Disruptive satellite player to service Africa by 2028

06 April 2022

Rivada Space Networks (RSN) a disruptive new company with a licence for 4,000MHz of spectrum, will this year launch constealltions of 600-low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, which will eventually connect to telecoms operators and enterprises across Africa.

The Germany-based company is aiming to start launches in 2024 and complete the constellation in 2028. It plans to put the satellites 1,000km above the Earth, in polar orbits with 25 satellites in each orbital plane.

Rivada Space Networks says it will use Ka-band spectrum awarded to Liechtenstein by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Ka band is in the 27-40GHz range.

That will mean the company is “capable of securely connecting any two points on the globe at gigabit speeds”. All 600 planned satellites will be in a single optical mesh network.

A spokesman for the operator told Northern African Wireless Communications that when fully deployed (in 2028), the service will cover the entire globe.

“Rivada Space Networks’ global networked satellite constellation will facilitate internet access to remote and underserved parts of the world,” he said. “Thanks to our system’s unique architecture, it can serve as backhaul in parts of the world where there currently is no backhaul or inadequate backhaul available.”

He added that while the company does not plan to sell internet access directly, at least as its main business, it does “intend to work with others to expand internet access to the underserved and keep costs down to a bare minimum in those areas.