Marlink connects people of remote villages in French Guiana to the Internet

Wednesday 15, July 2020

Fully managed network solution provides Internet access via satellite in challenging local conditions

Oslo/Paris, 15 July, 2020. Marlink has been awarded a contract with Société Publique Locale pour l’Aménagement Numérique de la Guyane (SPLANG) to provide Internet access to the inhabitants of remote villages in French Guiana. The contract covers the provision of Internet access via satellite to subscribers of SPLANG’s Wi-Fi service and the complete management of the network solution.

Marlink signed the first contract with SPLANG in 2017 to provide high speed Ku-band connectivity to deliver Internet access to educational and governmental institutions and the general public in French Guiana. The new contract extends Marlink’s scope to a C-band VSAT network solution.

The contract required rapid migration without service interruption of SPLANG’s VSAT network, executed within two weeks under very challenging conditions, including COVID-19 travel restrictions and a heavy rainy season.

Using its own field engineers located in Cayenne with support from Marlink’s Network Operations Centre and satellite network operator Eutelsat, Marlink was able to migrate all 17 remote VSAT stations – repointing antennas, updating modem parameters and reporting performance – in just one week, using helicopter transport between the sites.

Marlink will deploy its smart network as a service to provide connectivity up to 60 Mbps, which can increase to 100 Mbps over the next four years. C-band was chosen to take advantage of the existing SPLANG infrastructure and C-band’s better resilience and availability in rainy conditions. Marlink will fulfil the contract with fully managed services across the territory with 24×7 installations support and maintenance for SPLANG backed by a customer help desk.

Over the three years of partnership with CTG which is the main owner of SPLANG, Marlink has built a strong track record of delivering and managing smart network solutions and managed services, with an average service availability of over 99.8% under a very demanding service level agreement.

In a country where 200mm of rain can fall in 24hrs compared to 600mm in average per year in Europe, it’s imperative to provide a quality network solution robust and reliable enough to deliver redundancy and uptime to more than several tens of thousands people living in the most remote locations, says Alexandre de Luca, President Enterprise, Marlink. With support from across the organisation, our dedicated site teams were able to carry out a complex and demanding deployment in record time to support SPLANG’s customers in French Guiana.