By Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect
Trade show panels always make for lively market discussions. So when I was asked to join “What’s New in Maritime Satellite Communications: A look at the Coming Advancements in Technology” at the Nor-Shipping event in Oslo this past week, I jumped aboard—no pun intended.
The hot topic of the panel, hosted by Gottlieb International and sponsored by Speedcast, was High Throughput Satellites (HTS). More specifically, how to prepare service providers for delivering high-speed services to the maritime market. You can find my presentation from the panel here.
For those who aren’t quite convinced that maritime is a growing market for high-speed voice and data services, take a look at what the experts have been saying lately:
- NSR hones in on significant growth projections in its latest Satcom Markets Report, indicating capacity (both HTS and FSS) driving annual revenues past the $5 billion market by 2024.
- According to the COMSYS Maritime market report, we’re entering a new phase of growth and the defining factors include rising end user adoption and service diversification.
I believe that the advent of HTS has huge implications for the shipping industry. Here’s a taste of what that demand in which COMSYS is describing looks like today:
- VSAT broadband networks are providing higher bandwidth applications to improve operations, productivity and crew welfare. Applications like route planning, engine diagnostics and weather applications are in high demand.
- When it comes to cruise, passengers want to stay connected using their personal wireless devices for social media, video and mobile calling services.
And all such opportunities are indeed real. Speaking on the panel, Simon Gatty-Saunt from SES gave a glimpse into some of the exciting HTS plans for the company. This involves three satellites planned for launch in 2017. Read More
The Small Cells World Summit kicks off next week in London, and with it comes a focus on the solutions that help mobile operators deliver the best quality user experience in the most cost-efficient manner. In the case of satellite technology, when combined with small cells, it can help shift the cost dynamics and deployment methodology for connecting remote and rural areas.
iDirect remains at the center of such discussions. Visit booth 81 where our product experts will introduce you to iDirect SatHaul. This TDMA-based solution provides an efficient satellite transport for small cells using traditional broad beam or High Throughput Satellites, along with advanced optimization capabilities that reduce the amount of bandwidth needed for voice or data.
When you package it all together, what you get is an efficient satellite backhaul solution that helps operators expand voice and data services into rural and remote regions more reliably and cost effectively than ever before. Read More
We are one week away from CommunicAsia 2015, one of the biggest events for communications in Asia Pacific. This is a region that, according to NSR, could become the largest two-way broadband VSAT market worldwide in the next decade.
Be sure to see iDirect at this year’s event. We will be in booth IP3-01, showcasing how our products are helping satellite operators and service providers meet market demands across Asia-Pacific.
Here is a closer look at how some of the biggest trends in the Asia-Pacific region intersect with the technology you can expect to see from iDirect at CommunicAsia 2015.
The Trend: According to NSR, in the next 10 years Asia Pacific will experience a spike in installed base growth due to the impending influx of new High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity. Much of this increase in capacity is driven by new technologies or services that will provide more capacity at lower cost.
The Solution: iDirect’s Evolution® Product Portfolio
Today, more than 350 satellite service providers are leveraging Evolution. The product line consists of a universal hub and network management system, a series of line cards, operating software and a portfolio of remotes to provide investment protection with the flexibility to upgrade to higher capabilities in the future. Read More
By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe
At the recent Counter Terror Expo (CT Expo) in London there was a lot of focus on the physical side of security, like barriers, fences, etc.; this is to be expected. Let’s face it, barriers and fences are the first things most people think of when they are trying to control access to an area.
The area that is being secured could be anything from a small perimeter of tens of metres, such as a forward operating base, all the way up to a national border spanning hundreds, maybe thousands, of kilometres.
There are obvious limitations to fences. They can be easily breached if they span across uninhabited areas. Quite often, by the time you realise they’ve been breached, the trespasser is long gone. The traditional solution to this problem is to have lookout points, or watchtowers, posted at regular intervals. These dramatically increase costs. Another solution is to have regular patrols up and down the fence. Patrols are cheaper, but less effective and over time it can be easy to avoid these patrols as they can become predictable. Any amateur that’s watched any movie that involves getting into or out of an area through some sort of fence knows to wait until the patrol has passed so they have the maximum time to breach the fence and make an escape before the breach is discovered.
One of the technologies on display at the CT Expo was a type of electronic watchtower. By installing remote sensing technology, movement or some other trigger can be used to start the transmission of live video or data to a central control point, and quick reaction forces can be used to intercept any potential intruders. These systems require the use of some form of backhaul technology to link these remote sensors to the central point, and because of the remote nature, satellite technology is the obvious solution. Read More
As data growth continues to expand, mobile operators must look to profitably extend their networks into remote and rural areas. iDirect helped to make the case for the use of satellite at the Small Cells Asia event that took place last week in Singapore.
The venue seemed fitting given the fact Asia is home to more small cells deployments than any other region. The use of small cells, along with the advancement of satellite ground infrastructure and the delivery of more high throughput capacity to the enterprise market with High Throughput Satellite (HTS), are helping to make the business case for satellite for backhaul.
This was a major point emphasized by Gerry Collins, iDirect’s director of business development, during his session ‘The Business Case for Satellite Backhaul 2G, 3G & 4G’ at Mobile Backhaul Asia—which was co-located with Small Cells Asia.
Collins emphasized iDirect’s proven track record in the area of mobile backhaul, and highlighted new opportunities for satellite with small cells. This includes:
- Rural locations, villages, isolated properties
- Remote industrial sites – mines, drilling rigs, and machine-to-machine (M2M)
- Mobility markets, including maritime ships, planes and trains
- Military and first responder drop-in networks
Among the key takeaways associated with 2G, 3G & 4G networks:
- 2G networks will remain the primary technology that connects billions of people in unconnected parts of the world. The availability and low cost of 2G handsets make it a logical choice for expanding into remote and rural locations.
- 3G networks remains a challenge for mobile operators if they don’t have a cost effective means for backhaul.
- 4G network interfaces that are better defined and allow for greater user-based optimization across a range of different products from different mobile infrastructure vendors. This remains vital as throughput requirements continue to elevate on mobile networks.
Many operators believe that small cells for urban will be integral to 4G given the growing data demand. This demand is projected to grow enormously in the coming years. By 2020, more than 55% of the data will be video by 2020 and 90% of all people over the age of six old will have mobile service. In addition, Cisco sees global mobile data traffic increasing nearly tenfold between, growing at a compound annual rate of 57%.
As mobile networks continue growing at a rapid pace, cellular backhaul remains a high-growth market with tremendous upside for satellite.
During times of natural disaster VSAT plays an essential role in maintaining critical communications associated with relief efforts. Such capabilities were on display in the wake of Cyclone Pam, which hit the island of Vanuatu at the end of March.
One of the initial relief efforts deployed to the island was a 73-meter yacht, the M/Y Dragonfly, tasked with transporting aid, SAR and medical teams from Port Vila to isolated islands that are without communication. The yacht was equipped with satellite technology and equipment donated from iDirect, MTN Communications and Intelsat.
The M/Y Dragonfly, was the first to answer a call for disaster relief efforts to the island by YachtAid Global. YachtAid Global is an organization dedicated to delivering humanitarian, developmental and conservation aid onboard yachts to isolated and underprivileged coastal communities around the world.
When disaster strikes, it is important to have a communications plan that is quickly deployed in any environment and under any circumstance. The use of satellite, independent of terrestrial infrastructure, becomes the ideal choice, providing fast setup and connectivity.
iDirect technology is used in emergency relief scenarios around the globe, providing relief teams with reliable global coverage whether in densely populated urban areas where the infrastructure is damaged, or remote locations where infrastructure does not currently exist. With the technology, first responders are given complete communications capabilities with voice, data and video.
One of the key themes emerging from Satellite 2015 last week was this: The opportunity for global connectivity is at an all-time high, and satellite is in prime position to capitalize.
There is a great deal of excitement surrounding our industry, with a wave of new entrants coming into the market, an infusion of fresh IT talent and new opportunities emerging in such key markets as enterprise, mobility and government. In all, it speaks to the fact that continued demand for connectivity will lead to expansive opportunity across the entire industry.
Have Your HTS Plans Ready
Anchoring the event was a message from the executives of Intelsat, SES, Telesat, and Eutelsat: It’s time to start putting a high throughput satellite (HTS) plan in place. During the session “Big Four – Crunch Time Approaches,” they spoke of a coming period of acceleration in the market; one that will necessitate HTS plans to be in place sooner rather than later.
In fact, executives from both SES and Intelsat indicated new innovations coming to the FSS satellite market, such as the faster production of satellites and more intelligence through architectures that support “software-defined payloads” providing greater flexibility, lower operational costs and quicker time to market. All in all, the buzz around HTS was as hot as ever at Satellite 2015.
Capacity supply and demand was the topic of NSR’s 4th Annual Breakfast Briefing under the theme: “The Satellite Capacity Bubble: Will it Pop?” Read More