Ralf Kierspel – Senior Manager, SES Broadband Services

February 21, 2014 | By More

SES Broadband Services (SBBS) deploys its ‘Astra Connect for communities’ satellite broadband service to 15 German villages located in several regions of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (North East Germany) and villages in the South West of Germany. We spoke to Ralf Kierspel, Senior Manager of SBBS to find out more about these exciting projects.  

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Roost: Why was Germany chosen to be part of this project?

Ralf-Kirspel

Ralf Kierspel, Senior Manager, SES Broadband Services

Kierspel: We have put a key focus on Germany because there is a high demand for Internet connection, especially in the rural villages. For example, in the village of Greimerath in the South-West of Germany, which has a population of around 1000 people, there is no fiber connection into the village because of its forest location. Unfortunately the state government and the telecom provider did not want to give the 300KEUR infrastructure investment it needed, nevermind the other investment that would be needed for the distribution of the services.

Roost: Why now? What is driving you?

Kierspel: In the village of Greimerath in the South-West of Germany, which has a population of around 1000 people, there is no fiber connection into the village because of its forest location. Ralf Kierspel: There is a growing pressure to bring infrastructure into villages to give them connectivity across the whole of Europe. Recently in Germany, satellite services have been eligible to apply for government funding to partly subsidize the infrastructure investment, and SBBS won the tenders to provide broadband internet throughout Germany with the villages of Greimerath and Hofstaetten being set up first.

We began planning the project in 2010 and since then we developed the new Astra Connect WiFi service, allowing an entire residential or commercial community to connect to broadband internet via a single central satellite antenna.

First installationNow three years later we have installed this network into two German villages (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern installations to follow), after ordering the relevant broadband terminal equipment from Newtec (incl the MDM3100 IP Satelllite Modem). These have been in operation since 15 December 2013.

In Greimerath, three head-ends have been installed to serve the whole town, while in Hofstaetten, which has around 60 residents, one headend will serve the entire community.

Roost: How is the network technically set up?

Kierspel: The head-end is comprised of a Newtec terminal (1.2 m antenna, 4 W BUC, MDM3100) and a local server running the Newtec network optimization technologies (NOP) connected to a WiFi transmitter to cover a vast area. The end user equipment consists of an outdoor WiFi antenna the user connects to the local network or PC.Ralf Kierspel: The head-end is comprised of a Newtec terminal (1.2 m antenna, 4 W BUC, MDM3100) and a local server running the Newtec network optimization technologies (NOP) connected to a WiFi transmitter to cover a vast area. The end user equipment (see right figure ”household’) consists of an outdoor WiFi antenna the user connects to the local network or PC.

SES Broadband Serices - Diagram

This technology allows us to provide the villages with download speeds of up to 25Mbps and upload speeds of up to 6Mbps.

Roost: If I was mayor of a village, why would I choose to have this network installed for the community?

Kierspel: The top reasons for this are really simple: Firstly it is capable of being installed immediately and is very easy to do so. It took us only two days to install our service into one of the villages recently, and it went very smoothly. Secondly it is extremely efficient and can give 100% coverage to an entire village. And thirdly it provides considerably lower cost alternative to fiber. The minimum spend for this service is 25,000 Euros per head-end, so it is very cost effective for geographically challenged locations.

And btw, I am a mayor of a village here in the region of the first installed platforms, so I am speaking here really from my heart.

Roost: What are the plans for the future?

Kierspel: We have further Astra Connect WiFi networks contracted for deployment in East Germany in 2014. There is also high demand in other European countries, and Worldwide.

More details of the SBBS’ offers and the solution can be found here: www.astraconnect.de/gemeinden.

This article first appeared in Newtec´s Industry Blog

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Category: INTERVIEWS

Kerstin Roost

About the Author ()

Kerstin Roost is Public Relations Director at Newtec. Based in Luxembourg, Kerstin is a Multimedia Engineer with 16 years experience in the IT, media and satellite industry with cross-function expertise in strategic PR & communications, marketing, sales and customer support. Kerstin is a Complimentary Individual Member of the World Teleport Association (WTA) and EUsatcom, the European Professional Satellite Association.

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