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Banco Bradesco implements extensive VSAT network.

The banking business, by its very nature, is information-intensive. Nowhere is this more evident than in Brazil, where the nation's volatile inflation rate requires major economic indicators, such as salaries, loans and bank accounts, to be indexed daily.

As a result, Brazilians immediately deposit their cash into the bank and each day draw out only what funds they need for that day. This creates a tremendous volume of daily transactions, which must be collected and processed as quickly as possible. In addition, many Brazilians pay their bills at their bank, often making several transactions a day.

Since there were not enough terrestrial lines available to cope with this daily transaction flood, Banco Bradesco, Brazil's largest private financial institution, opted to implement a satellite-based private telecommunications network from GTE Spacenet.

With this VSAT (very small aperture terminal) network, the bank has streamlined its procedures for collecting daily transaction reports from 750 branches throughout Brazil and transmitting the information to its central data center in Sao Paulo.

Based upon its initial success with VSATs, Banco Bradesco has embarked on a major enlargement of its network. The bank is adding 600 C-Band Skystar Plus VSATs in an upgrade that will include packet-switching capability to support bisynchronous and SDLC protocols. Implemented by Victori Communicacoes, Ltda., the network will include two fully redundant master hub earth stations, each capable of running the network alone. Victori Communicacoes also provides Banco Bradesco with local support and maintenance services throughout Brazil.

Founded in 1943, Banco Bradesco employs 81,000 personnel in 1,702 branches distributed across an area nearly the size of the continental United States. The firm maintains more than 15 million deposit accounts, making it one of South America's largest banks.

Since the early '80s, Banco Bradesco had been seeking ways to expedite the collection of daily transaction reports from branch offices, particularly at 200 remote sites near the Brazilian frontier. At the time, there was no telephone service in this region and other means of communications were limited. To collect transaction reports from these branches, the bank employed a fleet of boats that made several trips each day--a costly and time-consuming approach.

To meet its extensive data communications requirements, the bank initially considered a terrestrial system. The sheer number of telephone lines required to connect its branches made this option impractical. Just to install the necessary terrestrial lines would have taken three years.

After lengthy research, Banco Bradesco decided that a satellite-based private telecomm network might best meet its needs.

After two years of negotiations with the Brazilian government, Banco Bradesco persuaded it to implement legal and regulatory it to implement legal the company to proceed with the acquisition of its own satellite-based data communications network. The network clearly would bring more efficient banking services to Brazil's frontier, while stimulating growth throughout the country and helping its economy.

Following consultations with a number of satellite communications providers, Banco Bradesco signed an $8.74 contract in 1989 with Contel ASC (now GTE Spacenet) for 750 Equastar VSATs to be installed at many branches throughout Brazil. Most of these VSATs were installed by the end of 1991.

VSATs were specially configured to optimize the use of C-Band transponders aboard the BrazilSat satellite of the Brazil national telephone company, Embratel.

The initial VSAT network, with the ongoing upgrade, has extended Banco Bradesco's communications network throughout Brazil, even to the bank's branch offices on the Brazilian frontier. This network is a reliable and cost-effective way for the Bradesco banks to enjoy state-of-the-art communications technology and provide high-quality services to millions of customers.
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Title Annotation:very small aperture terminal
Author:Filho, Armando Trivelate
Publication:Communications News
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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