Sky and Space Global (ASX: ASX) has signed a five-year network contract with BeepTool worth about US$30 million.
The agreement with mobile payments start-up BeepTool will bring messaging and payment services to BeepTool’s remote African markets.
BeepTool has more than 800,000 customers in Africa and internationally. The duo anticipates BeepTool’s mobile payments, messaging and voice app, combined with Sky and Space’s progressing nanosatellite technology will expand BeepTool’s app reach to rural areas, enabling regions with traditionally limited access to banking services to use secure peer-to-peer banking at a lower cost.
According to Sky and Space the agreement “validates” its technology and business model.
“We are very pleased to be working with partners such as BeepTool who share our vision of using technology to connect he unconnected and drive global socio-economic development,” Sky and Space managing director and chief executive officer Meir Moalem said.
This agreement with BeepTool follows a “world first” trial where Sky and Space’s 3 Diamond nanosatellites were used to complete a financial transaction.
The trial demonstrated nanosatellite bandwidth could be used to make financial transactions from one phone to another.
The world bank estimates two billion adults are “unbanked” – particularly those that live in remote areas of Africa, Latin America and the Asia Pacific. In these regions, mobile banking is the only option for those seeking access to bank services.
Sky and Space believes its partnership with BeepTool will allow businesses and investors interested in these markets to capitalise on the bank’s estimated 33% growth in the mobile payments sector, which has a projected value of A$3,388 billion by 2022.
“We look forward to continuing to work with BeepTool as we move forward with our goal of launching our constellation of 200 nanosatellites by 2020,” Mr Moalem said.
The news follows the successful integration of Check Point Software Technologies check point encryption hardware into its nano-satellite network. This technology encrypts phone calls and messages prior to transmission then decrypts the communication for the recipient.
The encryption and decryptions tests were successful, and Sky and Space claims its sets the new standard for secure, encrypted and affordable narrowband communications.
West Perth-based Sky and Space Global’s aims to develop and operate a global nanosatellite communications network that will provide international coverage to even the world’s remotest areas.
By afternoon trade, Sky and Space’s share price had surged more than 28% to sit at A$0.205.