“Connecting the Unconnected” strives to narrow the digital divide by providing internet access to populations lacking reliable or affordable connectivity. This initiative is crucial in South-East Asia (SE Asia), where countries grapple with diverse economic, geographical, and infrastructural challenges. Satellite internet emerges as an innovative solution, making significant progress. Global technology intelligence firm ABI Research projects Satellite Communications (SatCom) subscriptions in the region to potentially exceed 1.8 million, generating over US$2.1 billion in service revenue by 2028. These promising figures underscore the growing recognition of satellite internet’s value in addressing connectivity challenges across SE Asia.
“Satellite communications utilizes a constellation of satellites to provide reliable, high-speed internet access to even the most remote and isolated locales, like SE Asia’s archipelago and remote rural villages. Satellite Internet will become an increasingly practical choice for addressing connectivity challenges in the SE Asia region for several compelling reasons, such as the geographical diversity, rural and remote landscapes, recurring natural disasters, digital inclusion goals, and government initiatives,” says Victor Xu, Satellite Communications Research Analyst at ABI Research. Xu also points out, “Several satellite internet providers have been actively working to expand internet access in Southeast Asia, particularly in remote and underserved areas. Notable players include Starlink, Kacific, Thaicom, and Measat. Their initiatives can potentially significantly improve internet access and foster digital opportunities for people in South-East Asia and beyond.”
Jake Saunders, Vice President, Asia-Pacific & Advisory Services, highlights the promising future of SatCom Internet in South-East Asia. He points to a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 20% from 2023 to 2028 in subscription numbers for the SatCom Internet market. This projection underscores the growing demand for and adoption of satellite internet services in the region and worldwide.
“Connecting the Unconnected” through satellite internet is a transformative initiative with great promise for South-East Asia. It addresses the region’s diverse challenges, offering a practical and scalable solution for extending internet access to remote and underserved areas. “As the satellite internet landscape continues to evolve, it is poised to play a pivotal role in fostering digital inclusion throughout SE Asia,” Xu concludes. ABI Research