Angola partners OneWeb to broaden internet access


The government of Angola has announced a new partnership with satellite telecommunications services provider OneWeb to expand internet access to rural communities.

Following a meeting between Angola's President Joao Lourenço and OneWeb's founder Greg Wyler, an alliance was brokered whereby the North African country will leverage OneWeb satellite capability to deliver more widespread internet access by 2021.

Lourenço said the government has noted the negative impact of low network coverage by local telecom operators and the high cost of developing telecommunications infrastructure nationally.

He described satellite as a faster and more cost effective means of reaching rural areas.

Angola is the second African country to utilise OneWeb's satellite internet connectivity.

In late Feb 2019, Rwanda announced a broadband connectivity project for schools located in remote regions.

Rwandan Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire said: "Rwanda's choice to invest in space technologies is part of our broader mission to bridge the digital divide by providing equal digital opportunities to rural and remote communities."

OneWeb is backed by Virgin, Qualcomm, Airbus and SoftBank of Japan, among other established operators.

Virgin CEO Richard Branson said: "The OneWeb satellite constellation could dramatically improve the lives of billions of people who are currently held back by a lack of technology. People who don't currently have access to proper teaching will be able to receive education. People who want to create jobs will be able to develop new businesses connecting with the rest of the world. The opportunities are endless."