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By Charles Han, Global Channels Strategy and Program Lead

A few months ago, I joined Transcelestial – an exciting startup that’s deep in wireless laser communication and spacetech. It’s a departure from the larger organisations that I’m used to, but I’m thrilled to be in a role that harnesses my 20+ years of experience and knowledge to build partnerships for a company – and industry – that are not only promising in growth but also in impact.

Two months in as the Global Channels Strategy and Program Lead, and many have been asking how things have been going. I thought I’d share some observations about the culture, the tech and the partnerships that I envision for the company that is re-imagining communications technology for the 21st Century through super-fast space laser networks that can transfer data a thousand times faster than current radio wave technology, across any distances around the planet.

How we work – refreshing and inspiring

Since day one on the job, I’ve been acclimatising to ‘startup culture’. Processes and infrastructures aren’t as structured as they are in $10B, 30,000-employee companies, but business agility and immediate feedback cycles more than make up for it. The nimbleness and pace of decision-making is refreshing and I especially love how ‘normal’ it is for young minds and industry veterans to come together and discuss big ideas – it’s not only inspiring, but a joy to watch.

My role is more hands-on now – we’re essentially building everything from scratch, which means our work today is a cornerstone of what the business will look like in 12 to 18 months. From setting the strategy to establishing goals and building up a team of people who have the right skills and share the same vision, I’m bringing the know-how, but I’m also making sure to keep an open mind. It’s a constant balancing act, and it’s exhilarating

The power of a mission

What drew me to Transcelestial was the cutting edge technology. (We use laser beams to provide top-speed internet connections to connect people around the world!) but more than that, I’m deeply committed to driving positive change and have fully embraced the company’s mission of ‘improving the connectivity experience for 1 billion users globally’.

COVID deepened the world’s digital divide but the internet alleviates many of its hurdles, across education, healthcare, work and access to everyday basics, amongst other areas. Connectivity has proven to be paramount to survival in the modern world, but even in the world’s richest countries, internet access is often lower than expected. In the US, for instance, more than 6% – about 21 million people – still don’t have high speed internet. In Australia, that number goes up to 13%, according to the World Economic Forum. And in various least developed nations, very few are connected to the internet, which makes the goal of bringing connectivity to people all the more vital.

Long-lasting, sustainable, fruitful partnerships

Achieving this herculean goal will require players and partners from across the ecosystem to collaboratively find the right solutions, from governments to connectivity technology companies (who build 5G or 6G technology) to telcos (who bring connectivity to end users), fellow spacetech companies (who will launch satellites into orbit and transmit data using our laser technology back down to earth) and consultants (who help telcos optimise their offerings) – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Charles used to dream of rocketing into space

The industry isn’t familiar with our technology yet so building awareness for our solution, and the way it helps solve a number of the world’s connectivity challenges, is a priority. Thereafter, we will work with our partners to identify the market and address customer pain points through our joint solution, providing them with the vantage point and tools to successfully deploy the technology, and help their customers appreciate the Transcelestial technology and its many benefits.

Over the years, I’ve seen the tech and telco industries through their evolutions, and have gained invaluable insights and best practices, which will now hopefully serve as a foundation for sturdy, forward-thinking partnerships.

To connectivity and beyond

Once upon a time, a nine year old me built a rocket out of cardboard boxes and imagined jetting into space. Little did I know that I’d one day be working on space technology or that I’d be part of a movement that has the power to improve the lives of billions of people all over the planet.

Spacetech and hyper-speed connectivity may sound futuristic but in the not-too-distant future, the goal is for Transcelestial to be a widely recognised brand globally. In a world that’s just slowly adopting 5G technology now, it looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us.