite-hybrid solutions environment?

An audience Q&A session focusing on how satellite-enabled solutions are increasingly affordable and how this trend may be impacted in the future by LEOs, HAPS and other technological advances, and closing remarks from Intelsat, brought the session to its “live” close. However, if you missed it, you haven’t missed out because a recording of the entire webinar will be available here soon. You can also catch-up with the entire GVF-Satellite Evolution Group webinar series and join the 11,000 plus around the world who have become part of our viewing community.