While initially challenged by alternative technologies such as fibre optics, satellite communications in China is actually finding a market to leverage its unique features (wide coverage and rapid deployment): the rural communities.
China DBSat, operating a fleet of five in-orbit satellites, is providing communication and backup to public telephone networks in some of China’s remotest areas. By applying cellular backhaul technology, satellite companies are also able to help mobile operators to extend the reach of their networks. In 2007, access to 70% of the 20000 villages was achieved via satellites, thus playing an active role in increasing universal service.
The next step? Providing broadband services to rural communities who would have had to wait a decade or so till fiber optics reaches them!