Israel-based satellite broadband technology vendor Gilat Satellite Networks has announced what it has termed a ‘major milestone’ in the rollout of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) Interim Satellite Service. Gilat has revealed that it has completed the deployment of the first 10,000 Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) in partnership with local operator Optus.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in May 2011 Gilat was selected by Optus to provide a SkyEdge II VSAT network, as well as installation, operation and maintenance services. The deal came after Optus had been awarded AUD200 million (USD210 million) by NBN Co, the private-public partnership set up to oversee the construction and management of the NBN,to provide managed satellite services and satellite capacity in rural and remote areas of the country. The agreement between Gilat and Optus provides for an initial network of eleven SkyEdge II hubs and 20,000 SkyEdge II VSATs expected to be deployed within three years, while it also allows for a possible expansion of the infrastructure to include hubs and up to 48,000 VSATs. Gilat’s Australian subsidiary, Gilat Satellite Networks Australia Pty Ltd., is undertaking responsibility for end-to-end VSAT installation, as well as hub maintenance and operation in three geographical locations, for a period of five years.
Commenting on the latest development, Paul Sheridan, vice president at Optus Satellite, said: ‘Satellite-based connectivity is a critical element in NBN Co’s commitment to offering broadband services across Australia, and Gilat’s expertise in delivering large scale projects has been key to helping Optus meet this important milestone of connecting more than 10,000 sites.’