SkyPilot Partners With SwiftTalk to Bring Mesh to Africa

SwiftTalk Ltd., an ISP and network operator headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, has selected SkyPilot Networks (Booth 317) equipment to roll out advanced wireless voice, data and Internet access services in that country.

SwiftTalk currently is deploying services in three Nigerian cities: Lagos (where it operates five networks), Port Harcourt (with three networks) and Warri. Future deployments in Nigeria some of which will involve strategic partners and alliances will expand network coverage to Aba, Abuja, Ibadan, Jos and Onitsha.

SwiftTalk serves business and residential markets, providing a combination of data communications, Internet access and telephony services. For businesses, the SkyPilot-powered wireless network will provide intra-city virtual private network links between company locations, interconnectivity for POS/credit card/ATM terminals, multisite VoIP/IP PBX services, and home Internet access and home office links for company employees. For residential subscribers, the network provides Internet access, peer-to-peer VoIP and international VoIP calling.

Internet access to the home and small offices is still a novelty in Nigeria, said Oyom Ojo, CEO of SwiftTalk. There is a greenfield opportunity in virtually every city in Nigeria both large and small that we can capitalize on with SkyPilots mesh architecture and cost-effective coverage capabilities. This will allow us to deploy wireless access rapidly and cost efficiently in our current and planned operating areas. It also will let us quickly scale that network as demand requires.

SwiftTalk is deploying SkyPilots full product family including the SkyGateway carrier-class base station, SkyExtender high-capacity mesh backhaul device, and SkyConnector CPE.

We put a high priority on low equipment costs for our customers, said Irabor Ighedosa, sales manager of SwiftTalk, so the relatively low cost of the SkyConnector is an important benefit. SwiftTalks own deployment costs are minimized because the SkyConnectors are discovered automatically by the network and use visual feedback of signal strength to ensure proper installation.

The ability to expand our offering into Wi-Fi access with SkyPilots SkyExtender DualBand is another significant benefit, said Austin Uwudia CTO of SwiftTalk. The SkyExtender DualBand combines 802.11b/g access point functionality with long-range mesh backhaul, so Wi-Fi clients can connect directly to it, without the need for intermediate CPE. Its dual-radio architecture eliminates interference between subscriber access and network backhaul services, boosting network capacity.

SwiftTalk also selected the SkyPilot solution for its ease of deployment and support, cost effectiveness and long-range coverage. Non-line-of-sight capabilities also were important particularly in dense urban areas such as Lagos, where high-rise buildings block signal paths and produce high levels of multipath interference.

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