If asked about finding Internet cafés, most people would probably think of them as popping up everywhere in cities around the world—in restaurants, book stores, coffee shops, and even retail outlets. But in tiny African villages or in tents in the desert? Not likely. Yet UK-based service provider Bentley Walker is doing just that—bringing satellite broadband to some of the world’s most remote locations with the recent expansion of its successful Western European service.
Whether it’s to browse the Web, stay in touch with family, or download important business information, Bentley Walker has been keeping people connected since mid-2007 with its initial Hughes HX Network Operations Center in Turin, Italy. By recently implementing two additional Hughes HX systems, Bentley Walker has now extended its broadband coverage across a wide swath of both urban and remote areas in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. So now, small businesses in towns and villages in Sub-Saharan African countries, along with hundreds of armed forces sites in Iraq and Afghanistan, can get high-speed Internet access by satellite—in some cases delivered to tent-based Internet cafés. Supporting as many as 20 computers per site, these cafés provide broadband connectivity for email, Web browsing, and VoIP—keeping troops in contact with their families and friends at home.
According to Anthony Walker, CEO of Bentley Walker Ltd, “This significant investment will clearly put us at the front of the industry in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. We are pleased to expand our business as a global NOC operator and have selected Hughes for its world-leading combination of features, performance, and a costeffective platform.”
Optimized for smaller networks, the Hughes HX System is a new generation, compact, broadband IP platform enabling operators to provide high Quality of Service (QoS) while maximizing satellite efficiency. Employing the satellite industry’s leading standard, IPoS/ DVB-S2 with ACM (Adaptive Coding and Modulation), the HX System can yield up to 50 percent greater throughput over the original DVB-S standard in the same amount of bandwidth. The adaptive nature of this technology means each terminal can be adjusted individually to account for rain attenuation, so even remote villages in Africa that receive significant rainfall are unlikely to lose service.
“Bentley Walker’s success using our HX platform is testimony to its power and benefits,” said Mike Darcy, president of Hughes Europe. “Hughes is the first to make DVB-S2 technology with ACM available in the marketplace. Our goal is to provide systems with the highest availability and most efficient bandwidth management for large and small networks alike.”
Whether it’s a tiny village in Africa when the rains won’t quit or the parched lands of Iraq, customers can rely on service from Bentley Walker’s high-performance HX Systems to stay connected.