Posts

Kacific Accepts 2018 Better Satellite World Award

Kacific founder and CEO, Christian Patouraux, accepted the 2018 Better Satellite World Award at a ceremony in London on Monday night in recognition of the company’s work bringing affordable connectivity via next-generation satellites to the people of South East Asia and the Pacific.

Christian Patouraux with Kacific leadership and supporters

Christian Patouraux with Kacific leadership and supporters

Bestowed by the Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), the award honours companies who use satellite systems to make the world a more prosperous, healthier, better-educated, sustainable and inclusive home for humankind.

“When I started Kacific, I wasn’t interested in following the status quo. By serving only narrow, lucrative telecoms segments, the status quo was leaving many populations behind and increasing the digital divide,” said Christian Patouraux. “Kacific didn’t re-invent the wheel, but my team and I took advantage of innovative new space technology and operated a lean organisation to match the cost expectations of emerging markets.”

“The flagship project in our proof-of-concept service connects the Vanuatu Interisland Telemedicine and Learning Network. The Network has already saved the lives of a number of people in emergency situations, because of the speed with which outer island health clinics can contact the main hospitals and specialist doctors. So, we know that our satellite, Kacific1, will make a tangible difference to people’s lives. This service is just one of several community-based projects we are currently operating in Asia Pacific. We are honoured to receive this award ahead of 2019, when the services of our next-generation satellite commence,” said Patouraux.

Once launched in 2019, Kacific’s first satellite, Kacific1, will help connect more hospitals, clinics, schools, libraries, post offices, police stations and many other public institutions in rural areas where terrestrial broadband infrastructure is not an option or not economical. The satellite beams will cover previously isolated or underserved regions of South Asia, South East Asia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, providing a channel for connectivity.

“Building a 4G LTE network has never been cheaper or easier” says Adrian Potter

Adrian Potter, our Vice President of Special Projects, is also an excellent and vibrant writer. He’s penned a piece encouraging entrepreneurs and smart businesses to take advantage of low CAPEX costs to set up Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and mobile networks in remote regions. Here are some highlights from his piece below:


Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and mobile networks are no longer the sole domain of the big end of town.

With everyone so focused on the main population centres and suffering from an ARPU race to the bottom, resulting in a bottom line bloodbath, only a few are looking to the more remote and rural locations. Most believe these locations are too remote or too difficult to be profitable. Current mainstream thinking is that these rural and remote areas should be left to governments for subsidies from tax payers or universal service obligations on the major telcos.

When my father moved our family to the Pacific Islands in the late 1970s, I remember him saying, “son, there’s always opportunity for smart men on the frontier”. This is never truer than it is today.

Remote connectivity for 4G base stations is simple and cheap now

Forget expensive fixed digital microwave links on distant mountain tops, often with single points of failure. The new breed of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) using Ku and Ka Band are making connectivity to these far-flung locations easier and cheaper. Prices are already significantly under USD$300 Mbps a month for true broadband speeds into inexpensive fixed antennas of 1.2m or less. Forget the nonsense about LEO and MEO vs GEO latency. This is a marketing myth and sales tactic used by those operators seeking an advantage where one does not exist. In all but two very unique use cases, such as high frequency share trading, latency is completely irrelevant to the end user experience. Web browsing, VoIP, video streaming, Skype, Facetime etc. or almost 99.99% of the internet has no issues with GEO latency, FACT.


Adrian’s right, it is an interesting time to be operating in telecommunications and internet services, especially in the fast-developing regions of Asia and the Pacific. There’s an incredible demand from populations all over the fast-growing APAC region. There are untapped markets that can be reached effectively by the right operators with very low risk. Which is why we offer our partners simple, affordable infrastructure and fair wholesale prices.

You can read the full article on Adrian’s Linked In here

Kacific announced as recipient of the 2018 Better Satellite World Award from Space & Satellite Professionals International

Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) recently announced that Kacific will receive a 2018 Better Satellite World Award.

The Better Satellite World Award honours established companies along with disruptive innovators who use satellite systems to make the world a more prosperous, healthier, better-educated, sustainable and inclusive home for humankind.

An international jury consisting of a broad cross-section of industry thought leaders and distinguished professionals selected Kacific as a recipient.

“The modern world literally runs on satellite technology though few of the world’s people know it.”

– Robert Bell, SSPI Executive Director

 

“With this year’s recipients, we honour organizations using satellite to spread economic opportunity and improve resilience in the face of adversity.  Their work – little known to the world – is making that world a better, safer and more equitable place,” said Bell.

Our difference

Kacific was founded with the purpose of making a rapid and lasting difference to the people of South East Asia and the Pacific by providing high-quality, low-cost satellite broadband accessible from a small, easy-to-install and affordable antenna.

Once launched in 2019 Kacific’s first satellite, Kacific-1, will help connect hospitals, clinics, schools, libraries, post offices, police stations and many other public institutions in rural areas where terrestrial broadband infrastructure is not an option or not economical. Combining inexpensive, small and maintenance-free ground equipment with the highest satellite signal strength in the region, Kacific delivers low-cost, high-speed internet to local service providers and thereby enables local communities to truly participate in the digital world.

Medical centre in Dili using a small VSAT to connect to broadband internet

Medical centre in Dili using a small VSAT to connect to broadband internet

Connectivity in developing areas fosters better education and healthcare outcomes

With high-speed internet available anywhere, e-education becomes a reality to provide primary and secondary school children with skills necessary to keep pace with the evolving demands in tertiary education and the job market. Connectivity also provides rural and extra-urban medical facilities with critical information and communication capacities for emergency situations, using medical databases, logistics tools and live remote access to specialist doctors, allowing them to save more lives and maintain a better standard of healthcare overall. By enabling a better use of local infrastructure, Kacific makes rural towns and villages safer and more rewarding places to live in.

We will be accepting this award at the Better Satellite World Awards Dinner on 3 December in London.

Read more about the award and SSPI here

Connecting the world, village by village: Five reasons why satellite is the key

1.    Reaching locations that other technologies can’t reach

The very nature of satellite technology means it is often the only viable solution for areas where geography makes access most difficult. Where other methods of connectivity are either substandard, uneconomical or completely absent, only satellite communication technology can deliver affordable and reliable broadband connectivity direct-to-premises. The many thousands of isolated islands dotted across the Pacific Ocean provide a stark illustration of the limitations of traditional terrestrial approaches to connectivity.

2.    Frugal solutions

Cutting edge technologies are not suitable for many emerging countries as they require high levels of power supply and specialised education to operate. What’s more, they are often delicately constructed, unproven, and expensive.

Technologies need to be appropriate for the markets they serve and provide service at a price point that changes the overall market dynamic. The best term for describing such technologies is frugal. Frugal should not be confused with cheap or low-quality goods. Frugal means consciously adapted to meet local market conditions.

High-throughput Ka-band satellites represent a frugal technology that has particular potential in South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands in providing a universal, fast broadband service. HTS satellites have been in use since the early 2000s and are proven to provide much higher levels of throughput — up to 20 times that of the older FSS satellites. Kacific’s Ka-band satellite is a frugal technology: a scaled-down, intelligently targeted version of large HTS, co-owned with a partner in a condo arrangement.

3.    Designed for the sharing economy

The number of communications satellites is growing steadily, and operators are systematically launching payloads with excess capacity. Nimble players with key know-how can take advantage of this arbitrage opportunity. The key point is; you don’t have to build a constellation to provide a cost-effective, multi-continent service. Leasing excess capacity on existing satellites and utilising condominium satellites, where several players share the ownership of a satellite, present good opportunities to provide services to underserved regions at a game-changing price per gigabyte.

4.    Disaster recovery

Disaster recovery is a major issue for isolated regions throughout the world. Every year cyclones cause massive disruption to Pacific nations. In the aftermath of the Cyclone Winston that hit Fiji in February 2016, lack of communications significantly hampered rescue and recovery efforts. Equally powerful hurricanes lash the Caribbean, tsunamis threaten coastal villages across Asia, and earthquakes lay waste to remote and isolated regions all along the ring of fire. When these affect terrestrial communications, as they so often do, information flows are restricted, aid distribution is hampered, lives are lost and recovery is long delayed.

When the lone undersea fiber-optic cable linking the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to the rest of the world was struck by a boulder in July of 2015, telecommunications, banking, healthcare and other services were disrupted to such an extent that the government declared a state of emergency.

Kacific has been working with several governments who are interested in providing increased resiliency and who recognise that satellites can address their requirements better than cable.

5.    Spots not constellations

Constellations provide a blanket of coverage, but in island nations and over vast terrains, widespread coverage is an ineffective use of the payload. Targeted beams can place capacity exactly where it is needed, whether it be over separate islands or rural regions. These spot beams are more concentrated in power than wide beams, meaning end users get a stronger signal and wastage is at a minimum. A smaller coverage area also reduces the risk of interference with other transmissions using the same frequencies, making the service more reliable.

John Hawker strengthens Kacific sales team, leading efforts across Melanesia and the Pacific

 

John Hawker,

Kacific Broadband Satellites has appointed John Hawker as Vice President Sales, Melanesia and the Pacific.

John has held senior roles in both the telecommunications and satellite industries in several of Kacific’s key markets throughout the Pacific and South East Asia. His experience in developing broadcast, data and telecommunication networks is highly relevant to the company’s plans for the region.

John comes to Kacific after serving as VP Sales Australia, PNG and Pacific islands for ABS Global. He previously held the position of Director, Asia Pacific for International Datacasting.

At Kacific he will establish service provider relationships to grow broadband services in Melanesia and the Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Micronesia, Tuvalu, French Polynesia and Kiribati.

He will be able to draw on his experience with VSAT service providers in the Pacific, Southeast Asia and Africa as he helps the company forge strategic alliances to expand the Kacific ecosystem in the region leading up to the launch of Kacific-1 in 2019.

Diversification in the wave of next-generation satellites

The atmosphere beyond our blue earth is a continuing source of fascination for people and businesses alike. Two articles in Svenska Yle and Via Satellite have looked at the wave of new satellite technology – highlighting Kacific as one of the agile players making a real difference to those on the ground.

Candace Johnson

There are many questions about the future which intrigue not just the space industry, but everyday folk around the world: What are the capabilities of these next-generation satellites? Who are they reaching? How will we deal with space debris? What does the future hold?

Finnish broadcaster Svenska Yle spoke with satellite entrepreneur Candace Johnson, who was an early investor (alongside her Oceania Women’s Network Satellite (OWNSAT) group) in Kacific.

In a growing and diverse market, Johnson points out that Kacific-1 is addressing the endemic lack of broadband in Oceania – something to be proud of. She adds that space gives women and men, girls and boys, an opportunity to really make changes for the better on earth.

Via Satellite also published an interesting piece by Carolyn Belle, a senior analyst with Northern Sky Research.

“There are two main paths for satcom operators as they weigh future procurements: to reduce risk and optimize CAPEX, or to boost capabilities and competitiveness. The holy grail, of course, is to accomplish both.” – Carolyn Belle, Via Satellite.

She poses the question:

In tomorrow’s increasingly complex market, which strategies will prevail?

The answer: It will undoubtedly be a blend.

The increasing applications for satellite technology is a positive challenge for operators to navigate. It leads to more innovation. To be in the satellite market today, is to be constantly developing leaner business models, harnessing smarter ground technologies and refining satellite technology to meet the many demands of this technology.

 

Kacific appoints Matteo Catanuto to head sales in New Zealand and the Pacific

Kacific Broadband Satellites has appointed Matteo Catanuto as Vice President Sales, New Zealand and the Pacific Region.

Matteo is a senior telecommunications sales professional who joins Kacific following his role at Digicel Samoa as Sales Director. Prior to that he held high-level sales and business development roles working for TelstraClear, Orcon, Spark Digital, and Digital Mobile (part of the Vodafone New Zealand Group). He has extensive experience in New Zealand and the Pacific in areas highly relevant to Kacific’s growth strategy, including satellite connectivity, bandwidth and solution sales.

In his role with Kacific he will be responsible for establishing service provider networks and distribution channels in New Zealand, American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, Niue and the Cook Islands for the company’s range of satellite broadband products and services leading up to the launch of Kacific-1 in 2019.

Matteo holds a MSc from Liceo Scientifico, Milan and reports to the Kacific’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Kacific at PITA 2018: Accessibility Grows Micro Markets In The Pacific

‘Unlocking and Securing Digital Lifestyles in a connected Pacific’ was the theme for PITA 2018 — a theme which resonated with Kacific. Unlocking the access barriers to broadband internet is a key aim for the Kacific-1 satellite and core to the Kacific company.

Every year the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA) AGM and Trade Show provides a place for telecommunications industry to share experiences, engage in professional development and ultimately find solutions to connect the region to world class internet and mobile services.

Jacques-Samuel Prolon, Kacific’s Chief Commercial Officer joined the panel: ‘Let’s be Bold: Enabling a real connected Pacific – the dual challenge: Part One – The national access’ to speak about gaps in services to micro markets. Prolon introduced GigStarter — Kacific’s turnkey solution to address these gaps — to the PITA community.

 

The requirement for broadband is diverse, traditional set up costs are expensive and end-user consumption needs time to grow. These challenges make micro markets problematic and risky for traditional ISP structures to service.

GigStarter is an easily deployable, low risk, entry level solution designed to respond to unmet demand in micro markets. GigStarter aims to overcome barriers to access by including technical guidance for the first VSAT installation, remote monitoring and troubleshooting, and a simple billing system framework. The risk is minimised by incremental CAPEX investment in line with demand – a pay-as-you-grow system.

The feedback was resoundingly positive. The flexibility and ease of GigStarter proved popular with attendees from across the Pacific, who are acutely aware of the challenges of small and dispersed markets. From large ISPs looking for solutions in micro markets to local entrepreneurs wanting to connect their community, GigStarter is satellite broadband simplified.

If you missed the panel, we welcome you to view the presentation below:

Accessibility Grows Markets

 

SPACE & SATELLITE AU: “Kacific reveals ground infrastructure locations, new service provider strategy”

 

 

The weekly newsletter for Australia’s satellite and space sector, SPACE & SATELLITE AU, interviewed Kacific CEO Christian Patouraux about preparations for the launch of Kacific-1.

Journalist Geoff Long reported on the company’s ground infrastructure plans and potential locations, as well as a new service provider strategy that Kacific is rolling out to empower smaller broadband operators.

“Larger and larger operators are knocking at our door because the bandwidth we deliver is something unique in the region in terms of price, in terms of access – accessible on very small terminals – it’s excellent to connect rural communities, to connect universal service obligations and many of the governments have a drive to go into universal service. And Kacific is the only option for many of these countries,” said Patouraux.

 

 

 

 

Kacific-1 Passes Critical Design Review – Moves Into Production Phase

The team at Boeing Satellite Systems International proudly announced that the Boeing 702 satellite platform – carrying our Kacific-1 payload – passed the critical design review.

It is now moving into the production phase, building towards the 2019 launch.