Rodrigues Island, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is the easy-going version of Mauritius, 560 kilometers to the west. It is a small island, with about 40 000 inhabitants, beautiful beaches and not a single traffic light. And, since a couple of weeks: a redundant set of Newtec modems. Together with a new 7.3m antenna and RF chain, these modems will provide a link of 100 Mbit/s over satellite towards Rodrigues, increasing the backbone internet connection to the island by a factor four.
Together with SkyVision, the main contractor for this project, we configured the modems first at Newtec headquarters back in July. After an exhaustive test of the device setup and operations, there was still sufficient time for shipping the devices to the Mauritius Telecom teleports on both sides of the IP trunking link.
At the beginning of October, it was time for the installation.
The Mauritius Telecom teleport on Rodrigues is in a gorgeous location, overlooking the coral reefs and the town of Port Mathurin, with a great sunset almost every evening. With the modems and the redundancy switch configured up front, the on-site installation itself consisted mainly of connecting them to the new satellite transmission and reception system, but also integrating them into the IP backbone network of Mauritius Telecom.
Once everything was set up and connected, we were able to receive the big carrier from Mauritius, and ready to transmit the return carrier back.
Then the testing and fine tuning of the link could begin. With S2 Extensions and ACM enabled, we were able to use 64APSK on both the forward and the return link, easily reaching the 100 Mbit/s and 20 Mbit/s that were required. Different IP setup scenarios were tested successfully. The redundancy switch worked perfectly with any possible outage scenario.
Finally, at the end of the installation we had an extensive handover training as usual, with hands-on exercises on all devices.
With everything and everyone set up for a good operation of the new link, it was time to leave again, leaving Rodrigues a fair bit better connected to the global internet.