VENTURES AFRICA – To bridge digital divides evident in South African ‘s rural and urban areas, MWEB business has launched a new satellite internet service that will deliver affordable broadband internet connectivity to all corners of Africa’s largest economy. The newly launched service is aimed at rural communities, farmers and other areas where standard broadband access is not available.
Stating the reason for the new initiative, MWEB Business GM Andre Joubert points out that internet access has always been problematic, if not impossible, for individuals and businesses located in regions where ADSL, 3G and even electricity is unavailable or unreliable.
According to him, “The new MWEB Business VSAT service is going to make a huge difference to farmers and game lodge owners, as well as the mining and construction industries, which currently face enormous difficulties communicating with their head offices in the cities. We also anticipate demand from businesses sponsoring connectivity for schools in the remotest rural areas.”
“MWEB VSAT customers will be able to use it not only for their data requirements like surfing the Internet and e-mail, but also as a potentially more reliable, and affordable, form of telephone communication,” he added.
“In addition, because satellite connectivity is immune from cable theft, it provides a viable alternative to traditional fixed-line Internet access for businesses in the urban areas. So we expect our new satellite service will also meet demand for a quick-to-install secondary connectivity option for businesses that need business-critical high availability.”
The MWEB Business through its VSAT services will also provide telephony services which can be used as a backup to fixed line services in areas which are prone to cable theft. It also operates effectively using solar power, which makes it suitable for areas without reliable electricity.
“Because latency is such an important factor in satellite connectivity, particularly for VOIP (voice over IP) services, we at MWEB are making use of a satellite teleport (transmission station) that is based in South Africa,” said Joubert.
Available in various bundles used to complement either a VPN or basic Internet service; the MWEB satellite service offers up to 4Mbps speed. Customers can choose to ‘hard cap’ their bundle, in which case the service will be halted once the bundle has reached its limit. Alternatively, they can opt to continue to receive service at an out-of-bundle rate once they exceed their bundle limit.
The equipment required to utilise the service, including the satellite dishes, can be leased or purchased outright.
MWEB Business is a subsidiary of MWEB which provides comprehensive solutions in areas of Internet access, application services, network support and consultancy services to businesses. Since its establishment in 1998, the company has provided Internet services to at least 11,000 business clients, including Mango, FlySAA and Netflorist.