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Looking for portable satellite solution - Sudan ?

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May 4th, 2007 at 3:20pm  
Greetings, friends.

I am a bit new at this, and wondered if any of you would have wisdom to assist me.  Thanks in advance for your help!

I'm wanting to make arrangements to provide a small group of three (NGO) traveling to southern Sudan with internet connection for the month of July 2007, as a test for a more permanent setup that would be implemented several months later.  Does anyone know of or have experience with a portable satellite internet solution that would make sense in this context?  

Further, does anyone know of a way that we could test a service without necessarily investing huge amounts in hardware for just this month, such as a rental?  I'm not sure what is possible, but I would be glad for any commentary or pointers that any of you might have.

Gratefully,
Enten
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« Last Edit: May 4th, 2007 at 7:05pm by Eric Johnston »  
 
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Eric Johnston
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Reply #1 - May 4th, 2007 at 6:52pm  
Sudan is a risky place for high value, controversial equipment such as VSAT terminals, which give you broadband communications access worldwide.   The majority of such terminals are 1.2m diameter and are thus visible and not readily transportable.   VSAT equipment needs a transmit licence and you are vulnerable to import duties, taxes and so on.   Equipment coming from USA comes with political restrictions on its export into certain countries and Sudan is one of these.  You also have possible local law restrictions to contend with.  Having said these negative things, I guess I ought to insert here that VSAT service in Sudan is fully technically feasible and there is no technical reason at all why internet cafes, small businesses and local community WiFi ISPs should not get connected to the internet that way.  

A more stealthy approach, suitable for very limited amounts of data flow, is to use a satellite phone or BGAN internet terminal.  These are small compact devices (search Google) but the cost per Mbyte transferred is higher then for VSAT since the area of the antenna is smaller.  You may manage to get a BGAN past customs and import controls without too much tax/duty, but don't raise your hopes.

Look for a source of BGAN, R-BGAN or Satellite phone equipment from some country other than the USA, otherwise you will get involved in trying to get a special NGO export licence to Sudan, which may be difficult or refused.  A recent discussion about internet VSAT for Sudan provided this link: http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/regulations/t11facbk.pdf ; (500k bytes download file)

This is what a BGAN terminal looks like.  The antenna is the lid and you tilt it so it faces the satellite.
...

Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: May 4th, 2007 at 8:07pm by Eric Johnston »  
 
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Reply #2 - May 13th, 2007 at 2:02pm  
Thanks, Eric.  I'd begun checking out BGAN solutions, as they seemed most feasible for this initial one-month trip.  I'd also begun to think about a VSAT fly-away kit, or similar, for a longer-term installation, and your idea about getting it through our non-USA contacts (perhaps even Kenya or Uganda, especially since we're going into southern Sudan) is a good thought.

I'm still open for other comments!  Anyone out there use or have equipment available for BGAN during July, and/or have equipment or usage recommendations?

Thanks!
Enten
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Reply #3 - May 13th, 2007 at 7:31pm  
Hi Enten,

We are providing Fixed and Mobile vsat solutions ..
Thuraya, Bgan.

Regional Bgan offers IP connectivity at speeds of up to 144kbit/s (shared channel) to the internet, corporate networks, email, file transfer and allows you to stay in touch anywhere from within the countries currently covered for service.  'Always on' technology allows you to stay connected and stay in touch.  Usage is charged by the amount of data sent/received, rather than the amount of time spent online.



Service coverage has been extended to include Africa , Europe, Middle East , most of Asia and much of Australia and has recently been extended further into South America now the 2nd I4 Satellite is operational. [Please note that R-Bgan service will not be available in the USA].


We currently have a special promotion, with the RBgan Terminal available for just $US 650 (and even Free hardware with high packages and long term contracts), and new lower usage charges, including high volume user tariffs.

for more information please contact me
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« Last Edit: Feb 25th, 2015 at 5:23pm by Admin1 »  
 
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