Advanced Telecommunications,
throughout Rural Africa

Fixed-line Extension

This RascomStar service is designed for fixed line telephony (PSTN) in rural, remote and low penetration areas. Subscribers in under-served areas (villages of several hundred inhabitants) can access the RascomStar satellite via our rural terminals, to become connected to the public switched telecom network or other terminals with in the same network. A high-speed internet access option is available. The telecom operator is billed on a per minute of effective traffic; the services are managed by RascomStar through its network stations, which are responsible for the overall management of the GTS (Ground Telecom System) including:

Direct control of all Gateways and rural terminals and components
Call routing and coordination of all call set-up and tear-down protocols
Maintenance support and fault diagnostic
Storing all call detail records
Billing to telecom operator is according to contract.

The system has been especially adapted to connect tens of thousand terminals installed in villages and / or small cities to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).

The system supports pre-paid and post-paid accounts, calling cards and pay phones.

As meshed connections are supported, users in villages are able to communicate simultaneously with users in the public switched telephone network potentially via different Gateways, as well as with other locations (e.g. users in neighboring villages) equipped with the same system.

All communications are established dynamically for the duration of each individual call; satellite resources are only allocated for the duration of each call and returned to the bandwidth pool at the end of each call.

Network Architecture

The RascomStar Fixed-line Extension Service is linked to the national public switched telephone network provider, with a central Gateway gathering all the calls from the remote site.


Remote Site Equipment

Each remote site is composed of:

One 1.2m Ku band antenna with a 0.5W or 3W block up converter and one low noise block
One Skylinx baseband unit able to carry 4 voice channels and one IP data port
A Solar power system with battery, able to sustain power 24/7.

RascomStar terminals are specifically engineered for easy installation in remote areas, in harsh environmental conditions, including situations where there is no energy available.

As such, in their base versions they consist of low power stand-alone VSATs equipped with 4 lines and 1.2m dishes that can be powered from small solar panels. All base unit equipment is designed for outdoor installation and does not require any additional shelters.

The installation process is quick and simple, and does not require sophisticated installation equipment.

RascomStar terminals consist of the following components:

Small diameter parabolic dish antenna (1.2m Ku)
Block up converter (BUC): 0,5W or 3W
Low noise block converter (LNB)
Baseband block (base version):

RascomStar Base Terminal

In addition, the high-speed-internet (HSI) is also part of the RascomStar terminal service and is housed in a chassis intended for indoor installation. In this case only the antenna, block up converter and low noise block remain outdoors.

There is a 100BT Ethernet port on the RascomStar terminal to support high-speed internet access.

There is an L-band interface between the block up converter and low noise block, and the baseband unit. For the outdoor version, the baseband block will be directly attached to the antenna mount itself and the RascomStar terminal will be powered from standard AC or 12V DC e.g. solar panels and batteries.

Baseband Unit


Features of the RascomStar terminal :

  • Powering the low noise block & block up converter
  • Carrier modulation / demodulation
  • Voice coding & framing
  • Terminal synchronization under the control of the network station
  • Call set ups under the supervision of the network station
  • Telephone line interfacing (e.g. ring-tone and metering pulse generation, dial-tone generation and dialed number detection etc.).
  • 4 standard telephone line interfaces, which can be used to connect to standard phones or pay-phones.
  • An additional line can be set up to connect to a facsimile machine or telephone data-modem

A standard telephone line can also be configured to support telephone cards. Caller’s using telephone cards hear voice prompts e.g. enter PIN number, enter destination number etc. when initiating a call.

A RascomStar terminal provides the choice of two languages, for the voice prompts at the start of each call. A telephone operator selects which two languages are to be supported by the RascomStar terminal.

The baseband block also includes an optional L-band interface, which can be used to connect an external DVB-S receiver.

Solar Powered Voice RT:

Key features of the RascomStar Fixed-line Extension

  • Low cost and compact RascomStar terminal
  • Communications between RascomStar terminal users and public switched telephone network users via RascomStar terminal Gateways
  • Direct communications between RascomStar terminal users on different RascomStar terminals
  • International Telecommunication Union – ITU-T E.164 (d11-2010 and supplements) numbering plan support
  • Operation across RascomStar satellite(s) and its (their) unique Ku/C and Ku/Ku transponders
  • Unique cross strapped operation permitting the use of low cost Ku radio frequency for terminals while using C band radio frequency equipment for Gateways suitable for African climatic conditions
  • Multi satellite beam network support (North/South beam to cover Northern Africa and Southern Africa)
  • Large network operation (>100000 RascomStar terminals, & 100 Gateways)
  • Very low satellite bandwidth per call
  • 4 FX interfaces with lines up to 100m and loop start
  • Payphone support with 12/16 kHz metering pulse battery reversal
  • International Telecommunications Union –T Q.23/Q.24 Dual tone multi-frequency signalling dialing support
  • International Telecommunication Union G723.1 MOS-4 toll quality voice codecs
  • International Telecommunications Union – G.168 Echo cancelling to Gateway and remote
  • Out of band dual-tone multi-frequency signalling relay for calling cards / IVR (Inter-active Voice Response) type of applications, such as telephone banking, pre-paid calling, etc.
  • Voice activity detection
  • Facsimile and voice band data up to 9.6Kbit/s and 22.8 K for dial-up downloads
  • Local language selection for voice prompting when using calling cards
  • SS7 and its variants for interconnection between RascomStar terminals Gateways and the public switched telephone network
  • Call set-up less than 5 seconds
  • Calling card support
  • Pre / post paid account support
  • RascomStar terminals associated with its African telecom operator for commissioning account management and billing (sub nets)
  • Support for high speed broadband Internet (add-on option)
  • Software updates over satellite
  • Rugged all outdoor baseband terminal
  • Low power consumption – suitable for solar operation, RascomStar terminals incorporate various power saving modes to reduce power consumption
  • Television receive-only (TVRO) output for connecting
  • Easy to install and operate


Connectivity / throughput, as well as the capability to handle multiple calls simultaneously with several
other RascomStar terminals and / or Gateways depends on the RascomStar terminals transmit power.


Remote Site with ‘Skylinx’ Modem.