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Connectivity

Avanti finishes phase two of satellite gateway project in Senegal

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Avanti Communications has finished the second phase of its project to build a new HYLAS 4 satellite gateway station in Dakar, Senegal.

The arrival of a new Ka-band antenna, which is 9.2m in diameter, stands 14m and weighs 17,000kg, took over 12 months to build in the US before it was shipped to Senegal.

"The new antenna system offers exceptional broadband support to deliver backhaul and large scale connectivity for telecoms and government," Avanti Communications said in a statement.

Free in Senegal, which is Avanti's local gateway partner, will host and support the operations of the new gateway from its Tier III data center facility in Diamniadio.

Avanti's satellite gateway to connect underserved communities

The gateway is crucial to Avanti's plans to connect underserved communities in the West African country.

"Completing phase two of this project is a huge achievement for everyone involved. To date, Avanti has connected more than 1,000 villages and schools across Africa, and we have ambitious plans to connect a further 10,000 sites over the next five years," explained Avanti CEO Kyle Whitehill.

The Senegal gateway is crucial to Avanti's plans to connect underserved communities in the West African country.  (Source: Image by Freepik)
The Senegal gateway is crucial to Avanti's plans to connect underserved communities in the West African country.
(Source: Image by Freepik)

Additionally, the gateway will extend the coverage of Avanti's HYLAS 4 satellite to Senegal and the surrounding countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Liberia, and Côte d'Ivoire.

It will significantly increase access to high-speed satellite Internet for the countries' schools, hospitals and communities, Avanti continued.

"Our carrier customers will also be able to extend their reach to rural areas and other semi-urban locations where terrestrial networks are currently limited or unreliable," the company's statement concluded.

African satellites and satellite gateways

Avanti completing the second phase of the satellite gateway in Senegal, is continuing the trend of African nations working toward more scientific innovation and the development of space programs.

Earlier this month, Côte d'Ivoire announced that it will launch its first observation satellite by August 2024.

That announcement followed Kenya's launch of its first operational Earth observation satellite "Taifa-1" – which means "Nation-1" in Swahili – in April 2023.

As of May 2023, 53 African satellites have been launched in 14 countries, nine of those satellites were launched by commercial entities, according to Space Hubs Africa.

Global telecommunications providers, OneWeb and Paratus Group, are also building a satellite gateway in Angola's capital Luanda.

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*Top image is of HYLAS 4 satellite gateway station in Senegal. (Source: Avanti Communications).

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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