EFFECTIVE BROADBAND and mobile access is more important to people living in rural areas than in towns and cities according to research, which puts it at 57 per cent in the countryside against 51 per cent in urban areas.
In Portugal, this importance is felt among a significant part of the non-urban population living or operating businesses in the Alentejo, parts of the Algarve and the interior of the country where getting a signal might be difficult at times.
A British company, Avanti, has launched a new satellite, innovative services and a new attitude to delivering satellite services in Europe at a time when global demand for internet and business data is rising, terrestrial telecoms supplies are constrained by economics and terrain and traditional satellite capacity is almost full.
The opportunity for the entry into Portugal of a new kind of operator to collaborate with the market here delivering a new approach to satellite communications was unveiled in Portugal at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Lisbon last week by Avanti CEO, David Williams.
David Williams, the co-founder of Avanti Communications Group plc with technical director David Bestwick, was the first company in Europe to procure a Ka-band broadband internet satellite which launches in 2009. Avanti is listed on the London Stock Exchange AIM and is currently capitalised at around £100 million.
British Ambassador Alex Ellis called the satellite initiative “exciting” and said it showed “how far the company had come in the time it has been around” since 1996.
“It’s about combining technology and business and bringing a very wide range of benefits to users,” he said, adding that we would not be using less broadband in the future, since the “demand for it is enormous” and outstrips supply.
“This is an area in which both the British and Portuguese governments have invested quite a lot. We had the Schools Minister Jim Knight (Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families) here the other week with his Portuguese opposite number and there is considerable Portuguese investment in creating access to broadband for all,” said Alex Ellis.
“The Portuguese are avid technology users and love trying out new technology and new toys, particularly in the fixed and mobile communications area,” he added.
One of the reasons why Avanti exists and thrives is because Britain has a number of great advantages: access to capital and skills, expertise, research and technology which are “open to anyone who wants to go there” and start up a business. “It’s something we should be proud of and we are open to the whole world,” the ambassador concluded.
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