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AFRIK-IT  June 2004

AFRIK-IT June 2004

Subject:

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

From:

Sean Moroney <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Thu, 24 Jun 2004 11:19:01 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (357 lines)

Dear Colleagues,

Forgive me for promoting our ACT Summit, but these issues will be
comprehensively covered in the Telecom Operators Forum, which we are holding
as part of ACT in association with the Global VSAT Forum. Full details are
available on our web site.

Yours sincerely,

Sean Moroney
[log in to unmask]
AITEC Exhibitions & Conferences
20 Wellington St, St Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 5AZ, UK
Tel: +44-1480-495595 Fax: +44-1480-495596
www.aitecafrica.com

PRESS RELEASE



PAN-AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT IMPERATIVES FOR

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY

ACCELERATED THROUGH SATELLITE-BASED

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ADVANCE



'Best practice' briefing and discussion sessions on bridging Africa's
digital divide facilitated by global satellite association at Information
and Communication Technology Development Hub; Key regional conference theme
of "Developing Partnerships to Mainstream Africa's ICT Industry" supported
by GVF-organised Telecommunications Operators Forum



25 May 2004


LONDON & MAURITIUS - Developing Partnerships to Mainstream Africa's ICT
Industry is the theme of the Sixth Annual African Computing and
Telecommunications Summit (ACT 2004), taking place over 7-9 September at
CyberCity, Mauritius, the Information and Communications Technology
Development Hub for Africa and the Indian Ocean.  This year, building on its
strategic relationship with the GVF - the global association of the
satellite telecommunications industry - the organisers of ACT are working
with the association (www.gvf.org) to facilitate a rare discussion and
networking opportunity for the telecommunications carriers, or PTTs, from
across the African continent.



Satellite-based communications provides the only effective breakthrough from
the bottleneck that is the under development of telecommunications services
throughout much of Africa - under development that has been effectively
caused by:



        Low disposable incomes (and outright poverty), and consequential
disincentives to telecommunications operators to actually provide reliable
services;

        Lack of competition and therefore lack of infrastructure
investment;

        And, the fragmentation of a continent into many national markets
which are devoid of economies of scale.



Yet, from the greatest cities to the smallest villages, access to
information through low cost telecommunications connectivity is an
imperative for the economic and social development of Africa.



Recognising this imperative, the non-profit and non-partisan satellite
industry association - the GVF - has organised a Telecommunications
Operators Forum, a programme of briefing and discussion sessions for the
African telecommunication carriers community, to take place over the 7th,
8th and 9th September 2004.  The sessions will address key issues regarding
the world of connectivity solutions from satellite-based technology and will
offer examples of 'best practice' in the creation of strategies for
satellite terminal deployment, network roll-out and sustainable application
development.



That 'best practice' strategies for aiding access to ICTs through satellites
benefit indigenous businesses in encouraging improved investment conditions,
and also benefit national governments through a stronger tax base, is
implicitly recognised in the Catalysing Access to Internet in Africa
project.  CATIA is a three-year programme of the British Government's
Department for International Development (DfID) and reflects the strong
ground swell of opinion that the Millennium Development Goals will only be
achieved by using Information and Communication Technologies.  This is also
the emphasis placed on ICTs in the recent World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS) and in the targets of the New Partnership for Africa's
Development (NEPAD).  The GVF is one of the partner organisations in the
CATIA project, and an update on the progress and implications of CATIA will
be included in the briefing sessions comprising the Telecommunications
Operators Forum.



Opportunities for tens of thousands of new telecommunications entrepreneurs
across Africa continue to advance with the increased availability of lower
price satellite bandwidth all across the continent.  In addition, current
downward price trends for both satellite terminals and Internet access can
only continue as potential economies of scale come on-stream.  Such
potential developments will also be examined during the Forum briefings,
considered from the perspective of:



        The perceptions of telecommunications operators of new market
dynamics;

        The opportunities of increased competition in more liberalised
contexts;

        Understanding the necessities of UAO/USO and the implications of
VoIP over satellite;

        The provision of essential applications for the corporate sector
and the enterprise space; for government, education and healthcare; and for
the development sector.



The GVF Telecommunications Operators Forum will bring together senior
decision-making representatives from PTTs from across the continent, with
particular emphasis on telecommunications carriers from the PTTs Group of
the SADC nations.  Also attending will be senior executives from Africa's
sub-regional organisations of telecommunications regulators, including:
TRASA - the Telecommunications Regulators Association of Southern Africa;
WATRA - the West African Telecommunications Regulators Association; and,
EARPTO - the East Africa Regulatory Post and Telecommunication Organisation.



For further information about the Telecommunications Operators Forum, or
about the GVF, please contact either:



Martin Jarrold, Chief of International Programme Development at the GVF
Secretariat Direct telephone + 44 1727 884 513; Email [log in to unmask]

Helen Jameson, GVF Secretariat Administrator
Direct telephone + 44 1727 884 627; Email [log in to unmask]



Or for details about the wider programme of ACT 2004, please contact:



Sean Moroney, AITEC Africa

Direct telephone + 44 1480 495 595; Email [log in to unmask]



Full details are available at www.aitecafrica.com



----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr Paulos Nyirenda" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, June 24, 2004 7:08 AM
Subject: Re: [afnog] seeking best VSAT connection providers for Africa


> 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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