Bluwan, a provider of carrier-grade multi-gigabit wireless solutions, has announced that it has been selected by Somaliland-registered fibre-optic service provider Somcable to deliver high capacity wireless broadband access across the Horn of Africa, in a contract worth over USD3 million. The solution, which will be delivered and integrated by Globecomm Systems, provides next generation last mile connectivity, leveraging Somcable’s multi-million dollar investment in its core fibre-optic network. Bluwan’s ‘Fibre Through The Air’ (FTTA) Access solution will help to deliver capacity of up to 8Gbps to wireless broadband end-users. It will enable Somcable to provide consumers with high speed internet at speeds of up to 100Mbps, voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), IPTV and video on demand (VoD) services in Somaliland, and with hub capacity of up to 8Gbps business users will be able to work from home, use cloud applications and e-commerce/video conferencing services. Somcable will also leverage FTTA to facilitate ‘SomCloud Wireless Access Points’, creating shared, public Wi-Fi hotspots, in order to provide low cost broadband access in strategic areas across Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa.
The Bluwan FTTA Access solution comprises Customer Premises Equipment which receive wireless broadband transmissions from a Central Transmission Hub. Each hub is able to provide up to 8Gbps of capacity in a 5km radius, delivering average constant speeds of 2Mbps, peaking at speeds of 100Mbps. The solution will first be deployed in Hargeisa, followed by Burco, Borama and Berbera, with plans to expand services to other countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan in the future. ‘We have set a target to provide one million subscribers with access to high speed broadband by 2015, to help move Somaliland into the knowledge-based economy,’ noted Michael Cothill, CEO at Somcable, adding: ‘The lack of high-capacity backbone networks in the Horn of Africa means that wireless technologies are an important part of our strategy. Somcable has invested heavily in deploying thousands of kilometres of fibre in the region, and Bluwan’s FTTA demonstrates the effectiveness and potential of new wireless technologies as a complement to optical fibre networks. We are excited to have it in place in Hargeisa and soon across the rest of East Africa.’ Somcable holds an exclusive 25-year licence for the rollout of Somaliland’s first fibre-optic infrastructure. The concession also includes individual operating and spectrum licences.