Volume IV, No. IX October 2019
Table of Contents
Industry Trends and Analysis: (pg. 3)
Patee Sarasin, former CEO of Nok Air:
"Unlocking the Riches of In-flight Wi-Fi" (pg. 4)
David Bruner, former V.P. Panasonic Avionics:
"Buckle Up! :Turbulence Ahead in Airline Connectivity Markets"
"The Promise of the New Iridium and Aireon Services: Big Advancements in Air Traffic Management on the Horizon" (pg. 26)
Ernst Peter Hovinga, CEO Hiber: "Disrupting the Satellite IoT Connectivity Market: The Promise of Hiber" (p.31)
"Upcoming and Recommended Satellite Mobility Events"
Highlighting Disruptive, New, Mobility-Focused Satellite Ventures and Technologies
In This Issue....
"To Succeed, LEOs Must Find Customers in High-Value Niche Markets?"
"O3b mPower and the Future of Satellite Networks" with SES CEO, Steve Collar
"Satelles: At Last - An Iridium-Based Backup for GPS"
"Bridging the Network Divide - The Race to Interoperability" with Steve Moses of ST Engineering iDirect
"Why SD-WAN is Coming to Satcom" with Xiplink CEO, Jack Waters
Satellite mobility World
Click Here To Subscribe
Table of Contents...
"Hot News and Commentary" (pg.3)
Editorial : "To Succeed, LEOs Must Find Customers in High-Value Niche Markets " (pg. 5)
"O3b mPower and the Future of Satellite Networks" with SES CEO, Steve Collar (pg. 9)
"Satelles: At Last an Iridium-based Backup for GPS" (pg. 21)
"Bridging the Network Divide - The Race to interoperability" with Steve Moses, Director of Aero at ST Engineering iDirect" (pg. 29)
"Why SD-WAN is Coming to Satcom" Xiplink CEO, Jack Waters (pg. 38)
Recommended Upcoming Industry Events
Welcome to the October issue of Satellite Mobility World." We're just back from World Satellite Business Week in Paris.
This is the year of the mega-LEOs. OneWeb and Starlink are racing to orbit, yet it's unclear whether there is demand for even one of these exorbitantly expensive constellations. Can they sell to everyone? We don't think so, and in our editorial, we defend a niche market strategy.
In our feature interview, SES CEO, Steve Collar, brings us up to date on O3b mPower, and its ability to focus thirty thousand beams on demand. Steve also makes a case for common industry standards and the critical need for network interoperability. We further explore the topic in an interview with Steve Moses at ST Engineering iDirect.
In it, Steve Moses overviews the future of inter-network roaming, its challenges, and benefits. Following his interview, Xiplink's CEO, Jack Waters, updates us on the significance of SD-WAN in satellite networks. Lastly, we shift our focus to Satelles, the only company in the world to provide a back-up for GPS.
Using the Iridium constellation, Satelles delivers Satellite Time and Location signals that are one thousand times more powerful than conventional GPS. Already employed in critical timing applications in stock exchanges, the service has huge potential in mobile networks, and anywhere the need for time and location signal is vital. Enjoy!
Satellite Mobility World
Published by Gottlieb International Group, Inc.
Arlington, VA USA
Gottlieb's Satellite and Mobility World is published monthly (except August) by Gottlieb International Group., Inc. Suite 100, 1209 South Frederick Street, Arlington, VA USA 22204 © Copyright 2019
SATELLITE MOBILITY WORLD
"Hot" News and Commentary
Intelsat Sues One Web and Softbank for Fraud and Theft of Trade Secrets
New York, September 10, 2019: In a bizarre turn of events, Intelsat has filed suit in the New York Supreme court against OneWeb and Softbank alleging fraud and breach of contract. The action stems from a 2015 agreement in which OneWeb and Intelsat agreed to join forces and Intelsat invested in OneWeb. Under the agreement, Intelsat had exclusive rights to target mobility and oil and gas markets, and OneWeb, the un-served consumer market. Since then, a lot has changed.
The proposed merger between Intelsat and OneWeb collapsed in 2017 as bond holders rejected the deal, yet it is our understanding that the agreement to split market exclusivity, as noted above, was never officially dissolved. During the pre-merger period, Intelsat claims to have shared confidential information with OneWeb. Recently, OneWeb abandoned its plans to target the un-served and instead, is targeting the mobility and oil and gas markets. In pursuit of this new strategy, they just signed a deal with Iridium, making them a direct competitor to Intelsat and triggering the lawsuit. Aside from their legal problems, Softbank and OneWeb continue to founder in the increasingly troubled venture.
Earlier this year, Softbank wrote down its initial investment in OneWeb by £380 million, and due to the firm's inability to secure ECA debt financing was forced to lead a second funding round to keep the venture afloat. Meanwhile, OneWeb has yet to secure landing rights in Russia, and its prospects in China are questionable. India is also a non-starter given the extensive wireless broadband coverage of the country.
With the market for universal broadband shrinking and Starlink and Amazon targeting it, it's no surprise that OneWeb finally figured out that to have any success at all, it needs to penetrate high-value niche markets, in much the same way as the original O3b constellation. With much of the mobility market already saturated with Ku-Band and Ka-Band HTS, intense competition from the soon-to-be-launched SES O3b mPower constellation, and it still two years away from offering a global commercial service, we wonder how much longer investors will support the company.
Iridium Awarded 7-Year, $738.5 Million Contract by the U.S. Department of Defense
MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) today announced that it has been awarded a $738.5 million, seven-year, fixed-price contract with the United States Department of Defense through the U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSpC) to provide unlimited satellite services from its unique Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation. Through what is known as the AFSpC's Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) program, Iridium will continue to deliver access to global secure and unsecure voice, broadcast, netted or Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS) and select other services for an unlimited number of DoD and associated DoD-approved subscribers. With an unprecedented seven-year term, this contract serves as a testament to the ongoing value Iridium provides in support of the DoD's vision for an integrated satellite communications (SATCOM) enterprise and in recognition of the significant investments the company has made into its network over the past several years.
Under the current fixed-price contract, the EMSS program has continuously increased its adoption and utilization of Iridium® services at a significant rate, while the capabilities delivered have also evolved over time from simple telephone voice and data to broadcast, multicast and other Internet of Things (IoT) services. Over the course of the previous contract period, DoD subscribers grew from approximately 51,000 to more than 125,000, a 145 percent increase. This growth in adoption has also resulted in increased collaboration between the government and Iridium's ecosystem of partners, bringing their expertise to further enhance the capabilities of the DoD's SATCOM portfolio.
"Iridium's EMSS contract serves as a model for how commercial operators can cost-effectively and efficiently deliver critical satellite managed services to the warfighter," said Scott Scheimreif, Executive Vice President of Government Programs, Iridium. "Iridium offers the DoD unrivaled access to its unique, operational, low-earth orbiting network of 66 cross-linked satellites. When you combine our unique network, our ecosystem of dedicated partners and an innovative, fixed-price, seven-year contract, you create an optimal environment for DoD and other USG program offices to effectively plan for and budget their programs, taking full advantage of the Iridium capability." Scheimreif continued, "The program has been a great example of partnership and innovation between industry and the DoD as Iridium continuously explores ways to meet their emerging requirements. When you combine this level of network transparency, collaboration and the ease of acquisition, it results in a significant win for the DoD and their users."
In support of the EMSS program over the past 20 years, Iridium and the DoD have jointly developed an operational environment that provides the critical network transparency and collaboration to enable successful execution of the warfighter's mission. In fact, Iridium was one of the initial six industry participants in the Commercial Integration Cell (CIC) to engage with the U.S. Air Force's (USAF) Combined Space Operations Center (CSpOC) in an effort to improve information sharing and network situational awareness as the DoD continues its use of commercial satellite networks. This now includes the ongoing transition of EMSS, along with all commercial SATCOM services, from the Defense Information Systems Agency to the USAF.
"Iridium's relationship with the U.S. government has been the model of what a public-private partnership should look like in the satellite industry," said Iridium CEO Matt Desch. "The U.S. government has made significant investment in Iridium over the years, and likewise, we have invested billions of dollars to ensure our network remains the premier reliable, mobile satellite service with a proven ability to be deployed anywhere in the world." Desch added, "While this new contract will see continued adoption of Iridium, it will also drive ongoing innovation through collaboration between the U.S. government, Iridium, industry partners and user communities."
Phasor and Airbus Sign MOU to Develop Electronically-Steerable Antenna for Government Airborne Connectivity Applications
September 11, 2019: Phasor, the leading developer of enterprise-grade electronically-steered antenna (ESA) systems for satellite-based mobile broadband applications, has announced that is has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus through its Network for the Sky (NFTS) programme. The MoU will see the companies working together to adapt Phasor’s commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) aeronautical electronically steerable antenna (A-ESA) already in development, for use on Governmental air-transport aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Reliable, resilient aero connectivity that can support the highest data rates is essential to Network Centric operations today to enable a broad range of applications and services
The Phasor ESA will be capable of supporting high bandwidth data communications with Ku-band satellites in both commercial GEO and LEO orbits and will also include an integrated radome, as a single line replaceable unit (LRU).
“We are very pleased to be working with Airbus to address the needs of this important user community,” said David Helfgott, CEO, Phasor. Phasor’s aero ESA features a lightweight, ultra-low profile design, and is well suited to support traditional fixed satellite networks (FSS), High Throughput Satellites (HTS), Non-Geosynchronous (NGSO) satellite networks.
Delivering as one, NFTS securely and reliably connects airborne assets together with the rest of operations. Operating over a mix of technologies to form one, resilient, high speed global network. NFTS sets the foundation for connected airborne network centric operations, with the objective to offer a full operational capability by 2020.
Lars Thrane Makes its Iridium Certus® Debut with the LT-4200 Maritime Satcom System
MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) today announced Lars Thrane A/S as the newest Iridium Certus terminal manufacturer and together unveiled the LT-4200 maritime satcom system. The new terminal will be one of the first to support the Iridium Certus 200 service class, that features upload and download speeds of up to 176 Kbps over Iridium's L-band network. It is designed for demanding maritime environments, such as those experienced by fishing vessels and other workboats, that desire faster speeds but want to avoid the coverage limitations, terminal sizes and costs associated with existing competitive options.
The terminal has also been designed to support Iridium's future Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) services, in addition to other regulatory safety and security services including Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) and Ship Security Alert System (SSAS). The system has a range of interfaces making integration simple and offers a simple upgrade path from legacy solutions as well as greenfield opportunities for Iridium Certus partners.
"The Iridium Certus 200 service class addresses a very specific market niche in the maritime industry, but that niche includes a large number of vessels such as commercial fishing boats, workboats, coastal shipping and leisure craft," said Wouter Deknopper, vice president & general manager, maritime line of business at Iridium. "The new LT-4200 from Lars Thrane is a smaller, lighter, faster and cost-competitive option when compared to the closest alternative in the market. As a result, Iridium and our partners are once again bringing a new and superior option to the maritime industry."
"The LT-4200 maritime satcom product is an important product for Lars Thrane, which allows us to offer our customers a compact and competitive L-band product with faster bandwidth and maritime performance specifications, which will satisfy most requirements for a maritime product in this class," said Peter Thrane, CEO of Lars Thrane. "We look forward sharing more details about this product in the near future."
Made possible by the recently upgraded Iridium® satellite constellation, the Iridium Certus service goes beyond serving solely as a connectivity solution. It provides a platform for the company's partners to develop specialized broadband, midband and narrowband applications only possible through Iridium's cross-linked L-band network. The service offers the flexibility to scale device speeds, sizes and power requirements both up and down based on the needs of the end-user.
Iridium and OneWeb to Collaborate on a Global Satellite Services Offering
MCLEAN, VA., USA & LONDON, UK – September 17, 2019 – Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) and OneWeb today announced they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together toward a combined service offering. This combined service offering would be designed to make it easier for their mutual partners to offer unique bundling and co-marketing opportunities for the Iridium Certus® L-band services and OneWeb’s Ku-band service. The offering would leverage the strengths of their respective low-Earth-orbit (LEO) networks. This is the first time that LEO operators have collaborated to deliver services in L-band and Ku-band.
The MoU also creates opportunities for companies that manufacture both OneWeb and Iridium CertusTM terminals. Such new options could include Iridium-OneWeb companion packages in addition to providers being able to offer combined equipment or even new dual-constellation terminals.
While both are LEO constellations, Iridium® and OneWeb services have different capabilities on their respective bands (L-band and Ku-band), which can create a complementary, full-service option for applications such as heads of state comms, critical tactical services, maritime, disaster response and more.
“It’s an exciting time for the industry, and we see great potential for this offering,” said Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium. “Our services are unique and complementary, and we know that customers are looking for the capabilities of both our low-Earth-orbiting networks.”
Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb said: “We believe our new offering can bring many benefits for our distribution partners. By combining the strengths of our services, we can ensure our partners are able to deliver the most innovative, seamless services to their subscribers across many markets, and in all the places that don’t yet have access to the internet.”
Due to the physics associated with L-band and Ku-band spectrum, the two come with different yet complementary attributes. The OneWeb network will deliver very high-speed broadband connectivity that transfers large amounts of data. It is ideal for applications including Inflight WiFi, Government, and Maritime networks that require global reach, high speed and low latency. Iridium’s crosslinked satellite constellation brings seamless truly global connectivity with highly weather resilient L-band user terminals, making it uniquely suited to provide safety services for ships, aircraft, vehicles and deployed personnel, and can be a regulation-required capability. The combined power of these two networks can work together to deliver capacity, resiliency, and high-speed connectivity to customers anywhere in the world.
With the first six satellites already launched, OneWeb’s system has already demonstrated broadband speeds of 400 Mbps and an average latency of 32 milliseconds. OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites per month starting in December enabling OneWeb to provide partial service in late 2020 and global coverage in 2021. Iridium Certus® is Iridium’s new technology platform launched in January 2019, and offers the flexibility to scale device speeds, sizes and power requirements both up and down based on the needs of the end-user.
SpaceX Shakes Up Small Satellite Launch Market
SpaceX has taken a bold initiative to lower costs and drive out small satellite launch providers out of the market. Leveraging the launching of its Starlink constellation, it's planning to offer rides into space with a frequency and cost that challenges other providers. In addition to its annual guaranteed launch program SpaceX will offer third party operators monthly launches, putting in direct competition with providers like Rocket Labs. By offering launch costs of up to 200 kilograms at close to $1 million, it can launch payloads of of 200 kilograms for a tiny fraction of the $6 million charges by Rocket Labs. The SpaceX offering can be expected to spark a price war in the already over crowded small satellite launch market and considerably narrow the field of providers.
Tom Choi's Saturn Acquires Novawurks, Developer of HISat Satellite Platform
Delaware and Los Alamitos - United States, 9th of September 2019. Saturn Satellite Networks Inc. (Saturn), a US Delaware Corporation that is building the world’s first space qualified small digital GEO satellite platform named Nationsat has signed a definitive agreement to acquire NovaWurks Inc, a California based corporation that is the developer of the Hyper Integrated Satlet (HISat), a GEO qualified satellite platform that is modular and scalable to any payload mission in any orbit or power requirements. The transaction is due to take place over a course of three years for an undisclosed amount of cash and stocks. Upon the final closing, NovaWurks will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Saturn and its shareholders will become minority shareholders of Saturn. NovaWurks HISat will serve as the basis of the platform for Saturn’s Nationsat program which will be built entirely in the USA and features fully digital payloads for both wide beam and HTS applications. Saturn Satellite Networks is a unit of Airspace Internet Exchange Inc. a US Delaware corporation which was founded by Mr. Tom Choi, a US Citizen and its majority shareholder. Mr. Choi, is an inductee to the Satellite Hall of Fame in 2017 and winner of Via Satellite’s Satellite Executive of the Year Award in 2012. Mr Choi is also the founder of Speedcast and ABS Global.
Since its inception in 2011, NovaWurks founded by Mr. Talbot Jaeger has designed and developed the HISat for multiple missions including the NASA SIMPL, DARPA eXCITE, and PODSAT programs. HISats are identical six-kilogram modules that contain the basic functions a satellite needs, including communications, reaction wheels, power management, star and earth sensors, satellite command processing modules and propulsion subsystems. Any number of HISats, which measure 20 by 20 by 10 centimeters in dimensions can be snapped together like LegosTM, to their payloads on Earth or in orbit to create a bus which becomes infinitely scalable while at the same time providing enormous redundancy. Software determines the role each HISat should play and if one HISat subsystem begins to fail, for example, the same subsystem on other HISats will take over its role providing a level of redundancy never seen before for satellite systems.
Collins Aerospace, SES and Vista Global to Launch LuxStream Connectivity Service for Business Jets
Luxembourg, 12 September 2019 -- Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), is teaming with leading satellite operator SES to bring business aviation customers the fastest broadband speeds available within the United States. The two companies are launching LuxStream — the only service that offers speeds up to 25 Mbps in the United States and 15Mbps globally via SES’s managed Ku-band satellite network
“In-flight connectivity is often cited by operators as the most important experience to provide on board, especially for long-range flights,” said LeAnn Ridgeway, vice president and general manager, Information Management Services for Collins Aerospace. “By working with SES to bring LuxStream to the business aviation segment, we’re meeting that need by providing speeds and services that are unparalleled in the industry.”
“LuxStream is the result of a great collaboration between SES and Collins Aerospace, and we’re very excited to build on our leading position in inflight connectivity to deliver a premium service for the business aviation segment,” said JP Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks. “LuxStream is powered by SES’s global geostationary high-throughput and wide satellite beams, as well as a flexible, intelligent ground network. Its performance has been validated extensively with a large number of passengers who were able to easily access the internet and stream entertainment content to their personal devices at 25 Mbps."
Vista Global —providing worldwide business flight services with a fleet of 116 owned aircraft and access to 1,500 jets globally — will be the launch customer for the new system. Collins Aerospace will deliver the LuxStream service, as well as its new Collins Aerospace Cabin Router on Vista Global’s fleet of aircraft for both of its brands — VistaJet and XO — starting with the company’s 36 Global business jets under VistaJet, the group’s leading brand and only global business aviation company. The higher bandwidth of the LuxStream service will enable more VistaJet Members to use more devices and more apps simultaneously whilst flying anywhere in the world.
“We place our members at the center of all we do to ensure they feel at home while they’re on board. Even at 45,000 feet, connectivity is key for business owners to continue working efficiently or families to keep in touch and unwind during their flight,” said Thomas Flohr, Founder and Chairman of Vista Global. “LuxStream will provide all our Members with that exceptional and consistent experience that Vista Global and its brands are known for. This investment is another testimony of our global industry leadership”
This new solution, available as part of Collins Aerospace’s ARINCDirect portfolio of services, will provide both VistaJet and XO with additional benefits including:
• High-quality bandwidth capable of supporting multiple streams of ultra-high-definition content, all while fellow passengers are concurrently running other apps
• Flexible pricing models to meet the aircraft’s mission — whether they fly daily, weekly or less frequently
• An always-on service enabled by the redundancy and resiliency offered by SES satellites
• A turn-key solution with both hardware and service provided by Collins Aerospace, giving the operator one point of contact and access to Collins’ industry-
Hughes India Launches Maritime Mobility Services
Germantown, MD, September 10, 2019 — Hughes Communications India Ltd, (HCIL), a majority-owned subsidiary of Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the world’s leading provider of broadband satellite networks and services, today announced the launch of commercial maritime mobility services in India. HCIL was the first to receive a Flight and Maritime Connectivity (FMC) license in India, which permits the company to provide mobility services within 125 kilometers of the Indian coastline. Now, as the first to offer satellite maritime services in India, HCIL enables reliable and ubiquitous connectivity to vessels sailing in domestic waters – as well as internationally, through roaming partnerships with select maritime providers.
“Maritime operators in India – whether cruiselines, shipping companies or offshore oil operators – are eager to connect their vessels, crews and passengers with high-quality, satellite broadband – and we are ready to serve them today,” said Partho Banerjee, president and managing director, Hughes Communications India Ltd. “We estimate that more than 500 Indian vessels will use Indian maritime services in the next three years to stay connected. Two customers have already signed on for our maritime mobility service offering.”
Until now, ships entering Indian territorial waters were required to shut down their VSAT connections; now, they can connect to HCIL’s high-speed Ku-band satellite network. This connectivity ensures that ships and their crews switch seamlessly to the HCIL network (much like terrestrial mobile roaming), with uninterrupted data and voice applications from the port of origin to the port of destination.
HCIL’s maritime mobility services deliver high capacity and efficiency, enabling broadband access that can be used to monitor weather patterns, cut fuel costs, file regulatory documents, order supplies from sea to save time in port, and improve safety, among other uses. For crew and passenger welfare, the services make it possible for people at sea to browse the internet, check social media, watch videos and more – with the quality comparable to that of terrestrial broadband connectivity.
The HCIL maritime service offering includes the Hughes JUPITER™ System platform domestically and provides for roaming among international waterways with global ecosystem partners. The JUPITER System is the next generation platform for very small aperture terminal (VSAT) networks, designed and optimized for broadband services over both high-throughput and conventional satellites.
RIGNET Signs Multi-Year Agreement With Galock Production Company to deliver To Deliver The Digital Transformation Triple Play: Intelie Live, Cyphrelink, and Managed Communications
HOUSTON, Sept. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RigNet (NASDAQ: RNET, the company), the leading provider of ultra-secure, intelligent networking solutions, announced today that it has been awarded a multi-year agreement with Galoc Production Company (GPC) to deploy Intelie Live, RigNet’s machine learning-based analytics platform, onboard the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel Rubicon Intrepid. RigNet will deploy Intelie Live on its highly secure and scalable Managed Communication Service that includes the deployment of CyphreLink, the company’s military grade encryption solution providing the highest level of data protection for Data in transit. This is the ongoing expansion of RigNet’s portfolio of FPSO clients including 10 FPSOs won in off-shore Brazil over the last 9 months.
Rubicon Intrepid is currently on-station at the Galoc Field, offshore the Philippines at SC14C, Northwest Palawan.
“After a long evaluation process, we have identified Intelie Live as our preferred data analytics platform that satisfies our needs to improve production optimization and to support our goal towards digital transformation,” said Anthony Ferrer, Country Manager at GPC. “Today we capture a significant amount of data across various systems from the field, and with the deployment of Intelie LIVE, we will begin real-time analysis to generate beneficial actionable results.
“We are pleased to have RigNet as our long-term partner who consistently delivers Value-Added Services that prove beneficial to our business operations,” said Jeffrey Sim, Chief Operating Officer at Rubicon Offshore. “In addition to their highly secure remote communication services, the deployment of their Intelie Live data analytics solution shall allow us to obtain the offshore operating parameters in real time and thus achieve optimum operational efficiency. Intelie Live catapults RigNet to be a leading provider in Digital Transformation within our industry.”
“We are very pleased to announce the selection of Intelie Live by GPC,” said Steven Pickett, Chief Executive Officer and President of RigNet. “GPC’s decision to bundle Intelie Live with our Managed Communication Services along with our industry leading data protection solution, CyphreLink, demonstrates their commitment to digital transformation. We are also pleased to begin expanding into the production sector of the energy market with Intelie Live as it continues to be adopted across the energy value chain.
Click for more Information
Despite the lessons learned by Iridium, O3b, and Teledesic, the madness continues. Mega-constellation efforts by OneWeb, SpaceX, and Amazon are in full swing, even though they will be launching into a market already flooded with GEO HTS satellite capacity. These mega-LEOs will have to compete not only with each other but also with SES mPower, Telesat, GEO HTS satellites and expanding terrestrial fiber and 4G and 5G mobile networks.
Already, OneWeb, has awakened to the realization that the vision of universal connectivity with satellites is economically unachievable. Last week, at World Satellite Business Week in Paris, OneWeb CEO, Adrian Steckle, admitted as such. He noted that the company is scaling back its efforts, confirming that their new target market is mobility, not the other three billion.
With a combined $15 Billion ($5 billion for OneWeb and $10 for Starlink) at stake and the need to reconstitute the constellations in a few years, OneWeb and Starlink need high-value paying business customers. Success for them and the will depend on their ability to satisfy un-served and under-served business customers, not mass-market consumers.
Unlike O3b, which was a $1.2 billion project with 17 original MEO satellites, the LEOs have a much shorter life-span and much higher capital cost. They don't have the luxury of time to prove their economic viability.
While O3b built its revenue base one project at a time in the Pacific Islands, Cruise markets and projects in Africa, OneWeb and Starlink will need to enter and succeed in many niche markets simultaneously. They will be racing against time and competing against players who have already combed the connectivity universe for un-served high-value customers. OneWeb's focus on mobility - maritime, aero, and land - is the first step in a niche direction.
For the last 15 years, Inmarsat, Speedcast and Marlink and others have been selling VSAT to the maritime industry of the mobility segment. Forty per-cent + of the cargo vessels already have VSAT, and by the time LEO services available, that number will be sixty to seventy per-cent. On these vessels, bandwidth requirements are minimal, and most vessels are locked into long-term contracts with the major integrators, making it difficult to switch services.
While Cruise has proven to be a big market, it's already one hundred per-cent served by GEO HTS and SES' hybrid MEO - GEO Network. With GEO HTS and SES' new mPower satellites, a Gigabit or more of capacity is possible. Combined with the channel bonding made possible with Intellian's new, tri-band antennas and "intelligent Mediator," it's hard to see much of a market for LEOs emerging. While the picture in aero is somewhat better, it's still very competitive.
In the U.S. commercial airline market, Gogo and ViaSat will be the dominant satellite players, and Gogo and SmartSky will provide the mid-sized and small business jets with ATG services. Gogo, ViaSat and Panasonic and Inmarsat will compete with satellite-based services in the hotly contested international market. Due to the high cost of re-fitting commercial jets, already outfitted aircraft will be unlikely to upgrade to LEOs. Retrofits will only likely occur on aircraft transiting polar routes. Combined with line-fit on new builds, the aero market for LEOs will not be large. To further complicate the picture, Inmarsat is offering ATG services in Europe.
However, some bright spots for these new constellations could be in oil and gas and land mobility including applications i.e trains, buses, and military vehicles - provided, of course, that a low-cost flat panel, electronically steered antennas become available.
What is clear is that to access new and promising opportunities, the LEO satellite service providers will have to dig in and learn to do real market research, and stop throwing mountains of capital at only vaguely defined targets markets.
To be successful, LEO mega- constellations will have to build revenues one niche market at a time. Considering the enormous amount of revenue they need to justify their capital cost, their journey to economic viability will be extraordinarily challenging.
- Alan Gottlieb
To Succeed, LEOs Must Find Customers in High-Value Niche Markets
Mass Market Madness Must End...
For more information
"What is clear is that to access new and promising opportunities, the LEO satellite service providers will have to dig in and learn to do real market research, and stop throwing mountains of capital at only vaguely defined targets markets."
Click Here to Learn More
As SES's O3b mPOWER comes closer to fruition, we are seeing a host of innovative features that will make it a remarkably flexible, scalable, versatile and highly competitive offering.
In Steve's interview, not only will you find out about new, previously unrevealed features of the new O3b mPOWER communications system - including the new ARC dynamic software solution, but you will also hear insightful commentary on the changing role of the service provider, the need for network inter-operability and the future of mega LEOs.
SMW: Can you give us an update on O3b mPOWER? How far along are you with the development?
Since announcing O3b mPOWER, our second-generation medium earth orbit (MEO) system at the World Satellite Business Week conference in Paris two years ago, we have made huge strides in the development of not only the satellites but of the entire ecosystem.
When we announced, we said that this was a revolutionary system that could transform our ability to offer a seamless experience to our customers and that feels closer to reality than ever.
The satellites passed their Critical Design Review with flying colors and with better performance than originally contemplated. That will translate into higher throughput for customers and for the system.
Last week we signed launch contracts with Space X that will have the satellites in orbit and providing service in 2021. Having successful commercialized the world’s first non-geostationary (NGSO) system in 2013 with O3b, I am fairly confident that we will also commercialize the world’s second NGSO constellation in O3b mPOWER given the ongoing challenges with LEO.
We have taken a successful recipe in O3b and dramatically scaled it into the most flexible and capable satellite system that we believe has ever been envisaged. Moreover, we can easily and simply scale the network, with more O3b mPOWER's, fitted with inclined planes and complement that with GEOs that will ultimately form part of the same seamless ecosystem.
SMW: In 2-3 years, one or more LEO constellations will be competing with SES’s O3b mPOWER service, especially in key mobility segments. What are the advantages of O3b mPOWER?
To begin with it is important to recognize that we have been delivering services from MEO for six years. We are operating in a proven environment with proven technology.
We have evolved our network and have learned massively from the experience of delivering services day in, day out to our customers. The fact that we are deploying our second-generation system while others are contemplating their first shows we have a maturity and time to market advantage that we intend to leverage and capitalize on.
We have demonstrated in the cruise segment with O3b, paired intelligently with our GEO fleet, that we can deliver a superior service with higher throughput, lower latency and better resilience that anyone else. With O3b mPOWER, we can take those same fundamentals and apply them to the entire maritime market. We can bring that same compelling value proposition to merchant shipping, to yachts and to autonomous ships at sea.
Even more exciting, we can now serve the fast-growing aviation market with the first low latency service. With O3b, we can provide the most compelling service anywhere. With O3b mPOWER we can provide it everywhere.
With LEO’s I think I am on record as an admirer of the technology and innovation but a skeptic on the economics. In the same year that we launched commercial service on O3b, both the OneWeb (then World Vu) and LeoSat systems were announced and we were told that ‘in a couple of years’ we would be competing with them. Six years on, systems are still struggling to attract enough financing to launch, and I think that is because the business model is so challenging.
When you are talking about a return on investment of $5 bn+ from a standing start in a period of only 5 to 7 years, its staggeringly hard to do. That is why we like our approach of dramatically fewer satellites and a dramatically more scalable approach to addressing demand.
So while I think we are ready for the arrival of LEO’s, I don’t think it's necessarily a given that we will be competing against any of them in the next three to five years given the technical and financial obstacles that they continue to face.
SMW: With O3b mPOWER and your additional, new GEO satellites, how will you manage this highly complex network?
It is a great question and one that we think about a lot. We want to provide seamless services to our customers on an open network that allows customers to roam between MEO and GEO effortlessly and without having to do anything. We have made a number of complementary announcements over the last few weeks that take us firmly in that direction.
Firstly, we have partnered with Amdocs to build out an automation and orchestration platform based on Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP).
This will be the ‘brain’ of our system, not only for O3b mPOWER but for SES-17 and all future satellites in our high-performance network. ONAP will allow us to virtualize the services that we offer and will turn the apparent complexity of delivering power and bandwidth across a practically unlimited number of dynamically assigned beams into simplicity as far as our customers are concerned.
This is particularly true when we extend ONAP into the development of ARC, our Adaptive Resource Control system being developed in partnership with Kythera.
Finally, we have announced a partnership with Microsoft to extend Azure across the SES network as an ExpressRoute partner. This innovation turbo-charges our entire network and allows our customers connected access to state-of-the-art cloud services across Azure. This combination is ground-breaking.
SMW: What about roaming between your GEO and MEO assets? Can you offer that now?
We have been doing this seamlessly for the last 18 months or so in cruise and is working fantastically well.
With the MedallionNet service developed in partnership with Carnival Corporation’s Global Experience and Innovation team, we have deployed tri-band antennas that allow us to roam seamlessly between satellites in our GEO fleet but also between our MEO and GEO satellites. When in MEO coverage, we leverage the O3b Network and, when outside, we can switch to GEO services. The system is becoming more and more sophisticated and we are rolling out to more and more ships in the Carnival Princess brand.
Having gained experience with this service, we are in a great position to extend the same concept across multiple other segments and services, particularly with the arrival of O3b mPOWER.
We will have some very exciting news to share soon on further MEO-GEO integration in the coming weeks. I am a big believer in scale in the network and we intend to leverage all the assets at our disposal and potentially assets of others to deliver the most compelling services to our customers.
SMW: Are you selling direct to the Cruise segment, or are you going through integrators?
The cruise segment is unique in that each ship is effectively a floating island. The demands are significant and the need for intimacy between the cruise customer and the service provider is high.
For that reason, we decided early on that the cruise segment would be best served if we could sit alongside the customer and co-create solutions. Several years on, four of the top five cruise operators are experiencing our MEO-GEO service and, based on bandwidth delivered, we are by a distance the No.1 provider in cruise.
In pretty much all other segments, we work with partners, integrators and service providers. We have a partner program which, while still somewhat in its infancy, establishes clear roles and clear win-win for us and our partners and protects the value that our service provider partners bring. In a rapidly changing business environment, I think it can become an important differentiator.
SMW: As you are deploying Tri-Band 2.4-meter antennas, are you limited to the very largest vessels?
There was a time when the thinking in the cruise industry was to minimize the number and size of antennas.
Now that connectivity has become very important to cruise passengers and has become a key factor in the choice of a cruise vacation and a major revenue provider, the size and cost of antennas is no longer a barrier. That said, we are developing a range of flexible terminal solutions that will allow multi-orbit services to a variety of verticals and markets. With the arrival of O3b mPOWER, we can deliver hundreds of Mbps to antennas as small as 60 cm.
SMW: The coming of the LEOs will add significant amounts of capacity to already over-supplied mobility markets resulting in even greater pressure? How do you see the relationship of supply vs. demand and will demand increase enough to support an increase in revenue per/user?
Demand for capacity and, more importantly, services continues to increase in high double digits on a global basis.
There is no shortage of demand. In aviation, the demand for connectivity is massively outstripping supply, and that is before any of the major airlines move into a free model.
I think one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is the incoherence of the solutions being offered. Everyone is investing in their own closed systems and each is subscale.
We have to address this or else risk frustrating our customers and their end-users. We must improve the productivity of our satellites, drive up ARPUs and that means driving down the cost per Mbps or MByte delivered. That's why we are investing in O3b mPOWER, but also why we are thinking about our entire network of satellites as a single system.
SMW: What is your biggest worry regarding the proliferation of satellite networks?
I worry that as an industry, we are designing our systems independently of each other, with limited coherence and inter-operability. The ultimate risk is fragmentation and a lack of scale and, perversely, oversupply of the wrong sort of capacity. There are just too many systems and networks that don't work with each other, resulting in a lack of scale in all systems and, what is worse, it's really confusing for customers.
For us to capitalize on the increasing demand and to provide great service, I think users will need to be able to roam from one network to another, and from one provider to another. We need to have terminals capable of hosting multiple modems or modems built more in software than hardware. At SES, we are thinking about this a lot.
SMW: Do you see the roles of satellite operators and integrators changing? Is the Value Chain collapsing? Is vertical integration likely?
I don’t think the value chain is collapsing but the value that each provider in the chain brings is under more scrutiny.
We don’t have religion over vertical integration versus partnership. We think both can work although I would say in the main we are firmly on the partner track.
We see significant value in the job that service providers do, and don’t think it’s necessary for us to replicate those things. That said, we are in a fast-moving world. Simply bundling satellite services is not differentiating us from a systems integrator today. Customers want analytics, insights, out-sourcing, cloud integration. The best service providers are not standing still. For those just looking to leverage connectivity, my guess is that they will be commoditized and increasingly less attractive to customers and operators alike.
SMW: In this new environment, how do you minimize churn and keep customers happy?
The answer does not lie in the technology but in obsession with customer success. You have to earn your customer's business every day, and if you are not doing a great job, you can expect the customer to churn. If we can make our network less confusing and offer the best service, we will continue to prosper. That is our mentality.
We still have a long way to go but our path is clear. The environment is challenging but fantastically exciting. There is so much more ahead of us than behind us, and our customers are at the center of it all.
O3b mPower and the Future of Satellite Networks
An Interview with SES CEO, Steve Collar
"To begin with it is important to recognize that we have been delivering services from MEO for six years. We are operating in a proven environment with proven technology. "
Click For more information
Click for more information
"I worry that as an industry, we are designing our systems independently of each other, with limited coherence and inter-operability. The ultimate risk is fragmentation and a lack of scale and, perversely, oversupply of the wrong sort of capacity. "
Satelles: At Last - An Iridium-Based Back-Up for GPS
Modern society has come to depend on GPS. Without the timing and location signals provided by GPS satellites, our lives would be disrupted. Mobile networks would cease to function and ships and aircraft would be unable to determine their precise positions at sea.
Despite the importance of these signals, they can blocked by interference or "spoofed" and incredibly, no backup exists - until now.
Satelles, a California based company, backed by Iridium and other visionary investors, has solved this problem by creating its own satellite timing and location signals called Satellite Time and Location, (STL) which uses the Iridium satellite network. Because Iridium satellites are closer to the earth than GPS satellites, the STL signals are nearly one-thousand times stronger and capable of penetrating buildings and other locations that cannot be reached with GPS. They are also encrypted, making them nearly impossible for parties with nefarious intent to "spoof."
The Company - Beginnings:
Starting in 2008, Greg Gutt worked with a team to develop and patent a large portfolio of timing and location technology based on low-earth-orbit satellites. In 2013, Greg and co-founder Michael O'Connor started the Satelles business to commercialize these technologies and bring secure time and location solutions to the world. The company has worked in close collaboration with Iridium to implement the STL solution, which is delivered over a paging channel of the Iridium satellite constellation.
Use Cases - Timing:
Because accurate timing is a vital element in the investigation of insider trading, stock exchanges are mandated to place a time stamp on every trade, making backup timing essential. Accurate timing is also vital to the operation of wireless networks.
Mobile networks are based on the timing of communications signals, and all elements of the network must be time synchronized in order to function properly. Base stations within the network need to be transmitting and receiving at the same times in order to communicate effectively, and they rely on GPS.
As loss of the GPS signal could result in a catastrophic interruption of service , they need to have a backup. To provide GPS back-up capability, each cell tower and base station needs to have the Satelles service installed. In 5G, that’s thousands of small cells. Therein, lies a considerable opportunity for Satelles.
Because many small cells go in locations on the sides of or in buildings, some are unreachable by GPS, making 5G networks an ideal market for Satelles.
While stock exchanges and cellular networks are early target markets, another application potential market for Satelles is the power grid.
Currently, timing is used for solely for monitoring but as we move toward a “smart grid,” power distribution stations would also need timing apparatus. In these new smart networks, "spoofing" attacks could cause transformers to blow up and disrupt the power grid – a major concern of Homeland Security.
Use Cases – Location Services:
Maritime and aviation are two obvious use cases where the ability to know one’s precise position is vital for both safety and security.
In locations like the Persian Gulf, a vessel without the precise positioning of GPS could be boarded and seized.
Commercial fishing is another example requiring accurate positioning. For example, Indonesia has seized and destroyed fishing vessels that have been caught fishing in its restricted waters.
Likewise, aircraft straying into restricted airspace could be in danger. Recall the downing of the Korean airliner that strayed off course over the Kamchatka and was accidentally destroyed.
Even drones depend on GPS. A drone needs to know where it is at all times, and any interruption of the GPS signal could result in a loss of navigation and possible catastrophic results i.e. straying into the glide path at an airport.
While stock exchange and cellular network timing applications are early applications for Satelles, any market that depends on the timing accuracy of GPS is also a potential market. Satelles is also very easy install and most of the time specialized hardware is not required.
Because the Satelles' STL signal and the GPS signal are both L-Band and adjacent to each other on the electromagnetic spectrum, GPS chip sets and equipment can also be used to receive Satelles' STL signals, and their software can be uploaded to existing GPS chip sets, resulting in a system with both primary and backup capabilities.
How the Service is Sold:
Satelles works with several different manufacturers to integrate its solution. Different manufacturing partners employ different hardware solutions, such as a GPS chip, a type of chip called an FPGA, and/or a software programmable radio. Regardless of application, it's usually possible to leverage existing GPS receiving equipment to receive the STL signal. For commercial users who need new hardware, Satelles' biggest hardware manufacturing partner is a company called Orolia, and their product is called SecureSync. It's a rack mounted piece of timing equipment that has been installed in major stock exchanges, data centers and other sites - locations where people are concerned about the security of GPS and need to receive timing signals indoors.
Satelles' timing product is mature and is currently deployed in major stock exchanges in North America, Asia and Europe.
Launched 18 months ago, it was the first product with STL capability. Following its success in the stock exchange market, Satelles will be introducing new solutions to the critical infrastructure market – including cellular networks - over the next 6 to 12 months.
The Business Model:
Satelles generates revenue by selling a subscription service resulting in an attractive ongoing revenue stream. Because its potential can be measured by the potential for millions of installations around the world, the company has a very attractive upside.
Satelles is just about to announce the close of its Series “C” financing – mostly private investment and also has several strategic investors including Iridium and family offices. Prior to this new investment, the company raised $14 Million.
Demand for in-flight connectivity is accelerating, creating the need for more and more bandwidth. In this environment, maximizing the availability of capacity across networks is critical. To assure that aircraft can access the maximum available satellite bandwidth, they will need to roam across networks, making network interoperability a critical requirement.
To find out how one leading network infrastructure provider is dealing with overcoming the network divide and the demands of aeronautical connectivity, we sat down with Steve Moses, Senior Director of Vertical Market Solutions at ST Engineering iDirect.
SMW: As you engage with service providers in the aero market, what are you hearing about end-user and airline demands when it comes to connectivity?
Steve Moses: At this point, people want a seamless connectivity experience, no matter where they are — whether at home, at work or on a plane. The passenger’s expectation is the same as if they are at home or a coffee shop, despite the technological challenges in delivering that level of service to an aircraft. Delivery of such services today is complicated.
While numerous satellite networks exist, they run on varying standards, frequencies and hardware platforms, resulting in inefficient duplication of resources and a surplus of inaccessible capacity.
With passengers, pilots, crew and maintenance personnel wanting better connectivity — not only to satisfy customer demand, but to power new “connected aircraft” applications — accessing the maximum amount of bandwidth is critical.
Higher throughput connectivity made possible by access to multiple networks opens up opportunities for a whole array of new applications. Pilots can have better access to weather data and real-time flight conditions and routing to enable fuel savings and reduce turbulence mid-flight. Sensors can alert and provide more data to maintenance crews on the ground or even enable real-time troubleshooting. Overall, bringing even greater connectivity to planes can make airline operations run more smoothly and cost- efficiently.
SMW: So what are the biggest challenges to providing this seamless experience and global connectivity to the aero market?
Steve Moses: When it comes to aero, there are quite a few complexities in providing reliable global coverage for aircraft.
One of the major challenges for service providers is enabling a consistent quality of experience (QoE) across a global footprint. Today, the availability of service is built up of different technologies — L-band, VSAT and Air-to-Ground (ATG) solutions — all of which offer varying levels of service and availability across different geographies.
Adding real-time demand and varying wireless link conditions to the equation makes providing consistent QoE quite a challenge. In addition, with VSAT oftentimes service providers have difficulties lighting up networks in areas with sparse capacity or in high demand, and over territories that are restricted. In those cases, service providers and airlines are forced to implement multiple technologies or use multiple services to achieve full coverage. Ultimately, this is contributing to the challenge of delivering the consistent QoE customers demand.
Usually, where demand is concentrated at certain times of the day, a single service provider struggles to provide enough capacity in the high-volume air corridors. To supplement its network, it has to lease additional capacity from larger global or regional satellite operators. In such instances, having to deal with billing reconciliation, varying service levels, and managing different bands and technologies can be a real challenge.
SMW: How can satellite and service operators address the need for more global connectivity without the additional complexities? What technology advances need to happen to facilitate network interoperability?
The wireless industry has already solved this problem with 3G and 4G technology and inter-provider roaming solutions for our cell phones.
With cellular roaming, the mobile phone automatically hops on another provider’s network if you travel outside your home provider’s coverage, and the customer only has to deal with a single provider from a service perspective.
At ST Engineering iDirect, we are pioneering this same approach for our industry, and are taking a leading role in the development of provider-to-provider roaming.
In such cases, a satellite service provider can partner with other service providers to enable a mobility terminal to roam between autonomous networks and provide a consistent user experience. What powers that experience is the use of global standards, such as 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) which defines network roaming, authentication, pre-negotiated service level agreements (SLAs), billing reconciliation and more. With our roaming architecture, satellite operators and service providers can cooperate in obtaining additional capacity and expanding capacity while lowering operational costs. This also allows for a convenient pay-as-you-go model based on actual usage versus building or leasing bandwidth upfront.
SMW: How would satellite operators benefit if roaming is implemented throughout the industry?
Steve Moses: In a nutshell, provider roaming will increase available capacity and reduce complexity for service providers. They won’t have to build out new networks or infrastructure to offer global coverage. Instead, they can have their users roam from their home network into guest networks transparently while keeping ownership of the customer. SLAs are maintained via roaming agreements and quality of service (QoS) enforcement on the guest networks.
SMW: How would provider roaming benefit satellite operators then?
Steve Moses: There is a strong business case for satellite operators to embrace provider roaming.
By enabling it, regional satellite operators can offer an end-to-end solution that would allow them to compete against vertically integrated global satellite operations. Operators also would be able to monetize unused bandwidth, adding alternative revenue streams to their operations.
Increased access to capacity can also improve the user QoE, driving demand and increasing revenues. Provider roaming can also help operators grow the addressable market. They can partner to expand their reach into restricted countries, such as India, China, Russia and Brazil.
Adopting a standards-based architecture will provide the foundation for multi-orbit, multi-technology, multi-access mobility.
SMW: How does provider-to-provider roaming address the need of interoperability and industry collaboration?
Steve Moses: While important in providing passengers and airlines with the capacity and connectivity they increasingly demand, roaming in the aero market is simply one of the first steps toward full interoperability.
Ultimately, we will enable a satellite remote or user endpoint to roam across constellations, orbits, access technologies and autonomous service provider networks as part of the complete end-to-end 5G network.
At ST Engineering iDirect, we’ve been very bold in collaborating with technology partners to push these innovations forward. However, we strongly believe that to create the complete end-to-end network and seamless connectivity experience for end users — through roaming and otherwise — we need to commit to active, industry-wide collaboration on a large scale. It’s only through industry collaboration that we will be able to reach satellite’s full potential and create new opportunities — in any market — for our customers.
Bridging the Network Divide: The Race to Interoperability
With Steve Moses, Senior Director of Vertical Market Solutions at ST Engineering iDirect
"In a nutshell, provider roaming would increase available capacity and reduce complexity for service providers. They wouldn’t have to build out new networks or infrastructure in order to offer global coverage. Instead, they could have their users roam from their home network into guest networks transparently while keeping ownership of the customer."
for more information....
About Steve Moses:
Steve Moses is senior director of vertical market solutions at ST Engineering iDirect and is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of iDirect aero solutions. In this role, he directs the iDirect aero product portfolio and supports the development and marketing of aeronautical hardware and software.
Moses joined iDirect in 2010 and has held several product management roles guiding iDirect’s Evolution®, iDirect Velocity®, and remote portfolio. He assisted customers and integrators across the globe with product selection and development for advanced satellite communications terminals and infrastructure.
Prior to joining ST Engineering iDirect, Steve held product management and technical roles in companies such as Mobileaccess, Lucent and UUNet, and has worked in the communications industry for over 20 years, spanning a wide range of communication technologies.
He holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech.
By Jack Waters, CEO, Xiplink
Why SD-WAN Is Coming to Satcom
The wireline communications service market is moving toward a new communications architecture called software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN). Already, major wireline service providers are rolling out these networks to their most widely used service base and also using the technology to offer new services that attract new customers.
Despite the emergence of SD-WAN in the terrestrial world, the technology has not yet significantly penetrated the Satcom market. The goal of this article is to help define how to apply the technology to Satcom and what major benefits can be expected.
Building blocks for SD-WAN adoption:
One of the key attributes of SDN is a centralized definition of elements, networks, and services that can be distributed to edge devices, often via virtual machines or containers, and then executed on "off the shelf" hardware.
This central controller, known as an Orchestrator in the SDN world, defines reusable components and services. Augmented by a policy engine, it manages the network.
In this new architecture, one remote server located either in the cloud or at a customer's premises offers routing capability, WAN optimization, firewall, management functions, analytics and other modules on demand.
The flexibility of using this approach is enormous. For the network operator the provisioning process is simplified and in the future, the customer can select a service using "zero touch" provisioning.
Finally, SD-WAN promises to be more efficient with network resources by sharing power, memory, storage, rack space, and similar components - unlike in the past when all services were formerly dedicated to separate hardware devices.
In an SD-WAN environment, the building blocks are as follows:
- Controller (Orchestrator): Defines the network, routes, policies, and associated services.
- Device: Hardware or virtual images acting on data flows (routers, WAN optimization, firewall).
- Network: Named set of IP addresses associated with a device.
- Link: The various WAN connectivity options with values such as bandwidth, RTT, and the like.
- Traffic Group: Named set of filters and selection criteria to match service with the network.
- QoS Policy: A sophisticated hierarchy of policies associated with traffic groups and actions.
- Steering Policy: Directs flows based on customer definition to available links, devices and services.
- Path: Ties together all of the above to define a flow in the network.
Benefits related to the Satcom marketplace:
Today, with routing, sophisticated firewalls, WAN optimization, QoS classification, and other functions requiring multiple servers, remote site management can be overwhelming. SD-WAN will help consolidate this to a fewer set of components. Once the SD-WAN network is in place, there are considerable benefits to the Satellite Service Provider.
One positive impact will the consolidation of many functions into one remote device, resulting in fewer hardware units to maintain and allowing for reasonable sparing policies.
Furthermore, since the cost of capacity is the highest cost for Satellite Service Providers, users will have several link options to choose from both on the access side (GEO, MEO, LEO, Terrestrial Wireless 4G/5G) and the backhaul side (wireless, and fiber).
In addition, by allowing a bonded or link balanced software-defined service, the system can work as one with automatic policies kicking in for unusual or backup situations.
For instance, a rural village setup might require a relatively higher cost C-Band link to guarantee a minimum level of guaranteed service in all weather conditions and a lower cost, high throughput Ka-Band link for streaming and other high-bandwidth services.
Another good example is in the cellular backhaul marketplace, whereby the mobile network operator can use the C-Band for signaling, voice and other critical flows and the Ka-Band for higher capacity data flows with automatic backup if any link fails for any reason.
Lastly, while the SD-WAN system requires considerable expertise to build, the positive impact to network and operations staff will be apparent. The staff will have a highly automated, centralized framework to quickly use and re-use proven configurations for new services. The net effect promises to deliver services dramatically faster, with fewer hiccups and higher customer satisfaction.
XipLink's position on SD-WAN:
For the last few years, XipLink has supported a proprietary version of intelligent Link Balancing and Bonding that effectively increases the bandwidth pool for site to site satellite links. All the recent gigabit plus transmission records in the maritime business, for example, have been set using Link Balancing and Bonding technology.
With the upcoming November release of XipOS 6.0 software, XipLink will offer a more sophisticated form of Link Balancing and Bonding for satellite, cellular, wireline and any combination of "hybrid" communications links using SD-WAN standards.
Included in the first release will be functions such as sophisticated IP routing, basic firewall, Quality of Service classification and, of course, WAN optimization. The new SD-WAN architecture in XipOS 6.0 will be compatible with "revision 5" newer hardware appliances and all XipLink Virtual (XV) images already deployed to protect the customers' investment. In the future, to meet the evolving needs of the marketplace, XipLink will offer other functional "plug ins" for network management, deep packet inspection, and data analytics.
Jack Waters is President and Chief Executive Officer of Xiplink
Jack joined XipLink in 2007 to help spin-off it off Xiphos from the parent company, and to establish it as a significant market player in WAN optimization for satellite and wireless communications.
Prior to XipLink, Jack was Senior Vice President of Global Sales at iDirect Technologies, Inc. from 2001 to 2007, where he was a key contributor to restructuring it from a dot-com business to a leader in IP based satellite VSAT systems. iDirect was sold to Singapore Technologies in 2005 for $165 M USD.
Prior to iDirect Jack was VP of Worldwide Sales for CoManage Corporation, a software developer of OSS Systems for ISP’s, CLEC’s and Alternative Telco's.
Other career accomplishments include Director of the mid-Atlantic region for FORE Systems .
Prior to FORE Systems, Jack held regional sales positions at Network Systems Corporation from 1984 to 1994 and Wang Computer from 1980 to 1984.
Mr. Waters attended Michigan State University, and graduated with a B.S. in Accounting in 1980.
for more information
There are many mobility related satellite industry events and unless you have an unlimited budget, here are the "must attends" (i n blue) and others that may be of interest.
****Monaco Yacht Show: 25-28 September: Monaco: For those interested in the use of VSAT on yachts, this is a key event.
***IBC-Amsterdam: 12 - 16 September: A very popular show with focus on Broadcast -attended by most major satellite equipment vendors and service providers.
***Satellite Innovation: 8-10th October 2019: Silicon Valley: An Annual Conference focusing on satellite innovative satellite technologies.
NBAA- Orlando : 22-24-Oct 2019: This show offers providers an opportunity to access the business jet market. Most major connectivity providers exhibit.
*****Satellite 2020: 9-12 March 2020: Washington D.C.: The Industry's most important satellite exhibition and conference - a must attend.
*****SeaTrade Cruise Global, Miami: 21-23 April: The Cruise Industry is a huge user of VSAT services. making this show an important venue. It should not be missed - an important event for satellite service suppliers.
****Posidonia: 1-5 June Athens, Greece: Another important show maritime VSAT, especially for those targeting the tanker and container segment.
****Global Connected Aircraft, June 10-13 Denver: A popular conference address in commercial aircraft connectivity.
*****Small Satellite Conference, Logan, Utah: August 3-8. Unquestionably the best small satellite conference available. With over 3,000 attendees, this conference is enormously popular.
*** SMM Hamburg, Germany' 8-11 September 2020: A must attend for those interested in VSAT use in the cargo segments.
Upcoming and Recommended Satellite Mobility Events