How satellite connectivity can enable successful delivery of the United Nations’ SDGs

How satellite connectivity can enable successful delivery of the United Nations’ SDGs

At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on 25 September 2015, world leaders adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

Information and communication technologies will be pivotal in helping to achieve these and Inmarsat is delivering the global satellite connectivity that is essential to giving people access to the modern digital world even in the most isolated locations.


Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Satellite connectivity can help promote more effective and efficient food production, improving the economic outlook for farmers worldwide. Remote real-time monitoring through machine-to-machine sensor technology can hugely improve land management. Farmers can get a unique insight into the soil conditions of their fields, access future weather patterns and even check crop prices on their mobile phones to get a better deal.


Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

In rural communities, technology-enabled healthcare applications coupled with satellite connectivity can help counteract a lack of healthcare infrastructure, support an under-skilled workforce, control the spread of communicable diseases and record the increase of manageable conditions such as diabetes.

eHealth solutions can also enable a more equitable treatment for girls and women, by empowering them through access to health information to improve their lives, especially during pre and post-natal care.


Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Education is a fundamental human right, and yet there is a huge disparity in the provision of education services. Many rural communities suffer from a lack of teachers and poorly equipped classrooms.

Satellite connectivity is helping to bridge the gap by supporting the use of digital learning solutions. Children have access to quality online learning materials and virtual classrooms, training organizations can up-skill teachers remotely, and online degrees mean further education is far more achievable for these communities.


Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

From initial engineering surveys right through to remote monitoring for preventative maintenance, Inmarsat enables the development of infrastructure in isolated and economically vulnerable communities. Electric distribution networks, oil and gas pipelines, mines and transport infrastructure all rely upon satellite connectivity in rural environments.


Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Isolated communities are disadvantaged if they have no access to banking and financial services. If there is not a bank within walking distance, or cellular coverage to access banking apps, individuals and businesses simply cannot be part of the growing digital economy. Inmarsat works around the world supplying secure satellite data services that enable banks to provide remote financial services and ATMs. It also means businesses such as shops, restaurants and hotels can accept bankcard payments.


Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss

Inmarsat is helping organizations to capture critical data on climate change. Our BGAN high-speed data service was used by the Earth Observatory Singapore to conduct research on earthquakes, tsunamis and climate change in Southeast Asia. Inmarsat’s global connectivity also supports vital scientific research in Antarctica. Base stations and support vessels have constant communication with the outside world, meaning scientists can send their data in real-time, conduct video conference calls and stay in touch with family and friends.


Goal 17:  Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development

Although the goals are primarily aimed at governments, private industry will be critical in supporting the delivery of these goals.

In October 2015, Inmarsat, along with other world-leading satellite operators, signed a Crisis Connectivity Charter at the World Humanitarian Summit Global Consultation in Geneva.

The charter formalises protocols to increase the ability of emergency response teams to access satellite-based communications when local networks are affected, destroyed or overloaded in the wake of a disaster. The principles of the charter also include increased coordination to prioritise access to bandwidth for humanitarian purposes during disaster operations; pre-positioned satellite equipment; transmission capacity at times of disaster in 20 high-risk countries in Europe, the Middle-East, Africa and Asia; and training and capacity building for the humanitarian community across all five continents.

Visit us on our stand at the AIDF Global Disaster Relief Summit in Washington to experience a hands-on demonstration of our services through a real life simulation.

To learn more about the role of satellite connectivity to enable the successful delivery of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and case studies please visit

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