BICS to connect Africa “notspots” with satellites

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Wholesale carrier service provider BICS is bringing IP over satellite (IPoSat) services to Africa, to bring connectivity to landlocked countries and back-up for fibre and submarine cables.

The Belgacom subsidiary said its SatFlex and MultiFlex services allow operators to keep its customers connected amid troublesome geographical and environmental locations, where fibre or submarine cabling cannot guarantee connectivity.

The provider is using its own Europe-based teleport satellite and fibre infrastructure, offering capacity from a mixture of stable and inclined orbit satellites. It said it can offer uplink and downlink speeds in the hundreds of Mbps.

Eric Loos, Senior Product Manager Capacity and IP, BICS, said: “SatFlex and MultiFlex are excellent tools for operators to ensure their customers are receiving high quality connectivity even in the most challenging of environments and circumstances. In areas difficult to reach with traditional capacity solutions, as is particularly the case for several countries in Africa, BICS satellite services can offer robust connectivity, increasing the quality of experience for millions of people.

“By using BICS’ satellite IP services, operators can ensure their customers are no longer taken completely offline by damaged fibre cabling and severe weather conditions.”

The service, which was unveiled at AfricaCom this week, is the latest example of companies using satellites for mobile connectivity. Virgin Atlantic partnered with GoGo in September to use its 2Ku satellite-based technology to connect its fleet, for example.

During the summer, Panasonic Avionics partnered with Eutelsat to use the latter's high-throughput satellites to provide in-flight Wi-Fi coverage.

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