Satellite Technology Feature Article
India Powers New Satellite-based ATMs
By Miguel Leiva-Gomez, TMCnet Contributor
ATMs provide the ultimate convenience for people who need to take out cash for a variety of transactions. They are also a good way of verifying how much money is held within a particular bank account. The problem with ATMs is that they need a networking infrastructure in order to communicate securely with banks in order to get the data and authentication process going. This is a problem because there are many remote areas around the world that do not have sophisticated copper or fiber networking in place and, therefore, cannot integrate ATMs into the daily lives of citizens.
One of the greatest parts of living in the 21st century, though, is the ability to use satellite communications liberally and affordably to get connectivity into areas that would otherwise be kept in the dark. India will see such a change in the near future due to a recently inked service provider agreement between one of its managed service providers and one of Israel's satellite networking providers.
Gilat Satellite Netowrks Ltd., a provider of satellite networking solutions, revealed on Thursday that Nelco Ltd., a TATA Group & Bharti Airtel (News - Alert) Ltd. division, will be using its services to install 30,000 ATM sites around India. This agreement is part of an initiative by the Indian government to ensure that financial services would be available to a greater number of people around the country, regardless of their income. It eliminates the need for people living in the countryside to pay for boarding a bus to get to metropolitan areas.
Within the terms of the agreement, Gilat is obligated to provide VSAT communications to service providers that will install 15,000 SkyEdge satellite broadband terminals this year. By the middle of 2014, this number will grow to 30,000.
Stephane Palomba, the regional vice president of Gilat Satellite Networks' (News - Alert) Asian division, said in a statement, "With over 100,000 satellite terminals in operation across India today through various licensed service providers, Gilat is a veteran provider of satellite broadband communications in the country, and a leading provider of VSAT solutions for the local banking and finance industry. Our SkyEdge solutions has gained the local market's vote of confidence for offering uncontended reliability, security, and cost efficiency, all of which are critical components of a robust banking infrastructure. We look forward to working with Bharti and Nelco on this high-profile initiative."
Edited by Jamie Epstein