AFR-IX was approached in Guinea Equatorial for consultation by a company with offshore oil extraction platforms in needs to be connected to the head office. The purpose was to seek AFR-IX´s guidance on whether providing connectivity via a submarine fiber link or through Vsat. With the company having several oil rig platforms, the choice would trigger significant impacts on spendings but also on the operation performances of the company.
The challenge for AFR-IX engineers was to identify the best technical model, and best suited in terms of redundancy and reliability considering the harsh conditions all the while maintaining IT spending reasonably low for the company. Installing a fiber subsea cable offered the best reliability but cost would rise with the installation of optical repeaters and high-end hybrid technologies.
VSAT while far cheaper to install with lower CAPEX, was also easier and faster to implement but faced several issues such as impair signals by the sea rolling movement in affecting on the satellite dish among other technical issues.
AFR-IX undertook a feasibility study and recommended the installation of VSAT based on the parameter of the difficulty to provide capacity undersea. Taking into account the relatively limited required bandwidth, VSAT seems the best manageable solution. As of today, AFR-IX has dedicated an engineer for this service and to ensure that the network is managed properly as well as to monitor all areas under WI-FI & Wimax coverage on the platforms.