By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect
Scale. As Denis Sutherland, iDirect’s Director of Business Development, addressed in his most recent blog, the advent of high throughput satellite (HTS) services is challenging the entire satellite ecosystem with regards to scale.
It is a thread that I’d like to discuss as we look at how the ground infrastructure is evolving to support new HTS architectures.
HTS delivers higher aggregate throughput for the same amount of allocated frequency in orbit. A significant reason for higher throughput is frequency reuse, which is the process of using the same spectrum across multiple sites within a network resulting in a need for the ground infrastructure to enable many more carriers across a wider MHz spectrum.
Hub equipment needs to manage an increasingly diverse and integrated network portfolio that comprises of multiple satellites, frequency bands and market applications. Plus with the larger transponder sizes with HTS it requires massive scaling on the hub and line card systems.
The use of gateway beams changes where infrastructure must be located and how it will be deployed and managed. With an HTS uplink design, an operator can no longer place hubs anywhere under a beam. Instead, the entire hub infrastructure is oftentimes concentrated in fewer gateway beams scaling the network a single satellite or network operator needs to manage to new heights.
HTS throughput levels can also lead to more remotes per network and a larger overall bandwidth pool to manage, which can ultimately drive business growth for satellite operators and increase the operational complexity exponentially.
Velocity Accelerates Hub Infrastructure Scale
At iDirect, we are addressing these requirements with the development of iDirect Velocity®. Built on the foundation of our award-winning Evolution® platform, Velocity is designed to enable satellite operators launch large, managed HTS deployments, ultimately taking scale and performance to a new level.
Let me start off by saying that most of the performance enhancements I will be addressing are planned for both Evolution and Velocity. Think of Velocity as the platform for very large HTS deployments; one that takes the capabilities of Evolution and scales them to the next level with greater resiliency built in as so much more hub infrastructure is now concentrated in fewer gateways.
To better leverage the higher throughput levels available with HTS, iDirect is supporting higher aggregate symbol rates and more efficient modulation and coding techniques.
But that’s not all. With Velocity we develop more powerful hub infrastructure able to manage increasingly more beams, more frequencies, more MHz and ultimately many more carriers on your network. The Velocity line cards can handle much higher aggregate symbol rates, many more demodulator channels and are hardware-ready for future DVB-S2x support.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the other platform components that also need to scale:
Scaling The Remote Portfolio
Higher throughput capabilities will drive higher bit rates on the remote side. This means that iDirect’s remote portfolio must be able to handle higher performance, higher modulation and coding techniques, as well as higher symbol rates.
Our 7 series remotes and soon to be announced 9-series remotes are designed specifically to handle these larger throughput and speeds. Today, the X7 Satellite Router supports bandwidth-intensive applications with the capabilities to deliver high-end mobility features. We are also introducing our next-generation military and government routers, the 9000 series, with very high performance supporting COTM and COTP.
Scaling The Network Management System
With much more capacity and higher throughputs per network and a more concentrated hub infrastructure at the gateway, HTS architectures will need to support a greater number of remotes per network and manage the bandwidth across those remotes and beams – thus making your network operations much more complex. Your network management system (NMS) now needs to scale to tens of thousands of sites and focus on ensuring Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are being met, operational costs are minimized and customer satisfaction is high.
iDirect Pulse®, our next-generation NMS, will enable satellite operators to perform at a higher scale, and enable many new levels of visibility, management and control for the Network Operations Center but also for service provider customers and distribution partners.
An open, yet secure Web Service API technology plays a key role here. It enables the NMS to connect with other Operation Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS) in order to further streamline NOC operations through the synchronizing of multiple independent systems.
Managing the Growth
Maintaining the entire customer network across multiple spot beams requires managing the combined bandwidth dedicated to that service as one single bandwidth pool. In traditional wide-beam satellites, a regional network was often covered by a single beam. In a multi spot-beam environment, however, covering a similar region means managing bandwidth across multiple spot beams and networks.
This demands a specialized bandwidth management system which is one of the key features of Velocity. Over the course of the next few weeks I will discuss the key features of Velocity and how it is addressing the additional areas of effective bandwidth management across multiple spot beams and ensuring network and ground infrastructure reliability.
Join in the discussion using the hashtag #BringHTStoMarket.