Internet Fully Restored In DRC After Days Of Slow Speeds Due To Damaged Undersea Cables

By  |  February 11, 2020

Reports coming in from the Democratic Republic of Congo say that the country’s internet has been restored. The high-performance connection was put back in place just 4 days after vital internet cables were damaged undersea.

The restoration was made possible by the joint efforts of Gilat Telecom and SES. Gilat – an Israel-based firm – offers satellite and fiber-based connectivity solutions, delivering high quality broadband communication to MNOs, telcos, ISPs, governments, enterprise customers, and organizations in Africa, Asia and South America.

SES, on the other hand, operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance.

Cuts to submarine cable systems on the high seas in Europe affected internet use, especially the West African Cable System (WACS), which serves the Nigerian market and some West African countries.

More than 12 African countries were affected, among which is the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The slow speeds mainly affected MTN users, but the situation in DRC has been managed for Gilat Telecom’s customers. This was achieved by the use of 03b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite capabilities.

 The effort also took advantage of SES’s multi-orbit network that combines the benefits of MEO low-latency with the incredible reach of GEO.

“High-throughput, low-latency satellite solutions and applications enabled by SES have proved their reliability and performance, drastically changing the connectivity landscape in the DRC over the past years.

It has now been the fifth consecutive year that we are delivering highly reliable seamless services thanks to MEO, reaching underserved and unserved locations where fibre cannot be deployed or has been compromised.

This has been revolutionary for the MNOs we serve, who are now able to deploy services that require low latency,” said Dan Zajicek, CEO of Gilat Telecom.

Gilat has been providing Kinshasa, the DRC capital and largest city, with expansive internet connectivity services for many years, and has seen unprecedented network reliability and resiliency from the SES Networks service.

The company has now also launched service over SES’s O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite fleet to a second DRC location, bringing fiber-equivalent internet to customers in Lubumbashi.

Featured Image: CPJ

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