Intelsat picks Gilat for DRC rollout

11 May 2022

Integrated terrestrial and satellite network operator Intelsat has selected Israel’s Gilat in a “multi-million dollar deal” to deploy satellite cellular backhaul for an unnamed telecom company in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Although the names financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, the country has four main telcos — Africell, Airtel, Orange and Vodacom.

The implementation brings mobile services to deep rural sites in the DRC, the companies said.

Intelsat said it deployed its CellBackhaul service with Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c platform and Capricorn VSATs (very small aperture terminals), connecting with a Ku-band satellite to bring mobile communications to nearly 1,000 previously underserved and unserved remote sites.

“Intelsat values its ongoing partnership with Gilat, working together to bridge the gaps that other technologies and solutions can’t address,” said Brian Jakins, GM, and VP of networks, Intelsat.

With Gilat hubs and VSATs, Intelsat’s CellBackhaul satellite cellular backhaul solution combines the extended reach and resiliency of Intelsat’s global network with network design, installation, and operation services, making it possible for mobile network operators to deploy services in areas where traditional terrestrial backhaul services are unavailable.

“We are proud to have been selected by Intelsat to participate in this project to enhance and upgrade rural communication services,” said Amir Yafe, VP of mobility & global accounts at Gilat. “When viewed alongside implementations in other regions, it’s easy to appreciate the growing strength of Gilat’s technology and leading satellite backhaul solution, ideally suited to the specific needs of all mobile networks, including future deployments for 5G.”

DRC is geographically the second-largest nation in Africa, with a growing population of more than 90 million people.