Singapore-based firm Kacific has launched its first satellite to provide high-speed broadband to 25 countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The broadband satellite operator sent the Kacific1 satellite into orbit aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, launched from Florida this week.
It plans to begin operating in early 2020 after six weeks of tests and “in-orbit manoeuvres”.
Kacific said that “its range of services will provide a catalyst for positive change in the nations, from mobile backhaul to broadband internet”.
The satellite will provide services to countries such as Indonesia, Philippines, and Timor-Leste in South Asia, as well as the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. It will bring affordable broadband access to remote areas.
Christian Patouraux, founder and CEO at Kacific, said: “Kacific is the newest and most powerful commercial satellite operating in the Asia-Pacific region, placing Kacific in an excellent position to grow alongside these markets.”
Kacific collaborated with aerospace, engineering and communication firms to build and launch the satellite, including Boeing, SpaceX, ST Engineering, SKY Perfect JSAT.
SKY Perfect JSAT and Boeing were involved with the construction of the Kacific1 satellite, while ST Engineering will provide the satellite ground station facilities that connect services to customers.
Services will include broadband access, community wifi broadband, mobile backhaul, maritime broadband and airline inflight broadband.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) lent $50m towards the satellite, and said it would be “the most powerful signal ever achieved by a commercial satellite in the region”.
Jackie B. Surtani, infrastructure finance division director for Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific at ADB, said: “Satellite internet services are very effective in reaching the last mile of internet access, connecting remote areas that would otherwise remain isolated and lacking crucial services that can improve livelihoods and incomes.
“Information and communications connectivity are powerful tools in fighting poverty through better education, health care, and disaster resilience.”
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