IMS, SES to Expand Internet Connectivity in Colombia

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SES’s satellite-based trunking services will enable leading Colombian fibre optic networks service provider Integra Multisolutions (IMS) to extend and enhance fibre-like connectivity for Colombian municipalities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants located out of the reach of terrestrial infrastructure, SES announced.

The new service will begin on SES’s O3b medium earth orbit (MEO) constellation and later migrate onto O3b mPOWER, SES’s next-generation MEO system, in 2022 when service will expand to additional cities.

The first site to be connected will be Puerto Leguizamo, a municipality located in the Putumayo Department in the southern border region of the country. SES and IMS will go on to deliver service to other sparsely populated cities across Colombia that experience poor or inconsistent connectivity services.

SES’s Trunk mPOWERED service will equip IMS to enable local Internet service providers to serve a combination of enterprise, residential, MNO and civilian government projects. IMS is among the first companies in Latin America to sign up for the O3b mPOWER system, which can deliver low-latency, high-speed, uncontended services from tens of megabits to multiple gigabits per second to a single site.

According to the Colombian Ministry of Telecommunications, fixed broadband subscriptions in the country reached 8.22 million in 2021, which translates to 16.10 subscriptions per 100 people. However, the National Administrative and Statistics Department (Dane) revealed earlier this year the results of the Survey of Information and Communication Technologies in Households (ENTIC Hogares) showing only 56.5% of the households surveyed have an internet connection. The survey identified an important difference between households in the main cities, where 66.6% have internet access, and those in rural and dispersed areas, where only 23.9% of the households do. The Putumayo Department is among the regions with challenges to access reliable connectivity services.

“By working together with SES, we are able to quickly and cost-effectively expand our network in underserved and tough-to-reach areas helping to address the digital divide for these communities,” said Juan Carlos Hernandez Mendoza, CEO of IMS Group. “Our goal is to provide our end users the best quality of service across Colombia, which means access to high-performing services at all times, no matter where they are. The capabilities of the proven O3b MEO fleet, and the scalability and flexibility of the upcoming O3b mPOWER services combined with SES satellite network and IMS fibre optics networks expertise, allow us to achieve exactly that.”

“Our multi-orbit satellite solutions have been bringing reliable connectivity services across Colombia for almost 10 years,” said Omar Trujillo, Americas Vice President of Fixed Data Sales at SES. “We are delighted to partner with IMS to extend terrestrial networks with the revolutionary capabilities of the O3b mPOWER constellation and deliver fibre-like Internet access to Colombians wherever they live.”