Ghana gets first Low Earth Orbit satellite gateway station in West Africa

Eberechukwu Etike
…the getaway station is located on a six-hectare facility in Tema, a city in the country’s capital.
OneWay and TinSky has built their first LEO satellite gateway station in Ghana
OneWay and TinSky has built their first LEO satellite gateway station in Ghana. Photo Credit- Via Satellite

Ghana has become the first West African country with a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite gateway station. This follows an announcement by OneWeb, a satellite company that it had successfully completed the installation of 15 OneWeb antennas and associated equipment at a Satellite Network Portal (SNP) in Accra, Ghana’s capital in collaboration with TinSky Connect, a converged communication solutions provider.

According to a statement, the getaway station is located on a six-hectare facility in Tema, a city in the country’s capital. It is currently being commissioned and it will be operational later this year.

This property is owned by ComSys and operations within will be managed and hosted by them on behalf of OneWeb. And, TinSky Connect was chosen as OneWeb’s technical engineering partner for its first West African SNP project.

According to Alan Geldenhuys, TinSky’s Group Executive Director, a good teamwork collaboration between TinSky and OneWeb ensured a successful project completion and installation of all antenna elements in just six weeks.

Tinsky understood the complexity of the multiple satellite ‘hand offs’ each gateway has to achieve per second and deployed a highly experienced team of field engineers that provided advanced system engineering and technical services addressing OneWeb’s mission critical SNP gateway needs, at low risk and within budget,

Alan Geldenhuys, TinSky’s Group Executive Director

Other satellite projects in West Africa

In terms of internet connectivity, Africa is progressively rising. Studies have linked Africa’s weak connectivity to its inadequate broadband infrastructure. But, the continent is currently undergoing a tremendous shift to boost internet access through regional and global cooperation.

Increasingly, we are seeing the African government leaders have in recent times made strategic moves to improve the connectivity status of their countries and indeed the continent, with the launch of internet undersea cables and broadband fibre projects in collaboration with local and international companies coupled with regulatory frameworks to protect them.

Ghana has launched the first LEO satellite gateway in West Africa with supports from OneWeb and TinSky- Space in Africa
Ghana has launched the first LEO satellite gateway in West Africa with support from OneWeb and TinSky- Space in Africa

Following the paradigm shift, global corporations have actively partnered with local leaders for extensive investment toward improving connectivity in Africa. The following are some examples of global support:

  • The Rwandan government, along with Qualcomm Technologies and Softbank Group Corp, raised a total of $3.4 billion in 2019 to fund OneWeb’s LEO constellation, which was intended to bring internet to rural schools and villages. The project’s outcome, however, is unknown.
  • Telesat, a Canadian satellite operator, in collaboration with Sat Space Africa, aims to deliver broadband connectivity in Namibia, Angola, and South Africa. Liquid Telecom has a similar agreement with Telesat to increase broadband service quality in ten African countries.
  • Also, SpaceX’s Starlink constellation in 2021, has a discussion with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a spectrum license. The company has also discussed with the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) for a license also.
A map of installed and soon-to-be installed subsea cables in Nigeria
A map of installed and soon-to-be installed subsea cables in Nigeria…

About TinSky Connect

TinSky Connect serves Africa’s satellite, wireless, and land/airborne mobility industries as a leading provider of convergent communication solutions. It also offers satellite installation and engineering services, as well as mobility solutions (COTP and COTM).

It has a solid track record of delivering the technically demanding project on schedule and under budget.

All TinSky projects appear to follow a tight system engineering project execution methodology, with highly qualified engineers and technicians. TinSky is both a FlexMove platform collaborator and a technical in-country satellite installation and engineering service provider for Intelsat.

About OneWay

OneWeb is a worldwide communications network powered by space that connects governments, corporations, and communities. With its headquarters in London, its major goal is deploying a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites.

Also, it provides a network of global gateway stations and a variety of user terminals, to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth, and low-latency communications service for everyone, everywhere, connected to the IoT future and a path to 5G.

OneWeb’s successful project and satellite installation in Ghana is the company’s first move into West Africa. OneWeb is preparing to launch its first SNP gateway in Africa, with Hartebeesthoek, South Africa, as the preferred location, followed by Senegal and Mauritius.


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