Being that most of the Latin American/Caribbean countries are not too far off of the Southern coastlines of the US, I would think that the coverage would reach with the right signal repeaters soemwhere in between? Or is this a matter of nationalism and bureaucracy?
It is a good point pocharle. Terrestrial links based on microwave signal could cover several Kms, in terms of distance, then in a such way, that tech can be implemented as right reply to your questions. Link based on light (laser link for instance), can perform longer. Those technologies are very good for point-to-point connections, then for links within the backbone or links for collecting traffic from a whole given area. Speaking about rural zones, major issue regards how to deliver a distributed access, instead of a point-to-point link solution. Satellite and fixed networks integration (access based on copper or radio as per mobile) aims to overtake that and as you have right mentioned, several providers are planning to share their infrastructure in order to assure each other the coverage, in case one of them is not playing in the region. Of course clear rules from Regulators Authority are needed, especially for provisioning process, but the direction is moving forward as per you post. It helps also in reducing operational costs.
Generally speaking, several applications and techs for civil usage come from military research; it also important to consider IP protocol and first core of worldwide public network Internet, was born exactly for supporting US Army.
Coming back to your question, mentioned technologies are focusing on public utilization and a key factor is set-up time; in a few hours, a rural zone can be connected and be on-line, very easily. And people there, could start to work.
This new architecture, as you have outlined, is already deployed here in Europe. Despite several ISPs, Internet access for rural zones or area close to Alps was still a huge problem. I can report integrated services have overtaken that limitation, Internet Satellite DSL is available at high speed for both upstream and downstream channel and monthly fee is close to fixed DSL price.
@t.alex: it depends on the access available and your needs; even I am not an expert, I try to resume options as per what understood by users experience. For individual users, portable devices are available. For home users / office / enterprise to interconnet a whole LAN, for instance, you have to install a dish; its setup is very simple, auto-install procedure as well. If a basic copper is available for phone service, it is only needed a traditional DSL modem, then the signal will go through the copper till the first fixed-satellite cross connection and then will go ahead via satellite. This case, any modulation and so on is in charge to equipment from providers, installed at fixed-satellite cross connection site.
Jacob, modem of Thuraya was a example. In cellular networks to obtain a data speed of 3.2 Mbps and above is realistic, but in the satellite networks are more difficult and more expensive. Interesting is Matteo mentioned approach to integrate fixed and satellite networks.
As example of fixed-satellite integration, in our region (which is not covered by traditional access based on DSLAM) providers are deploying broadband DSL services. Download speed is up to 6Mbps while upload is up to 384 Kbps. Feature as pre-fetching is available in order to reduce perceived delay, services run very well !
I hope the 2014 FIFA World Cup can cause the necessary technological blooming for Latin America and give to the people equal changes to the digital information. I found very interesting the fact that new technologies such as satellite internet help to cover the lack of GSM and land lines infrastructures but does it cost too much for the regular users?
Well Nemos, you have addressed a really important point. Costs for satellite communications were quite high, also in a recent past. Based on new technologies and architecture to integrate fixed and satellite networks, costs are very similar to cellular SIM and pre-paid subscription are allowed. It is a nice feature for increasing the market more on this new segment.
Interesting post, Matteo. What is the average cost of internet connection to households in Brazil or in Latin America in general? You mentioned about companies like Thuraya entering the market and providing satellite internet connectivity. I suspect the cost of satellite connection may be fairly high. Besides the infrastructure development, I think it's also important for government to take measures to reduce the internet cost to users. This is one way of increasing internet penetration. This can be achieved by providing subsidy on internet connections. I think the resultant boom in the economy brought through e-commerce may justify this expenditure.
Absolutely right TaimoorZ; funds and subsidiaries to sustain Internet adoption are in plan by several Govs in Latin America, especially for promoting education and research. Actually, costs for broadband using fixed / satellite integration as mentioned within the article, is in line with traditional DSL monthly fee provided by fixed line; it is also expected a decreasing trend quite soon.
Brazil still has a long way to go to reach the goal of expanding its broadband internet access from 27 percent to 70 percent. Also the adoption by the population will depend on the access fees. Brazil is surely a growing economy, but I wonder if a major part of the population can afford the services. Also, priority should be given to the cities that host the 2014 world cup because trying to cover all the country by 2014 may not be realistic.
Interesting to read about satellite being a viable alternative to cellular. Do you have any info comparing the cost of both solutions as from my experiene satellite is prohibitively expensive? I look forward to watching Brasil win the world cup on my 4G phone in 2014 ;-)
It is true, costs were very high, but they are decreasing as consequence of integration between terrestrial and satellite networks. Rates depending on providers or costellations used. Right now we could assume for incoming / outgoing calls between "in-net" users (which are hooking up same provider) rates are in the range US$ 0.8 - 1.5 US$ per minute.
@Matteo, I am assuming you will be attending this conference in Brazil and would love it if you could update us on the event. Which companies should we keep on our radar that you believe will benefit from an increase in broadband connection in Latin America?
Great point Hawk. It is easy to understand techs vendors and providers will play very soon a key role then as consequence a boost on ICT is expected in terms of revenue and new jobs. For Apps developers especially in the sector of education and public utilities is expected a ramp of business as well. Green is another sector very good for the region because one the key factor will be right trade-off between technology development, infrastructure, energy consumption and CO2 emission control. Natural environment could help this strategic path: Chile for instance is becoming one of the most important are for investment in green energy; a huge part of the country is flat and at high altitude, an ideal land for green energy production and launching of associated technologies, including sensor networks for controlling remotely how things are going on. A very great and professional study on broadband impact of economy in Latin America is available here, from Prof. Raul Katz (Columbia School).
Of course, I am planning new updates on the topic and I will be happy to provide info from my side.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.