Intelsat’s latest EpicNG deal with SkyPerfect JSAT was not easy to do and in fact took well over a year to complete, according to Bruno Fromont, senior vice -president of strategy and asset management at Intelsat. Fromont told Via Satellite that Intelsat had been working on this deal “for quite some time” and that it had been “18 months in the making.”
Intelsat and Sky Perfect JSAT announced earlier this month that they had signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture that will launch a new satellite with optimized C-band and high throughput Ku-band capacity to satisfy the growing mobility and broadband connectivity demands in the Asia-Pacific region. To be known as Horizons 3e, the satellite is based on the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput design, which, upon launch, will complete the global footprint of the Intelsat EpicNG next generation platform. The satellite will be stationed at the 169 degrees east orbital location with a launch expected in the second half of 2018.
Sky Perfect JSAT is a long-standing partner of Intelsat, and given the history that the two operators share, the deal is perhaps not a surprise. Also, with Japan being such an important market and an overall telecommunications hub, the partnership makes a lot of sense for Intelsat.
Fromont said Intelsat felt the partnership model made the most sense for its first High Throughput Satellite in Asia. Continue >
By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe
Global MilSatcom was a real success last week with more people than ever gathering to learn about developments in the MilSatcom world. As predicted, the Airbus evening event on day two was a real highlight and this year the choice of venue was inspired. Just after the release of the latest James Bond Film, Spectre, we went to the London Film Museum and had a reception in the thrilling Bond in Motion exhibition.
Bond is known for his love of Martinis, shaken, not stirred. But after Global MilSatcom, I felt the other way around – Stirred, not shaken. I’ll explain.
I wasn’t shaken because there wasn’t really anything to be shaken by. One of the main themes was the need for greater collaboration between the defence organisations and the commercial satellite sector. Not a groundbreaking observation really. Partnerships are nothing new to iDirect and we’ve been working hand-in-glove with defence organisations for decades, developing products and platforms that have the defence and security community’s needs at their heart.
With market leading security features, Network Management System (NMS) and Quality of Service (QoS), iDirect have engaged with the defence users to provide a capable platform, which is resilient and affordable. The QoS options allow separation of welfare traffic and operational traffic and allows managers to distinguish between a myriad of levels of priority and allocate valuable resources as needed, guaranteeing the levels of service required. The NMS is the most powerful in the industry, allowing commercial partners and end users varying levels of control and monitoring. And the security with TRANSEC and FIPS-140-2 protection is second to none. With the introduction of the 9000 series remotes, the separate TRANSEC module allows for fast re-certification, meaning defence forces can keep pace with the technological advances and stay abreast of features the commercial sector enjoys, whilst maintaining security and accreditation. Read More
Today, advances in satellite technology and wireless infrastructure are enabling mobile operators to reach new subscribers and expand their networks into remote and rural regions of the world in a smart, profitable way.
Let’s focus on one area where new wireless infrastructure is making an impact: small cells. When coupled with HTS (High Throughput Satellite) and advanced satellite ground infrastructure technology, small cells provide an efficient, targeted alternative for remote and rural coverage compared to large macro cells—at the same level of investment.
Small cells are being deployed globally in urban areas, as opposed to using large macro cells, in order to offload data traffic in congested areas. Based on their size, small cells are easier to deploy, require less energy and need less infrastructure at a site. Building on the same small cell infrastructure being used to connect urban sites, the business case for connecting rural and remote sites is changing.
A recently published white paper by Real Wireless analyzed rural populations in more than 200 countries, along with various rural areas within the United States. The goal was to assess the potential benefits of small cells in bringing coverage to rural and remote populations worldwide.
At iDirect, we wanted to take this analysis a step further. So we commissioned Real Wireless to augment the findings from this study and independently assess the benefits to operators of using satellite backhaul on remote cellular sites.
Our goal was this: Given the option to deploy small cells with satellite backhaul as a complement to traditional macrocells, rather than just choosing macrocells alone to extend coverage, would mobile operators be able to extend their reach with the same investment? Read More
With iDirect Velocity™ in full operation on Inmarsat-5 F1& F2 satellites, next round of rigorous testing readies Global Xpress for full commercial service
Herndon, Va., October 27, 2015 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that it will begin the final leg of an ambitious rollout program of its iDirect Velocity™ ground infrastructure platform to support Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite fleet. iDirect will start over-the-air testing of iDirect Velocity™ on the Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite. The initiative follows the successful Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and Over-the-Satellite Acceptance Testing (OSAT) of iDirect Velocity™ on Inmarsat-5 F1 and F2 satellites, as well as Site Acceptance Testing at Inmarsat’s GX earth stations, ready for GX global service introduction.
Inmarsat’s GX service is being introduced as the world’s first seamless, globally available platform for high-speed, Ka-band satellite connectivity services provided through a single operator. GX will be accessible to users worldwide and is targeted at both the mobility and fixed markets.
iDirect is providing Inmarsat with the first deployment of its iDirect Velocity™ platform, including the core features that enable GX’s unique broadband mobility capabilities. Through the iDirect Velocity™ global bandwidth management system, Inmarsat can integrate capacity across multiple spot beams to deliver seamless broadband connectivity and provide tiered service options to its distribution partners. The iDirect Velocity™ platform’s high-speed infrastructure, including the core remote module technology that powers GX terminals, allows Inmarsat to offer broadband connectivity that is up to 100 times faster than Inmarsat’s existing L-band constellations. And iDirect Velocity™ ensures carrier-class redundancy to protect Inmarsat’s worldwide network reliability. Read More
Posted onOctober 27, 2015byiDirect.
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High Throughput Satellite (HTS) advances in throughput are well understood at this point. Now, the demand for innovation shifts back to ground infrastructure. In particular, how will ground infrastructure technology providers advance their platforms to enable satellite operators and service providers to best capture the HTS opportunity?
At iDirect, our goal is to ensure that service providers can leverage their investment in the existing ground infrastructure while taking advantage of HTS opportunities in the most profitable way. However, these new HTS satellite architectures come with a new set of challenges for the ground.
In a brief video, Designing a Ground Infrastructure Platform for HTS, Greg Quiggle, VP of Product Management, identifies the areas of innovation that we are looking to do at iDirect to enable both of our platforms iDirect Velocity™ and iDirect Evolution® to be optimized for HTS. He outlines the areas around scalability on the hub, higher performance on the remote side and scaling and automation on the network management side.
Here are some key considerations that we are looking at in the video:
HTS offers higher throughput rates than traditional broad beam satellites. Enabling these advances on the hub side means that the platform infrastructure must handle higher aggregate symbol rates, deliver more efficient modulation and coding techniques, and saturate larger transponder sizes. The hub infrastructure must be able to manage increasingly more beams, more frequencies, more MHz and ultimately many more carriers on the service providers’ network. The other consideration for the hub side is adaptivity achieved by Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) and Adaptive TDMA to maximize data throughput and optimized traffic in changing weather conditions and satellite link degradations. Read More
Posted onOctober 13, 2015byiDirect.
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Maritime communications specialist OmniAccess has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Panasonic Avionics to participate in the development of the company’s XTS “Extremely High Throughput” satellite network program.
Panasonic has agreements with Intelsat for high throughput capacity on two EpicNG satellites, as well as with Eutelsat for the upcoming Eutelsat 172B. The company is in the process of contracting for XTS high throughput satellites to bring massive amounts of capacity to aeronautical, energy, maritime and mining customers. Through this agreement OmniAccess has secured access to Panasonic’s existing capacity, currently contracted capacity, and the future XTS satellite network, bringing that same capacity and performance to its yachting and cruise ship customers. OmniAccess also foresees extensive cooperation in the areas of entertainment systems and content provisioning.
In a February 2015 interview with Via Satellite, David Bruner VP of global communications at Panasonic Avionics described the company’s “Extreme HTS” strategy as reaching global coverage, then layering additional capacity over highly traversed areas. The company envisions having global HTS coverage by 2017. Continue >
Posted onOctober 2, 2015byiDirect.
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Mobil Satellite Technologies, a leading provider of mobile and fixed satellite Internet connectivity services, announced today that it has launched a new high-bandwidth 10 Mbps download X 4 Mbps Ku-Band service for use anywhere in the North America.
This iDirect compatible service offers a great solution for users requiring high-throughput satellite performance while leveraging existing Ku-Band hardware. Ku-Band service operates with longer wavelengths, giving Ku-Band a superior ability to perform through inclement environmental conditions.
The Mobil Satellite Technologies satellite network has been configured to support this new service with 1.2 meter antennas with only an 8 Watt BUC, which are now available in a small, fan-less form factor that no longer require auxiliary power supplies that allows a simple replacement of the existing BUCs on almost any mobile or fixed 1.2 meter VSAT antenna.
Kirk Williams, Director of Sales at Mobil Satellite Technologies, commented: “This new service gives users the ability to upgrade to an extremely robust satellite broadband service while continuing to use their existing Ku-Band equipment. Before this new service, users would have had to buy all new Ka-band satellite hardware to have access to service plans offering these kinds of data speeds.” Continue >
Posted onOctober 1, 2015byiDirect.
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As he outlined, HTS satellite architectures oftentimes drive a higher concentration of hub equipment at the central gateway site. Higher throughputs on HTS drive larger scale and service complexities resulting in massive networks with thousands of remotes managed by fewer gateways. Scaling many more networks and customers from fewer gateway locations introduces a greater need for network resiliency, and more specifically, teleport and gateway reliability.
Protecting the network from service degradation, service interruptions or even catastrophic events is key to ensuring a very high availability and reliability of the HTS network. And since quite a few HTS constellation leverage Ka-Band, where its frequency has a higher susceptibility to rain fade compared to Ku-band and C-band, maintaining consistent network availability under all weather conditions requires special features.
The Reliability of the Network and its Components
At iDirect, we have designed our platform to have built-in high availability on all aspects of the hub infrastructure ranging from superior line card availability and hub component redundancy, to rain diversity and all the way to complete gateway redundancy. Read More
By Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect
It has always been critical to ensure that satellite communications infrastructure remain online, and operational. High Throughput Satellites (HTS) introduce many reasons for redundancy and resiliency—five reasons, to be exact. Let’s take a look.
1) Gateway Architecture
One of the critical factors that impact satellite operators and service providers is the architecture of a high throughput satellite. Centrally located hub infrastructure accessing a gateway beam, a feeder link, leads to an increased amount of traffic generated from a single teleport, which equates to greater risk of network failure or service impact from uplink degradation. This is particularly relevant in the case of Ka-band, as its frequency has a higher susceptibility to rain fade compared to Ku-band and C-band. Since Ka-band frequencies are particularly prone to rain fade, a network must also leverage adaptive modulation techniques, such as Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) and Adaptive TDMA, to achieve the maximum data throughput and optimized traffic in changing weather conditions.
In many cases satellite operators that are managing the teleport will make provision for service degradation such as for weather so severe that ACM can’t protect the link, or for a failure in the teleport. This will also drive operators to consider smarter gateway diversity, ensuring that failure in one gateway, will be backed up in a different location. This is the case with Telenor’s Thor 7, as explained here, which has two uplinks in Norway to achieve carrier-grade availability.
2) Scale of Networks
In a previous blog I considered how HTS networks will increase in scale. There will be additional network infrastructure with HTS, due to increased numbers of beams, more terminals, and higher data rates. As the networks grows the need for reliable network infrastructure increases. Read More
By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect
In his recent blog Denis Sutherland, iDirect’s Director of Business Development, points out the challenge facing Satellite Operators when it comes to having the right amount of satellite capacity available in the right place over the lifetime of the satellite. This is critical to the success of Satellite Operators launching High Throughput Satellites (HTS). And managing that bandwidth across multiple HTS spot beams comes with a set of additional considerations for both Satellite Operators as well as Service Providers. Why is that?
Managing HTS bandwidth across multiple spot beams, compared to a single wide-beam coverage is a challenge. It comes down to being able to maintain Service Level Agreements (SLAs) across the entire customer network by managing the network capacity on multiple spot beams as one single bandwidth pool.
Think also about the difference in operational economics that come with multiple spot beams. Service Providers who are only using a few MHz on each beam would need to equip multiple spot beams with ground infrastructure versus just a single wide beam. That’s why we see more Satellite Operators planning to pre-populate multiple spot beams with hubs and line cards to allow Service Providers to cost-effectively operate regional networks. It is for these reasons that we expect to see more Satellite Operators coming down from space to start offering managed services.
It will have a direct impact on the business models for how Satellite Operators will bring HTS to market. Check out this infographic that describes the HTS business models in more detail.
Thus far, the most common model we have seen play out with HTS is the Satellite Operator as the principle owner and operator of the platform, managing bandwidth on one or more satellites. Depending on the business model, the Satellite Operator sells a Mbps service to Service Providers or end-customers directly. Read More