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From: African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Brian Longwe
Sent: 25 June, 2004 08:26
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [afnog] seeking best VSAT connection providers for Africa
In Kenya, most ISPs have switched over to Teleglobe from the providers
listed below. I think the primary criteria for the switch has been service
quality, availability and support response.
As the first ISP to start using Teleglobe in Kenya after switching from
Verestar four years ago I must say we are very happy. Unfortunately our
competitors seem to have discovered our "secret" and many are now on similar
Needless to say we all prefer C Band - and our weather here in Kenya is more
Depending on the amount of capacity you want, and whether you want clear
channel or IP - Intelsat is probably also a worthwhile consideration. Their
pricing for higher bandwidth is quite remarkable
On 6/24/04 5:08 PM, "Dr Paulos Nyirenda" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Dear Mark Tinka,
> Thank you for your comprehensive reply.
> 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:
>>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>>> (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
>>> (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.
>>> Dr Paulos B Nyirenda
>>> Malawi SDNP Coordinator
>>> afnog mailing list
>>> [log in to unmask] http://listserv2.cfi.co.ug/mailman/listinfo/afnog