Vodafone partners with Amazon for satellite 5G in Europe and Africa
Vodafone and Project Kuiper – Amazon’s low Earth orbit satellite communications initiative – have partnered to extend 4G and 5G connectivity across Europe and Africa.
Vodafone and its joint owned African telco Vodacom will leverage Project Kuiper’s high-bandwidth, low-latency satellite network in areas that may otherwise be challenging and too expensive to serve via traditional fibre or microwave solutions
According to Vodafone, Project Kuiper will connect geographically dispersed cellular antennas back to the companies’ core telecom networks, securing 5G connectivity in more locations without the time and expense of building fibre-based or fixed wireless links back to the core networks.
Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone group chief executive, said the partnership will offer 5G connectivity to many of the estimated 40% of the global population without internet access, supporting remote communities, their schools and businesses, the emergency services, and disaster relief.
“These connections will be complemented further through our own work on direct-to-smartphone satellite services,” she said.
As part of the collaboration, the companies are also exploring enterprise-specific offerings to provide firms with connectivity solutions, such as backup service for unexpected events and extending connectivity to remote infrastructure.
Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president for devices and services, added: “Teaming with a leading international service provider like Vodafone allows us to make a bigger impact faster in closing the digital divide in Europe and Africa.
“Together we’ll explore how we can help our customers get the most value from expanded connectivity, particularly in areas like residential broadband, agriculture, education, healthcare, transportation, and financial services.”
Earlier this year, Indonesia partnered with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch the country’s biggest telecommunication satellite to boost connectivity in the underdeveloped eastern island.
In summer 2023, The UK Space Agency made a new £15 million funding available for satellite Earth Observation (EO) technologies.
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