"As businesses continue to evolve in the way they communicate, and in order to compete in a global market, the requirement for fast access is clearly evident. With the advent of high bandwidth applications such as multimedia services, video conferencing and distance learning, the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth and high-speed connectivity is inevitable," comments Eduard du Plessis, managing director of InfoSat. To be on the local Internet, coupled with limitations of land-based infrastructure, is not enough by today's standard. In order to be a truly global player a company needs to be part of the global Internet, as close to the international backbone as possible with the use of satellite technology.
What we need to be aware of is that the demand for bandwidth will continue to grow as companies become more reliant on effective communication. Efficiency in communication will be a high priority, as business success becomes more demanding on people's time. Satellite, unlike cable communication, is not subjected to the same restrictions relating to data transfer and many business decision makers are starting to realise that a move now to satellite will result in future savings and improved communication efficiency.
Strategic use of satellite
"What businesses should be asking is, 'How can satellite impact on my business positively and when should satellite be considered at a strategic level?'" states du Plessis. "Each business is unique in its communication requirements, yet the goal for cost-effective, efficient improvement will be widespread. Business success will depend on it. If there is a growing demand for bandwidth within your organisation then satellite should be considered."
No distance constraints
Translated into business benefits, the most obvious and powerful advantage of using satellite is its distance insensitivity. Satellite is capable of transmitting data between continents as easily as between cities, giving companies true global access and presence. In addition to this, and more importantly, InfoSat has leveraged this feature in bringing the African continent closer to the international Internet backbone by strategically positioning teleport facilities in Europe. As a result users throughout Southern Africa can experience the true international Internet whilst increasing business performance and reducing costs.
What is more, satellite scales impressively, with transmission to 2000 locations achieved as easily as to two, all for the same price with point-to-multipoint communication, otherwise known as data broadcasting. "In the same way that a TV signal is broadcast to multiple receiver sites simultaneously, so is data broadcast to a number of 'listening' receivers," explains du Plessis.
Satellite is the only means to avoid having a fixed connection to every point of distribution. In this manner only the sender of the information is required to procure bandwidth and whether information is sent to one or multiple sites, the cost is the same. Point to multipoint communication, coupled with distance insensitivity and the ability to reach remote areas, enhances data broadcasting from not only a cost but also economies of scale and efficiency perspective.
As companies grow and require more bandwidth, upgrading the satellite connection is a contractual matter, rather than a physical one, allowing for instant upgrades and improved cost-effectiveness. Finally, satellite is "burstable": while a company will always have access to the contractually agreed-upon bandwidth, InfoSat's bandwidth manager system allocates spare bandwidth, when available, resulting in bursts of up to one and a half times the contracted value.
The bottom line - satellite communications deliver a faster payback and a greater return on investment than other broadband technologies. The cost saving potential, low barriers to entry, minimal risks and broad market and application appeal, all contribute to make satellite broadband point-to-multipoint access a powerful addition to business networks.
InfoSat, 011 721 3807
Eduard du Plessis
t: 011 721 3807
f: 011 721 3880