[Satellite News 07-31-12] UAE satellite operator Yahsat will launch its YahClick satellite broadband service in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Africa, Nigeria, and Angola starting in August, with an aim to provide wide-reaching, high-performance Internet connectivity to key business and consumer markets, the company announced July 31.
Yahsat CEO Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani said his company would soon roll out its YahClick service across a majority of its coverage area spanning a total of 28 markets in South West Asia, Africa and the Middle East by October.
“The driving force behind the launch of YahClick is our vision and understanding of specific market needs and the desire to reach communities where there is a requirement to develop and deliver quality customised satellite broadband internet solutions,” Al Hosani said in a statement. “Working with service partners who are experts in their fields is an invaluable asset to the business.”
The YahClick is provided via Yahsat’s Y1B satellite, which was successfully launched in April 2012. Y1B is the first satellite in the region to offer Internet connectivity through Ka-band multi-spot beams, with reusable frequencies that aim to maximize spectrum efficiency. The service roll out represents an important step in Yahsat’s plan to support the expansion of its commercial services on its Y1B satellite. The entire service network is managed from a central network operations center in Abu Dhabi, which receives 24-hour support from Hughes Network Systems.
Mubadala ICT Executive Director Jassem Mohammed Al Zaabi said the offering elevates Yahsat’s status as a true global player.
“The development is in line with our own mission of economic progress for the Emirate to diversify and harness expertise in various industries,” said Al Zaabi. “Yahsat has appointed market leading service partners in its launch markets through a highly selective process from a wide applicant pool of reputable and experienced telecommunications providers. “
Al Hosani added that Yahsat’s YahClick service partners would soon be announcing a range of high-speed, cost effective-packages with broadband speeds as high as 15 Mbps.
“[These services] are suited to provide the most underserved markets where internet connectivity is scarce, and even some of the better connected urban areas for backup solutions,” said Al Hosani. “The percentage of internet users in Africa is far below the levels shown in other regions. Improved broadband services in Africa will lead to a significant increase in the number of people within reach of Internet services. Today, broadband services are a necessity, providing much needed access to information, education, government services, and opportunities to trade and prosper. Other markets where there is great potential are the fast developing consumer markets in the Middle East and South West Asia. We look forward to seeing our YahClick service making a strong impact on the economies of these regions.”
According to various market studies from Internet World Stats, Africa has only a 6.2 percent share of the world’s Internet users despite being home to 15 percent of the world’s population. A recent World Bank study also showed a 10 percent increase in the world’s broadband penetration. The development is especially important to the Middle East, Asia and Africa regions where Internet penetration is relatively low in comparison to North America, Australia and Europe. Through increased broadband penetration, Yahsat said it believes communities would be empowered and equipped to drive their own economic success forward and referred to these statistics as highlighting the need for a service such as YahClick.
“Satellite broadband solutions provide a significantly more reliable service compared to some terrestrial Internet services,” Yahsat said in the company announcement. “With an uptime availability of 99.5 percent, the reliability of broadband satellite Internet is the key differentiator between the two forms of internet connectivity systems. The reliability of the YahClick connection sets it apart from terrestrial services thanks to the state-of-the-art satellite communications technology it deploys.”