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“Pay Per Use” Fibre Back-up Services

New financial benefits for a proven solution

Satellite services are reliable – no discussion, no argument. Yes but… it is expensive and it is slow…. Or so many people argue from inputs remembered in past discussions or perhaps from their own past experiences. Well, if that is still your view, it is time for an update. Much has changed in the satellite broadband industry, from new satellite constellations, to modem equipment developments and new commercial models.

The architect’s dilemma

Today, the user demand on network uptime and service availability is simply 100%, even if the engineers want to argue that 100% is just a theoretical value. When the network fails, it serves no purpose to explain that this failure is the 1st in 6 months and that you are still within your stated service level agreements. Business simply wants the service up and running, all the time, every time.

Add to this a possible cut in IT budgets that eliminates implementation of back-up circuit options, and we can now fully appreciate the network architect’s dilemma. Using traditional terrestrial network options, you can exclude back-up circuits and have low network availability at low cost or you can implement back-up circuits and have high network availability at high cost – yet you cannot get what business wants; high availability at low cost.

A stranger to the rescue

For these scenarios, leveraging VSAT services are the only option. Ironically, the technology that is generally perceived to be the most expensive is the only option that offers architects high availability at low cost.

Before we explain the new and exciting solution developed by Q-KON in partnership with Intelsat, here a quick recap on why is satellite is the only option. In principle, satellite is an “anywhere” technology that can connect any remote location to the enterprise core, irrespective of distance, mountains, available fibre routes, etc. Secondly, satellite is the only technology with a cost structure not fixed to a point-to-point architecture investment. Once the user equipment is installed, the service costs are totally flexible.

Thus, correctly leveraged, cleverly designed and well-implemented satellite solutions have the fundamental advantages to implement “pay-per-use” models to any remote location and offer high capacity circuit redundancy.

The Satellite IP-on-Demand Solution

In the broadcast industry, it is standard practice for the broadcaster teams to book satellite uplink services to provide TV coverage for a soccer game or global news event. This is a very well-defined and proven practice that enables remote TV crews to secure a very reliable satellite uplink service linked to an “on-demand” payment model.

We just asked why this can’t be done for IP connectivity. But it can be done.

Together with Intelsat, Q-KON developed an IP-on-demand solution to provide up to 100Mbps layer-2 fibre back-up services for enterprise networks. Linked to a “pay-per-use” commercial model, this solution can now effectively provide full redundancy for national and regional fibre networks, including circuits spanning the SADC region and beyond.

Considering typical industry fibre rates, and a general satellite IP-on-demand design, the results for a 100Mbps service from Gauteng to Botswana is that the IP-on-demand satellite service will be the low-cost option for any service disruption less than 30 hours per month.

When including the cost-saving possible during months of no failure, this becomes by far the more attractive low-cost option.

Conclusion

Advances in satellite technology, creative network engineering, clever business case modelling and strategic industry partnership can unlock all the performance advantages of satellite services while still being the lower-cost option.

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