Going Rural — Gilat Takes It to the Columbian (Sky)Edge
Gilat Satellite Networks announced that its Spacenet Rural Communications (SRC) business unit has successfully deployed a Gilat SkyEdge II broadband satellite communications network at more than 1,300 sites for the Colombian Ministry of Communications.
The SkyEdge II VSAT network delivers broadband Internet services to remote areas of Colombia, enabling citizens to benefit from email, fast web searches, streaming video content, e-commerce, social networking, and research capabilities — services that were not available to them before this project. Some of the sites also provide toll-quality telephony to rural populations, based on Gilat's VSAT technology, enabling the country's remote citizens to stay in touch with friends and family worldwide.
The new network sites are comprised of Community Internet Centers and Telecenters, each of which is equipped with computers, telephones, printers, scanners, faxes and web cams, all provided by Gilat. Each site offers broadband Internet connectivity and telephony services enabled by the SkyEdge II network. Some of the sites also include classrooms to provide citizens with audio-visual instruction. Gilat also provides training and free hours of Internet use to several communities.
The Colombian Ministry of Communications' COMPARTEL projects, awarded to Gilat in 1999 and 2002, were initiated to serve more than five million rural citizens with affordable access to reliable voice communications and high-speed Internet service. Following a long dialogue between COMPARTEL and Gilat on how to update the contract, in December 2008, the parties signed an addendum relating to the COMPARTEL projects that modified the operational milestones. The new milestones included the upgrade of technology for existing and new sites as well as the removal of thousands of telephony sites that were no longer needed or used by the rural population in Colombia. This agreement enabled the government and Gilat to redirect the project's resources according to the actual needs of rural communities. The SkyEdge II network was successfully deployed in a timely manner, under the new agreements.
"By integrating a variety of technologies, Gilat has delivered a robust solution that exceeded the established requirements. Gilat's pre-deadline deployment of the network reflects its commitment to quickly provide new communication services to the country's most isolated regions," said Colombian Vice Minister of Communications, Daniel Medina.
Medina added, "The coordination between Gilat and COMPARTEL in deploying the network will ensure that citizens in our most isolated regions will have access to information technologies and communication services. This represents a significant contribution by the Ministry of Communications to improve the quality of life for Colombia's citizens."
Gilat's SkyEdge II is a multi-service platform enabling the delivery of high-quality voice, broadband data and video services for diverse environments including enterprises, rural networks, cellular backhaul and government network applications. SkyEdge II is a standards-based system using DVB-S2 and DVB-RCS. With better efficiencies and full adaptivity for both the inbound and outbound channels, it provides higher performance that serves the growing requirements of end-users. Gilat's diverse portfolio of SkyEdge II VSATs are all supported by a unified platform, offering service providers the most suitable product for their application needs as well as the flexibility to evolve their networks. The newest addition to Gilat's SkyEdge II portfolio is NetEdge(tm), a dedicated solution for multi star networks, specifically designed to meet the needs of corporations and cellular backhaul applications.
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