As part of the contract, Speedcast will serve MCK's headquarters in the DRC capital city Lubumbashi, as well as providing services to the Ruashi mine, a major open-pit copper and cobalt mining complex where MCK has a contract. The company will deliver optimised wide-area networking (WAN) over high-throughput, very small aperture terminal (VSAT), C-band satellite service and content filtering.
Speedcast's solution is designed to provide MCK's operations with internet access, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based applications and crew welfare applications. The company has 24-hour global customer support centres that fully support these services.
The company noted that internet connectivity is essential for the modern digital mine site, as it enables IoT capabilities, ensures safety of personnel and equipment on-site, as well as providing workers in remote locations with crew welfare applications.
James Trevelyan, senior vice president of enterprise and emerging markets at Speedcast, said: "We are thrilled that MCK has placed its trust in Speedcast to deliver critical, remote connectivity and network optimisation to its headquarters and contracted mining site. We have the highest-powered Cband network in Sub-Saharan Africa, which means we can enable the customer's digitalisation agenda while delivering the highest performance primary or back-up communications solution."
Hubert Nkonkosha, IT manager at MCK, added: "Our Ruashi project is one of our largest refined copper and cobalt production sites with more than 2,000 people and suppliers employed. It's vital to our headquarters and operations to have seamless communications and network management as we prioritise efficiency and digital transformation, now and in the future, while still operating cost-consciously. Speedcast was a clear choice for our needs, and we look forward to leaning on their team for support and expert guidance, building a strong working partnership for years to come."
Speedcast recently increased its Tier 1 satellite network across Sub-Saharan Africa, adding a new high-throughput satellite (HTS) that the company said offers ultra-high signal availability - even into 1.8m terminals - and incorporates the latest VSAT technology. The HTS' look angle across Africa is approximately 60° elevation, which the company said makes it resilient to equatorial weather patterns as well as ideal for steep-sided open-pit mines.
In June, Speedcast won a contract to provide extended satellite communication network coverage for Kinross Gold's remote projects in Russia.