Satellite giant Intelsat has linked with soft-drinks company Coca-Cola to promote satellite-delivered Wi-fi and broadband services across Africa.
Intelsat and Coca-Cola have an interest through OneWeb (both are investors in OneWeb) which is planning to girdle the Earth with a mega-constellation of low orbiting satellites. Services, via OneWeb, should be available by 2019.
The Intelsat/Coke link “will support both companies’ future business plans and also their mutual efforts to promote sustainable development, especially in underserved communities,” said a press statement.
The Coca-Cola Company says it is already working in developing communities around the world to foster sustainable development activity like supporting clean water and sanitation services as well as economic empowerment for women. Under the new partnership, Intelsat will work with The Coca-Cola Company to establish Wi-Fi access at certain retail facilities in rural areas, enabling personal and commercial connectivity for citizens.
“Satellite connectivity is the easiest way to deliver Internet services to the most people in the shortest possible time frame in infrastructure-poor rural and remote areas,” said Jean-Philippe Gillet, Intelsat’s VP/GM of Broadband. “Our fleet innovations, including our Intelsat Epic high-performance satellites, make access to broadband satellite services easier, and the work Coca-Cola is doing in local communities around the world fits perfectly with our vision to remove the digital divide often found in remote areas. With the inherent advantages that satellite provides in terms of reach and scalability, we provide a solution in delivering the benefits of internet access to hundreds of communities around the world in a quick, cost-efficient manner.”