VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), this week announced that NetHope, a global information technology Non-Governmental Organization; the Global VSAT Forum (GVF); iDirect, a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology; and Intelsat, the world’s leading provider of satellite services, have partnered to create a new, three-day VSAT (very small aperture terminal) certification program in Dakar, Senegal.
The new course expands NetHope’s successful GVF training program from Nairobi, Kenya into West Africa, and will bring critical VSAT installation skills to the region as it seeks to develop its core communications infrastructure.iDirect is sponsoring the course by donating X1 and X3 satellite remote routers. Intelsat will provide the necessary satellite bandwidth through Intelsat 23 to support the HOST (Hands-on Skills Test) three-day field training session in Senegal, as well as the GVF 510 online course for VSAT professionals. Intelsat will also support logistical costs for the training as well.
The GVF course, which combines interactive online training developed by SatProf, Inc., with classroom instruction and skills testing, provides aspiring telecom professionals in West Africa with VSAT training and certification, preparing them to install VSAT networks for a multitude of applications, including enterprise, banking and disaster relief. NetHope’s 39 international humanitarian organisational members will manage a directory of course graduates as a resource for organizations in Africa that need qualified VSAT technicians.
The inaugural course will be led by GVF instructor Nenad Bojovic, Director of Field Operations at the International Rescue Committee, and takes place September 17-19 at the Ecole Superieure Multinationale des Telecommunications Telecom College in Dakar, an ITU Center of Excellence, Cisco Training Academy Partner and GVF Training Center.
Joe Simmons, Director of Global Connectivity Programs, NetHope, said, “Qualified VSAT specialists are in high demand throughout Africa. By partnering with GVF and iDirect, we can develop the resources required to build reliable communications infrastructure in the region, especially in areas that need it most.”
Dean Griffler, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, iDirect, said, “This program has seen tremendous success since it began in Nairobi. NetHope and GVF have become such a strategic voice in the satellite industry, and iDirect is looking forward to help expand this important program.”
Ron Busch, VP, Network Engineering, Intelsat, commented, “Intelsat is committed to training our customers and their technical teams to improve satellite access skills, training nearly 1,100 individuals in the last four years. We’re proud to partner with iDirect, GVF and NetHope to support this critical effort.”