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Arabsat to Launch Arabsat Expand Satellite Broadband Service

Arabsat’s BADR-7. Image courtesy of Astrium.

Arabsat Broadband Services has launched a new satellite broadband service called Arabsat Expand, offering 10 Gigabytes of Internet broadband access powered by Forsway’s Hybrid Router technology.

Arabsat Expand has been designed and implemented by SatConsultant for Arabsat Broadband Services.

The new service aims to bridge the digital divide in Africa, Middle East, and Europe using Forsway’s ODIN™ hybrid router, costing U.S.$100 per unit, to provide 10 Gigabytes of Intenet broadband as low as U.S.$5 a month.

Arabsat Expand will be delivered using excess bandwidth on Arabsat’s BADR-7 high-throughput Ka- and Ku-band satellite.

“While bandwidth prices tend to dominate discussions of the fitness of satellite as a mass-market service, hardware costs, ease of installation, and licensing requirements are all huge obstacles to overcome,” said Tobias Forsell, Managing Director of Forsway. “A complete kit with our ODIN™ router can be had for less than $100. It can be installed by anyone who can point a satellite TV dish, with no interaction from a network operations centre. And, because there’s no satellite transmitter, there’s no need for a VSAT transmit license.”

“Access to the Internet is today’s number one enabler of economic mobility,” said Wael Mohammed AlButi, Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Arabsat. “You can learn to repair your car from Youtube, about farming from the Cornell Cooperative Extension, and programming from Khan Academy. We all want to change the world for the better and bringing affordable Internet access to developing markets will do just that.”

Christof Kern, General Manager of Arabsat Broadband Services, said, “This is the first service offered by Arabsat’s newly created business unit for Broadband Services. We have found the Forsway technology reliable and useful for providing these services in areas where the performance of the Internet is questionable due to under-performing 2G and 3G networks. Anyone who is suffering from a low bandwidth service today will be able to increase their speeds with this new service; it is literally bringing the entrance barrier to a price level everyone will be able to afford. We will offer competitive entrance models to empower businesses and end-users alike throughout Africa and Middle East.”

Finally, Travis Mooney, Principal Consultant at SatConsultant, said, “This project flips the use of satellite on its head. Satellite is now ready to compete against terrestrial connectivity in urban areas, and not just in areas unserved by fibre and wireless connections. And as long as the industry wakes up to the availability of this new business model, the technology and the approach, the days when satellite bandwidth and CPE were way too expensive for users of all kinds are over.”






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