Ostatech, IEC Telecom and Thuraya partner to boost digitalisation in East Africa

With digitalisation unlocking a plethora of business opportunities in an increasingly connected continent, African countries are emphasising investments in digital technologies, communications infrastructure, IT hubs, data centers, e-commerce, and e-government services. With the ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), new opportunities in technology start-ups and e-businesses are expected to grow the combined GDP to over $600 billion.

Now, more than ever, it has become apparent just how critical a communications infrastructure is to optimise these commercial processes. The African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy 2020-2030 aims to bring universal digital access and develop a single pan-African digital market. The World Bank estimates that just a 10% increase in mobile internet penetration can translate into a 2.5% increase in GDP.

Satellite connectivity solutions enable the integration of latest technologies with existing infrastructure. According to the African Space Industry Annual Report 2019, satellite communications generate approximately $6.5 billion in Africa annually. IEC Telecom Group, an international provider of satellite communication services, expanded its services to East Africa in 2021 with an official partnership with OstaTech, a Kenya-based IT company. The partnership has been key to creating economic opportunities as well as increasing investments in innovative infrastructure and satellite communications in the East African market.

Kenya is quickly becoming a tech hub for East Africa and is one of the fastest-growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, 10% of all projects awarded between 2018 and 2020 focused on the digital transformation of the government, healthcare, and education sectors.

“Connectivity is crucial for efficient, affordable, and safe business processes. Digitalisation can empower business owners with reduced infrastructure investments and state-of-the-art hybrid technologies. It is almost a virtuous circle to see innovations in technology creating opportunities for increased entrepreneurship, and increased incentives for doing business in Kenya creating the demand for more connectivity,” says Oscar Mwai, the CEO, Ostatech.

IEC Telecom is committed to extending the scope of digitalisation in East Africa.

“We believe that the introduction of affordable satellite connectivity that enables access to resources for remote communities almost at par with well-connected urban areas creates immense incentives for entrepreneurship and innovation,” shares Alaa Alsadi, the Business Development Director for Middle East and Africa, IEC Telecom Group. “Our wide portfolio of satcom solutions optimises e-business services, offers a reliable back-up for the GSM network, and ensures business continuity in an unpredictable and ever-evolving business landscape.”

IEC Telecom has long-standing relationships with key satellite operators that place it in a unique position to support global business operations as well as regional set-ups. As an International Golden Service Provider for Thuraya Telecommunications, IEC Telecom has worked jointly with Thuraya for over 15 years to develop high-performing customised solutions and value-added services that empower the public and private sector’s digital transformation journey. Thuraya’s portfolio of innovative products is complemented by IEC Telecom’s value-added applications to bring bespoke and optimised connectivity services, including videoconferencing, remote maintenance, and telemedicine, to government, humanitarian, and enterprise operations across the globe.

Equipped with IEC Telecom’s state-of-the-art centralised management system called OneGate, Thuraya L-band solutions are optimised to deliver a wide range of value-added services, offering a user experience on par with VSAT.

“There was a market need to provide the right management and optimisation tools to help our clients to have full visibility and control over their remote operations in a single centralised digital platform that they can access remotely. Using Thuraya’s wide range of L-band services and products to connect remote areas, teams, and operations, we provide many value-added services that take the connectivity experience to a higher level and provide our clients with end-to-end services fully designed and developed to fit their operational needs,” shares Mr. Alsadi.

OneGate is a future-ready network management solution that operates in dual GSM/satcom mode. This system is geared to minimise expenses by automatically routing traffic at least cost while optimising usage by means of filtration and compression. In addition, OneGate is managed via a digital dashboard. This offers advanced visibility over active communication links and network traffic, bandwidth control, management of credit limits, the ability to issue vouchers for team communications, and more. All of the value-added services can be managed remotely, which allows to further save on transport costs and avoid logistical delays.

The utmost flexibility and expertise in satellite communication technology offered by IEC Telecom through OstaTech, its official local partner in East Africa, empowers African businesses and the public sector to customise digital services and enable digital transformation plans and strategies not only with connectivity, but with fully managed services.

“Satellite connectivity allows humanitarian field missions, mobile telemedicine hubs, educators, remote workers, e-government, and public services to be available in communities that may be otherwise unreachable. Through our partnership with IEC Telecom and Thuraya, we offer flexibility for the complete satellite communications lifecycle, and we’re thrilled to see Africa benefit from the opportunities that digital transformation brings to its young economies,” shares Mwai.

With more than 25 years’ experience, IEC Telecom is a leading provider of satellite communications services. It enables digitalisation for the maritime industry as well as remote units on land. For urban networks, it provides a powerful satellite back up to ensure the business continuity of customer enterprises. The firm has long-standing business relationships with all the key satellite operators. As a strategic partner for Inmarsat, Iridium, Thuraya, and Yahsat, it’s in a unique position to support organisations with global operations as well as offer a wide variety of plans for area-by-area use to regional customers. Its portfolio includes a wide range of satellite products (from handset to VSAT services), solutions, and value-added services, augmented with a 24/7 support for satellite-based solutions during their full lifecycle.

IEC Telecom Group has offices in 8 countries: Denmark, France, Kazakhstan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Turkey, and UAE.

Ostatech is a Kenyan Security and Technology Company that provides technological solutions based on market dynamics, changes and requirements. Its products include Professional Drone Services such as survey, mapping, crop scouting, volumetrics, photos and videos. Fleet Management such as fuel management, advanced video tracking, speed governors, and axle load tracking. The portfolio also includes Security Solutions such as access control, security gates and connectivity solutions such as Thuraya Handsets and Thuraya IP+ Thuraya WE and Thuraya Voyager.


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