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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default Diego Garcia - 21-07-2014, 02:09

A friend of mine is getting posted to Diego Garcia for about 6 months. I did some checking and the communications situation there seems rather grim. The local monopoly for personal service is Sure (formerly C&W). They provide landline, long distance, DSL, and cellular service at fairly high rates. I have not found a US cellular company that roams there and their SIMs don't appear to have any roaming. While on-island calls and texts are only 11˘/min and 4˘/ea, calls off-island are $1.05/min. From the US it costs something over $1/min to call any number on there. Data is available at the rate of 100MB/$10.

Does anyone have any other information or experience with Diego Garcia?
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Stu (Offline)
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Default 27-07-2014, 18:03

They seem to have some sort of WiFi net. Have you looked into it?

http://foneplus.sure.io/foneplus/login/
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 05-08-2014, 01:19

Most overseas military bases have an Internet access vendor. I wasn't trying to address the subjects of DSL or WiFi access; just cellular.
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dg7feq (Offline)
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Default 05-08-2014, 11:01

The WIfi is 4.4 USD / hour there - given the quite remote location of this island i doubt that there will be a significantly lower way of making calls.


Germany: smartmobil, simquadrat, Vodafone (data)
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inquisitor (Offline)
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Default 06-08-2014, 02:26

Well, when you are in the middle of the ocean, you have no fiber passing by and so are forced to use expensive C-band satellite beams that provide very limited capacity, which must be shared with maritime users, prices skyrocket. Having a telecoms monopoly doesn't help here either.

For comparison these are the prices on the other islands Batelco took over from C&W:
Falkland Islands: http://www.atlantis.co.ac/broadbandrates.html
Ascension: http://www.atlantis.co.ac/pdf/BBleaflet.pdf
St Helena: http://www.sure.co.sh/downloads/BroadbandPackages.pdf

The later however may receive submarine cable connectivity at some point which could bring down prices: http://www.connectsthelena.org/

Operating your own VSAT terminal on DG is very likely strictly prohibited for security reasons, so even if such was more affordable, you could quickly run into trouble.

O3b could help here but with costs of $1m for the groundstation and at least another $1m per year for one of the steerable spotbeams, this is hardly a viable option for less than 3,000 potential users (that converts into $30 per month based on every single soul subscribing). However there would obviously be a signifcant strategic use for such high bandwidth low latency service, which at some point may bring more capacity to DG. The question is whether they would share it for leisure use by the deployed personnel.


terminals: Samsung: Galaxy S5 DuoS (G900FD); BLU: Win HD LTE; Nokia: 1200; Asus: Fonepad 7 ME372CG; Huawei data: E3372, Vodafone R201, K3765, E1762;
postpaid: O2 on Business XL; prepaid: DE: Aldi Talk, Lidl; UK: 3; BG: MTel, vivacom; RU: MTS; RS: MTS; UAE: du Tourist SIM; INT'L: toggle mobile
VoIP: sipgate.de (German DID); sipgate.co.uk (British DID); ukddi.com (British DID); sipcall.ch (Swiss DID); megafon.bg (Bulgarian DID); InterVoip.com

Last edited by inquisitor; 06-08-2014 at 02:44..
   
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inquisitor (Offline)
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Default 15-08-2014, 21:56

According to the following very recent press release from Sure, the subsidiary of Batelco serving Diego Garcia, the Falklands and St Helena, the existing network equipment on Diego Garcia and the Falklands came from an Irish supplier called Altobridge which went bankrupt in May. So there is no hope for a 3G upgrade on Diego Garcia unless Sure replace the whole network infrastructure. Anyway, the main issue there is the bottleneck on the uplink.

Quote:
Press Release
Mobile Service - St Helena

The planned rollout of a mobile network in St Helena in 2014 has been creating much excitement, most recently when a tower construction engineer visited the Island to provide the necessary training to the Sure South Atlantic Ltd (“SURE”) Networks team in Health and Safety on installing the Mobile Towers at various sites.

Unfortunately we need to inform the people of St Helena that there will be a delay to SURE’s mobile launch date and we will not be able to launch mobile services in 2014. This delay is for reasons entirely beyond our control: Altobridge, the mobile network supplier we had selected because it specialises in small mobile network deployments in remote areas (and who we use in the Falkland Islands and Diego Garcia) was placed into receivership on the 30 May 2014 and has now ceased trading. Given that SURE cannot continue with Altobridge we have been urgently considering other supplier options in the hope that a 2014 launch could still be achieved. Unfortunately, initial discussions with potential suppliers indicate that, despite our best efforts, this will not be possible.

Hensil O’Bey, Chief Executive SURE St Helena said, “We were looking forward with pride to the launch of Mobile Services, both as members of the SURE team and as residents of St Helena. Whilst it is disappointing that we will not be able to launch in 2014, in the medium to long term we believe that the change in supplier will in fact be of greater bene? t to St Helena. For example, all the alternative suppliers we are considering will be able to offer St Helena 3G mobile services immediately (rather than the 2G services that Altobridge would have offered), delivering a faster and richer mobile data experience from the start. Additionally, we will have a clearer roadmap towards a possible move to LTE/4G mobile services, although this will be heavily dependent on the availability of cost effective international capacity.

The procurement process required to appoint a new supplier is now well underway and we are hopeful of a launch by June 2015. We should be able to con? rm this timeframe by the end of September. In the meantime, we are continuing with enabling works including the installation of high speed ? bre and microwave radio networks; the construction of towers at strategic sites, and upgrades to the telephone exchange. Please rest assured that we are doing everything we possibly can to minimise the delays to the launch date of our Mobile Services in St Helena.

Hensil O’Bey, Chief Executive
Sure, PO Box 2, Jamestown, St Helena Island, STHL 1ZZ
T +290 22222 www.sure.co.sh


terminals: Samsung: Galaxy S5 DuoS (G900FD); BLU: Win HD LTE; Nokia: 1200; Asus: Fonepad 7 ME372CG; Huawei data: E3372, Vodafone R201, K3765, E1762;
postpaid: O2 on Business XL; prepaid: DE: Aldi Talk, Lidl; UK: 3; BG: MTel, vivacom; RU: MTS; RS: MTS; UAE: du Tourist SIM; INT'L: toggle mobile
VoIP: sipgate.de (German DID); sipgate.co.uk (British DID); ukddi.com (British DID); sipcall.ch (Swiss DID); megafon.bg (Bulgarian DID); InterVoip.com
   
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