Vox Telecom has announced today that they have received the first transmission from Y1-B, South Africa’s first Ka-band satellite, starting the countdown towards realising their plan of bringing a more affordable, high-speed satellite broadband service to both rural and urban areas by 1 August 2012.
Vox Telecom launched the service in conjunction with Abu Dhabi-based company Yahsat under the brand name YahClick last month. Y1-B is the first satellite of its kind in Africa.
Ka-band satellites transmit many highly focused, overlapping ‘spot beams’, each covering a relatively small area, which allows for access to greater bandwidth at a lower cost.
“We opened the Gauteng spot beam for testing on Monday and received an extremely strong signal, with the remaining spot beams around SA coming online soon” Jacques Visser, Vox’s YahClick Project Manager has stated. “Our focus at the moment revolves around testing the platform “in the field” and to ensure that our technical staff and resellers are fully trained and ready to start installing the product when we officially launch the product on the 1st of August.”
Although the service is expected to provide reliable backup for urban broadband users who may occasionally lose transmission due to cable theft or loss of signal, Vox Telecom’s first objective is to provide much-needed high-speed bandwidth to rural businesses and communities.
“66% of our @lantic customers live in isolated areas, which led us to believe that there is a significant, untapped market for more affordable and diverse Internet services in rural communities,” Visser says.
Vox has previously announced that the YahClick service will comprise of a range of packages, starting with a basic plan priced at under R200 per month, to more comprehensive business packages that allow for faster downloads and greater data usage.
“We want this service to be as accessible as possible in terms of availability and affordability,” Visser said. “We’ve already put hundreds of installation service providers in place around the country (in addition to our existing distribution network), to meet the needs of the customers who will be applying for the service or whom are already on the waiting list. This will not only allow for speedy installations but will give outlying customers access to localised after-sales care and support. This is a major milestone for South Africa and we’re looking forward to changing the SA broadband landscape.”