How LEO satellites can revolutionize Australia and New Zealand businesses

Low earth orbit (LEO) satellite systems are making a major impact in the communications landscape in Australia and New Zealand, especially in remote regions. They offer reliability, affordability and scalability, alongside increased data-transfer speeds.
LEO satellites are so named because they orbit close to the earth, between 160 and 2,000 km above its surface. Their low proximity to the ground minimizes latency, making them ideal for delay-sensitive applications, such as video communications and cloud computing.

LEO satellites are deployed in large constellations and function as a group to create a network. If one satellite experiences an issue, another in the network can take over, ensuring uninterrupted service. Due to their small size and economical cost, they are also highly affordable compared to traditional satellite technologies.

Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) have traditionally come with the challenge of low throughput, high latency and high cost. This typically meant they were used for backup links in critical remote locations that had a singular terrestrial comms link, and the satellite services were rarely able to support latency-sensitive applications. The subsequent user experience from these traditional geostationary satellite services was also typically not good, given the huge delay when compared with terrestrial services. This has now all changed with the availability of LEO constellations, which use high-throughput satellite (HTS) to provide high-speed, broadband Internet at a lower cost than traditional satellite services.

Connecting remote locations

LEO satellites have many use cases in Australia’s isolated regions and the challenging terrain of New Zealand’s South Island. They can deliver connectivity to remote and rural areas where terrestrial networks are too expensive or impossible to deliver. From mining and construction to agriculture and disaster recovery, LEO satellites can support various industries with applications ranging from remote sustainability monitoring, predictive maintenance, logistics and geo-location to telemedicine and disaster recovery.

Australia and New Zealand governments face unique difficulties in providing Internet connectivity over enormous distances to isolated communities where fiber and other solutions are impractical. For example, the Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments are actively looking at LEO as an alternative for regional and remote telecom infrastructures to link government offices, health centers and emergency services.

LEO satellite dish installations are being rolled out to remote Central Australian schools, for example, because they can provide faster connectivity speeds without the expense of trenching fiber-optic cables.

The mining industry in Australia and New Zealand is continuously challenged with getting communications to remote locations to enable workers to collaborate with headquarters. LEO’s low altitude and faster data speeds make it possible for mining companies to run bandwidth-hungry geographic applications for real-time mappings, such as drone surveying, and team applications, such as videoconferencing. Fixed and mobile equipment can also be monitored to enhance asset management and predictive maintenance.

Not just for isolated areas

And even away from remote regions, LEO satellites can play an important role. Getting connectivity to construction sites for extended periods where LTE or 4G coverage is poor or non-existent has been an enormous challenge for building companies in Australia and New Zealand. Good connectivity is vital to site operations, including employee communications, security and worker health and safety. LEO provides a cost-effective, high-quality wireless connectivity option.

Last year, heat waves across Australia fueled bushfires that raged across the continent. Towns had to be evacuated, and emergency services went into overdrive. LEO satellites can be invaluable in disaster recovery operations.

During a major disaster, such as a bushfire, satellite imagery and data provide critical real-time insight for smart decision-making when it comes to rescue operations. LEO also provides emergency responders access to reliable, stable and uninterrupted connectivity to coordinate rescue activities.

A satellite connectivity strategy

There has been rapid growth in the adoption of LEO satellite connectivity, and more players are entering the market. Understanding an organization’s specific connectivity requirements is paramount in choosing the right satellite communications provider. This is where an experienced partner like Orange Business is invaluable.

Orange Business has strong relationships with traditional, “new space” and “next space” satellite operators that go beyond just providing services to strategic network partnerships. Following an in-depth audit to identify a satellite’s connectivity requirements, Orange Business ensures that the right, customized LEO solution is proposed to fulfill the criteria.

Everywhere, 24/7 connectivity

LEO satellites are revolutionizing connectivity, enabling seamless access to even the most remote locations. Their low latency and fast data transmission enable real-time applications across industries in the most challenging locations. It might be time to look at LEO technology to support your digital business agenda and even your most stringent communications needs.

Orange Business has 50-plus years of experience in the satellite market and world-class integration skills to ensure your infrastructure is optimized to deliver business outcomes. We can provide modular and flexible connectivity via a broad range of satellite communications that can be integrated with terrestrial technologies, such as fiber, LTE and LoRaWAN, to create hybrid network solutions. A case in point is the Bercenay-en-Othe, in which the Orange teleport made its historic mark. This strategic site, originally devoted to voice communications, is now a key component of the network, providing all forms of telecommunications coverage worldwide.

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Jamie Pryer, Orange Business

Jamie Pryer is a seasoned technology services professional. He currently leads business development strategy and product innovation in support of the Digital Infrastructure services and Orange Business Australia and New Zealand business. Outside of work, Jamie likes to relax by spending time with his family and gardening.


Graham Allan, Orange Business

Graham Allan is a Digital Solutions Advisor with over 25 years of experience in various IT domains. His expertise lies in guiding businesses through the complexities of digital transformation, ensuring they harness the power of disruption to achieve their objectives. When not immersed in the digital world, Graham finds joy in playing golf and vacationing with his family.