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AFRIK-IT  June 2004

AFRIK-IT June 2004

Subject:

Re: [afnog] seeking best VSAT connection providers for Africa

From:

Dr Paulos Nyirenda <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 24 Jun 2004 16:08:34 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (142 lines)

Dear Mark Tinka,

Thank you for your comprehensive reply.

Regards,

Paulos
======================
Dr Paulos B Nyirenda
Malawi SDNP Coordinator


On 24 Jun 2004 at 9:21, Mark Tinka <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Sunday 20 June 2004 11:34, Dr Paulos Nyirenda wrote:
> > All,
> >
> > In looking at or for VSAT Internet providers in Africa, for the region
> > around Malawi in particular, do you know of other providers outside the
> > following?
> >
> > 1. IPPlanet,
> > 2. NewSkies,
> > 3. Verestar,
> > 4. SkyVision,
> > 5. Taide.
>
> One of the first things you'd have to do is locate a satellite carrier e.g.
> PanAmSat, Apstar, Intelsat, Inmarsat, e.t.c. that has got a good-enough
> footprint in your area.
>
> Then you'd need to check with the carrier whether they support the satellite
> technology you are looking for; SCPC, TDMA, FDMA, DVB e.t.c. Most times, the
> IP provider can only provide these services if the carrier's infrastructure
> supports it.
>
> >
> > I am looking for an objective answer to the question: Who is the best VSAT
> > Internet connectivity provider FOR my region around Malawi in Africa?
>
> Nowadays, it's possible to find satellite carriers also providing Internet
> service as well. This is good if you like to receive one check for all
> services from the same provider. However, this solution may not necessarily
> be the cheapest.
>
> >
> > I guess it is necessary to highlight parameters for deciding what best
> > refers to. These must include (a) price,
>
> Satellite services are typically expensive, more so because of the uplink
> portion. An assymetric DVB receive-only is quite manageable.
>
> Dedicated IP providers that feed into the satellite provider might more
> competitive than getting a turn-key solution from the satellite provider.
>
> It would also be a plus if the IP provider gave you a wholistic price that
> included the cost of the IP service as well as the cost of satellite carrier
> bandwidth. Again, this can turn out to be more competitive than actually
> getting both services from the satellite carrier.
>
> Having said that, generally, the lowest you could expect to go on satellite
> bandwidth is anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500 per 1Mbps, +/- satellite charges.
> If you are bulk buyer, you could get a hefty discount.
>
> > (b) reliability,
>
> Well, just as with terrestrial backbones, satellite services usually tend to
> fail. So, that's as much reliability as you will get. You also have to
> consider what reliability the IP provider on the other end has. Generally
> speaking, one provider won't buy you much reliability. If you are
> single-homed to that satellite/IP carrier, and they fail, your service will
> be disrupted until the problem is resolved. There are numbers to go by from
> the providers, and there's experience from existing/previous customers, but
> anything could happen at anytime. That's, ultimately, what you need to
> prepare for.
>
> It could worse if you find attractive prices based on the fact that you will
> be using a Ku-band service. That would reduce reliability at the
> infrastructure level.
>
> > (c) flexibility,
>
> Flexibility in terms of quick upgrades, including bandwidth burst services, a
> satellite carrier/IP provider that supports DVB is your best bet. It doesn't
> cost anyone that much or upgrade DVB capacity. However, you won't get the
> same flexibility for uplink, as the IP provider has to go back to the
> satellite carrier and re-negotiate a suitable deal. That could take anywhere
> from 4 to 6 weeks post your initial request. In this case, finding a
> satellite carrier that provides IP is a better option.
>
> You might want to deploy technology that allows you to cut costs on bandwidth
> e.g. I've heard of some kind of compression technology that could improve
> your bandwidth utilisation 3 times, for 3 times less the cost. Of course,
> that's money lost to the provider, so you need to find one willing enough to
> accomodate some of your technologies.
>
> >
> > (d) support,
>
> Getting an SLA (that makes sense) from the provider would be a good idea. The
> better IP provider would be the one that incorporates failure of the
> satellite carrier infrastructure into the SLA.
>
> Most satellite service providers have 24/7 support, and will call you before
> you know you have a problem. However, that needs be in writing.
>
> > (e) stability
>
> This will depend on the type of service you get, e.g. C-band or Ku-band, what
> satellite carrier you use, how well-connected the remote IP provider is, what
> networks they feed into (Tier 1? Tier 2? e.t.c.), e.t.c.
>
> Again, what you need to plan for is total service failure. Having a DVB
> receive-only backup with an uplink through a local Malawian carrier would be
> a step in that direction.
>
> > and such like items.
> >
> > What if equipment were not an issue?.
>
> This isn't such a big issue nowadays. DVB receivers retail for less than
> $1,000. Satellite modems are affordable, but alternatives exist - satellite
> SCPC cards that can be installed on a regular PC running Linux will do you
> just fine too. Again, your question of flexibility comes into play here, and
> whether your provider will be willing to accomodate your not-to-standard
> technology.
>
> Mark.
>
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Paulos
> > ======================
> > Dr Paulos B Nyirenda
> > Malawi SDNP Coordinator
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > afnog mailing list
> > [log in to unmask]
> > http://listserv2.cfi.co.ug/mailman/listinfo/afnog

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