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FAQ

SERVICE ISSUES

What is SpaceDSL ™?
SpaceDSL ™ is a satellite-based service for two-way broadband internet access. "Bidirectional" means that the functions of reception and transmission are carried via satellite, so no phone line is required.

How experienced is Afrique Telecom?
Since 2005 ‘Afrique Telecom’ has set up 700 Vsat stations in 22 countries across Africa with a good track record.

Who is the service targeted at?
Small businesses and homes in Africa (see relevant map).

Do I install it myself? 
We recommend two options: installation by one of our qualified installers via our partners’ network; Or you can install it yourself by following the installation instructions and orientation of the antenna. The system helps to score ‘Point & Play’ which comes free with your SpaceDSL installation kit. Your system is pre-programmed at the factory so you do not need to contact anyone during installation.

Do I need a phone line?
No, SpaceDSL ™ requires no cable nor a phone line. Therefore, data transferred cannot be controlled by your local government.

What is the guaranty that comes with the solution? 
Your kit comes with 1 year guaranty on the equipment. We promise 99% availability of service/year (due to rains). On-site repair is carried out by our local technical partners. You can also call our hotline to get help (see tel number in relevant section and instant chat service available online).

Can I use a wireless home network with SpaceDSL ™?
Yes, you can also install a Wi-Fi router to set up your office or home network, allowing you to enjoy wireless browsing.

Does SpaceDSL ™ support some VoIP applications?
SpaceDSL ™ can handle phone calls with VoIP technology (Voice over IP). This service is added by the service providers and price may vary by provider. In order to bring you a comfortable usage, the system is configured to prioritise VoIP applications.

Can I play games online with SpaceDSL ™?
In principle yes, but it is not recommended to play the so-called "games shooter" because of the much longer response time (about 600 to 650 ms).

What equipment do I need?
To power the system up you only need our kit: our satellite dish and the SpaceDSL ™ modem. You do NOT need to install any additional software to access the Internet via SpaceDSL ™. In certain areas where the local grid is unreliable, it is recommend to use a UPS (back-up power protection solution – see Uninterruptible Power Supply here http://www.apc.com/products/). Your local Vsat partner can help you find the right UPS to use.

How much does it cost?
The kit is slightly cheaper if you buy it in France and take it back with you to Africa. Several airlines will agree to transport it as luggage, but you may have to pay duties (tax duties).  You can buy your SpaceDSL kit on-site in France (at Afrique Telecom‘s H.Q. in Auxerre and soon outside of Paris) or at one of our partners’ offices (Vsat licensees) in Africa who will offer you a suggested retail price of €750 (cleared). Please refer to our price section.

Where is the service available?
It is available in sub-Saharan Africa: see the map here

 

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

What is the speed of SpaceDSL ™?
SpaceDSL ™ currently offers speed options up to 2 Mbps. In a few months time the maximum rate will be extended to 4 Mbps.

Are there any minimum requirements for computers?
There are no minimum requirements for computers. Any recent computer (Mac, Windows or Linux) with a built-in network interface card (10/100 Mbps) can be connected to the satellite modem. And, more importantly, you do not need any hardware or additional software.

What frequency bands SpaceDSL ™ use?
SpaceDSL ™ operates in the Ku band via W3C Eutelsat satellite - 16 ° EST.

What is Ku band and what are its benefits?
Broadcast satellites operate primarily in the C-band frequencies that have the advantage of offering a wide geographical coverage with a single footprint. Ku-band has other benefits:

The higher frequencies of Ku band allow subscribers to use smaller antennas
The operating permit requirements are met more easily for the subscriber equipment, with low-cost terminals

Is the service stable in bad weather?
Heavy rains have been considered as a potential obstacle to the deployment of Ku-band satellite systems. Indeed, reduction of the signal level due to rain affects high quality of service. However, SpaceDSL ™ automatically answers rain attenuation by power control on the uplink and techniques of adaptive data coding (adaptive modulation and coding, ACM), which compensates for any interruptions while maximizing the use of bandwidth from the satellite transponder. This gives SpaceDSL ™ better reliability than other two-way satellite services available in Africa.

Can I integrate SpaceDSL ™ to a network?
Yes, you only need to connect an IP router between your network and the satellite modem. We recommend connecting up to 10 PCs maximum.

How much does the kit weight?
35 kg

What is the size of the kit?
We have made custom carton boxes to transport the kit safely. It is 1.2 m wide so it is easy for 2 persons to handle (with care).

What are the propagation delays for data transmitted via satellite?
Geostationary satellites are in orbit about 36,000 km above the equator. A return data to a satellite requires about 250 ms, the bidirectional protocol‘s latency is approximately 600 ms, including SpaceDSL ™system latency. To reduce latency, which has an impact on TCP throughput and speed of navigation, a data compression and acceleration tool is built into SpaceDSL's modem.

Is SpaceDSL ™ system green?
Our satellite modem has the “CE” standard and power required is only 50 Watts so you can easily use a solar panel or other alternative electricity systems to power our equipment. Beam emission is very low – 0.8 Watts – lower than a mobile handset (2 watts) so the system is not harmful to humans.

Who manages the operating platform?
At the Cagliari teleport in Sardinia, operations of the platform and SpaceDSL ™ network's hub are processed by "Afrique Telecom" Group. A dedicated team works at the teleport to maintain service availability.

More info – or become a reseller
You can find more information on the Afrique Telecom Group by clicking here - www.afrique-telecom.com