Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Kacific satellite to provide broadband to Pacific nations

Kacific satellite to provide faster, more affordable broadband to Pacific nations

9 December 2013 – Kacific Broadband Satellites today announced plans to launch a Ka Band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) to provide enhanced broadband to 40 million people in the Pacific including the Pacific islands, New Zealand, eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

According to the World Bank, the Pacific is significantly underserved in terms of broadband access. Estimated total potential demand for bandwidth by Pacific island states is 44 Gbps. Today just 20 percent, or less than 10 Gbps, is supplied. The Pacific has the highest internet pricing and the highest Skype call prices on earth. Substandard, over-contended, 1 Mbps broadband services can cost more than US$700 per month in some territories. Kacific will sell wholesale bandwidth and anticipates that telcos and ISPs will offer it to end users at speeds of up to 10 Mbps and at price points as low as 5 percent of current costs. The service will be provided through small terminals costing just a few hundred dollars.

“This will be the world’s most geographically dispersed broadband satellite footprint,” says Kacific CEO Christian Patouraux. “Our aim is to create a high quality broadband network offering direct internet access to around 99 percent of the government agencies, institutions, businesses and people within the total footprint area.”

Kacific expects to commission its launch vehicle and payload in 2014 and to provide broadband services to the region by late 2016.

Tapping the Pacific’s potential

Geographic and demographic factors present particular difficulties for the nine million people in the Pacific islands. There is a significant challenge in getting coverage – even simple connectivity – to remote locations such as the Line Islands in Kiribati, the northern atolls of the Cook Islands, the archipelago islands and scattered populations of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. And places like Tuvalu and Tokelau also face issues in providing quality coverage to their small, distributed populations.

These factors mean that Pacific island nations have two to seven times lower internet penetration than continental nations with comparable GDP per-capita and adult literacy rates. Macro-economic modelling suggests there is an untapped pool of 2,000,000 internet users in the Pacific islands and eastern Indonesia who would be connected if internet prices were in line with the rest of the world.

The World Bank notes that developing countries enjoy an increase of 1.38 percent per year in average GDP for each 10 percent increase in broadband penetration. But at penetration rates below 5 percent, which is the case in the majority of Pacific island nations, this growth does not occur.

Speed and affordability

To help address these inequalities, Kacific will provide broadband service via a payload co-hosted on a geostationary satellite. It will operate up to 48 beams, each providing coverage of 700km diameter and up to 400Mbps (duplex) throughput. Beams can be adapted to provide service to remote atolls with low populations without increasing the price of bandwidth in those locations.

“We have been highly encouraged by feedback from government agencies and internet and economic development communities throughout the Pacific,” says Patouraux. “They recognise the significance of competitively priced high availability broadband to economic growth, health and education throughout the region. High speed broadband is now a fundamental infrastructure for economic growth, employment, security and the improved delivery of essential services.

“By providing high quality broadband at a fraction of the current cost, we will allow a much larger part of the population to participate in the digital age. With support from local governments and global institutions, that will foster greater internet usage on the island, fuelling economic growth. At the pricing and speed Kacific will offer, many Pacific nations should be able to reach the critical 10 percent penetration threshold, thereby substantially lifting their GDP.”

Target markets

Target customers include mobile networks (for back-hauling), primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, hospitals and healthcare providers, hotels and airlines and tourist services, government departments, agencies and services, emergency services, aid agencies, banks and financial institutions, mining, oil and agriculture businesses, as well as small-to-medium enterprises and consumers.

Kacific will position four or five beams over New Zealand, complementing fibre networks by offering broadband service to remote areas and service assurance to customers, mitigating the impact of disruption of the fibre trunk.

Eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, while more densely populated than the islands of the Pacific, have similar connectivity landscapes: broadband access is constrained, unreliable and expensive.

### ENDS ###

About Kacific

Kacific Broadband Satellites Pte Ltd is a satellite operator developing a broadband offering for the underserved Pacific island market. It plans to address the gap in supply with a satellite specifically designed for this market and using the latest multi-beam and high throughput space communications technology transmitting over the Ka Band.

Kacific’s target market comprises several distinct geographic segments: the islands of the Pacific, and the land masses of New Zealand, eastern Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It plans to provide satellite coverage to the majority of the island nations in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia including the Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Northern Mariana, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Palau, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Papua, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and Guam.

Using cost-effective technology and a lean business model Kacific will provide better broadband quality throughout the Pacific at significantly less than current retail prices, fostering greater internet usage and fuelling economic growth and improvements in service delivery in the islands.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>


Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>


Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>


Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>


Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>



Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>


'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>


Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Computer Power Plus
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news