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Going Off-Grid With Satellite For Retailers

Eskom’s ongoing programme of loadshedding, which sees electricity supply to users suspended in the form of rolling blackouts, is intended to protect the integrity of the national grid. It is creating one of the most difficult business environments in South African history. As a result, enterprises have had to invest in generator back-up or alternative solar supply options to ensure business continuity. While the response of South African business owners is testament to the tenacity and commitment at the heart of South African culture, loadshedding represents an existential threat to many SMMEs, in particular. Ongoing power outages are also causing additional communication network “off-grid” situations.
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“Off-grid” telco networks?

The continued power disruptions have caused widespread mobile network signal degradation and, in some cases, a complete collapse of network services. The repeated power disruptions result in infrastructure failure on the towers, leading to service disruptions. This is particularly problematic for merchants and businesses that rely on 3G connectivity to transact and complete credit card payments.  

In these situations, merchants, businesses and e-commerce platforms can find themselves “off-grid” from a telecommunication network perspective. While these business owners may manage to resolve localised electricity supply problems, they are still left without connectivity which means no e-commerce or point-of-sale trading. 

Satellite is robust

Satellite networks offer a unique and attractive solution to this problem. By their very nature, satellite networks are extremely dependable and immune from terrestrial power disruptions or physical damage to infrastructure. This is because satellite communication networks require only a terminal to be installed on the end-user’s premises. This then communicates with a central gateway (or teleport) via the satellite in the sky. The satellite network gateway is then connected to the Internet to provide the user with broadband and business data connectivity services. 

This means that as long as the user terminal is operational and powered, typically using a small generator or a solar-powered supply, the business will be fully connected and can trade as usual. In this way satellite communications offer a robust solution to the disruption of business communication networks caused by loadshedding. 

Smart Satellite Services

Satellite network technology continues to evolve with the development of Smart Satellite Services such as the Twoobii service, developed and operated by the Q-KON Africa engineering team. Smart Satellite Services incorporate advanced quality-of-service features and additional security measures to enable integration with merchant credit card readers and point-of-sale trading systems. Twoobii is also the only certified solution for a leading e-commerce bank with direct integration from merchant point-of-sale devices to the core financial network. 

Combining the fundamental reliability of satellite networks with the rapid transaction functionality of the Twoobii Smart Satellite Service therefore provides merchants with a robust communication alternative that can complete trading transactions in <1 second while maintaining near-perfect network availability (at least 99.95%). 

Smart Delivery

The fundamental reliability of satellite networks and the security and quality-of-service features of Smart Satellite Services combine to create an attractive solution, but one further element is lacking from the perspective of business owners looking for a frictionless delivery option. That missing element is Smart Delivery. 

The Twoobii service directly addresses this issue – it is underwritten by Smart Delivery in the shape of an end-to-end business model, pricing and delivery concept. Twoobii can therefore provide merchants with a simple one-stop option for going off-grid and ensuring reliable trading. The Smart Delivery model greatly simplifies the contract and costing structures and includes equipment rental, life-time equipment warranty, on-site support callouts, equipment spares (if needed), core network integration and satellite connection service fees – all for less than R1,100 per month. 

By leveraging the benefits of the Smart Delivery model, retailers and shop owners can now simply contract Twoobii for an end-to-end service as a primary or back-up service to terrestrial 3G mobile networks. This will ensure reliable trading at all times and at all locations, and eliminate the loss of trading opportunities caused by mobile network service disruption during loadshedding (or as a result of vandalism). Twoobii offers the additional advantage that the communication is highly secured and can’t be disrupted by criminal activities.

Using this Smart Satellite and Delivery service bundle, merchants and shop owners can now go fully “off-grid” whilst still enjoying reliable and trusted communications for their ongoing business operations.
To learn more about Twoobii’s satellite connectivity services and their flexible packages for merchants and retailers, visit www.twoobii.com

About WhichVoIP

Since 2009, WhichVoIP.co.za has helped thousands of South African businesses to make better buying decisions for phone systems, VoIP, and connectivity. During this time, we’ve facilitated the connection of 45 000+ users through our network of 500+ telecom providers in our directory.

If you need a quote on a telephone system, VoIP, or other business communication solutions, click here to get one in a flash.

About WhichVoIP.co.za

Since 2009, WhichVoIP.co.za has helped thousands of South African business to make better buying decisions for phone systems, VoIP and Fibre and Wireless internet connectivity. In this time, we’ve facilitated the connection of 50,000+ users through our network of 500+ telecoms providers.

If you need a quote on a telephone system, VoIP, or other business communication solutions, click here to get one in a flash.

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