How a new wave of satellite tech could transform Asia’s connectivity

A new generation of rocket and satellite technology promises to bring Asia’s developing countries much easier, and cheaper, access to broadband internet connectivity in remote areas.

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A booming rocket industry and a new wave of satellite launches could herald a transformation of digital connectivity in Asia’s developing countries.

With Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites becoming more efficient and more affordable, digital internet services provided via satellite could soon become both viable and affordable for users in even the most remote areas.

“Satellite connectivity plays a pivotal role in the broader internet infrastructure ecosystem,” says John Garrity, a digital connectivity specialist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

“You’re able to reach remote and rural communities; you’re able to respond quickly in disaster situations where the existing terrestrial infrastructure has been wiped out.”

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals

The ADB has published a new working paper detailing the potential for Asia’s governments and industry to benefit from the proliferation of these LEOs.

Authored by John Garrity and Arndt Husar, a senior public management specialist at ADB, the paper says developing countries are well placed to benefit from this expansion of internet connectivity, especially small island states and landlocked countries.

In this video, John Garrity decribes the opportunities and obstacles ahead.

The full paper, entitled “Digital Connectivity and Low Earth Orbit Satellite Constellations: Opportunities for Asia and the Pacific” is available for download from the ADB website here.


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