VSATs: The very small aperture terminals (VSATs) are a compact satellite dish mated with the necessary electronic hardware to create an earth station. The earth station consists of a small antenna and other devices to interface between the antenna and the end-user equipment. The end-user equipment could be one or more personal computers (PCs), telephone, a PBX, a video receiver/player or any combination of these. VSAT can receive or in another configuration, receive and transmit signals. A VSAT can link a few or if necessary, hundreds of sites, including geographically remote locations.

A VSAT supports a variety of network configurations and a large information including computer data, can be transmitted on different speeds. The VSAT is more flexible and less expensive than many land-based communication networks.

VSAT is useful for institutions/universities with multi campuses. Due to its dependency on wireless communication transmission medium, VSAT has overcome many problems of telecommunication. It is a viable technology when terrestrial lines are costly and difficult to install. It has, therefore, become very attractive to existing terrestrial networks in terms of availability, performance, variety of services, cost per byte transmitted and cost pet incremental capacity growth. As a result, now there is no need to invest in high capacity transmission lines, which are very difficult to create to cover the entire country. VSAT can provide cost effective, reliable telecommunication 0ver large geographical areas, replacing or supplementing traditional terrestrial lines. Telephone and services such as e-mail and data transfer via VSAT do not require the use of radio frequencies.

The main advantages are as follows:

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1. Being a modern telecom technology it is suitable for a large country and with areas of difficult terrain.

2. The user incurs a fixed cost per VSAT services, irrespective of distance.

3. Transmission of huge data in less time across long distances is feasible.

4. The cost of expansion is not dependent on distance.

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5. It is more reliable, the call completion rate is very high (99.5 percent).

6. Communication need not pass through ground facilities.

The (1995) identified the following advantages of VSAT system over the terrestrial network:

1. Response time is much lower than dial up-link.

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2. LAN to LAN connectivity via VSAT is unique for data transfer.

3. There is no interruption due to frequent changes in weather.

4. The cost is uniform and does not depend on distance, hence useful for hilly, remote and ill-connected areas.

5. Speed of transmission is much time higher.

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6. Point-to-multi-point communication is possible.

Besides these advantages, according to Chowdhary (1996) the strategic benefits of VSAT are:

1. Predictable:

So each year communication budget can be planned accurately.

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2. Greater productivity:

A single transmission medium and the centralised monitoring and control provide higher quality and better management. There is a single point of contact for operation, maintenance, rapid fault isolation and trouble shooting.

3. Cost management:

Institutions can fix their communication costs and make them.