Taqnia Space CEO Eng. Abdullah M. Alosaimi.
A version of this story appears in the April 2019 print issue of CommsMEA.
Imagine this: you have an important deadline coming up for work or school, or have a loved one you need to stay in touch with. Or, maybe, your favourite football or sports team is playing in a big match, and you don’t want to miss a moment. There’s just one problem with all these things: you have a flight coming up, and even though there’s some connectivity available on flights these days, it’s too expensive, and the speeds to slow, for you to actually do any of those things.
But Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Space is making all those things possible with its UON service. Using HTS satellites and its own ground segment terminals, the company is enabling more connectivity globally than ever before – and at much faster speeds, too.
Chief executive officer Eng. Abdullah M. Alosaimi says the company recently signed a major partnership with Saudia (also known as Saudi Arabian Airlines) for connectivity to wherever Saudia is flying – meaning things like watching live TV will be available for passengers and connectivity services will be available at blazing-fast speeds up to 60Mbps
“We look after passengers,” says Alosaimi.
“We look to provide a complete UON package that includes high speed connectivity, entertainment, E-commerce, and advertisement. We want to make it easier for our airline partners.”
The technology provided by Taqnia Space goes beyond just entertainment. It also makes it possible to send data about a plane’s systems while it’s in flight and landing – potentially drastically reducing the turnaround time for maintenance and letting technicians know exactly what needs to be repaired before the next flight. In other words: it could save airlines (and passengers) lots of time, and money.
Yet it even goes beyond that. Alosaimi says we’re at a point now where geography is not a huge challenge to providing connectivity – which could have big implications in a country with as vast and challenging terrain as Saudi Arabia.
“We have a roadmap,” he says.
“We have a strategy.”
With Vision 2030 a key part of operations, Alosaimi also says the company is working hard to train up the next generation of Saudi talents – who will be the leaders of tomorrow. “We also have a strategy plan to build talents,” he says.
“It’s not just about machines. It’s part of our mission, to train Saudi talents in satellite technology.”
A mission the company, which had one of the busiest stands at the CABSAT 2019 event in Dubai in March, appears to be well on its way to achieving.