Despite Covid-19 lockdown restrictions largely lifted in South Africa; the threat of a second wave, fears of the re-introduction of stricter lockdown, lost jobs and reduced incomes along with concerns of personal infection are likely to keep most South Africans at home this holiday season.
To these lucky few, the prospect of a holiday at home with Netflix and Showmax for entertainment and Skype, Instagram, Snapchat and a host of other social interaction platforms might not present too daunting a prospect.
Most of South Africa’s rural and peri-urban citizens; without fibre, far from cell towers and either off the grid or victims of regular cable theft or deteriorating infrastructure, however, face the prospect of a long and lonely holiday season.
This is especially so, “if they need to rely on public transport to travel or – this year – can’t afford accommodation in South Africa’s traditional summer holiday hot spots”, says Mohamed Hassim, Managing Director, MorClick.
Fortunately, “the latest satellite technology has arrived in South Africa just in time to enable even South Africa’s most remote villages, farms and homesteads to access the world via the internet,” says Hassim. “The best present you could give family and friends in isolated rural areas this year is satellite internet,” adds Hassim.
While satellite technology has been available in South Africa for some time it has been extremely expensive, often unreliable and of insufficiently broad bandwidth to support 24/7 access to the internet let alone live-streaming of content or other high-data use activities.
Since, today, however, the latest beam-dot satellite technology means that there are multiple beams within the satellite stream, “it is much easier for satellites to transmit and stream data, providing significantly greater bandwidth a lot more cheaply,” says Hassim.
In an age of lockdown, restricted travel and reduced incomes where human contact presents the danger of infection, “cheap, easily accessible broad band satellite internet available 24/7 can unite families this Christmas regardless of where they are,” says Hassim.
In fact, for less than R1000 a month rural or peri-urban families, communities, schools, businesses, farms, clinics or spaza shops can have 24/7 uncapped access to the internet regardless of where they are and without the need for fibre, cell towers or any other infrastructure.
Users don’t even need to be connected to the electricity grid as, “beam-dot satellite technology is easily powered by a solar panel in the day charging batteries to support the system at night,” says Hassim.
So, rather than spending a fortune and putting yourself and your family at risk by traveling this holiday season, “why don’t you buy yourself or far flung family members a satellite internet package?” suggests Hassim.
Whether family members are in the Karoo, deep rural Transkei or working overseas in Alaska, satellite internet can unite families easily, cheaply and simply – “enabling togetherness and the true meaning of Christmas without risk,” says Hassim.
Imagine, for the first time ever, your granny – sitting in her hut in Lusikisiki or on her stoep in Albertinia – able to talk with and see all your family members on a Skype or Teams call no matter where in South Africa – or the world – everyone might be this Christmas?
By enabling telephone, television, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix and Skype and the host of other social media elements that, today, define human interaction, satellite internet offers South Africa’s most isolated individuals, families and communities, “a sense of identity and inclusion while also enabling learning, basic administration, security and commercial success,” explains Hassim.
With Norway and Finland in strict lockdown too, it might even be necessary to Skype Santa this year! Fortunately, the technology is here for every South African to talk directly and affordably to the North Pole, whether they are in Groot Marico or Oshabeni.
And since times are so tough in South Africa the beauty of new satellite technology is its affordability.
Since satellites are already in space, users also don’t have to pay for the launching of satellites or any other heavy infrastructure. Moreover, MorClick’s new super-light and simple satellite technology is easy, quick and cheap to install. Within three hours a dish is fitted, cables connected to a modem, the dish is pointed at a satellite, commissioned and the service starts operating, all for under R1000 per month.
Most importantly, however, “you don’t need to be a technical genius to set it up,” says Hassim. MorClick has service technicians throughout the country who drive out to clients’ homes, farms, villages, kraals or shacks setting everything up in one visit of just a few hours.
The same technicians are also on call 24/7 anywhere in the country.
By making the internet available to almost every South African regardless of where they live or how much they earn, MorClick’s new beam-dot satellite technology has the potential to unite every South African family this holiday season.
The latest satellite technology also gives every family member – regardless of where they live – “access to the global internet phenomenon that is transforming human culture, relationships and opportunity the world over,” concludes Hassim.