Restoring Broadband Connectivity and Improving Lives in West Africa
Telecommunications infrastructure is fragile. As much as owners and operators attempt to harden and protect their networks, it’s an unfortunate reality that cell towers, cables, and the totality of ground equipment are highly vulnerable to natural or manmade calamities. And when damage to any part of the network interrupts communications, the impact on communities and economies is profound.
Such was the case in a Western African country with a population north of 22 million. Significant government investment in fiber networks had successfully established broadband connectivity across much of the country. However, widespread unrest and resulting damage to the telecommunications infrastructure was impacting the efficacy of the network, hampering the ability for people to communicate, transact, and conduct business. In some cases, entire towns in rural areas were completely disconnected. Repairing and restoring connectivity proved incredibly challenging for the country’s mobile network operators.
The Search for Secure Broadband Connectivity Solutions
The country’s leading mobile network operator (MNO) faced immense pressure from the government to restore connectivity as quickly as possible to offset the negative impacts on the economy each time an outage would occur. The operator sought a more sustainable and secure broadband connectivity solution and turned to Intelsat.
The MNO’s team in the country leaned heavily on the local Intelsat team to identify potential sites where satellite equipment could be deployed, design a robust network solution to ensure continuous coverage for affected areas, and procure the needed equipment to begin building the network.
Local Presence in West Africa Proves Invaluable
The initial design plan identified specific sites where available satellite equipment could be quickly deployed. In some cases, the teams were given just 24-48 hours’ notice to access a new site. Intelsat’s in market presence in the region proved invaluable in supporting the needs of the MNO customer with the knowledge, project management expertise and flexibility required for a successful implementation.
Rapid Broadband Connectivity, Powered via Satellite
In coordination with local security, the Intelsat team was able to reach even some of the most remote sites and begin establishing satellite-powered connectivity in a matter of weeks, removing much of the technical complexity for the customer. As installations ensue across all 23 sites included in the plan, Intelsat continues to work in close partnership with the customer, even training team members to manage the satellite network.
By leveraging expertise, accessing the right inventory, and removing equipment cost constraints, Intelsat has established itself as a value-added, full-service partner to the mobile network operator. In delivering more than just capacity and delivering a scalable solution that meets the unique connectivity challenges in the country, Intelsat is restoring connectivity and, at the same time, improving people’s lives.