SA farmers can celebrate Web’s 21st birthday with affordable connectivity

INDUSTRY

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
SA farmers can celebrate Web’s 21st birthday with affordable connectivity

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. 



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE INDUSTRY NEWS

Orange Business Services launches worldwide location services for Machine to Machine SIM cards

The new Machine to Machine (M2M) worldwide geolocation offering from Orange Business Services provides real-time location tracking of corporate assets and equipment anywhere in the world via cellular networks, regardless of the operator. Read More

Solarcentury to build the largest carport solar system in Africa

Solarcentury is to design and construct Africa’s largest solar carport on the uppermost storey of a car park at Garden City Mall, part of the new 32-acre integrated residential, retail park, hotel and office development on Nairobi’s Thika Superhighway.   Read More

Pamoja, the platform of choice for DHL

RUBiQ, a Cloud solution that is run on Cloud platform infrastructure from leading Cloud services company Pamoja, has served as the platform of choice to expand DHL’s global back office systems. Preliminary testing has revealed that the project has been successful. Read More

PayPal announces collaboration with PayGate in South Africa

With the announcement of a partnership between PayPal and local payment service provider PayGate, it is now easier than ever for merchants to accept online payments in South Africa. Read More

World’s first biocompatible and non-toxic technology for antibacterial plastic

Parx Plastics is launching its first ready to use Saniconcentrates™ for manufacturers in Europe and the US to safely create self-sanitizing products with an antibacterial property of up to 99% within 24 hours. Read More

Gemalto unveils hub service to accelerate mobile payment and other secure services

Gemalto, a world leader in digital security, has introduced its Allynis Trusted Services Hub, a turnkey business service that enables financial institutions, enterprises, transport operators and more generally all digital service providers to benefit from a single connection in order to securely deploy their value-added and mobile payment services across ... Read More

Orange Business Services wins satellite contract with BW Offshore

BW Offshore has signed a 5-year, $12 million contract with Orange Business Service for an end-to-end satellite communication solution for its fleet of highly-specialised oil and gas production vessels. Read More

Q-KON connectivity solution for Africa’s Point of Sale headache

South African telecommunications engineering firm Q-KON, has demonstrated the advantages of using the StarLight Satellite Access Service to deliver reliable connectivity for Point-of-Sale applications and to provide support to service providers who need to address issues that hamper connectivity for PoS devices across Africa.   Read More

Rapid Response launched with Pamoja Cloud service

Rapid Response, an award winning mobile emergency application, is now available to South African mobile-users, providing a fast link to help at hand when they need it most.   Read More

MTN App of the Year: Zapper zaps Best Microsoft app, wins Consumer Choice Award

Already taking the restaurant business by storm across South Africa, Europe and beyond, secure payment app Zapper has notched up two wins at MTN’s App of the Year competition.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. 

IN DEPTH

NIG President speaks his mindNIG President speaks his mind

Bayo Banjo, CEO, Disc Communications and President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) says the proposed licensing of infrastructure companies by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) will breed corruption and entrench monopolistic practices. Kokumo Goodie reports.