SES recognizes that in order for the industry to overcome the challenges of RFI, all stakeholders have to work together. A big contributing factor to RFI in the Africa region is the improper execution of large scale VSAT installations.
The roll out of the GVF 510 certification program to SES customers in Africa is an initiative which is being funded by SES and consists of a combination of online, interactive, simulator-driven training modules together with the hands on skills testing complete with an official GVF certification.
There are many different methods and initiatives aimed at fighting satellite interference. Stephen Owen, SES Engineering Operations Analyst believes ‘the biggest element is the human element’. Owen, who has a wealth of experience in training engineers around the world on the basics of correct VSAT installation, is the appointed SES representative to train VSAT engineers in the SES-sponsored Global VSAT Forum (GVF) Satellite Interference training certification program.
In January, Owen was in Lagos, Nigeria, where he conducted the practical component of the GVF HOST program. There are now seventeen new engineers in the West Africa region who have received their Basic Installers Certifications from SES.
The importance of investing in people is also held in high regard by Theodore Asampong, Sales Director for West & Central Africa at SES. “We are projecting substantial positive effects resulting from our efforts in Africa. Other regions around the world stand to benefit from a similar investment”. Asampong’s goal is to train as many engineers in the region as possible in the coming months and encourages more customers of SES to enroll their engineers in the training program.
About the GVF 510 Core Skills course
The course, GVF 510 Core Skills for VSAT Installers, consists of two parts - an online interactive course requiring between 5-15 hours of study and a practical GVF Basic Hands On Skills Test (HOST). After the successful completion of both the online and HOST components, students receive a GVF certification and gain invaluable empowerment within the satellite industry.
The support given from PMOC Woodbine, specifically Level 1 Analyst Brett Nyman brought an additional layer of expertise which was invaluable to the HOST sessions. In addition to improving communication between PMOC and SES customers, this type of training increases satellite signal quality and helps reduce the costs of paying out credits to customers not receiving acceptable service.
The successes go farther than the students though; Steve Owen feels strongly that his team is consistently improving itself with each training session. Brett Nyman, a Communications Technician-Rep and a colleague of Steve, received his certification during the training session in Lagos. Nyman is now certified to lead future GVF trainings.
SES would like to extend special thanks to Radial Circle Telecommunications LTD. Chairman, Ranti Omole and Executive Director Operations, Lekan Akande provided the equipment and logistic support to the SES HOST team that proved to be instrumental in the success of the examinations.
The future of GVF HOST Training includes the construction of a new specialized GVF training facility. The next SES sponsored GVF HOST Training will be taking place in Abuja, Nigeria this April.