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Boasting an immense rainforest and the world’s most voluminous river, the Brazilian State of Amazonas is home to the richest biodiversity on the planet. But the geography of this magnificent state, whose forest covers 98 percent of its land mass, also presents a daunting challenge for the delivery of high-speed Internet service on a large scale.
As the data processing company of the State of Amazonas, PRODAM provides specialized IT-based services to agencies and departments of the state administration. The huge territory and limited terrestrial infrastructure presented the company with a seemingly insurmountable challenge to provide high-speed Internet connectivity to all 61 municipalities in the state.
In Brazil, wireless WiMAX and Wi-Fi access technologies have become increasingly important in delivering broadband connectivity for end users. But backhauling traffic to and from wireless sites using fiber or other terrestrial systems is cost-prohibitive over large coverage areas like Amazonas. To solve this challenge, PRODAM defined a turnkey broadband networking system that combines wireless access and satellite backhaul technologies, and turned to Hughes to deliver the solution. Using this novel solution, PRODAM today provides highspeed wireless Internet service throughout all the municipalities of Amazonas to a wide range of customers, including government agencies, small businesses, and consumers.
The 36-month contract calls for Hughes to install and operate WiMAX and Wi-Fi wireless base stations in every municipality, together with over 900 wireless customer premises terminals, all delivered as an integrated service over its nationwide broadband satellite network. Each base station includes a high-performance Hughes HX broadband satellite router, which manages the backhauling of IP traffic over satellite channels to the HX hub located in the state capital of Manaus. The hub, in turn, is connected to PRODAM’s data center and to the Internet.
The PRODAM project is the first large-scale deployment of satellite backhaul with last-mile wireless access in Brazil.
“We govern an immense state that has continental dimensions,” said Eduardo Braga, governor of the State of Amazonas. “This technology enhances our ability to better govern the entire territory, improving the dissemination of information to our citizens and assisting decisionmaking in all areas of the administration, be it health, education, public security, or the environment.”
According to Alexandre Guimarães, technical director of PRODAM, “No single technology was enough to handle the enormous challenges of such limited terrestrial infrastructure in bringing Internet connectivity to all municipalities in Amazonas. But after intensive study, we used a blend of today’s advanced technologies to develop a hybrid solution and selected Hughes to provide the best technology and the most efficient implementation of our solution.”
The PRODAM/Hughes solution, which was deployed at the rate of five municipalities per month, includes both WiMAX networks connecting various public agencies and Wi-Fi hot spots for wireless, public Internet access.
With its innovative, high-speed Internet solution, PRODAM is not only solving connectivity problems in the State of Amazonas, but also enriching the lives of its people, who now have access to high-quality voice and data services through the power of combined satellite and wireless technologies.