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Intelsat, AfricaOnline in Sub-Saharan Africa broadband pact

Intelsat, AfricaOnline in Sub-Saharan Africa broadband pact.

Communications satellite services provider Intelsat has signed a partnership agreement with Gondwana International Networks subsidiary AfricaOnline to provide a managed broadband internet service for sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the agreement Intelsat will provide satellite services via Intelsat 28 located at 33° East under the agreement, while Gondwana will provide ground support and network management services from AfricaOnline's facilities at Hartebeesthoek in South Africa.

The VNO platform will leverage Intelsat's service infrastructure and Gondwana's network management expertise to facilitate deployment of Ku-band VSAT services.

Mathew Welthagen, CEO of Gondwana International Networks, said, "The upfront capital commitment and ongoing fixed operating cost structure of Ku-band VSAT has constrained expansion of services in Africa. A managed VNO platform allows for increased economies of scale, both in terms of capex and opex, and is a giant step forward in bringing cost-effective connectivity to Africa. Our ultimate goal is to drive connectivity across the continent. Our vision resonates with Intelsat."

Intelsat says this is beneficial to VSAT operators, distributors and end-users alike and because it allows VSAT operators to focus on marketing, service provisioning/support and their customers, and not on network infrastructure.

Kurt Riegelman, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Intelsat says the partnership will address what they believe is an underserved continent with relatively low internet penetration.

"Leveraging the strength of Intelsat's Ku-band satellite solutions with AfricaOnline's ground segment services will help foster business development, enhance medical and educational services to local communities, provide critical backup support during times of crisis, and enable citizens across Sub-Saharan Africa to maintain communications with friends and family within Africa and around the globe."

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