As data growth continues to expand, mobile operators must look to profitably extend their networks into remote and rural areas. iDirect helped to make the case for the use of satellite at the Small Cells Asia event that took place last week in Singapore.
The venue seemed fitting given the fact Asia is home to more small cells deployments than any other region. The use of small cells, along with the advancement of satellite ground infrastructure and the delivery of more high throughput capacity to the enterprise market with High Throughput Satellite (HTS), are helping to make the business case for satellite for backhaul.
This was a major point emphasized by Gerry Collins, iDirect’s director of business development, during his session ‘The Business Case for Satellite Backhaul 2G, 3G & 4G’ at Mobile Backhaul Asia—which was co-located with Small Cells Asia.
Collins emphasized iDirect’s proven track record in the area of mobile backhaul, and highlighted new opportunities for satellite with small cells. This includes:
- Rural locations, villages, isolated properties
- Remote industrial sites – mines, drilling rigs, and machine-to-machine (M2M)
- Mobility markets, including maritime ships, planes and trains
- Military and first responder drop-in networks
Among the key takeaways associated with 2G, 3G & 4G networks:
- 2G networks will remain the primary technology that connects billions of people in unconnected parts of the world. The availability and low cost of 2G handsets make it a logical choice for expanding into remote and rural locations.
- 3G networks remains a challenge for mobile operators if they don’t have a cost effective means for backhaul.
- 4G network interfaces that are better defined and allow for greater user-based optimization across a range of different products from different mobile infrastructure vendors. This remains vital as throughput requirements continue to elevate on mobile networks.
Many operators believe that small cells for urban will be integral to 4G given the growing data demand. This demand is projected to grow enormously in the coming years. By 2020, more than 55% of the data will be video by 2020 and 90% of all people over the age of six old will have mobile service. In addition, Cisco sees global mobile data traffic increasing nearly tenfold between, growing at a compound annual rate of 57%.
As mobile networks continue growing at a rapid pace, cellular backhaul remains a high-growth market with tremendous upside for satellite.
By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe
Airbus recently announced that Skynet 5A will be re-clocked to 97 East; this announcement comes at a time when talk of the western strategic reorientation towards China (known as the “pivot to Asia”) has become a key issue in international politics. It also comes at a time when there are increasing concerns over response to humanitarian crises, with recent emergencies in the area.
In June of 2015, the AIDF Asia: Aid and Response Summit will see over 400 senior representatives from the industry, with governments and international bodies coming together to discuss how technological innovations can improve aid and development work in the Asia-Pacific region. I am certain many of the options will be satellite based.
So what could these technological innovations be? I can foresee this coming in two areas primarily: early warning and communications post-event.
Early warning systems based around satellite technologies, to detect and give advanced notice or tsunami, earthquake, cyclone, crop failure, etc., are becoming mature to the stage that they are starting to have a real impact and saving lives. Further development and innovation in these technologies is a must.
As far as communications goes, by its very nature any technology that is designed to work in a defence and security environment is also very suitable to be employed in disaster relief and humanitarian aid operations, so I see the defence focused products being key in this discussion. The discussions will no doubt be focused across all elements; air, land, sea and the lesser known littoral or coastal element, where specialists in amphibious operations come into play. Read More
During times of natural disaster VSAT plays an essential role in maintaining critical communications associated with relief efforts. Such capabilities were on display in the wake of Cyclone Pam, which hit the island of Vanuatu at the end of March.
One of the initial relief efforts deployed to the island was a 73-meter yacht, the M/Y Dragonfly, tasked with transporting aid, SAR and medical teams from Port Vila to isolated islands that are without communication. The yacht was equipped with satellite technology and equipment donated from iDirect, MTN Communications and Intelsat.
The M/Y Dragonfly, was the first to answer a call for disaster relief efforts to the island by YachtAid Global. YachtAid Global is an organization dedicated to delivering humanitarian, developmental and conservation aid onboard yachts to isolated and underprivileged coastal communities around the world.
When disaster strikes, it is important to have a communications plan that is quickly deployed in any environment and under any circumstance. The use of satellite, independent of terrestrial infrastructure, becomes the ideal choice, providing fast setup and connectivity.
iDirect technology is used in emergency relief scenarios around the globe, providing relief teams with reliable global coverage whether in densely populated urban areas where the infrastructure is damaged, or remote locations where infrastructure does not currently exist. With the technology, first responders are given complete communications capabilities with voice, data and video.