ESA title


  • STATUSCompleted
  • THEMATIC AREAFinance, Investment & Insurance

Objectives of the service

“SatFinAfrica” is a pilot project to demonstrate the suitability of the Sat3Play platform, originally designed for the consumer and SoHo market, to provide reliable and secured financial services (e.g. to money transfer companies, microfinance institutions, banks and Automated Teller Machines) in remote and underserved areas in emerging countries in Africa.

SatFinAfrica targets remote sites of large organisations, in particular financial institutions, which have a critical need for a ubiquitous and secured telecommunication platform with adequate latency performance and privacy and acceptable service costs. Not covered by terrestrial communications means, these remote sites are generally not large enough to justify the investment in a classic corporate VSAT.

Two main financial applications are targeted:

  1. Money Transfer . The main requirements for the Money Transfer application are:
    • VoIP,
    • Latency < 700ms,
    • Need for prioritisation of the traffic to allow money transfer applications and banking applications to have priority over office applications (e.g. e-Mails).
  2. Automatic Telling Machines (ATMs). The main requirements for the ATM application are:
    • Closed Users Group,
    • Need for a Committed Information Rate (CIR) of 10kbps to allow reliable authentication/authorisation of transactions,
    •  Latency <800-900ms,
    • Privacy.

In addition, SatFinAfrica also targets the development and provision of VNO (Virtual Network Operator) and QoS features for the Sat3Play platform to allow local distributors to autonomously manage the service profiles of their pools of customers and become, de-facto, local service operators.

This is supported by the development of a Monitoring&Controlling tool (CMT, Customer Management Tool), which provides a user-friendly web-interface with different levels of rights to grant local distributors the required level of autonomy and ease of usage.

In broad terms, the scope of the original project activity and the CCN#1 activities was to enhance the current SES Broadband service in a context where SES manages all the satellite IP traffic and configures standard "volume-based" or "FUP-Based" services for its customers.

Having fully met the above objectives, the on-going CCN#2 activities aim at enhancing the current service platform so that SatADSL (the new Belgian service provider created thanks to the above achievements) can:

  1. Autonomously manage its own IP traffic and configure new categories of services, including contended and dedicated services,
  2. Allow African service providers to configure their own services with their own users and become, de-facto, local virtual service operators.

Current Status

Thanks to the achievement of the original SatFinAfrica project and the CCN#1 activities, Sea&Space has created in early 2012 SatADSL, a Belgian spin-off company that provides financial services to Africa. 
The service is sold via local African distributors who re-sell the service to the final customers on behalf of SatADSL. 
In May 2013, SatADSL received 1 million EUR from a leading Belgian private equity investor to support this growth, with the aim of connecting thousands of branch offices of microfinance companies in sub-Saharan Africa via satellite. 
Currently, SatADSL is serving via a commercial subscription a growing pool of about 170 money transfer branches and 8 ATMs, each of them equipped with a satellite terminal. 
The activities relating to the original project and the CCN#1 have been finalised in August 2013. 
The CCN#2 activities were kicked-off in March 2013 and have been successfully completed in August 2014. The Final Review milestone is planned in October 2014.


Status Date

Updated: 25 March 2015