Real market potential
Satellite enjoys a sizeable share of the African market in the large enterprise and government services segment. Added to which, geographical and economic criteria are merging. It is primarily the lower middle class (living on 4 to 10 USD a day) and the upper middle class (over 10 USD a day) that are interested in Internet access via satellite. These two categories together represent around 15% of the African population, but 80% of them live in cities, which are generally covered by traditional wireline Internet access solutions. So, there is a potential addressable market for satellite that is estimated at 3% of those populations living on more than 4 USD a day per person, in rural areas.
In addition to providing broadband access, and targeting business and government markets, mobile connectivity is a major issue. 4G and, in future, 5G base stations and distributed servers will need to be powered. Providing connectivity to the transport sector can also create additional opportunities, in the ground transport, aeronautical, rail and maritime sectors.
Lastly, increasing connection speeds, and offering competitively priced plans (bandwidth and devices) would allow the satellite industry to forge itself a solid foothold in the market.