Optus expands its Australian satellite network

One of the world's largest Gilat satellite hub installations

Optus today announced plans to expand its satellite network across Australia with two additional hub stations and thousands of Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs).

SkyEdge VSAT technology will provide cost-effective connectivity to regions in Australia which otherwise would not be able to benefit from broadband Internet services and will be provided by Israel company Gilat Satellite Networks.

The SkyEdge platform can serve tens of thousands of subscribers, providing high-speed IP connectivity with space segment efficiency. It also features advanced functionality such as embedded Internet acceleration.

Since it first deployed SkyEdge, Optus has expanded its relationship with Gilat several times. This latest acquisition will create one of the world's largest Gilat satellite hub installations comprising more than 20,000 VSATs.

Head of Optus Satellite, Paul Sheridan, said Gilat has helped Optus meet the challenges of building a scalable network infrastructure that supports the Australian government's broadband scheme.

The telco is part of the government's Australian Broadband Guarantee (ABG) program. "Optus is an experienced Australian satellite operator with a successful track record in delivering broadband services to customers throughout rural, regional and remote Australia who rely on satellite for their communication services," Sheridan said.

He said Optus' expansion of its SkyEdge network will support the Australian government's ABG program, which provides registered Internet Service Providers with incentive payments to supply higher-bandwidth services to regional, rural and remote areas.

During the past few years, Gilat's SkyEdge systems have been deployed by Optus to operate earlier government telecom programs -- Broadband Connect and HiBIS.

Through a variety of technologies, these previous programs enabled more than 200,000 homes and businesses overall to receive a subsidized high-quality broadband service as well as allowing an additional one million premises to gain access to broadband services.

Gilat Network Systems CEO, Erez Antebi, said the latest acquisition is proof its VSAT networks meet the requirements of leading operators.

Founded in 1987, he said Gilat has shipped over 670,000 VSATs to more than 85 countries across six continents.

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Sandra Rossi

Computerworld
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