May 13, 2020
● This is the first stage of the roll out to extend internet access in the country using Facebook Connectivity’s Express WiFi platform and with the coverage in the Ka band from HISPASAT's Amazonas 5 satellite.
● EasyTV has joined the project as an internet service provider in areas without telecommunications infrastructure or with low quality connectivity.
● By purchasing prepaid passes to access the internet, end users can tailor their use to their needs and economic conditions.
MADRID, 13 May 2020. HISPASAT, the Spanish telecommunications satellite operator, and EasyTV, the provider of innovative entertainment and digital content solutions, have joined forces to bring internet access to Brazilian towns located in regions that lack connectivity. The first phase of the project includes the installation of 50 new WiFi satellite hotspots in Brazil, powered by Facebook Connectivity’s Express WiFi platform. This will enable EasyTV to provide practical and reliable high speed internet access using coverage in the Ka band of HISPASAT's Amazonas 5 satellite.
EasyTV is the first company that HISPASAT has worked with to provide connectivity service using the Express WiFi platform. The WiFi satellite hotspots installed by HISPASAT and EasyTV are located in remote communities in the state of Maranhão, where connectivity has been lacking due to insufficient telecommunications infrastructure.
The second stage of the project is already in progress. HISPASAT and EasyTV will install another 50 satellite connectivity hotspots in different towns in the north and north-east interior of Brazil over the next few months. The companies expect to increase this figure notably before the end of the year. HISPASAT will also look for new partners to roll out this network in other regions where connectivity is lagging. The ultimate goal is to the extend HISPASAT 's coverage up to 3,000 hotspots in Brazil using the Express WiFi platform.
Collaborative business model to extend connectivity
In addition to providing satellite capacity, HISPASAT will provide EasyTV with the equipment, including the Express WiFi platform as a customer-facing access solution, removing a barrier to entry for internet service to commercialize in remote parts of the country. For its part, EasyTV is responsible for installing and maintaining the equipment, as well as selling the WiFi hotspot access package deals through local distributors that market the service and provide support to end users.
Using the Express WiFi platform, HISPASAT and EasyTV are bringing simple satellite connectivity to residents across select remote locations in Brazil. End users can access the internet without the need to install any device or do anything other than simply purchase a prepaid pass. These passes include different offers of allotted time and data volume at very affordable prices. After purchasing the package through one of the local EasyTV distributors, users only need to connect their device to the company's WiFi network and enter their access code to browse the internet. This system allows users to tailor their internet usage to their needs and finances, without having to commit to a fixed monthly fee.
Sergio Chaves, South American Business Director for Hispamar (the Brazilian subsidiary of HISPASAT), showed his satisfaction for how the roll out has started, stating: “Satellites are the ideal technology to extend connectivity in remote or sparsely populated areas, as they provide universal coverage and can be deployed rapidly”. "The Amazonas 5 is a latest generation satellite with high throughput in the Ka band, ideal to provide high-quality broadband services in Brazil. Thanks to our partnership with Facebook, we are able to offer a simple, complete internet access solution, both for distributors as well as for end users," concluded Chaves.
According to Jadson Welder, CEO of EasyTV, “by the end of 2020 we plan to have more than 400 hotspots spread throughout the Ka band coverage area provided by the Amazonas 5 satellite. The arrival of Express WiFi has had an undeniable social impact on the lives of the residents in remote communities like Maranhão. Express WiFi makes it possible for residents to communicate with other states and countries. For example, they can manage appointments and purchase bus tickets, among many other possibilities, which up until now they could only do by travelling to the town centre far away from their homes. This giant gateway is open to all members of these communities". Welder further emphasized: “EasyTV is committed to expanding the use of Express WiFi as we look for new ways to improve connectivity for these Brazilian communities".
The Ka band of the Amazonas 5 satellite
The Amazonas 5, which will provide the necessary space capacity for this project, features the new high throughput satellite (HTS) technology. This will make it easier to carry out a massive deployment of satellite connectivity services at a low cost in Latin America. In the case of Brazil, the satellite provides coverage in the HTS Ka band to more than 75% of the Brazilian population and is operated from the HISPAMAR teleport, a HISPASAT subsidiary, in Caxias do Sul (state of Rio Grande do Sul).
The Express WiFi platform and collaboration with Facebook
Facebook Connectivity works with service providers and operators like HISPASAT to extend fast, affordable and reliable WiFi internet access through its Express WiFi platform. The platform enables service providers and mobile network operators to build, operate, increase and monetise their WiFi business in a sustainable and scalable manner. HISPASAT will install WiFi hotspots operated by satellites in different towns throughout Brazil. Additionally, HISPASAT will provide its satellite capacity and its managed services platforms, which will help decrease the time to market needed by local partners and ISPs, those who are responsible for marketing the service and providing customer support.
HISPASAT, Red Eléctrica Group’s communications satellite operator, is a world leader in content distribution in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries and its satellite fleet is used by important direct-to-home television (DTH) and high-definition television (HDTV) digital platforms. HISPASAT also provides satellite broadband and connectivity services, which include broadband access, mobility and backhaul networks, in addition to other added value solutions for governments, companies and telecommunication operators in America, Europe and North Africa. HISPASAT –which is comprised of companies that have a presence in Spain as well as in Latin America, where its Brazilian affiliate HISPAMAR is based– is one of the world's largest companies in its sector in terms of revenue, and the main communications bridge between Europe and the Americas.
About Facebook Connectivity
Connectivity is at the heart of Facebook’s mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Critical to this mission is high-quality internet access, which gives people a voice and creates opportunities to share knowledge that can strengthen local communities and global economies. Facebook Connectivity works closely with partners including mobile network operators, equipment manufacturers and more to develop programs and technologies—including Express WiFi, Magma and Terragraph—that increase the availability, affordability and awareness of high-quality internet access, bringing more people online to a faster internet. To learn more, visit: https://connectivity.fb.com.
EasyTV belongs to the EasyIT group, which brings together businesses and platforms for digital entertainment and telecommunications services. Founded in 1999, with two decades of experience in the satellite and telecommunications market, EasyTV offers today several solutions to the Brazilian market such as IPTV / OTT TV and OTT VOD platform, video games, advanced mobile services and WiFi with an innovative, modular and fully customized format. EasyTV has agreements with major companies in the market and more recently with Facebook and Hispamar in the Facebook Express WiFi project. To learn more, visit: www.easy.tv.br.