Astranis is partnering with Mexican ISP Apco Networks on a two-satellite program to bring affordable broadband internet to 5 million people

Satellites launching in 2024 will become the first Ka-band satellites ever dedicated to Mexico

September 8, 2023
John Gedmark, Astranis Co-founder and CEO

Over the last few years, we’ve had our sights set on launching dedicated satellites for Mexico. 

A number of our employees at Astranis come from Mexico, some from small communities where connectivity is very poor, or non-existent. As they told us, and as we found from further research, the need for better connectivity in Mexico is self-evident — more than 30% of the country does not have internet access today, and satellite is often the only way to connect the remote and rural communities scattered across the rough, mountainous terrain of Mexico’s 32 states. And the nation itself is focused on improving satellite internet availability. Connectivity is a constitutional right in Mexico, and the President has made connectivity a national priority.

We have been looking for the right partner to address this opportunity, and today, we are excited to announce that we have found them. 

Astranis is partnering with Apco Networks to launch two satellites dedicated to Mexico in 2024, which will connect up to five million people to affordable broadband internet.

Apco Networks is a perfect customer for Astranis. Led by their founder, Orlando Castillo, Apco has 19 years of experience providing end-to-end satellite connectivity solutions in Mexico under the brand name Aitelecom. Apco has the local expertise that is necessary to successfully roll out connectivity services in a market as diverse as Mexico, and it also has an innovative, long-term partnership with a ground solutions provider that will enable Apco to serve a unique role in the Mexican connectivity ecosystem. 

Our Astranis satellites will allow Apco to provide a managed service for many different kinds of connectivity — WiFi sites, direct-to-enterprise, and backhaul for rural cell sites. This wide breadth of potential service offerings is unique in the market, and it allows them, in their CEO’s words, to pursue a strategy of “community, not competition.” Apco is eager to partner with other internet service providers in Mexico, a strategy that helps supply local solutions that fit local demand. 

Mexico is a very diverse nation. The northern states are different from the southern states, which are different from the eastern states. A solution like ours, which can be tailored to the individual needs of individual markets, is key.

We expect these two satellites to have a big impact. Today, buying just one GB of internet costs some Mexican families in southern states over 10% of their monthly income. But with two Astranis satellites on orbit and dedicated to Mexico, we expect to make connectivity more available and more affordable, and affordable services can change lives. 

We have seen first-hand how existing WiFi hotspots have become centers of activity in small, rural, Mexican towns — they are places where students congregate after school, where parents come to meet each other and their children, and where popsicle cart owners and drink vendors come to help those folks brave the summer heat. 

Mexico needs more connectivity. And we’re honored to partner with Apco to deploy affordable, reliable internet services for up to five million people in the very near future.

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