Filling SA’s broadband gap

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South Africans will have access to low-cost satellite broadband services from mid-2012 with the launch of the YahClick satellite service from Vox Telecom, says product manager Jacques Visser.

“Many South Africans still don’t have access to reliable, affordable bandwidth,” says Visser. “ADSL services aren’t available everywhere, and until now satellite Internet has been prohibitively expensive. YahClick is going to change that.”

YahClick is a project of Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat, which launched its Y1A communications satellite in April and plans to launch its second, Y1B, in December. The YahClick service will be fully tested and ready for launch to the public by April next year, says Visser.

“YahClick is a perfect broadband option for those who can’t get ADSL service, or who need a backup service in case of outages,” says Visser.

Based on Ka-band satellite technology, YahClick will offer download speeds of up to 5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 3 Mbps. “We have developed packages to suit a wide range of users, from the home user who just wants to download email and browse the web to businesses who may need to transfer hundreds of GBs a day,” says Visser.

A mid-range package offering 1 Mbps download speed, 256 Kbps upload speed and 200 MB usage per day will probably cost less than R500 a month, adds Visser.

“Satellite has traditionally been seen as an expensive option that’s only suitable for remote sites of large enterprises like mines,” says Visser. “But the technology has changed so much in recent years that it’s a real option as a primary broadband connection.”

Farms, clinics, game lodges and schools in remote areas will be among the first to benefit, says Visser, but the need is nationwide. “There are many urban areas where ADSL isn’t an option because there aren’t enough ports locally available or the exchange is full,” he says. “YahClick is an ideal solution.”

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eish, wrote

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06:08am on 16 November 2011
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I use Iburst. It is very slow and every weeks it is down for days. Totally pathetic how we have to put up with 3d world technology at prices that are higher than in the 1st world. We are the cash cows again...

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Anonymous, wrote

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11:20am on 14 November 2011
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I use 3.5 to 3.9GBday on an uncapped 384. pay 532 all inclusive

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Anonymous, wrote

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08:48am on 14 November 2011
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That’s crazy, I pay R767 pm for 10mb line with 15Gb Unshaped Cap. Now i understand this is for those who do not have an choice as they don’t have the infrastructure for ADSL but is that the customers fault. Obviously the company has done market research and know what costs are (like the MTN R285 package Uncapped-lite giving you 3GB of unshaped data then you are throttled) so why overcharge? Because you have a monopoly? Is it fair if your Doctor charges 3 times the amount for a shot because you need it?

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Anonymous, wrote

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08:21am on 13 November 2011
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HAH. Gaming? Obviously this will be more for browsing. But like you said 200mb? I use more than that a day just on youtube. The package needs more data per day. Atleast 5-10gig per month!

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Steve Lewis, wrote

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09:19pm on 12 November 2011
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Great for business most of us would love backup service to Telskom

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Nick, wrote

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06:38pm on 12 November 2011
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R500 for that! Rip off. Unlimited downloads, download speed 25mbps cost £17.00 per month

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Anonymous, wrote

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03:25pm on 12 November 2011
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good luck gaming online with that sort of pinglatency

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Bernad, wrote

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12:02pm on 12 November 2011
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Just another money making racket. This is definitely not low cost @ 200mb a day for R500 a month.

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rickety, wrote

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07:49am on 12 November 2011
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Usng geostationary satellites for internet will result in some significant lag. Although a round trip of 300ms doesn't sound too bad, you should try pinging a site with your current service to see how much the lag could affect you. I am sure there are people with needs that this service will support, but whilst it may be faster than DSL it may not seem so! Hopefully they will be able to target the right sort of customer base and be successful with that.

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