As its ambitious broadband connectivity targets show, Bolivia recognizes the importance
of high-speed connectivity – but with an uncertain geographical landscape and historically limited broadband access, a versatile, cost-effective and efficient means to improve internet connectivity is needed.
In a land claimed in part by the varied Andes mountain range, in part by the semi-tropical Yungas forests and temperate valleys of the eastern mountain slopes, and in part by the
Amazonian tropical lowlands that swathe country’s eastern and northern regions, Bolivia’s uncertain terrain means that achieving widespread connectivity is no small feat.
Bolivia’s fixed broadband services have historically been the slowest and most expensive in South America and, as a landlocked country, it is not able to utilize other commonly
used access technology, for example, subsea cabling. Equally, providing terrestrial links through neighbouring companies is expensive and not always practical.
Furthermore, a sizeable proportion of the population lives in remote valleys and areas where telecoms infrastructure has been chronically neglected. As a result, the penetration of telecom services is low.
The Bolivian government’s National Broadband Plan – which aims to increase the availability of broadband to both businesses and home – wants to connect 50% of households to an Internet service by 2020 – a goal that can only be realized with the right technology.
Satellite Steps In
To circumvent the geographical restrictions to providing broadband access, satellite is a versatile and profitable technology that can be utilized to access hard-to-reach areas with effective connectivity. Combined with good local infrastructure, state-of-theart technology and efficient service providers, satellite solutions have the potential to provide countries like Bolivia with fast and cost-efficient Internet. Crucially, ISPs can keep costs low as large-scale investment in infrastructure isn’t needed. The Agencia Boliviana Espacial (ABE), Bolivia’s national space agency, has partnered with Newtec to deploy our Newtec Dialog® hub to allow for the extension of access to residential broadband.
Amachuma Ground Station, Bolivia
The service will be delivered through ABE’s Ka-band Túpac Katari 1 satellite and Newtec will work with the agency to effectively respond to Bolivia’s crucial broadband needs. Our two-way, high throughput MDM2210 DVB-S2X IP Satellite Modem, which supports a wide range of IP services including Internet/intranet access, Voice over IP (VoIP) and multicasting services, will also be utilized. Its ease of installation, high-performance modulation techniques and integrated Wi-Fi enable network operators to offer IP broadband services in a cost-effective way over Ku- and Kaband networks. At least six thousand new users will be connected in Boliva thanks to the project. They will receive affordable rate of entry plans ranging from 4Mbps download speeds to 1Mbps upload speeds and will mirror the similar cost of residential broadband access in found in urban areas.
"We selected Newtec because we were impressed by the company’s innovation and capabilities, which we have seen deployed all over the world. The Newtec Dialog hub will enable us to offer services according to our requirements yet to keep our costs down without any compromise on performance or flexibility. We look forward to our continued work together in helping to connect even more of the Bolivian population in the future.
Ivan Zambrana, Executive General Director at ABE
Bart Van Utterbeeck, VP South America at Newtec and Ivan Zambrana, Executive General Director at ABE.
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