When You Are Out In The Sticks, With No IT Department, You Need Help » South Africa

Now, more than ever, farmers need a superior, unlimited, and reliable connection.  They need it for their safety and security; they need to be able to keep ahead of the technological advancements in agriculture and equipment, and they need to always be connected to their community.  They may be forgiven for being confused about knowing what type of connection would be best.

“The market’s crowded”, explains Kallie Carlsen of Paratus SA.  “There’s VSAT, Wireless, Fiber, mobile offerings and then there are bundles and packages to grapple with as well.”   Familiarity rules and many farmers will probably opt for the most marketed and known brand names without knowing what they are buying into.  A long-term contract that serves you with a weak or patchy connection and poor support is about as useful as having your lifeline cut when you are hanging from a cliff edge – not only scary and extremely frustrating but also potentially dangerous and hazardous for your business.    When your life is threatened, never mind your livelihood, the lifeline for farmers is an unbroken and unlimited connection to the outside world.

Quick connectivity checklist

  • The most efficient and affordable delivery to farms in remote areas is unquestionably VSAT technology.  While it has slight latency (because of the time it takes to travel to and from the satellite), the technology can reach parts of the country that no fiber provider can match
  • Is the VSAT capacity being regularly managed by the provider, because if it is not, your connection could be compromised?  You should use a provider that can monitor the overloads as they occur and ensure there is additional capacity to cope with that
  • Will the equipment used for your connection be installed by engineers who understand what you need and how to install it – in other words, standard VSAT kits will not necessarily solve your problem?
  • Is the price right – now that certain partnerships have been struck to provide better connections to farms and remote areas, is that saving passed on to you?
  • Will your provider give you a good ‘after-sales’ service because farmers especially need this in terms of technical support?
  • Due to various deals and packages that have been struck in the VSAT ‘space’, there are now very attractive and competitively priced packages available, but the above points need to be considered before committing to anything
  • Could your connection be compromised due to theft or vandalism to the terrestrial infrastructure?

“Cutting through the clutter is difficult because one can’t always compare apples with apples”, explains Carlsen.  “It’s difficult for farmers to even know what questions to ask because they cannot be expected to know what pitfalls or challenges prevail when all they want is a high-quality network connection.”  For those living in hard-to-reach areas, VSAT technology is the best option and, thanks to investments made by big global players such as Eutelsat, Paratus is able to extend its footprint, halve the costs, and deliver an improved quality connection.

Carlsen adds: “What farmers often do not appreciate is they no longer need to accept ‘second-best’. But problems arise when they do not realise that they need to have the right equipment to provide that connection.  Dealing with experts is therefore crucial because you don’t want to only have access to a salesperson who may not know and understand the various technical and logistical issues at play.”

By partnering with one of the largest global satellite companies, Eutelsat Konnect, Paratus Africa provides unlimited connectivity to farms in remote areas. Carlsen concludes: “Connection is a two-way street and a bad connection also affects people in urban areas when distant family members and friends want to connect and share content with farmers.”

The Paratus VSAT package offers Triple-A service in terms of accessibility, affordability, and availability.

*VSAT stands for “Very Small Aperture Terminal” and its purpose is to transmit and receive satellite transmissions. A VSAT comprises a dish antenna, a transceiver (or a combination of BUC and LNB) and a satellite router (modem).

VSAT FAQ’s

WHO IS SATELLITE BROADBAND FOR?
This is an ideal solution for any user requiring access to affordable high-speed, always-on internet service, especially in under serviced areas. Satellite broadband is a quick deployable solution, that has no dependency on terrestrial infrastructure like towers or copper cables. This service will get you online and surfing the web, watching Netflix, downloading emails, working from home or doing home schooling anywhere in the coverage are.

HOW DOES SATELLITE BROADBAND WORK?
In short – exactly the same way your satellite TV connections works. A Satellite dish is installed on the outside of your building and connected to a modem on the inside of your house. A Small Wi-Fi router is positioned next to the modem so that your devices can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. The Satellite dish is positioned so that it has a clear line of sight to the orbiting satellite above. The satellite is positioned in a North Easterly facing position.

DOES THE SATELLITE BROADBAND SUPPORT A TELEPHONE SERVICE?
Yes, there is an option to have a telephone service, using VoIP, on the Satellite Broadband. Please make sure you select a VoIP enabled bandwidth plan.

WHAT IS LATENCY?
Real internet speeds come down to a combination of bandwidth and latency. Latency = delay or Lag as it is also known. It is the amount of delay (or time) it takes to send information from one point to the next. Latency is usually measured in milliseconds or ms. It is also referred to as a ping rate. Satellite based internet solutions are a high latency solution with an average achieved delay time of around 650 milliseconds. The reason for this is that the dish on your building connect to a satellite that is in orbit at about 37 000 km above the surface of the earth. The time taken for the information to travel from your home terminal to the orbiting Satellite and back to earth is 650 ms.

WHAT IS WIFI?
A Wi-Fi network is created when we supply a Wi-Fi router to connect to your Satellite Modem via a cable. The Wi-Fi network enables connection between two or more devices wirelessly for data sharing purposes. It is simple and cost-effective way to connect with Wi-Fi router or with other Wi-Fi devices wirelessly without the need of wires. A Wi-Fi router in the office and home helps to share single internet connection among multiple users wirelessly without the need of ethernet cables.

Wi-Fi limitations

  • The speed of the connection decreases (to individual computer or device) when number of devices or computers connected with Wi-Fi network increases.
  • Depending on the structure of the building and the location of the Wi-Fi router, the Wi-Fi access is limited to about 30 – 100 meters.
  • Don’t place your Wi-Fi router behind obstacles such as in cabinets or cupboards since this act as blockers which prevent the Wi-Fi signal from passing through.
  • The more walls the Wi-Fi signal must travel through, the weaker your signal will become. This is because construction material such as plaster, bricks, reinforcing and electrical cables can act as a “blocker” since the radio waves have issues passing through these types of materials. It’s much like when you are passing through a tunnel while driving and lose your radio signal. Same thing happens with your Wi-Fi signal when it must pass through walls.

Cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, wireless security cameras, remote controls and wireless speakers all operate on same frequencies and can lower your Wi-Fi speeds. Even electronics such as fluorescent lights, wireless controllers, older Bluetooth devices and plasma TV’s can interfere.

VPN CONNECTIONS ON SATELLITE BROADBAND
The very nature of a VPN prevents access to the data within the tunnel. This prevents the modem and the satellite platforms from using their sophisticated acceleration techniques to accelerate the data. Without this acceleration the data traffic does not perform as well on these high latency networks.

For any other questions you might have, that we did not cover in the above Frequently asked Questions give us a call on +27 12 940 0660.

Cloud

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Cloud Services are available on a rental basis and no ownership is transferred from Paratus to the customer of any hardware or software component
  2. Where technical support is required by the customer from Paratus, and any technical operation performed by Paratus is not included with the Service offering as specified under the Service Agreement, then technical support costs will be charged additionally at an hourly rate.
  3. All support requests by the customer must be given in writing in the form of email to Paratus, sent to the email address as provided by Paratus.
  4. Paratus will monitor only the Dependent Infrastructure, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, and act upon any degradation of Services to ensure Service Availability guarantees.
  5. Technical support and maintenance of all dependent infrastructure as well as configuration of any function related to a specific service is included with the Service offering.
  6. Technical support and maintenance of any fault related to misconfiguration or tampering by the customer is excluded from the Service offering.
  7. Paratus guarantees 99.9% Service Availability, per calendar month, subject to Service disruption time caused by any of the following being excluded from the calculation of Service Availability:

Mobile-LTE

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Pricing is quoted in Namibia Dollar.
  2. Pricing for Post-Paid packages excludes 15% VAT.
  3. Pricing for the Pre-Paid offers includes 15% VAT.
  4. Roaming is not available on alternative networks.
  5. Standard Paratus Acceptable Use Policy applies.
  6. Customers are not restricted as to what they use their data for, unless specified, as long as the customer does not engage in any unlawful activity, which includes any explicit or offensive content. The customer indemnifies Paratus against any claims, loss (direct and indirect, consequential or otherwise).
  7. Some applications transfer data in the background even if the customer is not actively sending or receiving data, such as software updates, streaming services, mapping and location-based application services. This may result in higher data usage due to active background applications and the customer hereby indemnifies Paratus from the excessive bandwidth utilization that may be caused and associated with such application activities. Paratus has no control over the applications installed and used by the customer, and as such will not be held liable for high data usage claimed by the customer as being irregular.
  8. Paratus can warn, limit or disconnect any customer who is reasonably deemed to be abusing their data services.
  9. Paratus can change the prices of any services, alter or introduce new terms and conditions. This change will not be detrimental or to the disadvantage of the customer and the customers will be notified 14 days before the change via our website, billboards, social media, or direct email whichever media channel is deemed to be most efficient before 14 days.
  10. All other standard Paratus T’s and C’s apply.

Satellite (VSAT)

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Bandwidth profiles shown above is the maximum speed (MIR) that is possible and is dependent on network congestion.
  2. Throttling Steps on the Unlimited Packages: Please take note that these throttling steps will remain in place until the new Month kicks off again, we do not have any mechanism to increase the bandwidth during the month if you have used the allocated data as per the throttling steps below.
  3. When the user reaches 200GB a FUP will be applied.
  4. This included 120km’s round trip. all Km’s outside of the standard installation will be calculated and billed.
  5. VoIP line Monthly Rental of R 92.00 per line, excludes charges for actual calls made.
  6. Profile 10 first throttle at 200GB and lifted during free night time data period which is from 11pm to 5am.
  7. Profile 20 first throttle at 200GB and lifted during free night time data period which is from 11pm to 5am.

Fiber-Infinity

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Services are only available where Paratus has Network Coverage.
  2. This package is subject to a 24-month contractual period.
  3. Uncapped and subject to our Standard Shaping Policy between 08:00 and 18:00.

Fiber

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Pricing is quoted in Namibia Dollar.
  2. Package pricing excludes 15% VAT.
  3. No VAT will be charged for residential customers.
  4. The installation will include a CPE, this however remains the property of Paratus.
  5. Pricing is based on the contract periods stipulated in the agreement
  6. Cancellation terms are 90 days before the contract expiry date.
  7. Standard Paratus Acceptable Use Policy applies.
  8. Clients are not restricted as to what they use their data for, unless specified, as long as the client does not engage in any unlawful activity, which includes any explicit or offensive content. The client indemnifies Paratus against any claims, loss (direct and indirect, consequential or otherwise).
  9. Some applications transfer data in the background even if the client is not actively sending or receiving data, such as software updates, streaming services, mapping and location-based application services. This may result in higher data usage due to active background applications and the client hereby indemnifies Paratus from the excessive bandwidth utilization that may be caused and associated with such application activities. Paratus has no control over the applications installed and used by the client, and as such will not be held liable for high data usage claimed by the client as being irregular.
  10. Paratus can warn, limit or disconnect any client who is reasonably deemed to be abusing their data services.
  11. Paratus can change the prices of any service, alter or introduce new terms and conditions. This change will not be detrimental or to the disadvantage of the client and the clients will be notified 14 days before the change via our website, billboards, social media or direct email whichever media channel is deemed to be most efficient before 14 days.
  12. All other standard Paratus T’s and C’s apply.
  13. Only available in areas where Fiber is available, please refer to the coverage maps on our website.
  14. Includes drop cable to the premises (aerial, on the wall, or in existing sleeve up to 70m from the pavement).
  15. The standard installation price is only up to 70m from the closest manhole/draw pit to the termination point. Should the distance exceed 70m a site inspection has to be done and a quotation will be provided.
  16. Includes ONT with Wi-Fi. Maximum Wi-Fi radius of 30m, and this may vary due to your surroundings. Paratus is responsible for the maintenance and software updates.

Fair Usage Policy (FUP)

Paratus reserves the right to apply network traffic engineering policies on any designated service to ensure fair and high-quality access for all our customers. The fair usage policy is dynamic and certain traffic types will be throttled during specified peak traffic times. Further, customers that reach the fair usage levels allocated to their product will also be throttled. What does throttle mean? Throttled data transfer, also known as data transfer throttling or lean data transfer, is the deliberate regulation of the data transfer rate in a communications system. Data transfer throttling can be used in any scenario where it is necessary or desirable to limit the amount of data that can be sent or received per unit time. Each product has allocated FUP threshold parameters.

Fair Usage Policy (FUP)

Paratus reserves the right to apply network traffic engineering policies on any designated service to ensure fair and high-quality access for all our customers. The fair usage policy is dynamic and certain traffic types will be throttled during specified peak traffic times. Further, customers that reach the fair usage levels allocated to their product will also be throttled. What does throttle mean? Throttled data transfer, also known as data transfer throttling or lean data transfer, is the deliberate regulation of the data transfer rate in a communications system. Data transfer throttling can be used in any scenario where it is necessary or desirable to limit the amount of data that can be sent or received per unit time. Each product has allocated FUP threshold parameters.

Fair Usage Policy (FUP)

Paratus reserves the right to apply network traffic engineering policies on any designated service to ensure fair and high-quality access for all our customers. The fair usage policy is dynamic and certain traffic types will be throttled during specified peak traffic times. Further, customers that reach the fair usage levels allocated to their product will also be throttled. What does throttle mean? Throttled data transfer, also known as data transfer throttling or lean data transfer, is the deliberate regulation of the data transfer rate in a communications system. Data transfer throttling can be used in any scenario where it is necessary or desirable to limit the amount of data that can be sent or received per unit time. Each product has allocated FUP threshold parameters.