HISPASAT rolls out the first 50 WiFi satellite hotspots together with EasyTV to bring internet acces


HISPASAT, the Spanish telecommunications satellite operator, and EasyTV, the provider of innovative entertainment and digital content solutions, have joined forces to bring internet access to Brazilian towns located in regions that lack connectivity. The first phase of the project includes the installation of 50 new WiFi satellite hotspots in Brazil, powered by Facebook Connectivity’s Express WiFi platform. This will enable EasyTV to provide practical and reliable high speed internet access using coverage in the Ka band of HISPASAT's Amazonas 5 satellite.

EasyTV is the first company that HISPASAT has worked with to provide connectivity service using the Express WiFi platform. The WiFi satellite hotspots installed by HISPASAT and EasyTV are located in remote communities in the state of Maranhão, where connectivity has been lacking due to insufficient telecommunications infrastructure.

The second stage of the project is already in progress. HISPASAT and EasyTV will install another 50 satellite connectivity hotspots in different towns in the north and north-east interior of Brazil over the next few months. The companies expect to increase this figure notably before the end of the year. HISPASAT will also look for new partners to roll out this network in other regions where connectivity is lagging. The ultimate goal is to the extend HISPASAT 's coverage up to 3,000 hotspots in Brazil using the Express WiFi platform.

Collaborative business model to extend connectivity In addition to providing satellite capacity, HISPASAT will provide EasyTV with the equipment, including the Express WiFi platform as a customer-facing access solution, removing a barrier to entry for internet service to commercialize in remote parts of the country. For its part, EasyTV is responsible for installing and maintaining the equipment, as well as selling the WiFi hotspot access package deals through local distributors that market the service and provide support to end users.

Using the Express WiFi platform, HISPASAT and EasyTV are bringing simple satellite connectivity to residents across select remote locations in Brazil. End users can access the internet without the need to install any device or do anything other than simply purchase a prepaid pass. These passes include different offers of allotted time and data volume at very affordable prices. After purchasing the package through one of the local EasyTV distributors, users only need to connect their device to the company's WiFi network and enter their access code to browse the internet. This system allows users to tailor their internet usage to their needs and finances, without having to commit to a fixed monthly fee.

Sergio Chaves, South American Business Director for Hispamar (the Brazilian subsidiary of HISPASAT), showed his satisfaction for how the roll out has started, stating: “Satellites are the ideal technology to extend connectivity in remote or sparsely populated areas, as they provide universal coverage and can be deployed rapidly”. "The Amazonas 5 is a latest generation satellite with high throughput in the Ka band, ideal to provide high-quality broadband services in Brazil. Thanks to our partnership with Facebook, we are able to offer a simple, complete internet access solution, both for distributors as well as for end users," concluded Chaves.

According to Jadson Welder, CEO of EasyTV, “by the end of 2020 we plan to have more than 400 hotspots spread throughout the Ka band coverage area provided by the Amazonas 5 satellite. The arrival of Express WiFi has had an undeniable social impact on the lives of the residents in remote communities like Maranhão. Express WiFi makes it possible for residents to communicate with other states and countries. For example, they can manage appointments and purchase bus tickets, among many other possibilities, which up until now they could only do by travelling to the town centre far away from their homes. This giant gateway is open to all members of these communities". Welder further emphasized: “EasyTV is committed to expanding the use of Express WiFi as we look for new ways to improve connectivity for these Brazilian communities".

The Ka band of the Amazonas 5 satellite

The Amazonas 5, which will provide the necessary space capacity for this project, features the new high throughput satellite (HTS) technology. This will make it easier to carry out a massive deployment of satellite connectivity services at a low cost in Latin America. In the case of Brazil, the satellite provides coverage in the HTS Ka band to more than 75% of the Brazilian population and is operated from the HISPAMAR teleport, a HISPASAT subsidiary, in Caxias do Sul (state of Rio Grande do Sul).

The Express WiFi platform and collaboration with Facebook

Facebook Connectivity works with service providers and operators like HISPASAT to extend fast, affordable and reliable WiFi internet access through its Express WiFi platform. The platform enables service providers and mobile network operators to build, operate, increase and monetise their WiFi business in a sustainable and scalable manner. HISPASAT will install WiFi hotspots operated by satellites in different towns throughout Brazil. Additionally, HISPASAT will provide its satellite capacity and its managed services platforms, which will help decrease the time to market needed by local partners and ISPs, those who are responsible for marketing the service and providing customer support.

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