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Teraco launches vendor-neutral satellite earth station in Africa

The station, named the Teraco Teleport, will provide clients positions on which to deploy their receivers at the Isando Data Centre site.


Teraco Managing Director Lex van Wyk

Teraco Data Environments, a South Africa-based provider of vendor-neutral data centres, has announced the launch of a vendor-neutral satellite earth station. The station is reportedly due to be completed in March 2013.

A satellite earth station is a terrestrial station with multiple parabolic antennas or receivers that function as a hub connecting a satellite with a terrestrial telecommunications network. The station, named the Teraco Teleport, will provide clients positions on which to deploy their receivers at the Isando Data Centre site.

The satellite service provider community (SSPs) will reportedly be able to position their receivers at Teraco Isando, enabling direct access to a community of over 50 telecommunications companies without the need, the company claims, to incur significant capital expenditure. More importantly, SSPs now have the ability, according to a company spokesman, via NAPAfrica, to distribute their services to the Teraco community without having to incur ongoing last-mile costs, which to date have largely restricted SSP service offerings to the broader market.

Through NAPAfrica, Teraco clients reportedly have access to a network of peers with one peering agreement. Peering at NAPAfrica allows carriers and providers, internet businesses and financial organisations to directly connect their internet infrastructure through a distributed, fast and cost-effective Ethernet fabric to reduce IP transit costs and to improve network connectivity and resilience. This move will reportedly make satellite connectivity more affordable to South African corporates.

“Vendor neutrality is effectively a focused business model in which a provider limits its activities to a fixed set of value layers to avoid conflicts of interest with clients,” says Teraco Managing Director Lex van Wyk .

“The teleport will use existing and new Teraco infrastructure as well as link directly into the data centre via fibre,” says Van Wyk. “We are providing access to municipal power, resilient generator power, top-class security as well as access control.”

In the Teraco environment, clients, the company claims, will benefit from the advantages of colocation in addition to having access to all fibre and wireless points and now satellite connectivity. This reportedly allows for reduced interconnect fees, the freedom to select the best access provider and easy connections to numerous other clients housed in the data centre.