Category Archives: HTS

Smooth Sailing for Maritime HTS?

iDirect's Terry Neumann

iDirect’s Terry Neumann

Market forecasts show that the number of maritime vessels relying on VSAT as their primary means of communications will more than double by 2016, to more than 26,000. Terry Neumann, iDirect’s director of market strategy, talks current trends and future direction of this market with regards to HTS.

Set the current stage with regards to the adoption of VSAT broadband in maritime and where you see the biggest opportunities ahead. 

Neumann: We have already seen operators in segments like cruise, offshore oil and gas, and super yachts heavily adopt the use VSAT technology. They are actively leveraging their VSAT networks to help improve ship-to-shore communications, boost business productivity and address crew welfare. Demand in these markets continues to grow as new IP applications are increasing throughput requirements every year.

Outside of these segments there is still plenty of opportunity for VSAT broadband to further permeate the maritime market. Large market segments, like industrial fishing or commercial shipping, have been slower to adopt VSAT despite the fact that they could greatly benefit from using VSAT for all the aforementioned purposes and more. To date, they have been hesitant to adopt due to a range of variables including cost and bandwidth requirements. Read More

HTS Spotlight Series – HTS Profile: Intelsat EpicNG


Intelsat’s Steve Good, Vice President, Network Services

The Intelsat EpicNG platform is an innovative approach to satellite and network architecture utilizing C-, Ku- and Ka-bands, wide beams, spot beams, and frequency reuse technology to provide a host of customer-centric benefits. Designed as a complementary overlay to Intelsat’s largest fixed satellite network, Intelsat EpicNG will be fully integrated with Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet and global IntelsatOne terrestrial network.

Why did Intelsat choose to introduce an HTS platform and where are you in the process?

Intelsat’s approach to High Throughput Satellites is Intelsat EpicNG. We designed our HTS platform in response to an environment where higher throughput and lower cost per bit delivered is required to usher in the next generation of fixed and mobile broadband applications. The Intelsat EpicNG design leverages a mix of spot beams in Ku- and C-band to focus power and bandwidth to geographic areas of highest demand, complemented by wide beams to provide expanded coverage, based upon the user application.

Intelsat EpicNG is fully integrated with our existing traditional fleet to allow customers to leverage their current satellite networking investments and also to choose the spectrum and coverage type that works best for their particular needs. The Intelsat EpicNG satellites complement our existing fleet offering service providers and their end users a complete global solution with the coverage and capacity that they need now and into the future. Continue>

HTS Revenues Easily Offset Any FSS C/Ku Losses

From Talk Satellite

Concern has been raised throughout the satellite industry that the vast amount of new HTS supply coming to market, forecasted by NSR to increase by 1.5 Tbps by 2022, will swamp existing C- and Ku-band transponder demand leading to a global drop in C/Ku pricing and negatively impacting revenues for legacy FSS services.

NSR does not deny, and in fact readily concurs, that some existing C- and Ku-band transponder demand for applications like backhaul, trunking and VSAT networking will suffer in the coming years due to the arrival of new HTS systems. And there will as well be significant transponder price pressure for certain applications and/or satellites if some operators try to compete using classic C/Ku transponders on a pure price basis with the new HTS capacity.

This being said, NSR also argues based on data from its Global Assessment of Satellite Supply & Demand 10th Edition study that, net-net, the migration to HTS services is overall advantageous to the satellite industry in terms of real revenue gains in the coming ten years. The chart below attempts to make an “apples-to-apples” comparison of NSR’s forecasted net revenue gains for C- and Ku-band services – excluding the video distribution and DTH verticals that are the strongest natural fit for classic FSS capacity and benefit the least from the move to HTS – compared to the net wholesale HTS capacity revenue growth – excluding consumer broadband access services, which are effectively a new market segment. Continue>

Post Event Report: Global VSAT Forum’s “High Throughput Satellites 2013: The Game-Changer in Action”

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

GX and O3B are in orbit; Telenor will launch in 2014; and Avanti has been operational for some time. All of these High Throughput Satellite (HTS) programs have different approaches to allocate space segment and operate over different business models. Overlay that with hosted payloads, satellite operators hosting HTS and broadcast payloads, and it’s a complex new world.

The recent GVF HTS event in London provided a forum for some interesting discussion around go-to-market models for satellite operators in the HTS market. The good news is that there now seems to be consensus within the industry that HTS does not mean Ka-band frequency. It could also refer to Ku- and X-band systems, with some satellite operators said they would consider a C-band HTS offering.

Some of the more interesting discussion was around the advantages of an open or closed approach.  Although some dispute this whole concept, in reality there are 50 Shades of Grey between open and closed.

Closed models taken to the most extreme would be something like the Viasat-1 approach where a satellite operator has a complete, vertically integrated service provision, owns the satellite, and develops the ground infrastructure. At the other end of the spectrum, Intelsat’s plans for Epic are characterized by an open architecture akin to what the VSAT industry is accustomed with traditional Ku-band satellites. Others are in between, potentially allowing multiple vendors or different service providers to build networks. Read More

GVF HTS Conference: Engineering the HTS Solution

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

I’m excited to see what’s in store for our industry as it undergoes a major transformation.

It is great to see all of the eagerness from the people within industry as new, game-changing technologies and solutions begin to emerge. I mostly see this enthusiasm when it comes to high throughput satellites (HTS) finally coming online and offering our partners more growth and opportunities.

However, I also sense a lot of apprehension. While HTS is offering a lot of promise, behind the HTS hype, many challenges are falling on the shoulders of engineers who are now tasked to develop solutions that prepares both operators and service providers for the arrival of this unpredictable technology. I hear countless questions and concerns such as:

  • How can we maximize on HTS multi-spot beam and frequency reuse architectures?
  • How has ground infrastructure evolved to support HTS designs?
  • How can we help meet customer expectations when HTS officially comes online?
  • What technology is available to effectively support HTS terminals, portable devices, smaller antennas and battle against unpredictable spectral changes such as rain fade?

Read More

iDirect and Via Satellite to Present Webinar on HTS

A growing need for connectivity is driving demand for bandwidth across the satellite industry, creating major opportunity for VSAT in the enterprise space. And more opportunity is coming with the arrival of high throughput satellites (HTS).

However, while there is considerable hype surrounding HTS, there is still much to understand about how HTS will fully impact the industry from both a technical and business perspective. To examine this critical development, iDirect’s Chief Technology Officer Dave Bettinger presented a Webinar on HTS, on Thursday December 5th, 2013, hosted by Via Satellite.

During the presentation, Bettinger discussed:

  • How HTS will impact ground infrastructure requirements. Bettinger walked through what to look for in choosing the right infrastructure to ensure the network is able to support multiple frequencies, handle redundancy, support smaller terminals and manage bandwidth across multiple spot beams.
  • Assessing new HTS business models. Bettinger discussed how go-to market strategies will involve managing a blended mixture of business models to support different capital and operational costs. This will enable both service providers and operators to profit from a range of network architectures and business strategies.
  • Creating new value for service providers. With HTS, service providers will focuss les on managing networks and more on service customers. Bettinger reviewed new tools service providers can leverage to create value for their customers.

Read More

Narrowband Systems Growth Forecasted – NSR SCADA/M2M Report

From M2M

Industrial automation benefited greatly by using SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), but increasingly many experts see machine-to-machine (M2M) technology replacing SCADA-based installations for monitoring assets. Although they perform practically the same tasks, M2M is more accessible, making it the preferred choice for organizations of any size. The fourth edition of the NSR SCADA/M2M via Satellite report concludes the market for narrowband systems will be rising until 2022, even though there is a shift into higher bandwidth solutions such as high throughput satellites (HTS).

In 2012, narrowband systems accounted for 87 percent of the global total revenue with $1.1 billion, and the report expects by 2022 it will reach $2 billion with narrowband accounting for 88 percent of the revenue base, which is only an increase of 1 percent over eight years.

The report questions how the industry is evolving, what the emerging vertical markets are, what the future growth potential is and which technology solution will be preferred over time. The report provides readers a better understanding of current and future technologies and solutions affecting the SCADA/M2M market with a comprehensive assessment of vertical applications by giving end users a detailed assessment of what they will need by addressing the impact of push technologies on current platforms and the market dynamics in the future. Continue>


iDirect Wins 2013 Via Satellite Excellence Awards for Technology Company Of The Year And Social Media Company Of The Year

iDirect wins awardiDirect recognized for technology innovation and marketing leadership

Herndon, Va., November 12, 2013 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that it is the recipient of the 2013 Technology Company of the Year and Social Media Company of the Year Excellence Awards hosted by Via Satellite. The 2013 Excellence Awards acknowledges innovative companies, technologies, campaigns and people who have helped shape the success of the global satellite industry. iDirect won awards for its engineering innovations ground infrastructure platform and for its advances in social media and marketing. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

Technology Innovation 

Via Satellite recognized the importance of iDirect’s ambitious effort to expand its platform capabilities for demanding High Throughput Satellite (HTS) requirements, enabling satellite operators and service providers to reach significant new levels of throughput, scale and business performance. The first product to be introduced following the redesign was the X7 remote, built on an entirely new multi-core hardware system the first of iDirect’s next-generation family of remotes. With the X7, service providers can introduce significantly faster services to answer escalating end user demand for high-speed bandwidth. Read More

Report on FSS Operators Misses Mark

From NSR

A recent Morgan Stanley report issued the end of September 2013 takes on the FSS sector, claiming the industry has entered a “no-growth” cycle and that “HTS will struggle to find a market”. The report goes on to make numerous specific assessments and claims about trends in the FSS industry, and in particular, the report is fairly dismissive about the eventual success of newly emerging HTS platforms, at least in the short- to mid-term.

Overall, NSR feels that the Morgan Stanley report authors have to a large degree misread the current trends in the FSS sector and that they have treated some specific, real issues with too broad a brushstroke in how they impact the entirety of the industry. In the narrowest of terms, the Morgan Stanley report was nominally meant to assess the revenue growth outlook for SES and Eutelsat over the next 3-5 years. And within this very specific context, the report did correctly highlight a number of real issues that will likely have an impact, both positive and negative, on SES’ and Eutelsat’s financial performance through to 2018. Continue>

HTS Ka- and Ku-Band for Mission Critical SATCOM: Separating Fact from Fiction

From Microwave Journal

Whether for enterprise, commercial, government or maritime services, customers who operate in remote and harsh environments use satellite services for time-sensitive, mission critical communications. Whether communicating back to headquarter offices or providing morale services to staff and crew members, it is vital that these customers that operate in remote and harsh landscapes have access to high availability, reliable communications links.

High throughput satellite (HTS) technologies with unprecedented bandwidth and power resources are being viewed as “the wave of the future” for satellite communications and networking services. Despite this tremendous potential, there is a great deal of misperception and lack of understanding about these new technologies among both customers and the industry at large. With different options, how do you pick the best one for your company’s needs? Continue>