A joint effort by Gilat Telecom and SES has seen to the restoration of internet connectivity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after four days of disruptive connection, resulting from the damage of undersea sea cables. The damaged submarine cable systems on the high seas in Europe have in the past week disrupted internet performance in 12 West African countries, including the DRC.
A press release published by SES yesterday, stated that the move to restore service to Gilat Telecom’s DRC customers was accomplished by the company enabling the “leveraging unparalleled high-throughput, low-latency O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite capabilities.” Noteworthily, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance.
Speaking on the partnership between both companies in delivering high connectivity in the DRC, the CEO of Gilat Telecom, Dan Zajicek said that the high-throughput, low-latency satellite solutions and applications enabled by SES demonstrate their reliability and performance as it is changing the availability of internet connectivity in the country over the past years.
“It has now been the fifth consecutive year that we are delivering highly reliable seamless services thanks to MEO, reaching underserved and unserved locations where fibre cannot be deployed or has been compromised. This has been revolutionary for the MNOs we serve, who are now able to deploy services that require low latency,” he was quoted in the release.
In responses, Carole Kamaitha, Vice President, Sales Africa at SES Networks, said “providing support for Gilat Telecom’s efforts in extending high-performance connectivity throughout the DRC has been a great privilege for us, and we are proud to have been enabling this transformational endeavour with O3b’s fibre-like connectivity solutions over the past years. We cannot be more excited to see our longstanding partner and early adopter of O3b MEO growing, while unlocking more and more opportunities for MNOs in the DRC, this time taking advantage of the multi-orbit network that combines the benefits of MEO low-latency with the incredible reach of GEO.”
In 2014, Gilat reached a partnership with SES as an O3b MEO system customer, allowing use the multiple Gbps of bandwidth on the O3b system. Recently, the Telecom expanded its agreement with SES to include services via the company’s Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites. The new deal will enable Gilat Telecom to provide more bandwidth to rural areas and extend services beyond Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, reaching unserved or underserved in Kisangani, Mbuji-Mayi and Bunia, to customers such as Orange DRC. The service will also enable Telecom to deploy 4G/LTE networks and support cloud computing services, even in the remotest areas of the DRC.
SES S.A is one of the world’s leading communication satellite owner and operator with over 70 satellites, including the European Astra TV satellites, the O3b data satellites, AMC, Ciel, NSS, Quetzsat, YahSat and SES in geostationary orbit (GEO) and medium Earth orbit (MEO). The company operates and provides video and data connectivity worldwide to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions, with a mission to “connect, enable, and enrich”.
Gilat Telecom, on the other hand, is an Israel-owned communication solutions provider that offers satellite and fibre-based connectivity solutions in over 50 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The company deliver high-quality, cost-effective and efficient communication solutions to telcos, ISPs, governments, enterprise customers and international organisations.
Ogechi Onuoha is a Cambridge Certified ESOL editor with a background in reporting, international relations, creative writing and adept in industry research and analysis. She is passionate about curating and evaluating the benefits/relevance of space to grassroots development and women’s participation in the space sector.