Two mobile network operators, Aliv and Telecel Centrafrique, have acquired first-to-market rights to implement satellite-to-cell service from Lynk Global. Aliv operates in the Bahamas, and Telecel operates in the Central African Republic. Lynk announced Wednesday that these telcos are the first in a flagship partnership program.
Lynk pitches itself as a solution to the “0G problem” — areas where there is no connectivity, or when connectivity is disrupted. Its service will allow customers of mobile network operators to send messages outside of cellular networks.
Last year, the company hit a technology milestone by sending the first-ever message from a satellite directly to an unmodified cell phone on Earth. Currently, in order to connect and send messages outside of wireless networks, people in remote areas need special satellite phones.
Aliv has been testing with Lynk and plans to roll out the service to its users next year.
“Providing coverage, particularly in the Caribbean given our sometimes extreme weather events, we need to ensure we have emergency communications back-up, when the network experiences issues, and our sites are down. Lynk will provide that critical communication service on land and for our maritime users — with the phones they have in their pockets today,” commented Stephen Curran, Aliv’s CTO.
Telecel Centrafique CEO Malek Atrissi said Lynk will help bridge the digital divide in the Central African Republic. “We urge others in our continent to see Lynk as an optimal solution to help support our mutual mission as operators – to bring us together with safe, good quality, and continuous communication,” Atrissi said.
Lynk applied for its FCC operator’s license earlier this year and plans to begin worldwide commercial cellular service from Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) next year.