Internet connectivity has become something necessary. From social media, GPS, keeping up with the news, weather forecast etc. Simply put, it’s hard to live without the internet or connectivity. It’s a known fact that social media (i.e. the internet) helps humans feel connected from family that lives far away or friendships made through the internet. But it may be shocking to see how many people actually have access to the internet. In Vietnam, around 50 million people have internet access, about 53% of the population (touitrenews), in Myanmar, around 13 million people or around 25.1% of the population have internet access (Wikipedia), in Thailand, 39 million people or around 58% of the population have internet access (Insights Org). Most of the population that do not have internet access live in rural areas. New satellite technology may be the solution that can help spread internet connectivity to more rural areas.
Mu Space, an aerospace start-up in Thailand plans to “supports governments in Asia in their digital transformation efforts by providing a full suite of connectivity solutions designed to provide the broadest and fastest technologies for smart cities”. This company mainly targets Thailand’s rural population with little to no access to broadband which is a national problem. In Thailand, there are huge enterprises like AIS, DTAC, TRUE and CAT, but only about 39 million out of Thailand’s 69 million people have broadband access because in the “ex-urban and rural communities, terrestrial networks are difficult to roll out and are costly”(Mu Space Corp) which is why the telecommunications companies have yet to reach those areas, a problem satellite technology could fix. Mu Space’s solution was to use SES Networks satellites to bring affordable access to people everywhere. While this is one of Thailand’s problem, it is also a problem every country faces, a possible solution for neighbouring countries (as mentioned above) to increase connectivity through satellite technology. Satellite technology has been developed for multiple reasons, but this is a solution that can better the lives of all the people living in rural areas in ASEAN countries.
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