Cable & Wireless Optus today announced its plans to deliver Australia's first two-way broadband satellite internet service, selecting equipment from Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd (Nasdaq: GILTF).
The Optus service will utilise Gilat's SkyBlaster™ Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)equipment. VSAT technology allows the use of small fixed satellite antennas to provide communication between a central hub and multiple geographically dispersed sites.
The customer premise equipment consists of a small satellite dish connected to a VSAT indoor terminal, similar in size to a video recorder.
Optus has been successfully trialing the service on a pilot basis since February 2001, and will target the education, government and corporate markets.
Chris Hancock, Managing Director, Data & Business Services, said that Optus corporate and business customers will now have access to "always on" broadband services anywhere in Australia.
"Data is the lifeblood of most businesses, and broadband access is fast becoming a "must-have" for organisations.
"With the introduction of this satellite service Optus can provide ubiquitous, two-way broadband coverage of the nation, complementing our existing broadband cable and Digital Subscriber Line(DSL) capabilities.
"This satellite coverage is the last piece in the broadband puzzle, and will strongly appeal to businesses without access to other high-bandwidth solutions. Regardless of geography, our business and education customers will now be able to access high-speed communication services," Mr Hancock said.
Gilat's SkyBlaster™ VSAT technology supports IP applications such as internet access, intranet access, video streaming, interactive distance learning, transaction-based services, multicasting and webcasting.
Mr Hancock said the Optus satellite broadband service is best suited for content-rich businesses and organisations such as schools, technical colleges, universities and training providers, advertising and multimedia firms and health services.
"This service will offer significant benefits to business customers with the "always on" connection. It will take away the need to dial up to the internet and eliminate the need for a separate telephone line dedicated to internet use," he said.
The broadband satellite platform will provide content delivery speeds capable of scaling up to 52.5 Mbps, with a high-speed, always-on 153 kbps satellite return channel.
Gilat VSAT technology is already used to deliver two-way broadband services in the United States through StarBand Communications Inc, as well as in Europe, China, India and Brazil.
For more information:
Cable & Wireless Optus
Phone: +61 2 9342 5045
About Gilat SkyBlaster™ broadband technology
SkyBlaster™ is an interactive satellite networking solution designed for IP applications. It combines industry-standard Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) technology with Gilat's inbound satellite access technology to provide high-performance, cost-effective, two-way connectivity for a wide array of content delivery and other multicast and interactive applications.
About Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd.
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. is a leading provider of telecommunications solutions based on VSAT satellite network technology. The Company provides satellite-based, end-to-end enterprise networking and rural telephony solutions to customers across six continents, and markets interactive broadband services.