Uganda set to accelerate 3G infrastructure in rural areas

UCCUganda Communications Commission (UCC) has joined forces with Intelsat satellite services and Gilat Satellite Network’s ground infrastructure to deploy the 3G wireless communications infrastructure and expand high-quality broadband access in rural Uganda

Under a pilot programme, the UCC will use IntelsatOne Mobile Reach Solar 3G satellite services delivered via the Intelsat 37e satellite and Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c multi-application platform to provide high-quality, resilient and affordable broadband connectivity to two communities – Bufundi in Rubanda and Kibuku in Ntoroko.

The service aims to enable Uganda to quickly and seamlessly extend broadband connectivity to rural areas of the country in a cost-efficient manner.

The objective of the remote connectivity project is to demonstrate the ease of deploying the satellite solution and study the commercial viability and sustainability of the solution. This effort will be instrumental in helping to accelerate the Uganda government’s broadband strategy, particularly its goal of achieving minimum broadband speeds of three Mbps and coverage of 100 per cent of Uganda’s rural areas by 2020.

Committed to working with member states to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (ITSO) played a critical role in coordinating efforts and bringing the private and public entities together to benefit the two communities in Uganda.

“Extending broadband connectivity and delivering fast, affordable Internet services to everyone in Uganda remains one of the Uganda government’s primary missions,” said Godfrey Mutabazi, executive director of UCC. “With more than 80 per cent of our population living in rural areas, this has been a technological and budgetary challenge. With this combined effort and the innovative approach the companies are bringing, we believe citizens in some of our most isolated communities will experience the power of reliable connectivity and the economic and social benefits it delivers.”

Under the partnership, Intelsat oversees the space segment, traffic configuration and project management, while Gilat Satellite Network supplies, installs and maintains the ground network infrastructure. This results in a turnkey, solar-powered package that provides everything an MNO needs to expand 3G service over a 2.5km radius, including power supply, monopole and all satellite and cellular equipment.

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