Pure to offer emergency satellite broadband

26 Feb 2007

Business telecoms player Pure Telecom is to launch a quick-deploy portable satellite broadband system that it will target at media and emergency services who need broadband access anywhere at anytime in instances ranging from football matches and rock concerts to tactical or humanitarian situations.

Alan McGonnell, a director of Pure, told siliconrepublic.com that portable satellite systems are becoming quite common across Europe but until now have made a limited appearance in Ireland.

“This is a very high end product that is transportable and aimed at specific situations or needs. This particular unit is used widely on the continent by emergency services. For example in an emergency situation if comms links are down this could be up and running to give unlimited bandwidth,” McGonnell explained.

McGonnell quoted statistics that showed broadband penetration in Ireland stands at just 5.34pc, compared with 23.79pc in Denmark and 20.33pc in Finland.

“All satellite systems are transportable but usually you need an engineer to set things up. The beauty of this system is that you just flick a switch and you’re up and running with uncontended 4MB to begin with.

McGonnell said that the system can be used for general internet applications right through to secure virtual private networks (VPNs). “This system as I said is widely used across Europe by emergency services and entertainment vendors but there is increasing evidence that corporate users are deploying them in instances of either disaster recovery or for one-off comms needs such as establishing an office in a remote location.

“Really it is an insurance policy that can guard against a primary link failing and making sure you have a plan in place. For example, a bank could lose thousands of euros in lost business if a primary link at a specific rural location goes down and this is a way of restoring a temporary link.”

Despite latency issues, McGonnell says that satellite broadband adoption in Ireland has been improving in the past six months with some home workers adopting entry level products that start at €89 per month.

“The bottom line is to ensure that everybody can have some form of connectivity and that’s what some businesses want. This kind of solution would also be ideal for remotely located branch offices or operations like petrol stations that need a constant uplink but are nowhere near a telecoms exchange,” McGonnell said.

By John Kennedy