Murray Steyn
Murray Steyn Executive Head: Wholesale

Satellite technology has been around for a while now, but it still has a great deal to offer ISPs and their customers. While newer technologies such as fibre and LTE tend to hog the limelight, it will be a mistake to overlook the value of satellite networks and the important place they occupy in the ICT mix. They offer compelling advantages that are well-suited to the African context.

Why satellite networks are a good option for ISPs in Africa

What is VSAT?

Satellite technology has been quietly evolving to become a more capable, dependable and affordable connectivity solution. And some significant advances have been made in recent years. As a result, its range of applications and its market have expanded.

A very small aperture terminal (VSAT) is a two-way satellite ground station that communicates with satellites in geosynchronous or geostationary orbit to transmit narrowband or broadband data. This allows for Internet access to be delivered and point-to-point WAN links to be connected just about anywhere on the planet. Advances in the technology have improved the performance, ensuring higher data rates and improved latency at lower costs.

The strengths of VSAT

There’s no other connectivity type with the reach of VSAT – whether users are out in the middle of the ocean, the Sahara Desert or at the top of Kilimanjaro, they can enjoy a stable connection. This unparalleled connectivity is a core value proposition that sets VSAT apart.

VSAT technology allows for rapid deployment for customers once the satellite network is in place. This is also beneficial for remote locations where a lengthy installation process is impractical. Satellite networks can also be easily and cost-effectively scaled with the addition of new sites to the network anywhere in the world.

Wholesale VSAT from IS

IS offers a VSAT service with continent-wide reach through several teleports. We offer wholesalers a great deal of flexibility to ensure you get the services you need without paying extra for the ones you don’t.

You can opt for a fully managed service, provide your own VSAT hub, antenna or radio frequency systems, or you can choose the virtual network operator (VNO) option by using our platform without providing any equipment of your own.

We supply everything you need with our fully managed service – from antenna and radio frequency systems to teleport infrastructure (power, security, heating, ventilation and air conditioning).

We also provide round-the-clock monitoring along with support and redundant terrestrial connectivity. If you choose to set up your own VSAT platform, you can operate your own iDirect satellite hub, virtual hub or single channel per carrier (SCPC) modems in a hosted environment using our hosting facilities and radio frequency systems.

You can install your own antenna and radio frequency systems and use our teleport infrastructure to access a satellite on which we don’t have an antenna. In this way, you can still take advantage of our 24/7 monitoring, support and world-class standards of service.

Whichever option you choose, the wholesale VSAT offerings from IS are there to support your business. You can capitalise on the valuable relationships with satellite operators and equipment vendors that we have established over the years which allow us to offer highly competitive pricing and market-leading expertise.

If you’re considering offering VSAT to your customers, a good place to start is mapping the African telecommunications landscape.

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