Vox targets rural subscribers with satellite broadband


Vox Telecom plans to launch a "low-cost satellite internet broadband" service in June and the company expects to sign up about 40000 subscribers in the first three years of operation.

Vox has signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat, which next month will launch its YahClick satellite called Y1B, to sell capacity and market the satellite in SA. The satellite will cover 26 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Vox product manager Jacques Visser said yesterday the satellite would provide connectivity to rural and remote areas that were not covered by traditional telecommunications infrastructure.

"YahClick is a perfect broadband option for those who can’t get ADSL service, or who need a backup service in case of outages," Mr Visser said. Although the use of satellite telecommunications has been in practice for years in Africa, high costs have prohibited take-up.

"Satellite has traditionally been seen as an expensive option that’s only suitable for remote sites of large enterprises," he said. "But the technology has changed so much in recent years that it’s a real option as a primary broadband connection."

YahClick is based on the high performance Ka-band spot-beam technology, making it possible to offer efficient and low-cost service.

Vox will target farms, clinics, game lodges and schools in remote areas. It will sell the service through existing resellers and also subsidiaries such as @lantic and VoxTelepreneur. Vox’s primary focus is on internet data but it will test the viability of a voice service later.