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Google Cable Satellite-based Internet in EMEA

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Internet giant Google has announced  a partnership with  cable television magnate John Malone  and HSBC  to launch O3b networks.

The network will be a constellation of 16 satellites,  with capable of expanding in the future, the aim is to bring internet access to the "other 3bn" people still lacking connectivity in emerging markets – these statistics are the reason for choosing the name 03B.

The company is set to announce its first order for 16 low-earth orbit satellites which are expected to be operational by the end of 2010.  The satellites will connect to mobile masts in countries on the equator which will then provide fast broadband to areas previously unable to receive broadband.  The project is expected to cost around $750 million Euros  and reports that the partners have already invested 10% towards the project.

It has been reported that the  purpose is not consumer-focussed but to provide high-speed (10Gbit/s) backhaul capacity between wireless masts (WiMax and 3G) and national backbone networks in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East; the project will particularly target operators in remote regions.

How ever the consumer will no doubt benefit and eventually fund the project.

The low-latency satellite system will be able to cover all points 45 degrees north and south of the Equator. The rotating antennae enable beams of capacity to be sent to specific locations, while its proximity to the earth enables it to deliver high bandwidth in comparison to more distant satellite arrays.

OB3 is hoping to sign up communications operators in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The aim is to bring down the cost of bandwidth capacity; a Google executive commented that these costs could be reduced by as much as 95 per cent.


Google claims the new technology could cut the cost of broadband by 90 per cent for some of the world's poorest countries.

This really first into Google's mission to extend broadband around the developing world," said Larry Alder, product manager of the companies alternative access group.

Richard Cole, head of HSBCs private equity group, which has already funded communications projects in emerging markets, said the bank would lead the search for further finance in the next two years.

In contrast  Angola has  plans to become the fifth African country to put up a geostationary satellite.  South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, and Algeria already have satellites in orbit, providing mainly broadcast services and broadband connectivity. In addition, Rascomstar-Qaf1, funded by 53 African states under the Regional African Satellite Communication Organization, was launched last year and reaches every corner of the continent.

Internet Usage Statistics for Africa
( Africa Internet Usage and Population Stats ) 


Afsat has established business relations with SES NewSkies and Intelsat, and will only buy capacity from African satellites once the ability to service the satellites and offer satisfactory customer support is established.

With more than 8,000 VSAT and broadband Afsat sites in Africa depending on satellite, Ndege said that Rascomstar would provide the best option because of its wide coverage and much-needed bandwidth to rural areas.

"Afsat was very optimistic when Rascomstar was launched into orbit in December last year because it has a footprint in every corner" 

 

INTERNET USERS AND POPULATION STATISTICS FOR AFRICA 
AFRICA REGION Population
( 2008 Est. )
 
Pop. %
in World
 
Internet Users,
Latest Data
 
Penetration
(% Population)
 
% Users
in World
 
Use Growth
(2000-2008)
 
Total for Africa 955,206,348  14.3 %  51,065,630  5.3 %  3.5 %  1,031.2 % 
Rest of World 5,720,913,940  85.7 %  1,412,566,731  24.7 %  96.5 %  296.3 % 
WORLD TOTAL  6,676,120,288  100.0 %  1,463,632,361  21.9 %  100.0 % 

Internet Usage and Population Statistics for Africa are for June 30, 2008.

 

                  Internet Usage in the European Union - EU27

 
Internet Usage in the European Union
EUROPEAN UNION Population
( 2007 Est. )
Internet Users,
Latest Data
Penetration
(% Population)
Usage
% in EU
User Growth
(2000-2007)
Austria 8,199,783 4,650,000 56.7 % 1.7 % 121.4 %
Belgium 10,392,226 5,100,000 49.1 % 1.9 % 155.0 %
Bulgaria 7,322,858 2,200,000 30.0 % 0.8 % 411.6 %
Cyprus 788,457 356,000 45.2 % 0.1 % 197.2 %
Czech Republic 10,228,744 5,100,000 49.9 % 1.9 % 410.0 %
Denmark 5,468,120 3,762,500 68.8 % 1.4 % 92.9 %
Estonia 1,315,912 760,000 57.8 % 0.3 % 107.3 %
Finland 5,238,460 3,286,000 62.7 % 1.2 % 70.5 %
France 63,718,187 34,851,835 54.7 % 12.8 % 310.0 %
Germany 82,400,996 53,240,115 64.6 % 19.5 % 121.8 %
Greece 10,706,290 3,800,000 35.5 % 1.4 % 280.0 %
Hungary 9,956,108 3,500,000 35.2 % 1.3 % 389.5 %
Ireland 4,109,086 2,060,000 50.1 % 0.8 % 162.8 %
Italy 58,147,733 33,143,152 57.0 % 12.1 % 151.1 %
Latvia 2,259,810 1,070,800 47.4 % 0.4 % 613.9 %
Lithuania 3,575,439 1,221,700 34.2 % 0.4 % 443.0 %
Luxembourg 480,222 339,000 70.6 % 0.1 % 239.0 %
Malta 401,880 127,200 31.7 % 0.0 % 218.0 %
Netherlands 16,570,613 14,544,400 87.8 % 5.3 % 272.9 %
Poland 38,518,241 11,400,000 29.6 % 4.2 % 307.1 %
Portugal 10,642,836 7,782,760 73.1 % 2.8 % 211.3 %
Romania 22,276,056 7,000,000 31.4 % 2.6 % 775.0 %
Slovakia 5,447,502 2,500,000 45.9 % 0.9 % 284.6 %
Slovenia 2,009,245 1,250,000 62.2 % 0.5 % 316.9 %
Spain 40,448,191 22,843,915 56.5 % 8.4 % 324.0 %
Sweden 9,031,088 6,981,200 77.3 % 2.6 % 72.5 %
United Kingdom 60,776,238 40,362,842 66.4 % 14.8 % 162.1 %
European Union 490,430,321 273,234,619 55.7 % 100.0 % 189.5 %