Delivering Multi-Transport Networks in Netherlands with Starlink, LTE and Fiber

How Damen-IT uses its Turnium platform to build and manage network connectivity.

Multi-Transport Networks in Netherlands

Below is an interview with Tom Damen, principal at Damen IT Groep from June 2023.
Damen IT Groep deploys single and multi-site networks and connectivity solutions across Netherlands and into Germany. Using a combination of fiber-based landline connectivity with Starlink satellite connectivity and LTE 4G as backup, Damen-IT delivers reliable bandwidth at cost-effective rates. Turnium’s platform enables Damen-IT to aggregate these multiple circuits into a single, easily managed connection and failover without losing voice, video, or secure sessions that are in progress.

Please describe your setup to support wireless and wireline connectivity

We run around 50 mobile sets and 10 fixed sets. The mobile sets use Starlink as the primary connection and LTE 4g as the backup connection. Our fixed sets are deployed at customer locations on fiber distribution points with a maximum of 30 clients per. For the fixed sets, the fiber connection is the primary and Starlink is the backup connection.

You are one of the few organizations that we know of that are using Starlink. What’s your experience with Starlink?

Combining more than 4 Starlink terminals is not useful because we just overload the satellite. Using Turnium’s platform, we can aggregate enough connections to deliver 240Mbps download with 60Mbps upload.

We set the terminals to 70/20Mbps and achieve a reliable connection. But of course, each Starlink installation needs to be clean, with no obstacles.

What’s the market reception to your solution? How competitive can you be?

Overall, it is a very good and reliable system. Very disruptive in point-to-point markets. A P2P installation will cost around $2500 USD for labor and hardware. Getting a competitive solution with a telco backhaul and associated maintenance under $88 USD per month is very difficult, by comparison.

What kind of performance limits do you run into? Either for yourself or for the end-customers?

We always run a secondary connection to ease out small disruptive things. There is always a risk of small disconnects.

Overall, we see good performance. Satellite internet is limited to the number of simultaneous connections. Putting it on a school LAN with 100+ kids using the internet at the same time is much less than ideal. But a small office with 5-15 workers without other options works really well and comes in at a very acceptable price point.

The interesting thing about this solution, using Starlink, is that the latency is around that of LTE 4G under load – meaning that we’re seeking around 40-60ms of latency. So, the performance is acceptable — it’s the same as users are getting off their mobiles.

Lastly, the administration of Starlink needs attention, a good admin can really help, but it’s still important to pay attention to billing, set identification, and other details.

About Damen IT Groep

Damen IT Groep, based in Arnhem, Netherlands, offers a wide range of solutions, with specialization in colocation, connectivity, and network infrastructure. The Damen IT Groep consists of professionals with a heart for technology and is the ideal partner in the field of connectivity, networks and infrastructure. Damen IT’s strength lies in designing, advising, implementing IT solutions. With a down-to-earth hands-on mentality and a solution-oriented team, Tom Damen and his team set their sights on the future, offering lightning-fast reliable internet, multifunctional network and infrastructure solutions, always with professional management and monitoring. Damen IT Groep is at your service.

Damen IT Groep
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