The National Russian Projects initiative has a lofty goal—to provide broadband connectivity to over 50,000 schools and rural communities across Russia. This ambitious program and a variety of other projects are all part of the government’s mandate to provide universal services that build up infrastructure throughout the country.
In many cases, these areas possess little or no telephony, not to mention Internet access. But Uralsviazinform, a leading provider of fixed and mobile telephony as well as Internet services, is making important progress toward meeting the government’s goals in the mountainous Ural region near Siberia. Uralsviazinform, part of Sviazinvest, Russia’s largest telecommunications holding company, provides communications services to 18 million customers on its cable, fiber, DWDM, microwave, and cellular networks.
In 2007, Uralsviazinform built out a satellite network consisting of a Hughes HN Network Operations Center (NOC) and 1,700 broadband terminals to extend its reach to people in the more remote areas of the Ural region. Working against an almost impossible deadline, Hughes and Uralsviazinform solicited the assistance of operators Set Telecom and IP Net to get all 1,700 sites up and running—in just four months. Today, Uralsviazinform is providing VoIP rural telephony and HughesNet Internet access to both schools and consumers throughout the area.
“Broadband and rural telephony powered by our authorized satellite network providers are really making a difference in millions of peoples’ lives across this region,” said Konstantin Lanin, sales director and head of the Hughes representative office in Moscow. “The Ural deployment schedule was particularly challenging, but its difficulties were far overshadowed by the many benefits of bringing communications to remote communities through such worthy social programs.”
The Uralsviazinform deployment and other recent contracts in this fast-growing region [See related story in Channels, Summer 2007] bring the total Hughes presence to over 23,000 broadband satellite terminals by 16 service providers operating 22 NOCs in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, making Hughes the clear market leader with over 50 percent market share. In fact, Frost & Sullivan recently awarded Hughes the 2007 Eastern European and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Market Leadership Award, recognizing its continued commitment and excellence in providing VSAT solutions to this market.