Gilat Satcom said it will provide non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Africa with free broadband connectivity over its satellite networks. Gilat Satcom is a long-term sponsor of NetHope, a consortium of 43 NGOs that specializes in improving IT connectivity among humanitarian organizations in developing countries and areas affected by disaster.
Members of NetHope can now receive a free 1,280 Kbps/256 Kbps connection from Gilat Satcom for two sites anywhere in Africa. For NGOs requiring more bandwidth, Gilat Satcom has a number of other free packages which include complementary equipment or installation plus a free Iridium mobile satellite phone for communication in case the site is down.
Gilat Satcom also recently launched its Village Island service which provides villagers in rural Africa with VoIP, Video over IP, cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity from USD 1 per month per person. The service is targeted at NGOs, governments, mobile and telephony operators, ISPs and community organizations and groups such as churches, schools and village chiefs.
Village Island provides connectivity to a private Village Nano-ISP which is responsible for selling voice and data services direct in the village, billing users and paying the monthly service charge to the provider. Gilat Satcom will provide detailed business plans to enable both the network providers and Village Nano-ISPs to build profitable and commercially sustainable services.