Category Archives: HTS

HTS Bandwidth Management: Can A Satellite Change Its Spots?

Denis SutherlandBy Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

Having the right amount of satellite capacity available in the right place is critical to the success of Service Providers and Satellite Operators leveraging High Throughput Satellites (HTS).

As discussed in previous blogs, I expect to see Service Providers deploy a blended portfolio of different business models. That means they will use managed services in some geographical regions, but then also deploy their own infrastructure on other satellites. At the same time we will see satellite operators coming down from space, and offering Mbps service due to the economics of multi-spot beam HTS. Service Providers will leverage these products as well, with terminals roaming from their own network infrastructure onto the satellite operator networks based on the geographical locations the services require.

Managing Bandwidth Across Multiple Spot Beams

Maintaining Service Level Agreements (SLAs) across the entire customer network requires managing the combined bandwidth from the multiple spot beams dedicated to that service as one single bandwidth pool. In traditional wide-beam satellites, a regional network was often covered by a single beam. In a multi spot-beam environment, however, covering a similar region means managing bandwidth across multiple spot beams and networks.

Mobility

HTS planning issues become acute when you have mobile terminals. Imagine you want to cover a large geographic area, for example, North America; some HTS satellites need 50 spot beams to cover such an area. Now consider a service provider that offers an SLA to provide 1 Mbps to each terminal over this region; as terminals move around from beam-to-beam some spot beams could be empty, while others would have many terminals. Read More

iDirect Velocity® Capitalizes On Greater Performance, Scale And Reliability

By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

Nikola-KromerScale. As Denis Sutherland, iDirect’s Director of Business Development, addressed in his most recent blog, the advent of high throughput satellite (HTS) services is challenging the entire satellite ecosystem with regards to scale.

It is a thread that I’d like to discuss as we look at how the ground infrastructure is evolving to support new HTS architectures.

The Facts:

HTS delivers higher aggregate throughput for the same amount of allocated frequency in orbit. A significant reason for higher throughput is frequency reuse, which is the process of using the same spectrum across multiple sites within a network resulting in a need for the ground infrastructure to enable many more carriers across a wider MHz spectrum.

Hub equipment needs to manage an increasingly diverse and integrated network portfolio that comprises of multiple satellites, frequency bands and market applications. Plus with the larger transponder sizes with HTS it requires massive scaling on the hub and line card systems.

The use of gateway beams changes where infrastructure must be located and how it will be deployed and managed. With an HTS uplink design, an operator can no longer place hubs anywhere under a beam. Instead, the entire hub infrastructure is oftentimes concentrated in fewer gateway beams scaling the network a single satellite or network operator needs to manage to new heights.

HTS throughput levels can also lead to more remotes per network and a larger overall bandwidth pool to manage, which can ultimately drive business growth for satellite operators and increase the operational complexity exponentially.

iDirect-Velocity-Capabilities Read More

Scaling To New Heights With HTS

By Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

Denis SutherlandStaying in sync with the exciting innovation in space is one of our primary objectives at iDirect. When developing products and solutions, we consider the current and future environments in which they will operate, along with the challenges our operators may face.

Here’s what we are seeing:

High throughput satellite (HTS) services will be delivered through a technology ecosystem where all the elements are being challenged in terms of scale. Satellites are rapidly growing in terms size and capability, thus the ground infrastructure needs to be scalable. Consider the recent announcements from satellite operators SES, Telenor, Telesat, among the examples. Looking in particular at the Intelsat EpicNG platform, it will provide three- to-five times more capacity than Intelsat Broadbeam satellites. The expected throughput is 25-60 Gbps, typically 10 times more than traditional Ku-band GEO satellites.

It’s useful to analyze HTS characteristics that are increasing in scale in greater detail, and the impact it has on VSAT ground infrastructure requirements.

Larger Transponder Sizes
Not so long ago, 36 or 72Mhz transponders were so common on satellites that industry consultants used this as a standard unit to measure the growth in capacity available in the market. Now we are seeing satellites with transponders from 100MHz all the way up to 500MHz!  Satellite operators see gains in terms of the power being used to enable larger amounts of spectrum. This increases the demand on the inbound line cards to support higher symbol rates, and number of carriers. It also drives the need for capabilities to support awider ranges of frequencies. On the outbound, from hub to terminals, it means much larger symbol rate carriers are requested.

Frequency Re-use (Multi Spot)
As we know, HTS delivers higher aggregate throughput for the same amount of allocated frequency in orbit. This frequency re-use is the process of using the same spectrum across multiple beams within a network – resulting in the ground infrastructure needing to enable many more carriers. For every spot beam, an outbound modulator and multiple inbound carriers are needed. To do this, the hub infrastructure must be scalable, in terms of number of carriers enabled as the satellite fills. This increase is much higher than a traditional satellite: if you have 10 times more capacity roughly 10 times more infrastructure is needed to enable it. Read More

Taking Flight: VSAT And The Connected Aircraft

By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

Nikola-KromerEarlier this week, NSR’s Claude Rousseau authored a great piece for the iDirect blog that sized up the market for satellite-based connections aboard commercial aircrafts over the next decade. He anticipates that this market will reach $3.9 billion by 2024, with roughly $2.1 billion for in-flight connectivity. And as he points out, there is still ‘leg room’ to grow.

On that note, let’s hone in on growth for higher bandwidth applications in particular. Consider the fact that today about 47,500 in-service satcom units in aero are supporting low data rate applications. As high-throughput satellites (HTS) fulfill the demand for higher bandwidth, we can look to a range of uses for VSAT aboard commercial aircraft going forward.

The Connected Aircraft

Today, nearly every major airline is rolling out or planning to deploy in-flight connectivity. For passengers, this means video streaming, voice connections and Wi-Fi. For the airline, it means a range of operational efficiencies, including:

  • Optimizing crew utilization
  • Improving on-time performance and charting
  • Measurement of key data such as speed and fuel consumption

TheConnectedAircraft

More and more, the airline industry is embracing VSAT to support all such capabilities. With VSAT, airlines are able to offer higher data rates, with continual coverage for both domestic and international routes. And the advent of HTS is dramatically improving capacity economics, which addresses the traditional challenge of higher operational expenses based on the cost of satellite bandwidth. Read More

Passenger Demands For Connectivity Extend To Personal Devices

Claude Rousseau, Research Director, NSR

NSR_Claude_HS (2)The growth in the market for in-flight connectivity (IFC) is driven in no small part by passengers boarding aircrafts with their own personal electronics devices (PEDs). Whether they are using them for entertainment, work or to update social media, an increasing number of PEDs require connectivity. All of this is leading to an increased usage of satellite-based communication to and from an aircraft.

NSR’s Aeronautical Satcom Markets, 3rd Edition report found that having access to data and Wi-Fi services in the air is no longer seen as a luxury, but as a necessity for many passengers who use their time onboard to stay connected with those on the ground. This in-turn feeds airlines’ installation on wide-body and narrow-body airplanes of satellite antennas that offer increasingly higher bandwidth to serve a demanding set of passengers.

As a result, the NSR forecast for satellite-based commercial aircraft connectivity is set to grow to $3.9 billion by 2024, of which about $2.1 billion will be for in-flight connectivity, reinforced by a clear trend towards higher bandwidth demand being delivered by high-throughput satellites (HTS). NSR has also noted that many service providers in the IFC market understand this trend and all the major players such as Panasonic, GEE, GoGo and SITA OnAir have HTS capacity deals to meet this rising demand from passengers.

And there is still a lot of ‘leg room’ to grow for satellite-based services aboard aircrafts if we consider that of the more than 100,000 aircrafts that could be outfitted with a satcom solution, only about 47,500 in-service satcom units are deployed but mainly to support low data rate applications. Most of these units are in smaller airplanes and used for voice and basic data communications. Read More

High Throughput On The High Seas: Observations From Nor-Shipping 2015

By Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

Denis SutherlandTrade 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

Small Cells World Summit: Satellite Technology in Focus

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.

iDirect SatHaul

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

Bringing HTS to Market

Denis SutherlandBy Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

The advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) technology means that the VSAT industry is poised to enter a new era of innovation and possibility. Challenges associated with quality, reliability and cost have been addressed, positioning satellite communication for exponential growth and mass adoption.

At the most fundamental level, HTS represents a major advance in satellite architecture design.

Compared with a traditional broad-beam satellite, HTS can be defined by three primary characteristics, as depicted in the diagram below:

iDirect HTS

The use of multiple spot beams changes where infrastructure must be located and how it will be deployed and managed. With an HTS feeder link design, an operator can no longer place hubs anywhere under a beam. Instead, the entire hub infrastructure must be located within a feeder link managed by a single network operator. Read More

Celebrating 50 Years of Nor-Shipping with iDirect Partner Events

50years_bThis week, the global maritime market convenes in Oslo for the annual Nor-Shipping exhibition and conference. The year marks the 50th anniversary of this premier event covering global communications for the maritime industry, and what better way to celebrate than with major announcements and VIP events?

iDirect will be on hand in Oslo this week in support of our partners as they host customer and channel events, as well as promote their most recent news.

Intelsat: Coming off the announcement last week of IntelsatOne Flex®, Intelsat is sure to be among the big newsmakers at the event. This customizable, high-performance managed service that leverages Intelsat’s new EpicNG fleet of spot-beam satellites along with its existing global Ku-Band fleet, uses iDirect VelocityVelocity has been fully optimized for Intelsat Epic to provide scalability, performance and higher throughput.

Airbus/Marlink: Today, more than 10,000 vessels operate using services from Airbus/Marlink. The company will celebrate its success with its customer base, hosting a VIP event. Jerome Clappison, iDirect’s senior director sales strategic and key accounts, and Michael Haddad, senior sales engineer will attend. Read More

iDirect Velocity® Powers IntelsatOne® Flex

Today, Intelsat announced the launch of IntelsatOne Flex, a customizable, high-performance managed service that leverages Intelsat’s new Epic fleet of spot-beam satellites along with its existing global Ku-Band fleet.

IntelsatOne Flex offers service providers improved performance and coverage without the cost and complexities that come with managing hardware across multiple spot beams, required to incorporate HTS into their existing network infrastructure.

Service providers can easily and cost-effectively launch services across the maritime, aero and government verticals, offering their customers greater accessibility and improved economics through the use of smaller antennas.

The Intelsat offering will allow service providers to maintain control over their network by allowing them to continue to manage the customization, contention and prioritization of sub networks and end-user terminals with tiered Committed Information Rate (CIR) plans.

Powered by Velocity

IntelsatOne Flex uses iDirect Velocity®, a ground infrastructure platform designed for AllDiagramslarge-scale global HTS networks, which has been fully optimized for Intelsat EpicNG to provide scalability, performance and higher throughput.

Intelsat will use Velocity’s unique global bandwidth management feature to streamline and simplify the management of capacity across the entire Intelsat fleet of satellites, ensuring connectivity across multiple spot-beams. Velocity features very fast beam switching powering Intelsat’s Mobility flexibility. Read More