13 July 2022
YahClick, the satellite broadband service of UAE-based global satellite operator Yahsat, digs deep to help the mining sector of Sudan
The mining sector plays a significant role in the Sudanese economy with the country emerging as one of the largest gold producers in the world. In an increasingly competitive environment, mining corporations need to make decisions quickly to minimize risks to their business. These decisions can be made only after assessments of operational information from multiple sites. To gain competitive advantage, companies urgently require internet-based communication systems, which can facilitate transfer of data in real time.
Mining is concentrated in areas that are generally inaccessible, and outside the range of terrestrial telecom networks. As a result, data transmission can become quite challenging - underground areas are difficult to access with traditional radio waves weakening and unable to penetrate obstacles and mine surfaces. Besides, there is a high probability of wired communication systems getting damaged in landslides or explosions.
“After installing YahClick’s satellite internet solution, we could successfully introduce modern systems for greater operational safety and secure data exchange at our mine that had previously been isolated from the world, as the nearest cellular network is 150 km away”
YahClick customer, Nizar El Tijani
Satellite networks have enabled mining companies to overcome all technological barriers and provide high-speed broadband to remotely based work teams. Satellite communications systems ensure that users are able to exchange real-time information regardless of location, thus accelerating the decision-making process.
YahClick’s customer required satellite broadband, public Wi-Fi and Point-to-Point services to link multiple work sites and crew on the move. Covering 180 remote locations, the project commenced in February 2021. By June 2021, YahClick’s satellite broadband service was activated at 40 sites across Sudan. Due to the remoteness of locations, transportation of terminals and other hardware proved to be difficult. Fuel shortage, vehicle malfunctions and non-availability of spare parts further complicated the deployment process. To expedite work, YahClick’s support personnel switched to travelling in convoys, instead of solitary vehicles. Moreover, they ensured that the equipment had a stable power source in off-grid areas, working closely with the client’s IT department to set up the internal network and identify locations to install the terminals. YahClick’s’ ecosystem consists of Ka-band links, Mikrotik routers, Mesh access points, network controllers, Point-to-Point access points and IP phones.
Connecting the unconnected remains a challenge in Sudan, because of major coverage and usage gaps in terrestrial broadband and mobile internet. With mining activity concentrated in areas unserved by cellular networks, companies have no options, other than satellite broadband, to connect remote sites and manage operations.
In early 2021, a gold prospecting company approached YahClick for high-speed satellite broadband to link its multiple work sites, monitor onsite operations and dormitories. It also needed public Wi-Fi and Point-to-Point services to supplement communications among workgroups on the move. Since maintenance of terrestrial systems is difficult in remote environments, the customer expected a robust and scalable solution capable of withstanding extreme conditions, while delivering uninterrupted communications.
Uniformly available across North Africa and highly affordable, YahClick’s high-speed satellite broadband service can simultaneously serve multiple sites and workgroups.
For the project, YahClick created an ecosystem consisting of Ka-band satellite links, Mikrotik routers, Mesh access points (AP), network controllers, Point-to-Point access points (AP) and IP phones.
High-speed broadband is now available at locations, where internet was previously non-existent. Efficiency has improved significantly, and mobile workforces are able to survey remote belts and expand operations without having to worry about gaps in connectivity.
YahClick has been commissioned to provide its services for five years. Post installation, internet is readily available in areas, where it was previously non-existent. The customer is able to survey isolated belts and expand operations without worrying about lack of broadband connections. Satellite internet has considerably reduced the time and effort spent in exchanging information from remote camps to the headquarters.
Moreover, YahClick could successfully create a highly responsive system that is contributing to the expansion of the client’s business, and the advancement of local communities. Internet usage has increased exponentially within the neighbouring communities, as satellite broadband is universally available. They now rely on YahClick to learn and reach out to the world through e-classrooms and other online platforms.
“The availability of YahClick internet has greatly improved the lives of workers in the mining industry by boosting social communications with their families, enabling electronic banking services and helping overcome distances”
YahClick customer, Mohamed Sheikh El Din