Podcast: Forsway takes hybrid approach to reducing connectivity costs

Listen to ‘The Dish’ interview with CEO Tobias Forsell

Tobias Forsell
Forsway CEO Tobias Forsell (Courtesy/Forsway)

Global connectivity “has improved over the years with newer technology … but the key thing is the cost on satellite bandwidth,” Tobias Forsell, chief executive at satellite communications technology developer Forsway, tells Connectivity Business News in the latest episode of “The Dish” podcast.

Euroconsult in a February report estimated capacity costs to be $0.20 to $1.50 per gigabyte, but Forsell says those costs can rise in underserved, rural areas that require high bandwidth.

Skovde, Sweden-based Forsway develops hybrid terminals for transmitting data between satellites and ground antennas. The terminals help satellites efficiently and cost-effectively broaden their reach by redirecting low-capacity traffic away from the satellite downlink, allowing the terminals to use 20% less satellite capacity than a commonly used very small aperture terminal (VSAT).

Forsway’s terminals cost as little as $100 each, five to 10 times less than a VSAT, and the terminals are designed to transmit data over a satellite without additional infrastructure.

“That’s really what drives the cost down in terms of hybrid connectivity solutions — if you can reuse something that already exists,” Forsell says.

The company’s strategy also involves working with local partners in regions of focus, such as Southeast Asia, where Forsway’s tech is customized to accommodate the region’s market. Not every location will have the same ground infrastructure in place, and what’s affordable varies regionally as well. Bridging the digital divide means being realistic about expectations, Forsell says.

A Forsway hybrid terminal connecting a mobile device (Photo/Forsway/X)

“We need to look into smart ways on how to navigate in every region,” Forsell says, adding that the more practical approach is to combine existing ground infrastructure in the region with a satellite network.

“Not everyone should target 200 megabits,” Forsell says. “It’s so much better that people go from zero to two megabits, or from two megabits to 28 megabits than that everyone should get 200 megabits.”

Listen to this episode of CBN’s “The Dish” for this discussion on a region-specific, lower cost approach to hybrid connectivity with Forsway’s CEO.