Satellite communications form key part of Chile's national space policy

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Satellite communications services are set to form a key part of Chile's national space policy 2014-20, with opportunities seen to provide telecommunications services to isolated areas, as well as applications in areas such as healthcare and education, telecoms regulator Subtel said in a release.

Penetration and coverage of telecommunications services in Chile are among the highest in Latin America, with obligations established in recent 4G auctions that will ensure coverage for 98% of the country's population.

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The penetration of mobile services is considerably higher than 100%, while more than 40% of Chilean households have a fixed line internet connection, and mobile broadband is growing rapidly.

However, there are areas which cannot be reached by fixed or mobile networks, creating the need for operators to provide satellite solutions, Subtel said.

The state has an important role to play in subsidizing access to telecoms services in isolated areas in order to reduce the digital divide, the regulator added.

Satellite communications can be used to provide internet access, satellite telephony in areas without fixed-line or mobile telephony coverage, multimedia and videoconferencing applications, as well as TV and radio signals.

Further, satellite communications services can allow public and private institutions to remain communicated with operations in isolated areas, and are also key for ensuring communication during natural disasters.

Satellite services can also play a role in tele-health and tele-education, facilitating access to such services in remote areas, Subtel said.