Gilat Satcom: Dan Zajicek's 2016 Trends

Africa is a market of contrasts, but demand for high-speed connectivity is growing all the time. As part of our Trends Survey, Gilat Satcom's Dan Zajicek shares his vision for 2016...

Which developing or emerging markets (regions/countries) do you cover?

Gilat Satcom’s main activities are in Africa with offices in Nigeria and Ghana, a JV in DRC and local partners and resellers. We are also a shareholder in WIOCC.

We provide satellite and fiber-based connectivity via our own PoPs. We build private networks, cross national borders and connect entire regions to the Internet backbone.

Our customers include domestic corporations including banks, the UN and its subsidiaries, government entities, NGOs and multi-national organisations.

What are your main hardware and/or services focus areas?

We are 100% focused on providing global communication solutions based on satellite and fiber for cellular operators, ISPs, government entities, NGOs and more. We also provide mobile satellite services for Homeland Security (HLS) and defence. 

What are the top market and customer trends that will drive change in your area during 2016, and why?

We see a number of trends driving broadband growth across Africa:

  • The fiber market is maturing in Africa and we will see a growing demand for data centers that will provide cyber security, cloud services and African content that will be generated in Africa and will stay in Africa.
  • IPTV will become an important player and we will see CDN companies coming into Africa.
  • Due to global threats there is a growing demand for HLS solutions such as border control, fleet management and communications for Special Forces.
  • IoT – we will see a growing usage of smart devices using the internet and managed from a distance both for military and civil usage.

What are the solutions that will make the greatest impact in your area during 2016, and why?

HLS solutions and Data Centres that provide Value Added Services.

What changes need to be made to speed up developments and what can hold them back?

More consistent regulation to help open up markets and increase competition; a greater investment of capital into Africa especially in rural areas where the existing infrastructure cannot meet the growing demand. The development of more African content for Africans is also needed.

Which technologies do you think will be the most important in emerging markets in 2016, and why?

4G/LTE; Small Cells; HTS; WiFi Offload; IoT; M2M; Remote Connectivity (eg; and Green Energy Solutions. 

Africa really is a market unlike any other. Demand for fast and reliable broadband is being driven across all sectors - from the largest corporations to people in remote villages, from Governments trying to introduce e-services to the raft of start-ups offering innovative and exciting products and services. So we see a market which is both sophisticated in some areas - e.g. mobile money - and lagging behind in others - e.g. rural connectivity.

As an industry, we have to pick the most suitable technologies to help meet this demand for broadband connectivity in a cost-effective and sustainable way.

Dan Zajicek is the CEO of Gilat Satcom.


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