Category Archives: HTS

HTS Offers Solution to Rising Connectivity Demands at Sea

From Via Satellite

Noting an uptick in expectation for faster bandwidth in the satellite communications market, NSSLGlobal recently ran a study that found nearly half of all superyacht crewmembers expect to receive the same connectivity speeds at sea as they do on land. With superyachts leading rapidly rising expectations for faster and more reliable maritime connectivity, the question becomes whether or not technology can keep pace.

“Fifty percent of the world’s population is under 30. The younger working-age population has grown up with connectivity as the norm,” Sally-Anne Ray, managing director of NSSLGlobal told Via Satellite. “Increasingly ‘IT-savvy’ crew expects to always be online, which results in a demand for increased speed as well as different ways of using bandwidth.”

With bandwidth previously used primarily for voice and email communications to keep in touch with loved ones while abroad, in just a few short years these demands have been replaced with the desire to access applications such as Facebook, Skype, Whatsapp and FaceTime, all of which are “potentially bandwidth-hungry” applications.

Solutions such as Kerio Control or NSSLGlobal’s Cruise Control can help yacht operators ensure that bandwidth isn’t being wasted while companies improve equipment onboard to try to meet demand. Meanwhile, crewmembers can turn off automatic updates and synching while on board to prioritize bandwidth. But with superyacht owners who have more resources available — often setting the tone for the rest of the industry — it’s likely other vessels will come to demand more reliable connectivity at sea as well, calling for a more permanent solution.

“We definitely believe that demand in the superyacht sector will ripple out to the rest of the maritime community,” Ray said. “This is especially true of commercial maritime where the introduction of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC-2006), which establishes minimum working and living standards for all seafarers, has meant vessels must re-evaluate their bandwidth.” Passengers aboard cruise ships also often expect similar standards at sea as on land, and support vessels for offshore oilrigs have high bandwidth requirements as well. Continue >

Raising the VSAT Opportunity

From VSAT Voice Blog

By Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

These days tremendous buzz surrounds the satellite industry. I’m not talking just about allDenis Sutherland of global billionaires looking to launch “micro satellites” in the coming years. Excitement exists in the traditional satellite market as well, with opportunity abundant for those that step forward as leaders.

Market demand is high, next generation satellites are being launched and the talk of satellite going mainstream is as hot as ever. Let’s examine each of these further.

Crunching the Numbers
The demand for connectivity has reached unprecedented new levels. By 2020 it is projected that nearly 4 billion people will be connected to the Internet, according to Cisco. With this influx of users comes three times the global IP traffic than what we have today. That translates to a growth rate in IP traffic of 21%.

Add to this the projected 20 billion devices and 50 billion machines communicating via IP by 2020 and you realize that there is a need to redefine how communication networks are designed and what they need to deliver.

In fact, enterprise markets are already gearing up for acceleration in demand. Here are some eye-opening projections to consider:

  • By 2023 NSR expects that 33% of the 49,855 VSAT-connected vessels at sea will be on HTS.
  • Over the next ten years, we will see an increase in the number of aircraft connected from just over 3,000 aircraft to more than 13,000, says Euroconsult.
  • Ericsson is projecting an additional 2.4 billion mobile subscribers by 2019, many of which will come from emerging markets.
  • Military VSAT services worldwide will reach $10 billion by 2021, says NSR
  • By 2023 10% of connected O&G sites will be for exploration and production, (12% of those sites will utilize HTS capacity), generating 50% of retail revenue and using 77% of bandwidth in the market, says NSR. Continue >

Maritime VSAT Revolution or Evolution? Back to the Battle of the Bands

By Thomas Bopp, Director, Sales System Engineering, VT iDirect

The maritime satellite communication and shipping industries convened this week in IMG_5078Bergen, Norway for the Digital Ship Conference. Prior to the kickoff of this event was the Marlink VIP Customer Update and Dinner, during which many important discussions unfolded related to advancements in maritime communication and the various ways in which shipping companies can leverage these advancements.

Broadband VSAT has become business-critical for the maritime sector. That being said, the limits of reach, availability and throughput are continuously being pushed further. This ultimately begs the fundamental question for the user:

Will the technological innovations prove disruptive or will they transparently integrate and introduce efficiency gains so that the user experience is enhanced?

This was the topic of my presentation at the Marlink event. In some ways, this particular IMG_5087discussion starts with the debate between bands. Here are a few key takeaways to this debate:

  • Ku-band is now dominating maritime VSAT service delivery with C-band still holding on to its market spot.
  • Ka-band has entered the market with a larger and higher frequency range, and the promise of additional capacity and higher throughput, smaller antennas and the use of more efficient modulation and error codes.
  • Challenges facing Ka-band include the higher susceptibility to rain fade and phase noise and the entry cost of any new technology at the beginning of a product cycle.
  • The satellite industry has responded with well-proven carrier adaptivity, maximizing spectral efficiency and availability, and hub diversity and advanced quality of service (QoS) to protect service-level agreements (SLAs) during fade conditions. Antenna vendors bring to market cost-effective solutions that integrate satellite routers based on the OpenAMIP standard.

The Ka-band vs. Ku-band discussion feels like a déjà vu of the older Ku-band vs. C-band discussion a few years ago. As the dust begins to settle, it becomes clearer that the choice will be less technical and driven more by such factors as market and value. Ultimately, it is safe to say that the frequency ranges will coexist for the foreseeable future. Read More

Preparing Oil and Gas for HTS

From OffComm News

It is predicted by NSR that by 2023 10% of connected O&G sites will be for exploration and production, and 12% of those sites will utilize HTS capacity.Denis Sutherland

The past year has brought steady progress on the High Throughput Satellite (HTS) front. For the oil and gas market, writes Denis Sutherland at iDirect, VSAT continues to play a large role in helping to send large data files and support greater use of video for multiple applications.

The industry is moving closer to the reality of HTS, with 2014 bringing the planned launch of several programs focused on the enterprise space. But most of all, the market is addressing critical questions that will set the framework for the next step forward.

Preparing the oil and gas market for HTS in the year ahead involves two evaluations: network design and business model.

Network Design
Frequency will have a direct impact across the ecosystem. The decision between Ka-band satellite and Ku-band satellite seems to garner much debate amongst the satellite community. But the reality is that one is not better than the other. Satellite operators continue to stand by the notion that it is not only a matter of frequency, but it also is dependent on the planned bandwidth allocated to the multi-spot beams, bandwidth efficiency tradeoffs, frequency reuse scheme and the architecture that determine the high throughput.

Business Model
Multi-spot beam architectures of HTS have a direct impact on the ground infrastructure and thus are changing the business models of satellite operators. They can no longer just focus just on space, but also need to consider how to build out cost effective ground infrastructure across a multi-spot beam architecture.

Satellite operators will change their business models to sell Mbps rather than MHz, due mostly to the fact that they will no longer be able to depend on service providers to build their own infrastructure. With this new focus service providers will be able to cost effectively access HTS via a managed service model. Continue >

A New NMS Called iDirect Pulse®

Chris-Burdick-smWe recently sat down with Chris Burdick, VT iDirect’s Vice President, Product Management, Network Management System (NMS), to better understand the importance of the NMS as the critical “glue” that binds all parts of a satellite communications platform together.

VT iDirect:  Why is VT iDirect developing a new NMS?

Chris:  We’ve seen a lot of changes in the satellite industry in recent years, such as the launch of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) payloads, improvements in technology and the implementation of new service models. Satellite communication services have also evolved, and we needed to reflect that in our management system. So in our new NMS, we’ve focused on facilitating greater scale, improving reliability and security, and making it much easier to integrate with back office systems and terrestrial networks.

VT iDirect:  What is the name of the new NMS and why?

Chris:  It’s called iDirect Pulse®, and we believe the term “pulse” captures the true essence of what we’re creating. Since the NMS is a system that touches every aspect of a customer’s business, our new NMS denotes the pulse of a vibrant industry, the pulse of a particular network element, and keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your business.

VT iDirect:  How long has iDirect Pulse been in development?

Chris:  First of all, we had to start from the ground up to account for the new requirements in the industry and aim for the future VT iDirect envisions; this is not an easy task. We looked at every aspect of the design of iVantage– both the things that are very good and the things that can be limiting. Building on the success of iVantage, we wanted to introduce a solid architecture that will last for at least the next decade. Read More

Delivering Additional Bandwidth Efficiencies in Europe

By Thomas Bopp, Systems Engineering Director, EMEA, iDirect

The topic of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) providing additional capacity to areas out of the typical range of coverage remained a hot topic throughout the year. This is true even in some of the largest countries in the world like Russia, which relies on satellite to connect remote locations, many of which can only be reached with this access technology.

The topic was front and center at the Space and Information Technology Conference in Russia this past November. The event was organized by iDirect partner KB ISKRA, a telco provider that recently launched such mobile antenna solutions as its driveway antenna integrating iDirect’s satellite router technology along with OpenAMIP and GLONASS support. GLONASS is the Russian satellite system that provides worldwide geo-location services, which is mandatory for many Russian government and civilian networks.

Coming away from the event, three key trends driving the growth of VSAT in Russia were confirmed to me:

  • Russia has a strong fleet of satellites, but organizations are also using a great deal of international capacity, which is often strained due to currency fluctuations
  • Strong interest in HTS satellite capacity over Russia during the coming years is evident. The trend is for spot beams, but there is a continued need for global beams due to organizational topologies
  • Growing demand exists for broadband-hungry applications across government, defense, oil and gas, cellular backhaul, enterprise, mobility, and the consumer markets

I had the pleasure of participating in this inaugural event, which attracted 80 participants from all areas of the IT world. I took part in both an industry roundtable discussion, as well as hosted a session on maximizing bandwidth efficiency. Read More

HTS: 5 Points to Prepare for 2015

Denis SutherlandBy Denis Sutherland, Sr. Manager, Sales System Engineering

The dust has settled on yet another GVF HTS round table in London. For me, it was my fifth and final panel of 2014. That includes three GVF panels, one at Posidonia and one at the maritime event SMM. All have included lively debate and countless engagements with vendors, satellite operators, consultants and end customers.

Last week we took a look back at the year in HTS. As I alluded to in that blog, 2015 will be a year in which we continue to see more developments on the HTS front. Based on my participation in various conferences and other industry events, I have come away with five distinct things to watch as we prepare for 2015.

iDirect HTS 5 Points
1. The Inflection Point
Analyst projections show that HTS is just getting started as a great deal of capacity is coming online. The numbers paint an encouraging picture for the future.

For example, a report released earlier this year from NSR shows that leased HTS capacity increased by 25.6% in the last year and the wholesale revenue equivalent derived from the global HTS market in 2013 was estimated to be nearly $ 246.3 million, up 14.6% compared to 2012.

But the global market for HTS is still emerging. HTS demand growth rate is expected to rise above 30% annually with broadband access services to be the mainstay of demand. Overall, NSR forecasts that HTS capacity demand will surpass 1,000 Gbps by 2023. Read More

iDirect Year in Review

As 2014 comes to close, the satellite industry can reflect back on a year of great Mary Cottonopportunity and working transition.

Front-and-center throughout the year was the topic of high throughput satellite (HTS). But HTS remains a long-term endeavor. Looking ahead, much work will focus on how HTS changes the ways in which networks are designed, services are offered and operations are managed.

Aside from HTS, this past year brought forth continued growth within key satellite markets, as well as increased demand for high bandwidth networks across many traditional markets. Markets like cellular backhaul and mobility present ample opportunity for satellite to display its unique set of value propositions.

Mary Cotton, CEO of iDirect, expounds on both topics and more in a featured satellite year-in-review article published by SatMagazine. Click here to read this exclusive piece.

Need for High Throughput Connectivity in Defence Drives Satcom Applications Globally

From Satellite Markets & Research

London, UK, November 25, 2014 – The demand for high throughput military satcom applications is growing as the use of unmanned aerial systems and implementation of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance of C4ISR systems increase. High throughput satcom applications can support imagery streaming and seamless connectivity across tactical and strategic networks – capabilities which have become vital in the military space.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the Global Military Satcom Applications Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $3.05 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $3.82 billion in 2022. The study covers manpack/handheld, ground vehicle mounted, air platform mounted, naval platform mounted and fixed MilSatCom applications.

“To support MilSatCom suppliers and service providers, governments and commercial operators are launching high throughput satellite systems, which are driving Ka band capacity,” saidFrost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defence Research Analyst Arun Kumar Sampathkumar. “Currently, unused satellite spectrum capacity is delaying the migration to high throughput frequencies and hence lowering MilSatCom hardware expenditures. Nonetheless, as military users migrate to Ka bandwidth and Internet protocol (IP)-based strategic military communication networks, spending on MilSatCom will rise.”

Globally, spending is focused on upstream spectrum procurement. As a result, spending on hardware upgrades will go up in the coming decade and stimulate the use of MilSatCom applications. Continue >

The Year in HTS: Market Debates and Program Debuts

By Denis Sutherland, Sr. Manager, Sales System EngineeringDenis Sutherland

As we begin looking ahead to 2015, I cannot help but first look back at the major progress that has been made on the High Throughput Satellite (HTS) front during 2014. These past 12 months have been particularly enlightening for me, as I’ve had the opportunity to engage in some thorough and thought-provoking dialogue with the industry about both the challenges and opportunities associated with HTS.

First things first: HTS satellites have launched. This year we moved closer to the reality of several HTS programs focused on the enterprise market. The launch of Inmarsat’s first Global Xpress satellite was a great step forward . As we look forward to 2015, the anticipation is that satellite launches will quicken, led by major programs like Intelsat EPIC.

Certainly the launch of these HTS programs presents a major milestone. They signal a new era for the industry. However, we must continue to focus on preparing enterprise markets for the impact that comes with HTS; most notably how we design networks, offer services and manage operations.

These very subjects were the topic of much discussion on the blog this past year. I posed some thoughts, encouraged the industry to respond—and heard back with some great insight. And before we look ahead to what 2015 will hold for HTS, let’s quickly recap what we’ve discovered over this past year. Read More