The 7th NAFISAT supervisory committee meeting is taking place at the Forum Conference Centre, V&A Hotel, Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa on 19-20 March and the 8th SADC VSAT meeting is taking place on 22nd-23rd March 2012.
The SADC VSAT Network has been operational since 1998 and has eliminated all communication deficiencies in the SADC region. This network is fulfilling the region’s communication requirements in terms of the ICAO Africa / Indian Ocean (AFI) plan. It has succeeded in integrating a regional communications network, contributing to increased communication allowing for greater safety on air traffic movements and is financially sustainable.
The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) company, based in South Africa is the network service provider and cost recovery for capital and operational costs is through a special tariff agreement with IATA. Connectivity with the ASECNA states was achieved in October 2002 and in 2003 and 2004 Burundi and Rwanda joined the network. The rest of the states include Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The SADC VSAT II network became operational on 1 December 2007. The replacement of the network was necessitated by technological advancements, user requirements, as well as the fact that the SADC VSAT equipment reached its "end of life" the deficiencies of the network further require that the network be replaced. ATNS and IATA were appointed as the network service provider to the network.
North east Africa
In 2001 ATNS and IATA was appointed the network service provider for the VSAT network in the North Eastern Africa region. The network is known as the NAFISAT network. The network is made up of Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Yemen.
The network became operational on 1 April 2008.
ATNS works closely with ASECNA, the operator of a VSAT network in West Africa known as AFISNET. Both the SADC VSAT II network and the NAFISAT network are interconnected with AFISNET through Congo, Ghana, Chad, Niger, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.