Intelsat and telecommunications group Vodacom have entered into an agreement under which Intelsat will provide a managed broadband service to Vodacom. The solution will position Vodacom to offer a differentiated broadband service targeting the small office/home office (SOHO) and small/medium enterprise (SME) users across sub-Saharan Africa.
The growth of SMEs in Africa is viewed as a critical component in further driving the continent’s economic development, job creation and increase in gross domestic product. In order to support that growth, SMEs will need consistent broadband connectivity to help ensure that their businesses thrive in an already complex and competitive landscape.
“Our agreement with Intelsat will enable Vodacom to provide our SME and enterprise customers with high-quality, reliable, secure and cost-effective connectivity,” says Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer of Vodacom Business.
Under the agreement, Intelsat will provide Ku-band satellite broadband capacity to Vodacom on Intelsat 28 at 32.8 degrees East and deliver a fully integrated and managed solution, powered by Hughes broadband satellite technology. The solution will enable Vodacom to manage its service platform and determine the service levels while maintaining direct engagement with its SOHO and SME customer base. In addition, the scalability of the platform supports Vodacom’s plan to offer broadband service to millions of potential customers across Africa.
When the Intelsat 33e satellite enters service, scheduled for 2016, Vodacom will be able to seamlessly access a high-performance overlay that will provide additional throughput for its busiest regions. The Intelsat EpicNG open architecture and flexible broadband platform will enable Vodacom to leverage its existing infrastructure and enhance Vodacom’s Satellite Connect product line. This will result in the delivery of more reliable, secure and cost efficient broadband connectivity to the SOHO/SME market across sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and the DRC.
Grant Marais, Intelsat’s Regional Vice-President of Africa, adds: “This new and innovative solution demonstrates Intelsat’s leadership in satellite broadband connectivity. We worked closely with Vodacom to address their future business demands, providing capacity through traditional wide and high-throughput satellite spot beams to locations where our customers need it most. It also reinforces our ability to work with our customers such as Vodacom to anticipate their emerging business demands and tailor our broadband solutions to best fit their business needs and economic model. We look forward to working closely with Vodacom and Hughes to bring the next generation of satellite broadband solutions to the African SME market.”