South Africa's first Ka-band broadband satellite service, YahClick is currently being launched by Vox Telecom. This product is well suited to support government's plans to increase Internet penetration throughout the country.
"We have realised that economic growth in rural communities is being hampered because there is little or poor access to the Internet," says Jacques Visser, the YahClick project manager. "The Department of Agricultural and Rural Development in the Free State has recently launched a new plan to bring high speed Internet to the province. It's difficult for businesses to remain competitive outside of large commercial hubs as they have to pay up to 20% more than their counterparts in the cities, just to use basic business tools such as Internet or e-mail."
Connecting rural areas
Vox recently joined with the Middle East's largest satellite company, Yahsat, to launch Y1-B, a Ka-band satellite that will give users in rural communities access to reliable, affordable broadband satellite services.
"It's great news for SA that there are major fibre cables hitting our shores, but the problem is that the increased bandwidth and speeds aren't getting businesses in outlying areas. These businesses desperately need reliable access to applications that most of us take for granted - like VoIP, video conferencing or even Skype. The tourism industry is perhaps affected the most since overseas visitors expect wireless Internet access when they visit guest lodges and farms."
The new service can be installed within a matter of days and will vary in costs, starting at less than R200 per month and ranging in speed from 512kps up to 15Mbps. It will also positively impact users in the city as it will act as a backup service at times where their usual connection goes offline due to cable theft or a loss of signal.
The satellite sent its first signal to Gauteng on 11 June as part of an intensive, pre-launch test period.
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