Peru is home to the dramatic landscapes of the Amazon rainforest and the Andes mountains. With a fascinating history that stretches back to the oldest civilization in the Americas, the Norte Chico and the technologically advanced Incas, this is a country with a proud heritage. However, in 2020, the reality is that the gap between the country’s rural and urban population is stark. Of the 32 million people that call Peru their home, 7 million live in remote, isolated communities and live below the poverty line with lack of access to many basic and critical services such as healthcare and education and connectivity that empowers them to connect with the rest of the world and the global marketplace.
Andesat is a satellite communications provider that serves a vast territory including Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, offering satellite connectivity services to remote areas in the Andean region. Dedicated to advancing connectivity in remote and rural areas of Peru, one of the company’s main areas of focus is the expansion of cellular networks. Peru itself presents a challenge in terms of geography and therefore, the extension of cellular networks can be very expensive and time consuming. Today, along with its partners Intelsat, ZTE and ST Engineering iDirect, Andesat is enabling these remote communities with an extended cellular network that will see people to benefit from connectivity, some for the very first time.
In 2018, Andesat, a longtime partner of ST Engineering iDirect, upgraded their network to iDirect’s Evolution® 4.1 software, along with iDirect’s iQ Desktop Remote and Intelligent Gateway to introduce powerful new DVB-S2X capabilities which meant that Andesat was able to make more effective use of the satellite capacity available and therefore offer competitive service packages. Initially used for the delivery of broadband services for multiple market sectors including education, fishing vessels and enterprise, the network has been key to Andesat’s growth in operations and delivery a higher level of customer satisfaction.
Andesat identified an opportunity to extend Mobile Network Operator’s reach to remote and rural regions of the country. This will benefit a potential universe of 60 thousand towns and villages and a total of more than 3 million people. Utilizing the already-installed multiservice Evolution hub, the requirement for any new services or hardware was eliminated and the company was able to move rapidly into a new market, providing Wi-Fi and 4G services to villages and allowing residents to access voice, data and video via computer or mobile device. The extended Evolution hub utilizes iQ 200 modems and leverages Intelsat capacity on the Intelsat 37e satellite.
To date, increased access to connectivity in remote areas of Peru has been deemed too risky for any one MNO or communications service provider to tackle alone. The pioneering Andesat project is making cost-effective technology available to MNOs that only pay for the traffic their end-users consume.
Through the coming together of the four partners, Andesat delivered a reliable, satellite-based solution that brings together high performance satcom equipment, along with solid satellite capacity and an efficient small site cellular backhaul device.
Carrying out installations in remote areas can be a time consuming and expensive operation as it involves the construction of large metal cell towers and the deployment of manpower to build them. However, in this case, the team was able to think out of the box and used a specially adapted truck that dug holes for the concrete cell poles and used an arm to place them into the ground. The hardware was then assembled around the pole. This meant that the entire operation was kept simple and fast, with only a small team required to carry out the installation itself.
With the new service, Andesat can now offer access to a wealth of information and services that will empower communities and enable development. The social benefits of networks such as this cannot be underestimated. They bring the ability to educate, to use telemedicine, to develop small businesses and to gain access to financial services and potentially life-saving weather reports.
Research shows that connectivity can have life-changing impacts for unconnected remote communities. The World Bank estimates that for every 10 percent increase in high-speed Internet connections, a country’s gross domestic product rises approximately by 1.4 percent.
The network is helping many Peruvians to transform their daily lives, introducing an unprecedented level of connectivity that is empowering them and we are able to share in their stories via #Te Conectamos Peru, a campaign developed to share insight into what’s being achieved in Peru. In this fantastic campaign, amongst others, we hear from:
Mathilde Bolivar, a mother and grandmother who has family living far away from her small village of only 300 people and has discovered the world of video calling to stay in touch.
William Tabera, a cocoa farmer who can now access information from the global marketplace to enable him to make sure his cocoa is priced correctly.
Carlos Rengifo, a paramedic who is now able to access critical information on health, medicine and disease, gaining access to the same services as larger towns and cities.
Raul Barbagelata, a poet that lives in Changuillo, he writes about his life and his town and enjoys the idea of his poetry being known through the internet.
Additionally, Andesat is also now free to move into new markets and serve new customer bases that can benefit from satellite connectivity. The multiservice nature of the Evolution platform allows them to do this in a cost-effective way, without the need to deploy new hardware and to use the knowledge of the platform that they already have. This means that Andesat is able to maximize their investment and capture opportunities as they arise, allowing them to go-to-market rapidly with the solution of their choice, extending the wonder of connectivity to even the most remote Peruvian villages.
To discover more about the initiative and to read the full press release, please visit: www.teconectamosperu.com.