Intersat Africa pushing Astra2Connect
Written by Chris Forrester
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 08:24

Nairobi-based internet and broadband supplier Intersat Africa is working with Astra Broadband Services (ABBS) to push Astra2Connect, Astra’s broadband by satellite service.

The service will be marketed as Get2Net Satellite Broadband to customers in East and Central Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Powered by the ASTRA2Connect technology, the service will be available for end users as of Feb 1. At the same time, both companies have agreed to expand their cooperation and to also offer the service in West African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Guinea.

Intersat Africa is using ASTRA2Connect broadband platform to market Get2Net. Customers simply need a 100 cm antenna and a satellite modem. In addition, Get2Net can be used for VoIP telephony. Intersat Africa has teamed up with a number of local distribution partners, such as Kenya Data Networks, to successfully offer the service in the targeted regions.

Marketed via wholesalers and service providers, ASTRA2Connect was launched in Europe in 2007 and now claims more than 50,000 customers in 16 European countries. Distribution agreements for the African continent and the Middle East followed in the second half of 2009. Based on the success in the residential market, ABBS has further developed the ASTRA2Connect technology and also provides broadband satellite communications for the industrial (SCADA) and maritime markets.

“We would like to wish Intersat Africa all the best for the launch of Get2Net in Africa,” said Norbert Willems, MD at ASTRA Broadband Services. “We are confident that ASTRA2Connect will be just as successful in the African market as it is in Europe. With the technology, we perfectly meet the customers expectations: to offer a low cost broadband product which is available everywhere and easy to install. With Get2Net, African customers can access the internet today and no longer have to wait for expensive terrestrial broadband networks.”

“We are delighted to launch Get2Net, our satellite broadband service based on the ASTRA2Connect technology and the first service of its kind in Africa,” said Abdul Bakhrani, CEO of Intersat Africa Limited. “Get2Net will provide connectivity to underserved markets and rural Africa and will also enhance the service delivery offered by Internet Service Providers. It will help them overcome the limitations of terrestrial last mile connectivity and will be able to serve all customers irrespective of their geographical location. Get2Net will also be used to power Intersat’s Rural Intenet Kiosk initiative by offering a real broadband experience to users in remote areas.”