|    Rural Broadband Access


This application stems from a number of basic needs:

  • Communities beyond the fringe of mobile data networks (3G/EDGE) have limited access to data services and the Internet.
  • Schools, clinics and government offices require connectivity as a means of stimulating learning, economic development and improving regional service delivery.
  • Government has targets for improved coverage of under-serviced areas but typical "mobile" commercial models lack viability so an alternative is required.

Solution Motivation

Under-serviced areas typically enjoy special focus from government and regulatory bodies to assist with project viability. Therefore the under-serviced solution needs to address a number of aspects:

  • Frequency Spectrum flexibility – coverage of licensed and unlicensed frequency bands makes frequency spectrum applications simpler to the operator / licensee. Cost of spectrum also typically motivates the use of unlicensed bands in these areas.
  • Power requirements – solutions requiring lower energy consumption are preferred as this reduces costs of supply, backup and solar implementation.
  • Infrastructure requirements – engineering requirements for outdoor equipment, poles, masts and shelters is greatly simplified if the products are small, light and have low wind loading characteristics.
  • Cost of Ownership (CoO) – when one considers the cost of equipment, infrastructure, implementation, power backup and ongoing maintenance services, the lower the overall costs of each element, the greater the resulting value to the end-user.
  • User density and data throughput – almost any problem can be solved through technology but it is the most appropriate technology with a balance of data throughput versus coverage area and user density at the lowest price that is going to be the winner in the long run.
  • Mobile or Fixed? – This is a great debate for service providers as the ultimate solution is mobile but the most cost-effective implementations are Nomadic or Fixed. We suggest a combination of Fixed and Nomadic technologies to achieve the best fit for Rural Broadband Access.

Typical Customers/Operators:

  • Under-serviced Area Licensees (USALs)
  • Regional ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and WISPs (Wireless ISPs)
  • Regional Telco Operators
  • Municipalities / Local Governments requiring connectivity or leased-line alternatives.

Application Examples

  • UGU Municipality – Rural Broadband Network

    The requirement for UGU Municipality was to connect municipal offices, regional hospitals and a number of schools and clinics together to achieve LAN/WAN Data connectivity at around 10 Mbit/s per site (new connections, replacement and enhancement of leased-line service) as well as provide connectivity for VoIP PBX for intra-calling between municipal offices (telco bypass).
  • Project outline

    • BST supplied the StarGate and StarLink products for the application. The solution was implemented through a Value Added Reseller (Tellumat) and Regional IT/ISP company (South Coast Data Systems).
    • Project management allowed the project to be done in a phased approach
    • Involved extensive consultancy with Local Authorities
    • The Backhaul route was planned to allow for rural demographics
    • Site sharing with existing operators allowed for an efficient & economical solution to be implemented

    Ugu Municipality Rural Broadband Network

    Network Design

    Relationships and Economic Empowerment

    Relationships and Empowerment

    Site Pics...

    Site Pics

    Ugu Site Pictures

Measurement of Success

This application has been extended over three project phases so far, proving that the benefits of Frequency Spectrum flexibility, Power and Infrastructure requirements and Cost of Ownership were in line with the local government budgets. This network has performed successfully since 2009.