SA farmers can celebrate Web’s 21st birthday with affordable connectivity
INDUSTRY| Aug. 7, 2012, 9:15 a.m.
On 6th August 1991, the World Wide Web became available as a service on the internet thanks to the pioneering work of Tim Berners-Lee. Twenty-one years later, connecting to the Internet remains a problem for many communities, especially those in rural areas. South Africa’s farming and rural communities have been no exception, and have lacked affordable, available connectivity—until now, that is.
“Broadband connectivity has a key role to play in stimulating our vital agricultural industry and giving rural people access to the Internet economy,” says Kallie Carlsen, technical director at Maxwell Technology. “Farmers in particular need this connectivity to access new markets and intellectual capital, as well as to ensure their safety.”
Carlsen explains that satellite communication is particularly suited for these remote areas, which are either un- or under-serviced by GSM and fixed-line networks. The sticking point has always been expense, but for the past year Maxwell Technology’s SkyeMax product has been offering an affordable alternative.
SkyeMax is a satellite-based broadband solution, and is used to provide download speeds of up to 4 megabits per second, with 10 megabits per second already successfully tested and implemented for selected clients. SkyeMax runs on the SkyeVine platform, which provides broadband satellite coverage to Africa.
“SkyeVine recently announced significant data price reductions of up to 20%, which we have been able to pass on to our customers,” Carlsen advises.
During the past year, Carlsen says Maxwell Technology has connected hundreds of rural customers, and has built up a vast body of experience in this market sector.
One satisfied client is Wens Coetzer, a game farmer and guest house owner in the northern Limpopo province. He installed SkyeMax as no landline was available. He says, “I can highly recommend SkyeMax to anybody who suffers from poor or non-existent Internet connectivity. SkyeMax has changed our life here on the farm for the better. We’re now able to keep in touch with family all around the world using Skype. There’s also a big business benefit for us. We offer farm holidays and SkyeMax’s fast and reliable Internet connection means we can handle enquiries and bookings made on our website much more effectively.”
Carlsen advises rural clients to weigh up options, and beware of signing up for packages with limited daily usage. He also warns that many so-called uncapped offerings are effectively capped by the limited bandwidth actually on offer.
“We’ve come across so many people who are tied to unsuitable long-term contracts,” he says. “You need a package that offers flexible monthly data charges and gives you the ability to manage your own costs. It’s also very important to ensure that your package isn’t subject to shaping, throttling or daily limits that constrain how you want to use the Internet,” he says.
Aside from its affordable and flexible packages, Maxwell Technology has ensured its reach by partnering with a leading distributor servicing the agricultural market. This partnership means that the dishes, telephone instruments and so on are available from agricultural stores, even in the remotest areas. Financing options are also available through the agricultural stores.
“We have proven that satellite broadband is the way to go for farming and rural communities who are not connected, or whose connectivity is compromised by copper theft,” Carlsen concludes.
MORE INDUSTRY NEWS
Telco Systems Rolls Out New 10GE High Capacity Carrier Ethernet Network for KENET in KenyaTelco Systems, the leading provider of innovative CE 2.0, MPLS, IP and SDN & NFV solutions, has announced that the company has successfully deployed a new 10GE high capacity carrier Ethernet network for the Kenya Education Network (KENET) in Kenya. Read More
GeoPoll, Kantar Media, Cuende announce first Pan-African Out of Home measurement productGlobal leaders in audience research use satellite imagery and mobile survey data to measure OOH reach in Africa. Read More
BICS blocks over 10m fraudulent call attempts with FraudGuard in 2016BICS, a global wholesale carrier for voice, mobile data and capacity services says its crowdsourcing fraud prevention platform, FraudGuard, detected and blocked more than 10 million fraudulent call attempts on its customers’ networks during the first quarter of 2016. Read More
Samsung elevates Mobile Phone picture quality with new image sensorSamsung Electronics South Africa, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, announced its newest 12 megapixel (Mp) image sensor for smartphones, which will elevate the quality of mobile phone pictures. Read More
R&M and FNT Collaborate to Launch Comprehensive Solution for Data Centre Cable Management in MEAReichle & De-Massari (R&M) and FNT Software have unveiled their joint solution for data centre cable management. Read More
Airtel Ghana educated media on data bundles and notificationsAirtel has held a sensitization workshop for representatives from leading media houses to educate them on Airtel’s data bundles and notification systems in place to alert customers when their data bundles are getting exhausted. Read More
Riverbed helps Engen centralize remote and branch office ITRiverbed Technology, the application performance company, has announced that global energy company Engen is using Riverbed solutions to centralize Remote and Branch Office (ROBO) IT, and improve productivity, back-up and data security across its multi-national organization. Read More
Carlson Wireless announces first chipset-based White Space RadioCarlson Wireless Technologies, Inc., a global leader in TV White Space (TVWS) technology, is introducing its third generation TVWS chip module, the Picasso Gen3, to the global market. Read More
Ingenico Group deploys cashless revenue collection solution in KenyaIngenico Group, the global leader in seamless payment, in partnership with Kenyan firm Tracom, has deployed a Revenue Collection solution in the County of Nyeri in Kenya. Read More
Eaton Launches Mobile Tech Day to Drive Growth in South AfricaPower Management Company Eaton today launched its first ever South Africa Mobile Tech Day, a month long exhibition to showcase the company’s solutions in commercial construction. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.