University of Pretoria (UP) – the University of Pretoria is a leading South African University offering a very high standard of education to its students. The institution offers training in a wide spectrum of different disciplines and has faculties and training locations based on various campuses. According to BINEB (2013), during 2013 there are approximately 48 000 registered students. The University’s Information Technology Operations division (ITS) is responsible for the daily information technology operations of the institutions telephones and networks as well as for the connectivity between all campuses. The University uses a VOIP solution for their telephone systems and most of the campuses are linked via SANReN fibre connections back to the Hatfield Campus.
Redline has been a supplier to the University of Pretoria since 2009 and has delivered various solutions ranging from Free Space Optic links , RF PtP and PtMP solutions and a VSAT solution.
Redline Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd Solutions
Some of the solutions offered to the University of Pretoria are the following:
- Installation of a 155 Mbps Free Space Optic Long Range link at the Groenkloof CampusThe faculty of education is based on the Groenkloof campus of the University of Pretoria. Its primary function is education studies and it offers a variety of undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses. On a daily basis there are approximately 5000 students on the Groenkloof campus for lectures as well as other activities. The requirement from ITS was to provide redundancy in case the SANReN optical fibre connection failed. There were 2 fibre data lines leased as a backup which offered 1 Mbps capacity each in case of a failure.Redline Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd installed a Redline 155 FM FSO link, that provides a 100 Mbps full duplex throughput. The total distance (Line of Sight) between the installation points is 2 640 meters.
Since installation in 2010 the FSO solution has been very stable, resulting in cancelling the fibre data lines which will result in a yearly saving of approximately R 240 000.
- Installation of a RF solution at Mamelodi campus
The Mamelodi campus of the University of Pretoria is responsible for a variety of programs e.g. the BSC 4 year plan amongst others. Due to an increase in students and extensions of computer facilities there was a need to improve the link that links the University Main campus with the Mamelodi Campus. An already installed RF solution which did not perform adequately was replaced with a RDL 2000 RF solution offered by Redline Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd. Redline implemented this within a week of receiving the order, and the link was operational before the Gauteng Provincial Legislature hosted the Opening of the Legislature at the University of Pretoria Mamelodi Campus on 20 February 2012. The technology performed flawlessly and the opening was a huge success. It has been performing according to specifications ever since, and is delivering a throughput speed of 100 Mbps full duplex over a distance of 17 000 meters.
- Magrietjie Distribution
The Magrietjie distribution is situated on the roof of the Magrietjie hostel. From here there are various FSO links that are used as the primary link between various campus buildings and varies from 100 Mbps and Gbps full duplex throughput. The FSO links provide connectivity to various UP campuses, including Tuksdorp post grad residences, Protea post grad residences and the Duxbury residences management complex.
There is also a Gbps FSO link providing redundancy between UP Main campus and LC de Villiers in case of a SANREN failure.
In addition to the FSO links there is a RF Point to Multipoint link providing connectivity to Cum Laude Hostel (VIP vistors) as well as various University properties on the eastern side of the main campus. The RF technology used is a RDL- 3000 PtMP RF solution.
Due to high fibre costs as well as difficulties in obtaining legal way leaves etc, it was easier and more time and cost efficient to install the RF and FSO links. Typical telco cost for Gbps t would be in the order of R200 000 per month and R80 000 for a 100Mbps link. With the Redline offerings the ROI was achieved within months on all installations.
All the above links provide data as well as VOIP to the clients.
- Redline Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd RF installation at Daspoort Clinic
In 2010 the South African Minister of Health announced an initiative to revitalize the primary healthcare of South Africa. The Daspoort Clinic has a unique partnership between the University of Pretoria and the State. Because of this partnership the clinic was selected to become the pilot site for the National Health Insurance (NHI) and Community Orientated Primary Health Care (COPC). The clinic is one of ten NHI pilot sites within the Tswhane district. A plan was devised for the Daspoort clinic to become a model showcasing the multi-disciplinary team’s effective collaboration through research and effective preventative health strategies to inform service learning for health students and better health strategies for our communities.
In order to reach the above mentioned objectives, a requirement analysis was done by the staff of the Daspoort clinic to determine and identify the most important needs at the clinic.
These needs were:
- A reliable patient management system.
- Reliable data to be drawn from a database for current health statistics in the community.
- Reliable data for procurement of medicine and medical supplies.
- Accurate dispensing and control of medicine.
All of these requirements could be addressed with computerised databases and IT infrastructure; it was therefore established that a reliable network connection was needed.The Daspoort Clinic is situated in the western regions of Pretoria, which provides a challenge for connecting the clinic to the rest of University of Pretoria’s network infrastructure. The initial internet connection between the Daspoort and the Medical campus of the University of Pretoria was a 10 Mbps wireless internet solution, which was slow and unreliable. Lost internet connectivity on a regular basis prevented the clinic from reaching its objectives.
To enable the Clinic to reach its goals, and in consultation with the Faculty of Medicine an agreement was reached to upgrade and replace the internet connection between the Daspoort Clinic and the University of Pretoria’s Medical campus, with a faster and more reliable solution.
Redline Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd installed a RDL-2000 RF link, with a direct connection between the Medical campus and the Daspoort clinic. The Medical campus is connected to the Internet via the UP’s Intranet and the SANReN (South African National Research and Educational Network) network. The SANReN is a 10GB connection provided by Neotel and is connected to the SEACOM line, which provides a fast internet link to Europe.The diagram below provides a graphical view of the network lay-out between the Daspoort clinic and the Internet.
- Redline Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd VSAT Solution at UP Hammanskraal remote campus
A requirement was raised to supply international guests attending a conference at the University of Pretoria Hammanskraal campus with internet access. The requirement was to provide a cost effective, uncapped internet service, for a minimum of 30 people for a period of one month at speeds exceeding “dial-up connectivity”.
After an initial investigation Redline found that the current backhaul to the campus was limited and unreliable to provide adequate internet access. Based on the requirement of a month, a contractual agreement with another service provider of backhaul was not viable as the admin/legal process between Redline and the service provider would have exceeded the available time. The campus is also located outside UP’s main network, and a FSO/RF network was not possible to deploy within the allocated timeframe and for such a short duration
Redline opted to provide the backhaul via Satellite connectivity, utilising the Ka Band, and installing various Wireless Access Points (WAP) on the campus. The concept was discussed with and approved by the client. The advantages of this solution were the following:
- Rapid deployment
- Offers a true remote service, independently from a fixed line or wireless network.
- No requirement for telco infrastructure>
- Fixed cost. The client receives a saving when a pre-determined daily data cap is not exceeded.
- No long term contractual obligations. Can be done on month-to-month basis.
- Can be deployed as a temporary or permanent solution.
- Scalable and customised solution to fit changing business requirements.
Final approval was received three days prior to the required “uptime” of the network. With minor glitches, the network was up and running within the required time, with a download speed of 3072 Kbps and upload of 1024 Kbps. The availability of the link during this period was 100% (monitored) and based on the daily usage, the download data peaked at 598 MB per hour and uploaded data peaked at 436 MB per hour.The satellite solution offered by Redline can be tailored for prioritised data or voice with a Download / Upload speed starting at 512 kbps/ 128 kbps up to 15 Mbps /3 Mbps. Data caps as low as 4.5 GB per month to unlimited data are available. The client has the option of upgrading or downgrading the service. Typical applications for this solution are:
- Temporary connectivity for exhibitions, conferences, disaster management, etc.
- Internet connectivity for remote schools, clinics, lodges, farms, mines etc.
- Internet and voice connectivity where no fixed lines are available.
- Redundant connectivity.
Redline Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd provides broadband solutions that vary between FSO – , RF – , VSAT and Fibre connectivity in accordance with a client’s requirement and budget constraints. Redline also offers an extensive network of Value Added Resellers across the African continent that provides sales and technical support.
All products are listed on www.redlinesa.com; enquiries at email@example.com or +27 12 6789740.