iKnowledge (Avanti) (IPP funded)



iKnowledge provides high speed broadband from Avanti’s HYLAS 2 Ka band satellite, to provide internet access to hundreds of rural schools in developing countries, using a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite terminal receiver installed at the school. Classrooms are fitted with high speed satellite internet with fully-equipped Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Lab of laptops and projectors, to support the ICT curriculum for students. This is combined with ICT and leadership training for teachers in 100 schools to improve their ability to provide the ICT curriculum to the schools and the community.

iKnowledge ICT equipment being used in rural Tanzania

Solution benefits

  • Classrooms are fitted with high speed satellite internet with fully-equipped ICT Lab of laptops and projectors, to support the ICT curriculum for students.
  • School staff now have the ability to communicate more efficiently with Ministry of Education and district educational offices using the internet.
  • Children benefit from learning through the latest audio-visual content to improve their learning experience, which is particularly important for schools that do not have enough text books.
  • Solar power for schools without grid electricity.
  • Schools that cannot afford a monthly subscription of satellite bandwidth have the ability to buy satellite internet on a pay as you go basis.
  • Teacher retention is higher for schools with iKnowledge as teachers have benefits of personal development and easier communication with friends and family.
  • Training curriculums provided to teachers include:

−  training teachers how to use ICT facilities in the provision of ICT teaching with the Skill Builder Module

−  providing leadership skills to head teachers and local government bodies on ICT policy and managing ICT in school curriculums with the Leadership Module

−  providing a ‘train the trainer’ module to ensure the teachers and school administrators pass the ICT skills and leadership training to other teachers, schools and communities with the Academy Management Module

Key technical features

High speed satellite internet with 15Mbps downlink and 2Mbps uplink. Satellite multicast to deliver multimedia rich video and audio content to schools makes efficient use of available satellite bandwidth. M-Pesa mobile payment system integrated with a smartphone app, on any internet browser allows teachers, students and the local community to buy internet bandwidth. A local cached server stores educational content for teachers to access whenever needed, reducing the need for satellite bandwidth. Access Controller with Content Logic provides secure control interface for many teachers to log into the internet, and to protect students, from accessing unsolicited websites and content.

Case studies

iKnowledge, supported by IPP, has been deployed to over 300 schools across 25 regions in Tanzania, including:

Zeze Secondary School – In rural Western Tanzania, there is a lack of network infrastructure and electricity and as a result, teachers and students are unable to access the most up-to-date online educational content, hindering the pupils’ learning opportunities and future employability. iKnowledge provided high speed, reliable broadband connectivity to the school and an inexpensive solar solution for electricity.

Science for Marginalised Girls – Many young girls in rural Tanzania have aspirations to become doctors, teachers, and lawyers and are anxious to continue their education but there is a nationwide shortage of science teachers. A school in Kagera proposed a solution to bring high speed, reliable satellite broadband connectivity to the school to enable the marginalised girls to access educational content online and continue their studies.

Organisation overview

Avanti has invested US$1.2 billion in the latest Ka- band satellite technology and shaped it to meet our customers’ aspirations:

  • governments that want to empower their digital economies
  • mobile operators that wish to bring ubiquitous coverage to their customers
  • enterprises that want to grow through digital productivity
  • security forces wishing to protect their sovereignty
  • people and communities that want to cross the digital divide

Through our HYLAS satellite fleet, we have extensive coverage of the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa. With market-leading products, we work with local and international service providers to connect homes, grow businesses, extend mobile networks and work closely with governments.