Posted on Monday, 03 October 2011 15:46




Changing the Landscape of Rural Connectivity

How telecoms are reaching out to rural communities in Nigeria

Recent years have seen an overwhelming need to integrate a strong and reliable telecommunications infrastructure in Africa.

With over 40% of the world's population living in rural and remote areas of developing countries, emerging markets such as Africa and Nigeria in particular, hold the key to future telecoms. In fact, it can be said that developing countries will account for much of the world's new mobile phone connections, this year alone. In Nigeria especially, the need for telecommunications has grown in leaps and bounds, with millions of new subscribers every month. As such, it is clearly rural areas that are driving the next wave of connectivity growth.

The Technology Conundrum

hadOver the last decade, numerous global providers have taken the "plunge" and descended upon Africa in the hope of deploying efficient, reliable connectivity to rural populations. Indeed, Africa has witnessed the introduction of several international submarine cables with fiber optics attempting to deliver reliable, robust connectivity solutions to answer the growing demand from enterprises in the region. And, although fiber is indeed capable of providing fast, reliable connectivity within major cities, the reality is, that inland infrastructure in Africa is often limited and unreliable, not to mention subject to challenging topography and extreme weather conditions.

It is here that satellite connectivity provides a strong advantage. Satellite connectivity, by sheer virtue of its footprint, is unrivalled in the access it offers to even the most remote locations, making it an ideal solution for Africa's demanding and vast geography. Thus, satellite connectivity is the solution of choice for many of Africa's businesses whom truly understand and value the importance of being connected at all times. Moreover, proven long term efficiency, reliability and overall deployment costs have rendered satellite the most optimal connectivity choice, on many counts.

In Nigeria in particular, successive governments recognize the great disparity between the provision of connectivity services in metropolitan and rural areas, with rural areas often left at a considerable disadvantage, both technologically and commercially. In order to achieve true rural connectivity, its challenges need to be both acknowledged and worked with in regards to finding the right technology, achieving the correct cost model, and ensuring fast ROI with low financial risks.

Meeting Real Market Needs

Taking a closer look at the fast-growing Nigerian telecommunications market and its customers' needs and requirements, is the first step in building any reliable solutions offering for rural connectivity. Experience and expertise, coupled with a true understanding of telecom's, ISP's and corporate customers' needs, have a direct impact when selecting and deploying the best strategy and the solution.

As one of the continent's leading service providers, SkyVision is recognized as a true Pan-African player, dedicated to connectivity in rural areas and bettering the quality of life for rural inhabitants with real solutions based on real human needs. With its scalable, innovative, and customized satellite connectivity solutions, SkyVision has dramatically increased the number of operators adopting its solutions in rural Nigeria. Partnering with local operators to deliver quality services and investing heavily on redundancy and a resilient infrastructure to ensure the highest SLA possible, today, SkyVision provides global connectivity solutions both in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

Taking Rural Africa Global

"Although we already have vast coverage in Nigeria, we plan to expand our footprint even further in order to meet rising demand," commented Doron Ben Sira, CEO of SkyVision. "We have already developed our own POPs, hubs and teleports to provide services for the Nigerian government and local businesses and we now plan to open additional POPs nationwide, to ensure full coverage over every area within the country." he added.

Narrowing the Divide with NextGen Services

As experts in connecting rural communities, SkyVision's end-to-end Private Network and VPN solutions allow many of Nigeria's oil and gas, mining, airline, retail and financial organizations to improve productivity and efficiency for increased profitability.

One example of SkyVision's VPN is when a leading financial institution in Nigeria committed to providing their customers with convenient, reliable banking services, rolling out its ATM network to parts of the country that previously had no ATMs. The financial institute needed a provider they could trust, while keeping costs to a minimum in order to connect 90 ATM sites with seamless, reliable communications to bank headquarters. SkyVision provided a customized VPN solution that resulted in a scalable, all-inclusive monthly package for a private ATM network. The bank now boasts 90 new ATM sites, with each ATM connected to their headquarters and SkyVision VPN VSAT service at each site.

With a host of customers in remote areas now able to access convenient banking, point-of-sale, government and other public institutions' services, SkyVision continues its quest to meet and exceed new rural connectivity challenges in ever-evolving Nigeria.

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