GS Telecom, Kingston connect businesses across Africa

JOHANNESBURG (01/20/2004) - GS Telecom Ltd., one of the largest privately owned suppliers of wireless and satellite systems in Africa, says that it is putting a host of applications, including high speed data, Internet connectivity and VoIP within the reach of businesses across the continent, via two-way satellite connectivity.

GS Telecom has selected a cost-effective solution from Kingston Inmedia Ltd., the U.K.-based satellite connectivity specialist, to enable its new VSAT service, 'AfricaConnect'.

The Kingston solution comprises collocation services for AfricaConnect's i-Direct hub, uplink on to New Skies Satellites' NSS 7 and Tier 1 Internet backbone access, enabling fast and direct connectivity to and from the remote terminals and the UK hub.

By partnering with Kingston for the two-way solution, GS Telecom says that it is able to service its corporate customers more cost-effectively, as well as offer a host of applications, such as Internet, data, Voice over IP and Virtual Private Networks.

"Thanks to the extensive reach of this particular satellite, businesses across the entire African continent, and some based in parts of Europe and the Middle East, will have access to diverse new applications. The agreement builds on a strong and mutually beneficial relationship that we have with Kingston. The company has shown a strong commitment to enhancing its collaborations with customers and satellite operations to gain the competitive edge, and this is a strategic move for us," says Phil Hewitt, GM at GS Telecom South Africa (SA).

The i-Direct hub, hosted at Kingston's London-based teleport facility, is connected to remote terminal locations via a direct satellite circuit. Each remote terminal includes a built-in router and firewall.

Data speeds from 16 to 512kbps will be available from the remote sites and up to 9Mbps from the hub to the remotes, providing fast and reliable broadband IP connections, the company says.

Rob Myers, head of marketing, carrier and data services at Kingston Inmedia, says, "This project solidifies our relationship with GS Telecom even further and we are delighted that it has chosen to work with us in the provision of AfricaConnect, a major project that goes a significant way to address the communication needs of businesses in the region."

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