One of the big talking points that will permeate throughout the event will be bringing people connectivity who previously have not had access to such services. Companies like OneWeb talk a lot about connecting the ‘Other 4 billion’ people and as more and more capacity comes online. Africa remains a key target for many operators and satellite companies look to bridge digital divides and kickstart economies throughout the region. It remains an almost utopian goal of the satellite industry to bring the whole world online, and creating a connected global community across regions and oceans.
With so many new constellations coming online over the next few years, it will be interesting to see if we see any major progress in bringing people online in regions such as Africa. While the cost of satellite capacity is coming down, the cost of customer equipment is still an issue. There are still many hurdles to overcome. However, at SATELLITE, we will get updates on these major constellations, as well as progress in making connectivity available to many more people than it is today. It will be one of the key themes of the show. One could argue we have been talking about reducing these divides for well over a decade now. However, the time is now fast approaching where we will see if these ambitious plans will start to make this long-promised difference.
I hope to see you May 6-9, 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C for the 2019 SATELLITE Conference & Exhibition. Make sure you register before December 13 at midnight to secure the lowest rates on conference passes or a free exhibit hall pass.