For Internet, computer or networking companies in the U.S. that wish to add a satellite service to their product mix, the VSAT Systems Value Added Reseller (VAR) is a perfect solution. From a technology perspective, VSAT Systems can provide direct connections to the U.S. Internet backbone from many locations within the satellite footprints. VSAT Systems provides coverage throughout North and Central America.
In some areas near the edge of the footprint, a standard 1.0-meter dish will not be sufficient and a 1.2, 1.8 or 2.4 meter dish may be required for good reception and rain performance. Based on latitude and longitude, VSAT Systems can use satellite link budget data to determine the approximate dish size requirement; however, VSAT Systems cannot guarantee the results of these estimates.
The reseller will bill and service the customer, plus provide level one and level two technical support along with email, web hosting and other services. Skycasters provides only the Internet connection and level three technical support. A train-the-trainer program is provided in three separate areas—product training, technical support training and installation training. For resellers who wish to do their own installations, FCC-required installer certifications are issued to VSAT Systems installation training graduates. Technical support, product and installation training, and certification are provided on a scheduled basis in Akron, Ohio. Other training venues can be negotiated.
There are various licensing and regulatory requirements, different in each of the governmental jurisdictions that are included in the footprint. Each VAR must obtain proper licensing and certification to sell the VSAT Systems service. In most countries, satellite landing rights have already been obtained by the satellite owners so the VAR only needs minimal licensing. It is the responsibility of the VAR to determine which regulations are applicable and fulfill them. VARs will be required to produce all documents of authorization and a letter from the appropriate government authority in their country of operation, stating that the VAR is fully authorized to provide the service before engaging in operations. If there are any licensing or regulatory costs or fees payable on behalf of either party, these costs shall be borne exclusively by the VAR.
There are significant costs involved in getting started as a VAR, including legal and other business expenses. The international VAR must make a significant investment in inventory. The VAR must operate a technical support center that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The VAR must have installation technicians that have been certified by VSAT Systems trainers. The VAR must receive product training and training for technical support employees. A VAR can expect to make a significant investment in initial inventory purchases and training. The total upfront cost as a VSAT Systems VAR averages $25,000–$50,000.
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