Increased Reliability and Service Area Comes with COMSAT Launch
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/18/2012 -- Fledgling internet businesses and service providers in Africa will soon have more broadband options. For now, the vast majority of internet service is routed through massive undersea communication cables, thousands of miles of fiber-optic cables run along the beds of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Soon, internet service may come from the sky instead of the sea.
The launch of the HYLAS 2 satellite, built by Avanti Communications (a London-based firm) in August brings satellite broadband to the African continent in the coming weeks. The satellite complete initial orbital tests in September and should be ready to enter commercial use soon.
The HYLAS 2 will be able to provide small businesses, like internet cafes as well as residential subscribers, speeds of up-to 20Mb/s. Even faster speeds will be available to African communications companies as well as international businesses.
Once the satellite is online, Africans will no longer be completely cut off from the world-wide-web during outages caused by damage to undersea fiber-optic cables. A large service outage was caused this February by a severed cabled, damaged when a ship dropped anchor onto the cable while waiting to dock in Mombasa, Kenya.
The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation predicts economic benefits from the increase in broadband availability for the continent. The organization says that internet availability is even more important to economic growth than landline telephones. A 10% increase in broadband availability, according to CTO, generates an economic growth of 1.38%, which is nearly twice that of fixed-line telephone service.
A second communications satellite is scheduled for launch in 2015, along with the HYLAS 2, and the pair will be able to bring up to 100Gb of capacity to Africa. While the satellite broadband service is likely to be more expensive than traditional broadband, the greater reliability and access will likely make the service popular with internet subscribers.
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