Monday, 29 September 2014
RURAL BANKS, SCHOOLS TO GET INTERNET VIA SATELLITE
Belgium satellite Internet provider SatADSL is rolling out the technology in remote areas in East Africa, to power financial institutions and schools broadcasting services.
“VSAT equipment linked to the satellite and connected to ATMs in rural areas in Kenya and Uganda will increase financial services penetration. This will be expanded to Tanzania and Ethiopia,” said Mr Dothey.
The firm has partnered with Indigo Telecom in Kenya and Uganda’s Maisha Network to enable banks with microfinance institutions to install automated teller machines (ATM) as well as provide money transfer services.
SatADSL’s business development director Michel Dothey said small VSAT equipment with dishes that cost about $500 will help commercial banks and money transfer firms to expand their branch network in remote areas.
East Africa has limited terrestrial telecommunications coverage outside of urban areas where the population is less dense. Telecommunication links where available may not be as reliable as needed by professional users.
Mobile phone operators are setting the pace by providing low-cost banking and putting pressure on banks to embrace the technology and become innovative through customer oriented corporate culture and service delivery.
“VSAT equipment powered by a small solar panel provides ATM and money transfer transactions on real-time basis by running less than 30 watts of electricity. A laptop consumes about 70 watts of power,” said Mr Dothey.
Banks in Ghana, Cameroon and Zambia have used VSAT technology to deploy ATMs in remote areas. The equipment can be used to avail Internet connectivity by creating low-cost hot spots with 100 megabits sold for about $1.
The East African