Local residents, businesses, government entities and the San Rafael de Leticia Hospital in the Colombian Amazonas are experiencing efficient, reliable and high-performing Internet connectivity as Colombian services provider SkyNet and SES Networks extended their partnership and increased network capacity within days to support COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
SkyNet leveraged SES Networks’ Signature Solutions to deliver connectivity services to the Colombian region with the highest COVID-19 infection rate and lowest internet penetration in the country, SES announced today.
The Colombian Ministry of Telecommunications (MinTIC) selected SkyNet to install, operate and maintain five free Wi-Fi hotspots in Leticia to connect residents, as well as a high -speed dedicated broadband service for the local hospital’s medical and administrative teams to carry out telemedicine sessions and other eHealth activities to effectively respond to the crisis. These services are enabled by SES’s low-latency, high-throughput, O3b MEO satellite constellation, which delivers fiber-equivalent performance to support high-performance data networks and solutions – including cloud services and applications.
According to the MinTIC, the enhanced broadband connectivity service allows local medical staff to communicate with other health professionals in Colombia’s capital Bogotá or institutions around the world. They benefit from tele-consultation services, collaboration with remote teams for faster speed to diagnosis, treatments and follow-ups for patients in the area.
SkyNet has been leveraging SES’s O3b MEO services since 2015 to connect remote Colombian regions, when they first delivered high-speed internet access and fibre-like services in Leticia empowering the local community, businesses and tourism industry. Today, SkyNet has become the incumbent provider in the area delivering reliable connectivity services to hundreds of households and businesses in Leticia, while also enabling access to e-learning platforms for a significant number of local students who cannot travel to attend classes due to the impact of COVID-19.
Additionally, SkyNet is now also leveraging the geostationary SES-14 satellite to enable one Wi-Fi zone for residents, local business and the municipal mayor´s office in Puerto Nariño. This Wi-Fi zone is the local residents’ only way to connect to the Internet as their 2G mobile coverage does not support mobile broadband connectivity.
Diego Moreno Lugo, the CEO of SkyNet of Colombia, stated that the company’s responsibility and commitment is to have a Colombia that is Naturally Connected and have returned to the project in the Amazonas where, since 2015, SkyNet has linked Leticia’s population to the world helping promote tourism, the main source of income for its inhabitants. Today, information and communication technologies bring access to education, remote work and even telemedicine, and it is evident that with the health crisis of COVID-19, remote Colombian regions are worst-hit due to the lack of connectivity. The O3b service experience the company is giving is very close to fiber optics and it is the best answer in satellite technology today. It brings great social impact, since it expands opportunities for education and health, and it has been without a doubt a great advancement for this entire community. As a company, SkyNet is proud to connect those sometimes-forgotten places.
Omar Trujillo, Vice President of Sales for Fixed Data Americas at SES Networks, noted that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted everyone and the comany is committed to doing its part to support the firm’s customers and the local communities they serve, wherever possible. By enabling SkyNet to deliver reliable, high-speed broadband connectivity to historically underserved communities, businesses and healthcare workers in the Amazon region when they need it most is extremely gratifying. SES Networks is glad that these services are keeping loved ones connected and enabling healthcare workers with tools that empower them to do their job.