Category Archives: HTS

iDirect at Africacom: Cell Backhaul on the Horizon

By Toni Lee Rudnicki, Chief Marketing Officer, iDirect

As mobile operators continue transforming their network architecture to take advantage ofTL small cells and carrier Wi-Fi, high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity remains well positioned to create new opportunities for providing backhaul in remote and rural locations. This is a trend that is certainly playing out across Africa; a reason why it was no surprise that cell backhaul was the focal point of most discussions at Africacom.

Overall, this year’s Africacom event was bustling with positivity despite many attendees characterizing 2014 as being a bit of a tough year. The optimism that attendees expressed was the fact that they saw many opportunities on the horizon. For example, the enterprise market remains on a steady uptick. Banking and education were two such markets garnering significant attention. But again, every conversation ultimately centered on the topic of cell backhaul.

iDirect hosted a series of small cell demos at the event, all of which turned out very positive results. It was fun to watch as the attendees took the cell phones and walked across the tradeshow floor to experience the demo. Most were pleasantly surprised. In general, HTS and small cells were seen as an opportunity. It is another area in which satellite communications is able to flex its unique muscle in the network.

For iDirect, this further reinforces our acquisition earlier this year of the some of the software assets of Altobridge. Attendees definitely noticed and on more than one occasion I received positive feedback on the move. As we build the Altobridge technology into our satellite platform we will be able to offer cellular customers a cost-efficient and fully integrated solution focused on the needs of backhaul. Read More

OilComm 2014: The Answer to the Increasing Demand for Capacity

By Gloria Kinney, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, iDirect

Unprecedented bandwidth demand within the Oil & Gas industry is driven by the use of video monitoring and real-time data exchange for improved operations, security, and training. While the emergence of high throughput satellite (HTS) will play a prominent role in providing much of that additional capacity, there is a key role for other communications technologies – Wi-Fi, WiMAX, 4G, and fiber – within the larger ecosystem. This hybrid network infrastructure approach was the key theme throughout the OilComm 2014 conference that took place in Houston, TX, Nov. 5-7.


OilComm 2014

Satellite connectivity still remains the primary source for offshore, mobility, and back-up applications particularly in remote locations. The advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) will drastically improve data throughput and capacity at more affordable prices. In addition to HTS, various Oilcomm sessions explored how other terrestrial and wireless communications technologies can complement the existing satellite infrastructure.

The new pre-conference Tech Workshops were designed to facilitate discussions with existing industry challenges such as key considerations for effective mobile application development for the oilfield. Also new this year was the Exhibitor Showcase Theater where companies had 30 minutes to promote the latest in cutting edge technology including subsea optical communication systems, virtual private radio networks, and dynamic wireless microwave networking solutions. Read More

HTS and the Capacity to Accommodate Offshore Oil & Gas

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

From Offcomm News

The adoption of High Throughput Satellite in the oil and gas market will be impacted by the cost of the service compared to the uptime and availability that can be delivered.

More than two Tbps of HTS (High Throughput Satellite) capacity is projected to fill the sky over the next 10 years. This should provide a welcome opportunity for the offshore oil and gas sector, where satellite internet demand continues to escalate, says Denis Sutherland, senior manager, sales system engineering, iDirect.

Offshore rigs and platforms around the world remain heavy users of satellite broadband with their use of voice, video, and data applications – ultimately driving up the average consumption of bandwidth. Be it: applications connecting rigs with onshore production teams; safety applications and equipment monitoring to track operations; or personal connections for crew welfare, this growing use of data presents a service challenge that satellite network operators will need to face in the near future.

Both Ku-band and C-band have served the oil and gas offshore market for a number of years. C-band is the most reliable choice for operations where uptime is a must, but is also the most expensive choice per site. Ku-band is more cost-effective and is the most deployed satellite connectivity solution in the market. It is used in many areas where weather has less impact on performance. Continue>

VSAT in APAC: An Opportune Landscape for Growth

Two recent events shine the spotlight on VSAT’s continued growth in Asia-Pacific. The region is experiencing an upswing of opportunity, given the launches of multiple satellites, greater demand for high throughput satellites (HTS), and growing opportunities across a number of different markets.

The month of September wrapped up with the annual APSCC Conference & Exhibition, where the theme was appropriately centered on “The New Landscape for Satellite.” APSCC President Yutaka Nagai perhaps said it best when he welcomed attendees with a message that the satellite industry is positioned for an exciting phase of prosperity in Asia Pacific.


For iDirect, the message of HTS in particular was front-and-center at the event, with Tom Cheong, VP & GM, iDirect Asia, participating on an engaging panel discussion titled “HTS and Broadband Satellite Services.”

“Given the coming HTS capacity that will present higher throughput, better mobility support and more persuasive economics for large networks, the Asia Pacific region can expect unprecedented new opportunities for both consumers and enterprise customers,” said Cheong. “Factors like rapid urbanization in major Asian cities, upsurge in air, land and sea travel as well as increasing demand for high-speed mobile connectivity, all speak to this being the right time for HTS to elevate Asia Pacific to the next level.”

This demand is already apparent in the form of communications on the move (COTM) from the defense and homeland security sectors. Multiple coast guard/naval forces, land-based army divisions as well as disaster management agencies in the region have incorporated iDirect technology into their mobile assets.

Likewise, cruise liners and commercial airlines remain the next big wave of mobility for Asia Pacific. iDirect’s strong foundation in the maritime space should propel this market segment forward. Coupled with the government mobility objectives, the outlook for mobility in APAC looks to be well rounded. Read More

Coming Down From Space, Part 2 of 2

BDenis Sutherlandy Denis Sutherland, Sr. Manager, Sales System Engineering

Satellite operators’ business models are going to change due to the multi spot beam architecture of HTS. Satellite operators will need to focus not just on space but also on ground infrastructure. This new focus will enable their service provider (SP) customers to cost effectively access HTS via a managed service model. We predict that satellite operators will change their business models to sell Mbps rather than MHz. In my last blog I considered why, but in this one I would like to discuss what impact this may have.

How Do You Sell Mbps?

RSCC recently told SatTV Week that they are an “operator of infrastructure” during an interview at CommunicAsia 2014.

This demonstrates to me that satellite operators understand that they need to sell more than just a satellite’s capability in order to ultimately sell Mbps. Satellite operators must sell what’s on the ground, too; the quality, security and reliability of the ground infrastructure are significant. The ground elements are a critical part of the overall network architecture. Therefore, satellite operators will be responsible for the entire network if they are selling Mbps via a managed service model.

Could The VNO Model Be A Stepping Stone?

Satellite operators can control how their capacity comes to market by choosing one of four business models:

  • Vertically Integrated Model – (Mbps)
  • Managed Services Model – (Mbps)
  • Virtual Network Operator Model – (MHz)
  • Hub Co-location Model – (MHz)

Although all four business models are in use today, I made the case in my last blog that satellite operators that are selling MHz will gradually transition to a managed service model based on selling Mbps. However, the VNO model could serve as transition point for some. Read More

What’s on the Horizon for HTS?

iDirect's CMO, Toni Lee RudnickiBy Toni Lee Rudnicki, Chief Marketing Officer, iDirect

A few trends stuck out from NSR’s earlier released Global Satellite Capacity Supply and Demand, 11th edition. In particular, trends associated with High Throughput Satellite (HTS) contained in the report set the stage for the next stage in its growth.

In terms of bench-setting data for HTS, NSR’s report 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 going forward NSR believes that the global market for HTS is still emerging. Projected 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.

A deeper look into the trends reveals that NSR believes the future of HTS should accelerated once we move past the current “land-grab phase” and business cases beyond typical broadband access start to pan out.

Mobility. Going forward, NSR anticipates mobility applications for both commercial and government/military clients to utilize both traditional FSS capacity along with next-generation HTS and MEO-HTS.

And NSR believes both segments could see even greater demand, should certain factors eventually play out further. In the government/military segment, for example, an increase in requirements associated with certain foreign policy initiatives could have substantial impact. With regards to commercial mobility, an increase in the number of deployments for aeronautical and maritime will be among the main accelerating factors. Read More

Coming Down from Space, Part 1 of 2

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

Satellite operators need to change their business model.

A lot is written about the benefits and advancements of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) and the impact they will have on the satellite market. However, satellite operators will find it more difficult to sell megahertz (MHz) in a hub co-location model, as described here,  and instead will sell megabits per second (Mbps) and in a managed service model due to the increased infrastructure requirements created by multi spot beam satellites.

This change not only affects satellite operators, but also causes dramatic changes throughout the whole value chain. Let’s consider what is driving this change.

A couple of years ago, I talked with a CTO from a satellite service provider (SP) and he said that the company could not build a business case to enable the core iDirect infrastructure on a soon-to-be launched HTS. I realized we had the same problem with a second SP and on the same satellite.

So what was going on?

It turns out both satellite SPs planned to use a new HTS with really focused and powerful beams. However, they needed to use eight spot beams rather than one wide beam in order to cover the same geographic service area.  This meant that they needed to expand their iDirect infrastructure to handle 8X more outbound capability, which would be considerably more expensive. The issue is that the number of remote terminals in the network did not increase; the business case changed from 100 terminals on a single beam to 100 terminals on eight beams. So, the cost of the infrastructure was not viable to get the return on the satellite SPs’ investment.

Fortunately, iDirect solved the problem by working with the satellite operator to build the infrastructure and shared this with different SPs. Thus, the infrastructure costs were able to be shared across multiple business plans. Read More

HTS: A (Business) Model for Success

Greg Quiggle-BlogBy Greg Quiggle, Vice President, Product Management

High Throughput Satellites (HTS) encompass multi spot beams with varying sizes, throughputs and functional capabilities. Compared to traditional widebeam satellites, these new satellite architectures change the way capacity is brought to market.

The architecture of these new satellites will impact how satellite operators and service providers create services for the end customers. Successfully capturing new opportunities being presented by HTS will require a mix of traditional business models and new business models.

This HTS info graphic provides a snapshot of four different business models we are seeing that will be available with HTS. Each business model presents core benefits for both satellite operators and service providers, which have been highlighted in order to provide direction on delivering services.

The key for both satellite operators and service providers will be flexibility to adapt to various models based on changing market opportunities. iDirect’s platform is built to provide exactly that, supporting all business models, helping you minimize risk and move with ease and speed, based on varying market dynamics.

Download iDirect’s HTS Business Models Infographic by clicking on the below image.


iDirect Partner Perspective: Telesat

Nigel-GibsonNigel Gibson, Telesat’s Vice President of International Sales, offers his perspective on high throughput satellites (HTS), the company’s key initiatives and why it’s an exciting time to be involved in the satellite communications industry. 

iDirect: Please give a bit of background on who Telesat is as a company and what makes it unique.

Gibson: What makes Telesat unique, according to our many broadcast, telecom, corporate and government clients, is our ability to deliver superior technical innovations along with industry leading customer service. Telesat creates real competitive advantages for customers by combining our size, resources and satellite expertise with the rapid response and high levels of service that have become critical for success in today’s business world. We are a global satellite operator that is recognized within our industry as one of the Big Four FSS (fixed satellite services) companies. Telesat had its best year ever in 2013 with strong growth in both revenue and EBITDA and we are well positioned for continued success.

iDirect: You’ve mentioned Telesat innovations. Please give some examples.

Gibson: There are several over the last few years that continue to be felt across our industry. When we launched Anik F2, it was the first satellite to successfully commercialize consumer Ka broadband services. This satellite really started the global boom in Ka-band by validating demand for consumer broadband and this, in turn, has led to the wave of HTS we are seeing today. When Telesat’s Telstar 11N launched in 2009 it was the first satellite to provide Ku-band coverage of the Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic Circle to the equator. Telstar 11N, along with Telstar 14R launched two years later, have spurred demand for satellite broadband across the oceans, which is one of the most exciting developments in our industry. Wireless broadband is now becoming as available on planes and ships crossing the oceans as it is at your local coffee house. This is due to many factors including iDirect innovations, but it is also due to the coverage and performance over the Atlantic demonstrated by Telstar 11N. Read More

The Battle of the Bands Continues at the GVF HTS Round Table

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

It never was a battle, really, but sometimes it can be an emotional discussion about which band is most suited to High Throughput Satellite (HTS) deployments. There was certainly a strong response on the “Battle of the Bands” blog piece I wrote, with over 300 votes in our online poll.

I enjoy social media because it gives me an opportunity to interact with partners across the globe and hear their views. Sometimes, people even talk to me. If you prefer that quirky way to communicate, I will be speaking at the GVF HTS Round Table on June 23, 2-2:30 p.m., in Washington D.C.:  “Engineering the HTS Solution.”

You never know what folks will ask when you sit on one of these panels, but some of the feedback I have received on recent blogs gives me some idea.  Also, the results of some of the polls below give me some insights on a couple of topics. It’s always nice to be prepared.

Which band do you think is better suited to HTS?

72% of people think Ka is a better option.

In my view it’s difficult to say one is any better than the other.  As satellite operators who need to make these hard choices repeatedly point out, it’s not only a matter of frequency but also depends on the planned bandwidth allocated to the multi-spot beams, bandwidth efficiency tradeoffs, frequency reuse scheme and the architecture that determine the high throughput. Intelsat and Eutelsat are just two that are placing their bets on high-throughput Ku payloads. Read More