SES satellites to deliver speedy internet to rural Colombia

SES satellites to deliver speedy internet to rural Colombia

15 December 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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A rural carrier in Colombia has tied up with satellite company SES to improve coverage of small communities in its area.

Integra Multisolutions (IMS) will use SES’s trunking services from the satellite operator’s new O3b mPower generation to bring coverage to municipalities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants (pictured) that are still out of range.

“Our multi-orbit satellite solutions have been bringing reliable connectivity services across Colombia for almost 10 years,” said Omar Trujillo, Americas VP of fixed data sales at SES.

He said the IMS partnership will use the O3b mPower constellation of satellites “to deliver fibre-like internet access to Colombians wherever they live”.

SES said the new coverage will begin using its current O3b medium earth orbit (MEO) constellation and later migrate onto O3b mPower in 2022, when the service will expand to additional cities.

Juan Carlos Hernandez Mendoza, CEO of IMS Group, said: “Our goal is to provide our end users the best quality of service across Colombia, which means access to high-performing services at all times, no matter where they are.”

The Colombian government says that there are only 16.1 fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 people, and only 56.5% of all households have an internet connection.

Coverage varies from 66.6% in urban areas down to just 23.9% in rural and dispersed areas.

SES said it will equip IMS to enable local internet service providers to serve a combination of enterprise, residential, mobile operators and civilian government projects. It said its O3b mPower system can deliver low-latency, high-speed, uncontended services from tens of megabits to multiple gigabits per second to a single site.

“By working together with SES, we are able to quickly and cost-effectively expand our network in underserved and tough-to-reach areas helping to address the digital divide for these communities,” said Hernandez Mendoza.

The first site to be connected will be Puerto Leguizamo, a municipality in the Putumayo department in the southern border region of the country. SES and IMS will go on to deliver service to other sparsely populated cities across Colombia that experience poor or inconsistent connectivity services.