This week, iDirect’s Gerry Collins, Director of Business Development, will speak at the GVF Cellular Backhaul 2017 event in London. Gerry will address “Why 5G is So Important for the Satellite Industry.”
It’s a question that’s top of mind for cellular backhaul operators, and a priority for iDirect as the promise of satellite and 5G convergence opens tremendous opportunity for the satellite industry at large.
Here are the key topics Gerry will cover in what promises to be a lively discussion:
The world is experiencing a significant shift in Internet traffic from computer access to smartphone access. This places the mobile industry in a strong position for growth. And the 5G standard represents a bold vision for an end-to-end ecosystem that will enable a fully mobile and connected society.
5G promises to transform the mobile experience. For example, 5G is projected to increase peak data to 1Gbps per device, spectral efficiency by 200%, and connection density by 200%. It can reduce transmission latency by 94% and signaling overhead by 81%. And it provides expanded support for IoT, autonomous vehicles, GPS and network virtualization and programmability.
At iDirect, we believe the 5G standard represents more than cellular access. It informs what multi-access networks will look like going forward. And we are playing a lead role in the convergence of 5G and satellite connectivity. The diagram below summarizes the key steps we are enabling in the ecosystem towards “Unified Technology Transformation” – which includes 5G convergence.
At all layers of the service delivery model, we see major points of convergence with the cellular industry, and in particular 5G. At the Infrastructure and Transport layer, we’re engineering our satellite ground infrastructure platform to scale much more rapidly and cost-effectively by leveraging embedded compute and cloud technologies. Read More
These days, in-flight connectivity (IFC) rules the skies. This was clearly evident at the three-day Global Connected Aircraft Summit in Arlington, Virginia, last week. Service providers, airlines and content providers alike shared with the audience the rapidly growing relevance of IFC for commercial aero.
The days of discussion and debate about how airlines can make money from IFC are gone. Today IFC is a requirement in order to remain competitive. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Inmarsat, 60% of passengers said that Wi-Fi is a necessity onboard a flight. And if the connectivity is poor? The survey reported 44% of passengers would book a different airline next time.
So what makes the Wi-Fi connectivity good enough — and what other applications need to be managed as part of IFC?
It’s important to look at all the various applications that in-flight connectivity provides beyond passenger entertainment and Wi-Fi. That includes increasing communication among crew, cockpit and ground maintenance teams to allow for better predictive aircraft management and reduced repair delays. And it also means equipping cabin crews with the latest mobile technology to improve customer care and increase flight attendant safety.
Satellite operators realize that inconsistency in SLAs/ coverage is a major obstacle to adoption, creating challenges in achieving a good return on investment. According to Mark Richman, Director, Product Management Mobility & Energy Services for Intelsat, one way to overcome this inconsistency is through a combination of three factors: ubiquity, density and resiliency/scalability. Intelsat has achieved this through their HTS EpicNG constellation and their plans for HTS 2.0 – the LEO/GEO integration. According to Andrew Ruszkowski, SES, VP Strategic Initiatives Mobility, the answer to ubiquitous coverage lies with the fact that at the moment SES operates the only operational geo/ non-geo constellation with their integration of O3B. Read More
By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, VT iDirect
Last week saw IET MilSatcom 2017 come to London. It was a fantastic event with big hitters from industry, Ministry of Defence (MoD) and academia joining together to share a vision of the future of MilSatcom in the near and medium term.
It was also the first time the event incorporated a second day with a series of workshops on day 1. The workshops provided an opportunity to discuss threats, countermeasures, management and spectrum issues. The workshops produced some interesting takeaways:
- There is the potential for over-reliance on MilSatcom
- There is a lack in training to be able to operate in a denied or degraded environment
- There is a lack of suitably qualified and experienced personnel (SQEP) in the military
- Effective management is key
Reliance is a big factor in MilSatcom. Yes, there is a built-in resilience and technology is far more reliable than it once was, but could a modern battlefield commander operate without MilSatcom providing the large data rates required? Training in a degraded environment is key to understanding how the systems operate under stress and what contingencies are there. There is still a requirement for non-Satcom, i.e., HF capability and an ability to fall back where required. Luckily there is a plethora of Satcom available, so if MilSatcom is denied or degraded, having another satellite system available is likely, but data rates will probably be reduced. Read More
The Global Connected Aircraft Summit takes flight this week in Arlington, VA, and our very own David Harrower, VP of International Sales and Business Development, will speak on “Operations Technology – Future Connected Benefits.” David will join executives from Rockwell Collins and Honeywell on Thursday at 11:15 am to examine the latest developments in the “connected aircraft” trend and how satellite solutions providers are helping airlines meet the challenges and maximize the benefits of in-flight connectivity (IFC).
Today, passengers consider IFC a must-have, and it increasingly guides their decision on which airline to fly. Yet passenger connectivity alone cannot justify the business case for bringing VSAT onboard. Moving beyond an exclusive focus on passenger connectivity means re-imagining the in-flight experience and operations from top to bottom. “Fully connected” now means cockpits with electronic flight bags to improve aircraft operations. It means increasing communication between the crew, cockpit and ground maintenance teams to allow for better predictive aircraft management and reduce repair delays. And it also means equipping cabin crews with the latest mobile technology to improve customer care.
However, this broader scope equates to managing a global wireless network in the sky that serves a much broader suite of sophisticated applications vying for bandwidth, with more aircraft coming online. In this context, it is increasingly difficult to ensure a reliable, consistent service, and manage costs. In his presentation, David will focus on three key requirements to address these challenges as we embark on the next leg of IFC. Read More