Melita responds to demand for faster and better internet access
More video content and more devices connected to the internet are driving the demand for better access, leading Melita to invest in a new international link to Milan through Level 3, one of the only six so-called tier 1 data operators in the world which counts tech giants such as Apple and Netflix among its clients.
“Internet traffic continues to grow apace driven by, among others, more video content and more devices being connected to the web. As the internet traffic volume continues to grow, Melita decided this was the right moment to take its next steps in strengthening its international connectivity,” Melita chief technical officer Simon Montanaro explained.
“The new link improves services for a growing segment of business customers, particularly in the igaming and financial services sector, who run their business over the web and for whom the quality of international connectivity is critical.
“The link also complements work carried out by Melita in recent years on speed upgrades, not least raising the minimum entry speeds in bundles to 30Mbps and providing nationwide access to 100Mbps download speeds.”
The new link goes through Melita’s head-end at Madliena, through its submarine data cable connecting Malta to Sicily and complements the older link which had been in use for years.
While the new link to Milan with Level 3 has, by far, the more comprehensive reach and scale globally, the older link through Wind International Services has excellent services in Italy and this country is a popular destination for local traffic. A second link increases the resiliency of the internet services provided.
“The Government has adopted a clear vision for Malta to become a Smart Island and Melita supports and endorses this ambition. Malta’s physical isolation as an island state detached from mainland Europe drives the need for continuous improvements in international connectivity,” Mr Montanaro added.
Apart from investing in its core infrastructure and international connectivity, Melita has been piloting high-speed Internet access through public Wi-Fi hotspots. The aim is to provide its customers a seamless experience both at home and outside.
Melita’s chief technology officer revealed that “the first pilot projects went well and taught us lessons which are necessary to assimilate into our designs. In particular we had the opportunity to test the service in normal circumstances as well as under severe traffic conditions. We spent considerable time collecting feedback on customer experience, from Wi-Fi discovery, to log-in and usage – all of which vary from one handset and operating system to another.
“As the objective is to provide a truly integrated experience there is plenty of effort necessary from a core and transport layer perspective. Work is ongoing.
“There are also some changes in standards that require us to revisit our roadmap. Melita is currently engaged in dialogue with equipment vendors and the actual rollout is dependent on the outcome of these discussions.”
Melita’s efforts in the field of broadband internet access have been recognised by independent reviewers. As at the end of October, independent international website www.netindex.com showed that the average internet download speed for Melita’s customers reaches almost 23 Mbps as opposed to an EU average of 16Mbps and a local average of 17 Megabits.
More than 20,000 tests were performed by clients using their home or office computers to help www.netindex.com establish the average download speeds.
The operator has also scored an exceptional 98.5 per cent rating on the ‘Promise Index’ meaning that practically, all customers enjoy the broadband speed they pay for.