Inmarsat, the mobile satellite communications services provider, and Onixsat, a satellite communication products and services provider, have announced an expansion of their joint initiative to target the Brazilian banking and financial services market. Onixsat will particularly focus on the opportunities available in the North and Northeast regions of the country.
According to data from Febrabam, the Brazilian bank federation, the country’s banking networks grew 79.8% between 2006 and 2010. The majority of this growth focused on correspondent banking and ATM services, both of which are ideally suited to satellite connectivity.
In 2011, the data reflected that some five per cent of bank transactions in Brazil were delivered via correspondent banking services (3.5bn transactions).
Inmarsat and Onixsat have identified major opportunities for the adoption of Inmarsat’s broadband IP data, machine-to-machine (M2M) and voice services delivered over its mobile satellite network.
Inmarsat’s global, IP encrypted satellite services can enable banks to establish remote and temporary branches, which are securely connected to their head office. It also affords the opportunity for shops, restaurants and hotels, among other businesses, to accept bank-card payments using electronic point-of-sale (PoS) devices, which are connected to the merchant acquirer via a highly secure and reliable connection.
Igor Falcão, business manager at Onixsat, said: “Onixsat has set itself the goal of adding 12,000 BGAN (broadband global area network) and BGAN M2M terminals over the next 12 months to support the take-up of banking services in areas where terrestrial data connections are either unreliable or non-existent.”
Drew Brandy, VP of enterprise industry at Inmarsat said: “Mobile satellite communication is increasingly recognised as a powerful tool for driving economic growth in regions where there is little or no effective terrestrial telecoms infrastructure. Satellite connectivity allows banks to expand their reach and attract new customers, enabling many more people to enjoy the benefits of secure banking facilities, regardless of their location.”
Inmarsat’s BGAN service provides encrypted, end-to-end connectivity and is ideal for mobile banking units enabling them to connect securely to a bank’s main servers, regardless of where the unit travels.
The BGAN Link service is designed specifically for users in a fixed location that require high monthly volumes of Standard IP data in a subscription-type package. It is ideal for permanent bank branches located in remote areas where there is little or no access to terrestrial broadband connectivity.
The lower data transmission requirements of ATM machines and electronic point of sale (EPoS) terminals are specifically supported by Inmarsat’s BGAN M2M service. This offers secure, two-way IP data connectivity, making it possible to connect static and mobile ATMs, as well as EPoS terminals from the most remote location.
All BGAN services utilise Inmarsat’s I-4 satellite network, which is essentially a global 3G network operating at 99.9% availability.
Onixsat’s Igor Falcão also explained that opportunities existed for Inmarsat services in major urban centres. According to Falcão, 3G technology is not yet stable in major centres and Inmarsat’s broadband and M2M services could be used in large cities as a back-up to existing terrestrial communications.
“There are specific opportunities in urban centers,” said Falcão. “Take Rio as an example. This is a city of over six million people. However, the convenience store located next to its most popular tourist site, the statue of Christ the Redeemer that is situated at the top of Corcovado mountain overlooking the city, can only accept cash because the 3G network does not operate due to geographical interference.
“Satellite connectivity overcomes these geographic obstacles, allowing business owners to enjoy secure and reliable data connectivity regardless of their location,” he explained.
Falcão also stressed that companies do not need to have a dedicated IT team to implement satellite communications as the technology is simple to deploy and the service can be implemented in any branch, supermarket or retail outlet.