Across Africa, where less than a third of the population has access to connectivity, achieving universal, affordable and seamless internet is an uphill battle. The Sub-Saharan African countries, more so, have one of the lowest internet penetration in the world. The geography and geo-political situations have made it difficult to install nationwide fiber infrastructure. Moreover, because of low population density the fiber and cable infrastructure are not economical for semi-urban and rural markets in these countries. So, satellite-based connectivity offers the best alternative to bring connectivity in the far regions of Africa.
Eutelsat is one of the leading companies in the world to offer VSAT based connectivity over both Ku and Ka bands. It has a constellation of 40 satellites that provide satellite coverage over remote regions of the world including Sub-Saharan Africa. Since the project had to be implemented in remote areas and by technicians with little networking and WiFi technology expertise, Indio Networks had to design a system which was easy to install operate and maintain. It was imperative to package the satellite modem and WiFi access point in a single, weather-proof enclosure to make the equipment compact and easy to mount in distant and remote places.
The integrated circuit was supposed to house the satellite modem, WiFi router and additionally a PoE circuit so that the unit could be powered remotely through CAT-5 cable. Indio Networks provided its 530N-SAT access point specially built for satellite-based WiFi. The units had to be installed in harsh African environments, so the company made sure the access points are IP67 compliant and rugged enough to handle different weather conditions. The setup needed to be automated without any manual intervention.
Indio Networks provided their cloud management platform, WiOS Cloud Manager. WiOS ensured a complete plug-n-play setup so that the field staff had to perform minimal configuration thus reducing the complexity of network deployments. All the units were monitored and managed from a single pane of glass through the OSS/BSS server. Additionally, a Local Content Storage was provided by Indio Networks. It consists of various educational, informative and entertainment services like Wikipedia, Khan Academy, Access Agriculture and Smart Content video streaming app.