From the plains of the Serengeti to the bustling metropolis of Abidjan, Sub-Saharan Africa’s MNOs and Telco operators are feeling the pinch of an over-saturated and high-pressure telecom market. The incremental saturation of the market year-on-year has brought challenges to MNOs and is causing their exodus from the B2C market as they instead seek opportunities in B2B communications.
The growing traffic numbers and the inevitable demands that it has on MNOs to facilitate high-speed services has facilitated the introduction of an unprofitable paradigm for providers. With voice commodifying and data revenue growth not good enough for operators to cover the growth in traffic, profitability has become an unrealistic target.
The move into the B2B market, however, presents challenges of its own. The B2B market has a high demand for reliable solutions that, typically, only satellite technology can provide for. For MNOs to utilize satellite technology effectively they are first presented with the prospect of a high CapEx, uncertain ROI and risk-heavy investment.
Satellite and the cloud – an MNO’s new best friends?
Historically seen as a competitor to terrestrial technology, the industry now holds satellite technology in high regard, understanding its ability to harness and enhance new technologies such as 4G, fiber optic, xDSL and Wi-Fi networks. This can be of great benefit to MNOs as they move deeper into areas including fixed access for enterprises and B2B. Satellite backhaul provides reliable connectivity with the quick rollout that mobile operators so desperately desire, as well as enabling cellular services to be deployed in areas that are usually hard or prohibitively expensive to access.
Satellite technology is often the ideal solution, with its ability to overcome the need for costly infrastructure-building projects, bypassing additional capital expense, as well as other issues that can include uncertain return on investment, vendor lock-in and uncertainty due to the rapid rate at which satellite technology and the market is evolving.
SatADSL’s unique cloud solution – the Cloud-based Service Delivery Platform (C-SDP) – was created with all of this in mind. Its uniqueness means that it can allow MNOs to easily outsource satellite services, reducing the cost of ubiquitous connectivity. As a complete OSS/BSS, carrier-grade, fully redundant platform, the C-SDP enables, for the first time, via the cloud, satellite services over any frequency band, bringing numerous advantages.
Fast, flexible & future proof
Due to the nature of the market in Sub-Saharan Africa, MNOs need a service that can be operational as soon as possible. The C-SDP offers an unprecedented implementation time that allows operators to roll out their services immediately. Additionally, C-SDP eliminates the need for upfront investment, reducing the uncertainty around ROI that comes with investing in physical satellite programs. Furthermore, the solution is fully flexible as it aggregates multiple satellite operators to offer various satellite capacity to partner MNOs and provide services across Africa. It is also technology-agnostic and operates across all bands A complete end-to-end billing system that is integrated in the C-SDP is also included in the solution, further streamlining the process and giving MNOs greater usability.
Streamlined workload, maximized revenue
Incorporated in the cloud system are various management systems for MNOs to continuously monitor and analyze their services. The streamlined management system includes a network management system that is flexible and easily accessible, allowing for the monitoring and managing of satellite links and clients. Furthermore, MNOs have a large choice of pre-defined services, enabling them to easily meet any market demand.
The C-SDP’s in-built Customer Management Tool (CMT) can activate, suspend or manage subscriptions for customer user terminals in real-time and according to client needs. Additionally, the CMT enables real-time monitoring of the traffic, service availability, connection quality and speed, as well as many other parameters. To guarantee service continuity, SatADSL continuously monitors the status of links and shares this information with the MNO.
Tools to manage bandwidth and segregate certain traffic like WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook are also incorporated into the C-SDP, providing value-added services for monetization and the generation of additional revenue streams.
Additionally, remote hotspot networks can also be easily configured, managed and monitored via the C-SDP’s hotspot application, allowing MNOs to offer end-users billable or free of charge top up vouchers for volume or duration. These deployments typically include schools, post offices, service stations, shopping centers, hotels, military bases, and construction and mining sites.
Tomorrow’s technology, today
All of these benefits are available today – and, what’s more, are proven, with a number of MNOs already using the solution. Camtel and Millicom in Chad has already deployed the solution and we are currently running pilots with a number of other MNOs. Advanced discussions with these customers and more will continue to take place following Mobile World Congress 2019 – where we will be available to discuss our C-SDP and the full benefits it can bring to MNOs.