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Gilat Satcom unveils satellite service for rural Africa

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Gilat Satcom has unveiled the launch of its ‘Village Island’ portfolio, which according to the company enables rural villages and remote communities in Africa where ARPUs are low to take control of their digital futures. According to the company, the Village Island will be launched at the Innovation Access Digital Africa summit, which is set to take place during 14th-16th April at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

The company revealed that Village Island has been developed to provide internet, VoIP and IP video over a private satellite network. According to Gilat Satcom, this will allow connectivity for individual villagers starting from USD 1 a month.

By Darryl Linington

Village Island has been developed to provide internet, VoIP and IP video over a private satellite network.

The company also stated that its Village Island will be provided by governments, NGOs, cellular and telephony operators, major ISPs and others to a group acting as the Village Nano-ISP. This group could be a church, a school, a village chief or another community organisation.

The private Village Nano-ISP will be responsible for selling the services direct in the village, billing users and paying the monthly service charge to the provider. Gilat Satcom provides detailed business plans to enable both the network providers and the Village Nano-ISPs to build profitable and commercially sustainable services.

Eran Yoran, Director Marketing & Business Development of Gilat Satcom stated that: “Providing affordable access in Africa is an ongoing theme for the telecoms industry. There are many entrepreneurial people living in rural Africa who would gladly run a network if they had the tools and know-how available to make it work. We have worked for a long time to provide a solution which is both affordable for the village end-user and profitable for the entire supply chain.”

Yoran added that: “Village Island is economically self-sustaining and scalable so it can grow with demand and with a minimal additional investment. We have established a business plan that targets users with $1 a month to spend on telephony and is still profitable.”

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