Gilat Telecom SD-WAN over satellite brings reliable connectivity to Africa

Gilat, one of Africa’s leading satellite communication providers, expanded its managed SD-WAN service to bring reliable, secure communications to more mobile operators, internet providers, enterprises, and government organizations as it works to close the digital divide in Africa.

As Gilat Telecom introduced its next-generation SD-WAN over satellite service, it chose the Juniper Session Smart Router™ for a scalable, operationally efficient way to provide high-quality customer experiences.


Company Gilat Telecom
Industry Service Provider
Products used Session Smart Router
Region EMEA
Gilat Telecom Image
Customer Success At-a-glance


Performance of customers’ critical applications over satellite links

Zero trust

Security with service-centric, tenant-based architecture


Capacity due to efficiency of a tunnel-free SD-WAN architecture


Of the African population lacks access to mobile broadband (International Telecommunications Union, 2021)


Scale up SD-WAN services in Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa has made remarkable digital progress but remains the region of the world with the largest internet coverage gap. Satellite often proves the best way to bring connectivity to rural and remote regions to satisfy the growing business and consumer demand.

Gilat wanted to expand its SD-WAN service to provide reliable connectivity to businesses, government organizations, and service providers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Uganda, and Nigeria.

However, Gilat was experiencing growing pains with its incumbent SD-WAN product, and customers were experiencing downtime. The product at the heart of its SD-WAN Max service had been acquired, and Gilat was struggling with licensing and vendor management.

Gilat needed an SD-WAN product that would meet its stringent performance, availability, and security requirements and work well despite the inherent bandwidth, latency, and cost constraints of satellite.

Gilat Telecom Challenge

Application-aware fabric delivers reliable connectivity

Gilat chose Juniper’s SD-WAN solution for its next-generation service because it brings reliable, flexible, and efficient connectivity to customers in urban, rural, and remote regions of Africa.

The Session Smart Router, which powers Juniper’s SD-WAN solution, creates an application-aware and zero-trust network fabric that helps the Gilat SD-WAN service improve its customers’ network experiences. Unlike conventional routing solutions, Session Smart Router has a tunnel-free architecture that consumes up to 30 percent less bandwidth. A software solution, the Session Smart Router runs on Gilat brand routers.

The Session Smart Router load balances and steers traffic based on policies, application-layer information, and the real-time status of Gilat’s satellite, fiber, and radio links. Traffic scheduling, shaping, and rate-limiting capabilities allow Gilat to enforce quality-of-service (QoS) policies and service-level agreements (SLAs) when latency is high or bandwidth is limited or congested. Zero-trust security is built in and customer data is protected end to end.

Gilat Telecom Solution

Reliable connectivity in hard-to-reach places

With the Juniper Session Smart Router at the heart of its managed SD-WAN service, Gilat has enhanced network availability and maximized capacity usage to meet its customers’ growing need for bandwidth in Africa.

Gilat first deployed the Juniper SD-WAN solution at a location in Uganda so remote that a heavy-usage customer was regularly experiencing two hours of downtime every day.

“Since we implemented the Juniper Session Smart Router, the customer has not had any downtime in months,” says Lipaz Hessel, former country manager of Gilat Telecom Uganda.

The agility and efficiency of the Session Smart Router are particularly important in Africa where internet bandwidth costs are among the highest in the world.

“In Africa, bandwidth can cost $80 per megabit,” says Hessel. “The tunnel-free architecture of the Session Smart Router saves us a lot of money.”

With a Juniper SD-WAN, Gilat can deliver fast, reliable, and operationally efficient connectivity services to help keep the continent connected.

Gilat Telecom Outcome
"With the Juniper Session Smart Router behind our managed SD-WAN service, connectivity at one very remote location in Uganda went from two hours of downtime every day to 100 percent uptime for months."
Lipaz Hessel Former Country Manager, Gilat Telecom Uganda

Published August 2023