First-ever communications satellite dedicated to serving Peru will provide broadband internet access to roughly three million people for the very first time
SAN FRANCISCO (Astranis PR) — Astranis announced today it has signed an agreement to provide broadband capacity with Astranis MicroGEO communications satellites to Grupo Andesat (Andesat), a cellular services backhaul provider that connects cell towers in Peru to the internet backbone, in a new partnership that will bring broadband internet access to thousands of rural communities across Peru for the first time.
In a deal worth more than $90 million, an initial Astranis satellite will launch into service in 2023 to become the first satellite in history dedicated solely to serving the people of Peru. The contract also features an option for a second satellite to create additional capacity in the future. These advanced MicroGEO satellites are 1/20 the size of traditional legacy satellites, and roughly 1/10 the cost, which will allow Andesat to upgrade cellular services from 2G to 4G, expand broadband internet access in remote areas of Peru, and increase its coverage footprint while dramatically lowering operator costs per cell site.
Andesat is a trusted global player in telecom solutions and has broad reach across Latin America with teleports in multiple countries (Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru) and prospective global capabilities. Andesat offers end-to-end services like cellular networks in rural areas, cellular backhaul, IoT solutions design and more. The company estimates that this partnership would allow roughly three million Peruvians, many in rural and otherwise remote areas, to access affordable 4G service on their mobile devices for the first time.
“This is a landmark deal not only for Andesat, and not only for Peru, but for all of Latin America,” said Pablo Rasore, CEO of Andesat. “One Astranis satellite is a great first step, and will extend affordable 4G service from the jungle to the mountains and up to the seas in Peru. But Andesat has larger plans as we see demand for additional Astranis satellites in the near future, and have secured an option for a second satellite to promote the expansion of our business in Peru and bring the benefits of connectivity far and wide.”
Astranis satellites provide service in smaller geographies or medium size countries, delivering dedicated satellite bandwidth to boost broadband internet capacity. The capital-efficient design of an Astranis MicroGEO satellite requires only a modest investment by cell backhaul providers, which translates into dramatically lower costs for middle-mile bandwidth and faster network speeds for end users at an affordable price point.
In addition to building, launching, and operating the satellite, Astranis will be constructing its first-ever ground teleport in Peru and operating as a full-stack managed service provider for all spaceflight operations, with Andesat owning ground operations.
“This deal with Andesat is closely aligned with our mission of connecting the unconnected by making broadband internet access available to everyone, even in the most remote locations on Earth,” said John Gedmark, CEO and co-founder, Astranis. “Through this new partnership, Astranis has the opportunity to help make a dramatic improvement in the lives of millions of people. I’m proud to be working alongside Pablo and the team at Andesat to make the vision of a connected Peru a reality.”
Andesat was born as a wholesale Satellite Service Provider in Chile in 2009, but soon expanded its operations to Argentina and Peru and more recently to Ecuador. At the same time Andesat established Satelnet in the south of Chile, mainly dedicated to providing value-added solutions, originally to the Salmon Industry as well as its Ecosystem, both in land and on sea.
Now, with the deployment of Cellular Sites in Peru we believe that the expansion of Telecom Services will generate a synergic effect in these communities adding new tools for the improvement and efficiency of their production.
Astranis is building small, low-cost telecommunications satellites to connect the four billion people who currently do not have access to the internet. Each spacecraft operates from geostationary orbit (GEO) with a next-generation design of only 400 kg, utilizing a proprietary software-defined radio payload. This unique digital payload technology allows frequency and coverage flexibility, as well as maximum use of valuable spectrum. By owning and operating its satellites and offering them to customers as a turnkey solution, Astranis is able to provide bandwidth-as-a-service and unlock previously unreachable markets. This allows Astranis to launch small, dedicated satellites for small and medium-sized countries, Fortune 500 companies, existing satellite operators, and other customers.
Astranis has successfully launched a test satellite into orbit and is now underway with its first commercial program—a satellite to provide broadband internet for Alaska that will more than triple the available bandwidth across the state. This satellite is now in final assembly and set for a launch in 2022. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with a team of over 175, including world-class engineers from SpaceX, Boeing, Skybox, Qualcomm, Apple, and Google. Astranis has raised over $350 million from top Silicon Valley and growth investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Venrock, and BlackRock.