The Power of Satellite Service in Latin America
As in every part of the world, media consumption in Latin America is changing. By 2022, there will be 120 million broadband households – and 52 million of them will be in Brazil. Smartphone penetration in Latin America will reach a 70% penetration rate by 2020. Already, in 2015, 86% of internet users in Latin America view video on mobile devices every week.
During the SET Expo in Brazil last week, it was clear that this huge demand for media consumption is creating a new set of a business challenges for broadcasters and programmers in the region. Challenges such as shifting content delivery models, increased network and operational complexity and new pressures to maintain the quality of the viewer experience across multiple platforms.
On top of that, major world events in Latin America such as last year’s World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil are increasing pressure on the region when it comes to content distribution. With that burden comes further scrutiny of the region’s connectivity overall. Not surprisingly, connecting the unconnected was a theme at SET Expo.
Throughout the region, Intelsat is working with customers and communities to bring broadband to as many people as possible. For instance, in Colombia, we are connecting rural areas to the web. We have been part of an effort to establish more than 1,900 kiosks connected to the Internet in six regions throughout the country.
The Galapagos Islands provide an example of how satellites are often necessary, even for relatively close distances by modern standards. The island terrain and location mean that satellite is the only way data and voice transmission services can be provided. Intelsat has been a partner in establishing fixed and mobile telephony for the Islands.
Whether connecting a classroom and islands, or supporting content distribution for the world’s preeminent sporting events, the economic impact of satellite service for Latin America cannot be overstated. In fact, the same satellites that distribute worldwide sporting events are critical in delivering essential connectivity that improves both economic and business conditions. In 2016, Intelsat will be delivering its first high throughput satellite to Latin America which will deliver much higher performance, better economics and as a result, make satellite technology more accessible. By being able to leverage Intelsat’s next generation fleet, customers will be able to rapidly respond to changes in media consumption and broadband demands in the region.