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Issue 7: Current Developments - Brazil Broadband

Gilat Delivers Broadband to Brazil

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In a country as massive as Brazil - only slightly smaller than the United States with nearly 175 million citizens - imagine how long it would take to build the terrestrial infrastructure to bring broadband Internet access nationwide.

It's not surprising, then, that the country's leading communications companies have chosen the Gilat technology to create Brazil's first consumer, always-on broadband Internet service: via two-way satellite.

With the power, reach and convenience of satellite technology, the service offers broadband Internet access to selected residential and small office/home office (SOHO) users across Brazil. This is especially good news for Brazilians without access to any other broadband connectivity solutions.

The initiative brings together Star One, Universo Online (UOL) and Gilat. Star One - a partnership of Embratel (NYSE: EMT), Brazil's largest telecommunications company, and satellite operator SES Astra - is the network operator and also markets the Internet access service.

UOL, Latin America's largest Internet Service Provider with 6.1 billion page views in Q1 2001, is the first major ISP to offer the service. UOL is the main distribution channel for the service and the Internet content provider.

Gilat serves as the technology supplier, wholesale provider of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) satellite communications equipment and provider of operations support and advanced technical services. Gilat's advanced Internet-via-satellite solution - technology, equipment and service - offers Star One service end users several key advantages.

Brazil's consumers and SOHO users are able to connect to the Internet at browsing speeds up to 10 times higher than normal modem speeds available in their country. They also enjoy a persistent or "always on" connection that saves time when connecting to the Internet and, more importantly, eliminates the need for an extra telephone line dedicated for Internet use.

The service also supports multi-PC connectivity for SOHOs - good news for small businesses and families in Brazil. An additional advantage is convenience: a one-stop hardware and services solution, complete with installation that eliminates the need for multiple infrastructures and coordination between service providers.

Star One gets the benefits of Gilat's patented technology and advanced features, including a unique quality-of-service technology that allows Internet traffic to be controlled by user, application and time of day. They also gain from Gilat's significant experience in the consumer Internet marketplace: Gilat's joint venture StarBand Communications Inc. successfully launched America's first nationwide, consumer, two-way, high-speed satellite Internet service in 2000. This experience is helping Star One and UOL to rapidly introduce their new service in Brazil.

According to Edson Soffiatti, President of Star One, "This initiative brings together the very best in talent and technology - experts in satellite communications, VSAT networking and Internet services. We believe this new service will provide consumers with the highest level of satisfaction - improving their Internet connection speed and user experience in ways they never thought possible. We have chosen Gilat as the technology provider because it has demonstrated great performance and has provided an impressive roadmap for the product."

Contact:

Barry Spielman
Gilat Satellite Networks
Gilat House
21 Yegia Kpayim St.
Daniv Park, Kiryat Arye, Petah Tikva 49130
Israel
Tel: +972 3 925 2201

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