Avanti Takes Next Step in Africa

[Satellite TODAY Insider 05-23-11] Avanti Communications is looking to bring the power of its Ka-band satellites to users in Africa. The operator announced May 22 that it has launched an International IP trunking proposition that “will transform international IP trunking” across Africa and the Middle East with prices as low as $500 per Mbps. The service is a major launch for the operator.
            Avanti will be using NovelSat’s latest NS3 proprietary modulation scheme. The result is an increase in spectral efficiency of up to 5 bits/HZ, observed in trials completed in early May on Avanti’s Ka-band Hylas 1 satellite. The new service will be capable of delivering high capacity bi-directional data links of up to 365 Mbps between transmit and receive sites, using the most advanced NovelSat modems.
            In a recent interview Avanti CEO David Williams said Africa was a major focus for the company. “There is sensational demand for our capacity in Africa and the Middle East with demand very high, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan where there is some major nation building activities going on and major investment in infrastructure over and above the basic security demand. We are finding that East Africa and South Africa are also generating exciting demand so I am very glad that in 2008 we made the decision to deploy capacity in Africa.”          
            Williams hints at the importance of Africa to the operator’s overall plans, and that Africa has been key right from the start of the Avanti story. He added, “Africa was the genesis of the Avanti business. It is a little known fact but my first exposure personally to the satellite industry was when I was advising a couple of French companies about the financing of some African telecoms satellites in the late 1990s. That is where I got the Space bug. We started Avanti primarily to go after the markets in Africa and, whilst it took some time to raise money from the capital markets to do it, now that we have, I am glad that we did. In the last couple of months I have noticed a major upswing in the level of interest in the capital markets in Africa.”
            For Novelsat, the deal with Avanti is further signs that the company is on an upward curve. In a recent interview with Satellite News, NovelSat Co-Chairman David Furstenberg said, “Typically, what you see with new companies coming out with new technologies in any professional business market is a three-year period, or ‘proof-of-concept’ phase, where they will sell only $100,000 to $300,000 in equipment to a small group of customers and expand from there. Novelsat, on the other hand, has already received approximately $2 million in orders in its first year. By the end of this year, we expect to have tens of millions of dollars in sales.”

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