Hughes Network Systems (HNS), the world's leading provider of broadband satellite solutions, announced today that it will supply Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) with a comprehensive DIRECWAY broadband satellite network. One of the first projects under this $25 million contract is a national distance learning network, SchoolNet, connecting schools across Ethiopia.
In addition to linking Ethiopian schools, ETC will utilize the DIRECWAY network to provide a wide range of value-added applications, including video conferencing, distance learning, Internet/intranet access and VoIP voice solutions, to a variety of government, private enterprise and financial customers.
"HNS has a proven track record in delivering reliable service and innovative network solutions to organizations across Africa," said Ato Tesfaye Biru, managing director of Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation. "Satellite is the only solution that allows us to provide digital, always-on, reliable service no matter where our customers are. The DIRECWAY broadband satellite solution allows Ethiopia to expand its national commitment to provide quality education to all our students by reaching our 28.7 million school age children nationwide with the latest in educational tools."
Given the limited municipal infrastructure that exists in some areas of Ethiopia, many of the remote terminals will be powered by solar energy, capitalizing on a resource that is abundant in Ethiopia-sunshine.
"We have a long history of providing customers across Africa with broadband satellite solutions that meet the unique demands of such a geographically diverse continent," said Bahram Pourmand, executive vice president and general manager of the International Division at Hughes Network Systems. "DIRECWAY broadband satellite is the ideal solution to bring educational resources to all the children of Ethiopia."
Network installation began in June and is scheduled for completion by year end 2004.
Hughes Network Systems is the world's leading provider of broadband satellite network solutions for businesses and consumers, with more than 600,000 systems ordered or shipped to customers in 85 countries.
Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) began in 1894 when an extensive open-wire line system was laid out linking the capital of Ethiopia with all the important administrative cities across the country. Largely destroyed in World War II, the Imperial Telecommunications Board, established in 1953, undertook expansion of the telecommunications infrastructure across Ethiopia and the licensing of national frequencies. When telecommunications was restructured in Ethiopia in 1996, ETC was created as an operator with the task of expanding and improving the country's telecommunications services and revitalizing the telecommunications infrastructure. ETC operates as an independent telecommunications corporation under the leadership of a board of directors with an autonomous status. ETC's decentralization ensures self-sufficiency of the eight regional, six zonal and multiple area offices for the provision of telecommunications services.