When in 1985 two engineers decided to set up their own business specializing in satellite communications, there were doubts that the new technology was economically viable. In the meantime, Newtec has become the pioneer of satellite communications – proven not only by its viability, but also its value.
“Connection is information and education, and everyone deserves this,” says Thomas Van den Driessche, who joined the company in 2007 and became its CEO in 2017. “We want to connect people who are not connected yet, make connection possible in places where it wasn’t possible before.”
Today Newtec can provide internet everywhere on the planet without major infrastructure works. Mobility being an important aspect, the company builds equipment and systems for wifi on airplanes and boats to provide them with broadband connection, and establishes 4G and 5G networks for connection to data centers. To provide connectivity for mobile phones, it connects cell towers via satellite where fiber is not available, especially in remote areas.
Having cooperated with the European Space Agency from the outset, Newtec can draw on a wealth of experience in satellite communications. The liberalization of the national telecommunication industries and the digitalization of television in the mid-90s provided massive triggers for the company to start building actual products and later complete systems.
There are not many companies that build the type of technology Newtec offers today. “Our solutions are unique, because they are economically very efficient,” emphasizes Mr. Van den Driessche. “While it is normally difficult to use a satellite in an economically viable way, our systems change this. We don’t build quirky phones that connect with satellites, we build the hardware and software so that people can connect their normal phones with a satellite.”
Newtec’s system solutions are usually operated by service providers and telecommunication companies. They can depend on complete solutions including hardware, software and installation. Newtec is continuously involved in creating new applications, for example in DTH broadcasting, video distribution, disaster recovery, cellular backhauling, oil and gas networks, aircrafts and vessels. Mr. Van den Driessche, who has always seen and promoted the company’s potential, anticipates a major expansion of bandwidth capacity in future.
We want to connect people that are not connected yet, make connection possible in places where it wasn’t possible before. Thomas Van den DriesscheCEO
“Today satellites are only covering places that are economically viable, but by 2025 there will be enough bandwidth on satellites to connect every single place in the world,” he adds. “With internet of things, e-mobility and the 5G network imminent, it is an absolute necessity to have enough satellite bandwidth to use these things also outside of big cities – not just in the Sahara desert, but also in Western Europe. While now it is all about connecting people, all kinds of services will be created around devices in future.”
Be sure that the pioneer of satellite communications will be there to meet and master the connectivity challenge, supported by commercial offices and partners worldwide.