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Gilat, Intelsat in satellite partnership to bring 2G/3G to remote regions

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Solution provider for satellite-based broadband communications Gilat Satellite Networks and satellite operator Intelsat have announced a partnership under which they aim to deliver 2G and 3G connectivity to underserved areas by using Gilat’s CellEdge small-cell-over-satellite solution combined with Intelsat’s satellite solutions.

According to the two companies, operators are increasingly turning to satellite providers in their efforts to expand subscriber base, comply with service obligations and extend coverage to remote communities. They claimed the combined Gilat CellEdge-Intelsat solution provides the means to do this quickly and profitably.

The first example of the collaboration is a deployment for RuralCom, Vancouver-based operator with licences covering the length of the Alaska Highway and the British Columbia (BC) North Coast. The implementation provides coverage to a 1000-mile long area through Intelsat’s global satellite fleet, including Intelsat Horizons 1 satellite and IntelsatOne terrestrial network. The CellEdge 3G network then apparently optimises space segment usage via a hub located at an Intelsat teleport.

“At Intelsat, our mission has always been to provide satellite solutions that can deliver broadband connectivity to any location,” Stephen Spengler, Deputy CEO of Intelsat said. “The innovation and collaboration occurring throughout the satellite ecosystem, such as the optimisation of Gilat’s platforms on the Intelsat EpicNG infrastructure, result in attractive and efficient solutions for MNOs that connect their subscribers and support profitable growth for their businesses.

“Our collaboration with Gilat provides MNOs with a seamless and cost efficient way to deploy and expand their wireless networks, and the opportunity to transition over time to the higher performance of Intelsat EpicNG as it begins entering service in 2016.”

Erez Antebi, Gilat’s CEO said: “Teaming up with Intelsat brings tremendous value to our joint customers. Intelsat’s vast global array of fully integrated, end-to-end satellite solutions, together with our innovative all-inclusive solution, allows operators to extend their cellular coverage to virtually anywhere in the world within two to three months.”

According to RuralCom’s President and CEO, Bob Hillman there are vast areas along the Alaska Highway and BC coast that have no existing wireless service. “We believe that providing such coverage greatly benefits the public safety and brings significant protection to life and property,” he said.

“We searched for the most advanced technology and equipment and chose the Gilat-Intelsat solution for their innovative cost-effective offering coupled with their vast rural expertise in deploying under harsh environmental conditions.”

The idea of using satellite technology to better coverage in remote regions is an interesting one, and the unconnected market is potentially huge. Therefore we are likely to see an increasing amount of activity in this space. Virgin and Qualcomm recently also announced a joint venture to build, launch and operate a satellite constellation aimed at providing internet access and telephony to some of the remotest parts of the world.

 

Check out details of the VSAT Latin America here  

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