Advanced Television

Kacific extends Tonga connectivity

November 1, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Kacific Broadband Satellite is supplying a “wider and more resilient communications infrastructure” for The Kingdom of Tonga.

Singapore-based Kacific already has a relationship with Tonga through Tonga Communications Corp. (TCC) and provides a satellite-based mobile backhaul solution will improve connectivity in underserved areas, and an enterprise-level back-up service will help mitigate the impact of future outages.

TCC is the only provider of fixed line telephone services in Tonga, and a provider of broadband internet and mobile phone services, with the widest cellular network coverage in Tonga as well as branches in the outer islands.

Since June 2022, a mobile backhaul solution has been deployed to improve resilience at the two Niuas islands. A further two satellite terminal sites, one each in Vavau and Ha’apai, have been commissioned to provide connectivity, as the Tonga Domestic Cable Extension undergoes extensive repairs. It was damaged in the volcanic eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in January 2022.

As well as these four outer island sites, a 4.5 metre terminal, which can facilitate a higher level of bandwidth usage, has been installed in Tonga in recent weeks. TCC and Kacific are now working to commission the terminal at Atele, TCC’s strategical emergency site, in Tongatapu. It will be used as an enterprise-level back-up option in case of future outages or damage to the international fibre cable connecting Nuku’alofa to Suva, Fiji.

Kacific says that a portion of the capacity allocated to the terminals in the outer islands can be reallocated to the 4.5 metre terminal in Nuku’alofa, in a fibre back-up arrangement. This will ensure the capital has access to high-speed connectivity for critical applications in the event of a fibre outage.

“We are committed to providing satellite services in Tonga to support the nation’s connectivity needs and ensure its resilience. We have a strong partnership with Tonga Communications Corporation, having worked together to provision emergency capacity in January 2022 following the fibre cut,” said Christian Patouraux, CEO, Kacific. “Together with TCC, we look forward to being part of Tonga’s digital future which is supported through greater connectivity options and improved infrastructure resilience.”

Tonga is ranked as having the third-highest disaster risk worldwide, behind Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, according to the 2021 World Risk Report. In a comparison of continents, Oceania has the highest disaster risk, predominantly due to its high exposure to extreme natural events.

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