Gilat Satcom, a provider of satellite and fiber-based connectivity services in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, has revealed that it is providing voice and high-speed data to ten villages in the states of Adamawa, Borno, Kano, Katsina, Oyo and Yobe in Nigeria.
According to the company’s press release, it’s Village Island system has been deployed in each village and provides a full communications system that includes VSATs, Wi-Fi routers, solar-power, two communal tablets per village as well as service management.
The company further stated that it is also providing the satellite connectivity to its VSATs in each village. The integrated Wi-Fi networks then provide local connectivity for data and VoIP to the communal tablets as well as to devices – phones, PCs, tablets and laptops – already owned by villagers and local businesses. The entire system is housed in a purpose-built communications block (the Community Hub) in each village.
Gilat Satcom’s Village Island solution was chosen by Nigeria’s Total IT Solutions as the infrastructure and service platform for the Community Hub networks. Total IT Solutions are currently rolling out the networks on behalf of Nigeria’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) which was established to facilitate the extension of ICT and network services to rural, unserved and underserved areas of the country.
The latest figures from the USPF are that around 36.8 million people in Nigeria live in areas that are more than 5km from a BTS and are therefore considered underserved or unserved.
According to Eran Yoran, CMO and Head of Business Development at Gilat Satcom, “Providing affordable access in rural Africa is an ongoing theme for the telecoms industry. 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.”
Muhammad Yahya Sanda, CEO of Total IT Solutions, said: “The 10 village networks already exceed my expectations – and, most importantly, the expectations of the villagers. We all have friends and family in rural areas and now they are connected to us and to education, medical services, commerce and so much more. Gilat Satcom’s Village Island is an extremely well-designed, self-contained system and key to the success of this project. Village Island enables us to build low-cost networks which can easily scale with demand.”
Following the success of these networks, Total IT Solutions plans to rollout hundreds more across rural Nigeria using Gilat Satcom’s Village Island system.
Image via: Daniel_lw on Flickr.