Voice over Internet (VoIP) now available over satellite



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Satellite Communication (SatComm), a supplier of satellite telephony solutions for Iridium, Inmarsat and Thuruya, has announced that in conjunction with www.howzitonline.com, an international VoIP service provider, it has developed a VoIP product that operates via satellite and which can be used in 145 countries around the world.

It is typically aimed at people wanting to access the Internet where no access exists, contractors on site, game farms and the military.

The solution uses the www.howzitonline.com VoIP USB-based handset with the Inmarsat satellite modem to provide Internet and VoIP access in most parts of the world at speeds of up to 144 Kbps, almost three times the speed of dialup.

Satellite Communication spokesperson Paul Glass said this is sufficient bandwidth for VoIP, email, web browsing, instant messaging, FTP, video/audio/text streaming, secure access through VPN or SSH, image/video transfer via any IP-enabled digital camera software and enables sharing of all kinds of data files.

The solution is ideal for users in remote areas where access to good quality communication and broadband Internet is expensive, limited or unavailable. It is targeted at governmental bodies, aid agencies and companies operating in industries like mining, exploration, farming, infrastructure development and construction, where offices or staff are in areas with little or no telecoms infrastructure.

“Up to now, important information that needed to be relayed back urgently has had to wait. Now with the SatComm system, communication is on-line, real time,” says Glass.

The equipment is portable, the size of a notebook, weighs only 1,7kg and is easy to set up. It does not require access to a fixed line/cellular network and gives fast, reliable, always-on, seamless Internet access.

It is cost-effective because users only pay for the amount of data sent or received, rather than time spent online. It is Windows compatible and can be connected to either a single PC or LAN, and can be connected using USB, Ethernet or Bluetooth technology.

The satellite-based VoIP calls cost a fraction of normal PSTN rates. For example, call charges per minute in US$ cents to the USA are 4,25, the UK 5,04 cents per minute, Australia 5,01 cents, Canada 5,40 cents, Hong Kong 5,29 cents, China 5,58 cents and South Africa 10,04 US cents.

Glass says the interest in the product has been phenomenal. Already systems have been supplied to several mining, exploration and farming companies within days of the product’s launch. We believe that sales of the system will be significant as it solves the communication problem that so many companies operating in Africa encounter.

Source: Moneyweb