SES Broadband Services (SBBS) deploys its 'Astra Connect for communities' satellite broadband service to 15 German villages located in several regions of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (North East Germany) and villages in the South West of Germany. We spoke to Ralf Kierspel, Senior Manager of SBBS to find out more about these exciting projects.
Newtec’s broadband technology is playing a key part with this new broadband service. SBBS, together with their system integrator, is setting up headends in villages each comprised of our broadband equipment (including the MDM3100 IP Satellite Modem ,see left) and a 1.2 m antenna which is connected to a WiFi transmitter to cover a vast area of the village.
Why was Germany chosen to be part of this project?
Ralf Kierspel: We have put a key focus on Germany because there is a high demand for Internet connection, especially in the rural villages. For example, in the village of Greimerath in the South-West of Germany, which has a population of around 1000 people, there is no fiber connection into the village because of its forest location. Unfortunately the state government and the telecom provider did not want to give the 300KEUR infrastructure investment it needed, nevermind the other investment that would be needed for the distribution of the services.
Why now? What is driving you?
Ralf Kierspel: There is a growing pressure to bring infrastructure into villages to give them connectivity across the whole of Europe. Recently in Germany, satellite services have been eligible to apply for government funding to partly subsidize the infrastructure investment, and SBBS won the tenders to provide broadband internet throughout Germany with the villages of Greimerath and Hofstaetten being set up first.
We began planning the project in 2010 and since then we developed the new Astra Connect WiFi service, allowing an entire residential or commercial community to connect to broadband internet via a single central satellite antenna.
Now three years later we have installed this network into two German villages (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern installations to follow), after ordering the relevant broadband terminal equipment from Newtec (incl the MDM3100 IP Satelllite Modem). These have been in operation since 15 December 2013.
In Greimerath, three headends have been installed to serve the whole town, while in Hofstaetten, which has around 60 residents, one headend will serve the entire community.
How is the network technically set up?
Ralf Kierspel: The headend is comprised of a Newtec terminal (1.2 m antenna, 4 W BUC, MDM3100) and a local server running the Newtec network optimization technologies (NOP) connected to a WiFi transmitter to cover a vast area. The end user equipment (see right figure ''household') consists of an outdoor WiFi antenna the user connects to the local network or PC.
This technology allows us to provide the villages with download speeds of up to 25Mbps and upload speeds of up to 6Mbps.
If I was mayor of a village, why would I choose to have this network installed for the community?
Ralf Kierspel: The top reasons for this are really simple: Firstly it is capable of being installed immediately and is very easy to do so. It took us only two days to install our service into one of the villages recently, and it went very smoothly. Secondly it is extremely efficient and can give 100% coverage to an entire village. And thirdly it provides considerably lower cost alternative to fiber. The minimum spend for this service is 25,000 Euros per headend, so it is very cost effective for geographically challenged locations.
And btw, I am a mayor of a village here in the region of the first installed platforms, so I am speaking here really from my heart.
What are the plans for the future?
Ralf Kierspel: We have further Astra Connect WiFi networks contracted for deployment in East Germany in 2014. There is also high demand in other European countries, and Worldwide.
More details of the SBBS' offers and the solution can be found here: www.astraconnect.de/gemeinden.
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