Across the Pacific region, demand for high-speed broadband connectivity is experiencing a surge in demand. The appetite for a host of applications has grown exponentially – especially in terms of mobile voice and data communications.
However, for the people of the Pacific Islands, gaining access to high-speed connectivity can be a challenge. For these small, remote islands, terrestrial infrastructure is very costly to rollout and, in many cases, the islands’ connectivity needs are unmet. Their remoteness and low density of population mean that providers of terrestrial infrastructure do not view the Islands as economically viable. This means that Pacific Islanders are often left with little or no means of connectivity. This stifles socio-economic growth as people cannot connect with the outside world for trade or communication via the Internet, voice or data services. Access to this type of connectivity creates great opportunities for small island nations with access to the global marketplace, education, the banking system and healthcare to name just a few benefits.
The Islands are also highly prone to natural disasters, especially cyclones and typhoons, which result in the destruction of infrastructure and loss of communications. Cyclone Pam passed through the region in March 2015, and disrupted communications for days, holding up the response to the disaster.
These Islands require connectivity that requires little in terms of infrastructure, and therefore satellite is very often the first stop for providers in the region.
For two companies delivering connectivity to the Pacific Islands, the challenge of connecting their islands with high quality, cost effective satellite services led them to ABS.
Tuvalu Telecommunications Corporation (TTC, Tuvalu) and BlueSky Pacific Group (Samoa) both faced the same problems in terms of delivering high speed connectivity for Internet, voice and video services to support their respective Islands’ growing infrastructure and communications requirements.
TTC, a state-owned enterprise of Tuvalu and the sole provider to its islands of 6 atolls and 3 reef islands, needed to increase the volume of traffic to the Tuvalu islands offering high speed Internet to support schools, banks, hospitals and IP backhaul for its mobile network.
Bluesky, a leading Pacific regional telecommunications operator providing mobile, broadband, IPTV and landline services in American Samoa, Samoa and Cook Islands and mobile services in New Zealand, was ready to extend its current high-speed Internet connectivity to meet increased demand. It also wanted to provide essential bandwidth to outlying islands where there was little or no access to Internet.
In both cases, connectivity was urgently required to fulfil emergency communications requirements. Finally – and crucially – all of these requirements needed to be met in the most cost-effective way possible.
ABS provided both companies with its On C-Band (OCB Pacific), a complete, managed VSAT service for the Asia Pacific and the Pacific Islands region. Simple and fast to deploy, with no prior infrastructure required, OCB delivers highly cost-effective connectivity using the latest technology and provides the required throughput and QoS demands. This enabled both TTC and Bluesky to readily extend their high speed connectivity and meet increasing customer demands, as required.
The OCB service is extremely affordable, delivered by ABS at pricing levels unheard of in the Pacific Region.
For users in the Pacific Islands, rain fade can be a problem, but C-band is very resilient to adverse weather conditions and OCB targets the provision of 99.9% uptime service that is not affected by rain attenuation.
The OCB platform enhances satellite connectivity to the Pacific where frequent typhoons and cyclones are common and C-Band communications are crucial for survival and for the wellbeing of the people. This means that Bluesky Pacific and TTC customers can be assured of greater availability of Internet, voice and video services and coverage in more locations, connecting those who have previously had no access to connectivity.
Both TTC and Bluesky Pacific have been able to enrich their economies and the lives of their people through ABS’ OCB service. With fast implementation, and a very cost-effective pricing model, ABS has been able to deliver high quality satellite services to a market that has not been served well by the incumbents, who have managed to keep pricing high in a region that could least afford it.
Communications are critical for the Pacific people and both TTC and Bluesky Pacific are now able to use a scalable, reliable and cost-effective solution to ensure that Islanders’ communications needs are constantly met, giving peace of mind and assurance that, even in the event of a disaster, the Islands will not be cut off from essential communications.