Companies such as Hughes and Spacenet probably don’t have to worry about, as their future in transaction processing with VSAT technology isn’t going away. It may not be growing much, but the business is there.
A report in Computerworld puts it into the proper perspective for the satcom set:
With the new service, customers with LTE smartphones and tablets and LTE modems for their laptops can access the nearest cell tower and will then be routed to an enterprise gateway in one of many Verizon switching centers, Konings said. Data routed to and through the enterprise gateway is encoded, but not encrypted, and kept totally separate from the public Internet. Encryption of the data can be added, if desired.
At a Verizon switching center, the data then also joins Verizon’s global MPLS network, Konings said.
Verizon demonstrated ATM cash machines that are connected to its LTE network at CES in January, but the company didn’t describe its Private IP connection, which can be used to keep transactions secure and will allow a bank to move an ATM more easily to a new location.
LTE speeds, generally described by Verizon as 10 times faster than EV-DO, will also be useful for quickly activating remote digital signs and can even be used for transmitting video wirelessly, he said.
A news report with video can be transmitted over the Private IP LTE network instead of a more expensive satellite connection, he said. Also, wireless over LTE could be used as a backup network or for routing data to storage.
“With faster speeds, companies can provide many more apps [wirelessly] than before,” he said. Verizon describes its LTE speeds for consumers as averaging 10 Mbps on downlinks, with up to 2 Mbps on uplinks.
In addition to wireless data costs, the only cost to a business for Private IP over LTE is a $500 one-time charge to create a mobile private network, which can serve up to 1,000 sites, Konings said.
SNG? 1,000 data site? That’s satcom territory! This will be interesting to watch — especially when you add the satellite bandwidth used for video contribution feeds. Big business (read: satellite operators) ought to take notice.
14 month epic saga by Lockheed and USAF experts to save the first $1.7 billion Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite after it failed to reach proper orbit following launch may have been necessitated by a piece of cloth left in a fuel line. [Washington Post - 03/17/2012]
Azerbaijan minister of Communications and Information Technologies expects the country’s needs for satellite communications to increase four-fold, given the mountainous terrain of much of the country. [Trend - 03/17/2012]
LightSquared files opposition to FCC’s proposal to terminate the company’s authority to launch a nationwide network using the same frequencies as its mobile satellite service, claiming that 7 years of support for the plan over two administrations led the company to invest over $4 billion in the project, and termination leads to regulatory uncertainty that discourages needed investment in the nation’s wireless infrastructure. [Market Watch - 03/16/2012]
New Boeing contracts with Asia Broadcast Satellite and Satellites Mexicanos feature the first all-electric commercial satellites that use light-weight xenon-fueled ion thrusters to cut satellite weight and launch costs. [Aviation week - 03/16/2012]
Russian government to intentionally guide the large Express-AM4 telecommunications satellite, which was launched into useless orbit last August, into controlled atmospheric descent beginning March 20. [Space - 03/16/2012]
Originally intended as “gap-filler” until now defunct TSAT became operational, WGS satellite program has become model of efficient satellite procurement as USAF orders continue, with 10 satellites now on order. [Aviation Week - 03/16/2012]
Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, chooses Eutelsat’s KA-SAT for its unique approach to ensure that all homes in the Irish Republic will benefit from free reception of the RTE public service television and radio channels. [SatNews - 03/16/2012]
Glowlink wins contract to provide spectrum-monitoring equipment for the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration satellites. [Satellite Today - 03/16/2012]
NovelSat modems, using technology aiming to increase satellite bandwidth capacity by 20 percent to 55 percent more than current DVB-S2 technology, are approved by Intelsat for use on its transponders. [Satellite Today - 03/16/2012]
Astrium Services signs new multi-year contract with the French MoD’s Joint Logistices and Supply Agency to continue providing private satellite communications services to French forces deployed overseas. [SatNews - 03/15/2012]
KVH is selected as preferred satellite communications solution provider for independent ship manager V Ships and will deliver mini-VSAT enhanced data applications to its fleet of more than 1,000 vessels. [Satellite Today - 03/15/2012]
First global high-resolution map of boundary between Earth’s crust and mantle is produced based on data from ESA’s GOCE gravity satellite. [SatNews - 03/15/2012]
Turnkey Satellite Uplink facility in North Platte, Nebraska constructed within four weeks of permit approval for major satellite internet provider by Oldcastle Precast using modular pre-cast building. [PR.com - 03/15/2012]
Space Systems/Loral provides on time delivery of NASA propulsion system for moon exploration mission. [Space Ref - 03/15/2012]
New DARPA Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements program seeks to employ quickly deployable, disposable small and inexpensive satellites to meet need for military hotspots speedily. [PC Magazine - 03/15/2012]
Dish Network’s Hopper whole-home DVR system, introduced at CES earlier this year, is now available to its customers [CED Magazine - 03/15/2012]
U.S. Army anticipates purchasing all of its satellite communications systems and support services through CTS, a single, Multiple-Award Task-Order Contract with up to ten awardees. [Gov Win - 03/14/2012]
NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission experiment aboard International Space Station demonstrates that remotely controlled robots and specialized tools can perform precise satellite-servicing tasks in space. [SatNews - 03/14/2012]
Globalstar, reporting positive quarterly adjusted EBITDA for the first time in four years, is expected to become world’s first LEO-based MSS provider with a second-generation constellation. [SatNews - 03/141/2012]
Elwing Company, through its European affiliate Elwing Europe, announces agreement with Swedish satellite manufacturer OHB Sweden to partner in development of advanced platform technologies for satellites. [SatNews - 03/14/2012]
Kratos is selected by Intelsat to extend its EPOCH Integrated Product Suite-based Fleet Control System to operate the Intelsat 27 satellite, currently under construction. [SatNews - 03/13/2012]
Australian Satellite Communications deploys iDirect hub to support new partnership with Daltron, bringing satellite capabilities to Papua New Guinea-based ISP. [Market Watch - 03/13/2012]
A new, dedicated VSAT Maritime Broadband Solutions Centre will be opened May 1, 2012 in Singapore by AST to specifically serve the Asia Pacific region. [Satnews - 03/13/2012]
Verizon Mobile Satellite Services offers backup services and enhanced disaster recovery, using 20X20 ft. air shelters that can be set up in less than 20 minutes and provide protection from extreme weather for up to 12 people. [Market Watch - 03/13/2012]
SES Government Services to be featured in Business Update on Aerospace and Defense on the Discovery Channel on March 21. [Market Watch - 03/13/2012]
SES and ITC Global renew capacity deal to provide connectivity to rigs and vessels throughout the Gulf of Mexico region. [SatNews - 03/13/2012]
SpaceX signs contracts with Asia Broadcast Satellite and Satelites Mexicanos for two launches aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. [SatNews - 03/13/2012]
Eutelsat and Es’hailSat select Arianespace to launch their EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 satellite in 2nd quarter of 2013 aboard Ariane 5 launcher. [SatNews - 03/12/2012]
Diversified Communications Inc. selects TCS to provide mixed C- and Ku-band access to its TCS OS-IRIS offering hosted on Intelsat 14. [Market Watch - 03/12/2012]
Sprint Nextel Corp. plans to end a network-sharing agreement with billionaire Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. wireless venture as early as next week, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Sprint is preparing to take the step as LightSquared approaches a March 15 deadline to meet certain conditions under the agreement, said the people, who wouldn’t be identified because the information isn’t public. Sprint and LightSquared struck an 11-year deal to share network expansion costs and equipment in June provided LightSquared secure regulatory approvals for its wireless service by December. Though Sprint pushed the deadline back, it doesn’t plan more extensions, the people said.
The loss of Sprint would fuel concerns about the viability of LightSquared and mark another setback for Falcone. The hedge fund manager has invested about $3 billion from his Harbinger Capital Partners in LightSquared in an effort to create a national wireless carrier to compete against AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.
U.S. bankruptcy court approves TerreStar reorganization plan; Dish Network prepared to close previously approved acquisitions of TerreStar and DBSD upon FCC approval of license transfers. [Satellite Today - 02/17/2012]
Eutelsat and ViaSat receive Industry Innovators Awards from the Society of Satellite Professionals International for development and launch of their High Throughput broadband Satellites, KA-SAT and ViaSat-1. [Sacramento Bee - 02/17/2012]
NSR free webinar coming February 22 – Military budget cuts and troop drawdowns: What’s the impact on commercial satcoms? [NSR - 02/17/2012]
NASA selects 33 small “cubesat” satellites to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets. [SatNews - 02/17/2012]
Global Satellite USA launches Iridium Pilot, Iridium’s second-generation maritime broadband platform. [SatNews 02/17/2012]
Satlink expands the reach of God’s Leaning Channel into Asia on the ABS1 satellite at 75 degrees East. [SatNews - 02/17/2012]
United States, in review of future satellite needs, examines opportunities to increase international collaboration and orders from commercial providers, U.S. Air Force official says. [Fox Business - 02/16/2012]
Media Networks Latin American signs long-term capacity deal with SES fior multiple transponders on AMC-4 to launch new DTH wholesale pay TV service. [SatNews - 02/16/2012]
LightSquared may be looking to Department of Defense to save its LTE network; FCC still believes satellite spectrum can be used for wireless buildout but will tread more carefully next time. [Washington Post - 02/16/2012]
Comtech EF Data wins Industry Innovators Award from Society of Satellite Professionals International for MetaCarrier technology that adds carrier ID information to a reference carrier using spread spectrum technology. [Market Watch - 02/15/2012]
ORBIT Communication Systems and Milano Teleport receive orders for complete C-band VSAT solution for supertankers of one of worlds leading shipping companies based in Greece. [SatNews - 02/15/2012]
Newly announced Intellian t80W maritime satellite TV antenna system uses WorldView LNB that automatically switches polarization and frequency according to satellite tracking onto, and satellite control system intelligence and dual antenna system that allows seamless reception of TV programs on a global basis. [SatNews - 02/15/2012]
Harris CapRock Communications signs contract to provide telecommunications systems and infrastructure for Chevron’s Big Foot platform project in the Gulf of Mexico. [SatNews - 02/15/2012]
NASA budget request includes funding for again launching astronauts, further exploration into space, and continuing research, providing jobs and technology that will boost the economy. [SatNews - 02/13/2012]
Google applies for FCC licenses for “antenna farm” in Kansas that hint at possible super head-end for capturing satellite television signals for over-fiber distribution. [Kansas City Star - 02/14/2012]
Smokin Joe Frazier passed away. Why does it matter to rocket scientists? He was one of the two boxers who fought in the Thrilla in Manila on 30 September 1975 (1 October locally, for all you international dateliners). The other was Muhammad Ali and it was their third fight, carried via satellite for closed-circuit viewing in the U.S. and, most importantly, to cable systems experimenting with using C-band satellites for distributing video to their cable headends.
It worked. HBO went from tower-to-tower distribution to full national availability via satellite. In fact, it was their commitment to RCA Americom that incubated, nurtured and grew the domestic satellite system to be the best in the world.
Without the Thrilla in Manila, I doubt so many fine rocket scientists would be employed today. Although that’s changing, too.
Here’s a fitting video tribute to that boxing match…
When a police officer in their driveway screamed for Ken and Linda Schutt to evacuate their home as a wildfire closed in, they grabbed two dogs, three framed photos and clothes in a suitcase. Two days later, they surveyed what was left of their double-wide mobile home and started taking care of business: call the insurance company, the utilities and HughesNet, their satellite Internet provider. That’s when the headaches began.
Linda Schutt said she called the Maryland-based HughesNet to cancel service and couldn’t believe how the customer representative handled the call.
“She wanted me to send back the equipment — the dish, the cable and modem. When I asked her what part of me saying that our house burned to the ground that she didn’t understand, she insisted I return their equipment. If we didn’t, she said we owed $100,” Linda Schutt said.
The Schutts temporarily put aside dealing with HughesNet. They’d lost everything in the Sept. 5 fire, including the American flag that was used on the casket of Linda Schutt’s brother after he was killed in the Vietnam War.
The week after the fire, she wrote HughesNet a letter complaining about the service and saying she’d never use the company again.
“I included the burned satellite dish because that’s all that we found. It wasn’t any good, but since they insisted they wanted their equipment, we sent what we could find,” she said.
On Saturday, Linda Schutt got a call from someone who she thought was a HughesNet representative. “I thought he was calling about my letter, but I later found out it was a bill-collecting agency,” she said.
That call also didn’t end well. “He also told me we owed $100 for the equipment,” she said.
On Tuesday, Schutt said she noticed Hughes withdrew $106.25 from her bank account, presumably the cost to replace the equipment.
Statesman Watch contacted HughesNet on the Schutts’ behalf. Spokeswoman Judy Blake said the complaint was referred to the company’s executive customer service team. Within minutes, HughesNet called Linda Schutt to tell her the $106.25 would be credited back to her bank account.
“I’m sorry that she went through that,” Blake said, referring to the customer service representative who first spoke with Schutt. “I don’t know what went wrong, but perhaps the customer rep didn’t have the authority to give her credit or thought about asking a higher-up.”
Schutt is happy to get the refund. “But that wasn’t the point. We could afford the $100. It’s just that after all we’d been through, they could have been a little understanding. It’s the principle. If Statesman Watch hadn’t called on our behalf, we’d still be fighting this,” she said.
The good people at Hughes should be reminded of the Two Rules of Business:
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and a coalition of 12 other national producer groups that represent American farmers and all major crop commodities are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct additional targeted testing to ensure that any potential commercial terrestrial services offered by LightSquared will not cause harmful interference to Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) operations utilized by farmers to facilitate the production of an abundant and dependable food supply. In the agricultural sector, GPS-based technologies are responsible for an estimated $19 billion in higher annual farm revenue, in addition to considerable safety and environmental benefits. Thus, much is at stake for precision agriculture and this is why comprehensive testing is so important.
It would be totally unacceptable to expect the GPS community including government users, farmers, and other taxpayers to bear any cost for replacing equipment that ceases to function properly if solutions are found enabling LightSquared to move forward. Any costs associated with retrofitting or replacing GPS receivers must be borne by LightSquared.
“As users of GPS precision equipment in agricultural applications, we believe this additional testing is imperative,” said ASA First Vice President Steve Wellman, a farmer from Syracuse, Neb. “We need to know with certainty that any modifications and proposed solutions will work for new and existing precision agriculture equipment.”
This week, we received a strong endorsement of our view that LightSquared and GPS can co-exist from several of the country’s leading agricultural organizations: the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sugar Alliance, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Farmers Union, National Potato Council and the Western Growers Association. These groups signed a joint letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees calling for them to work to ensure that the agricultural sector receives the benefits of LightSquared’s network alongside GPS. “We believe that both of these technologies have great potential to drive economic development in rural America and a reasonable agreement should be reached to allow for their future success,” the organizations wrote.
There are a lot of very smart people in the satcom business. Rocket scientists, engineers and business-heads find ways to make money. Good money. We’re talking 80% EBITDAs. You don’t have margins like that without knowing what you’re doing.
You’ve got to plan ahead years in advance, making sure your space assets are fully utilized. The radio spectrum you own is the most prized “asset” you’ve got. You can always build more spacecraft, but you can’t make more spectrum. Unless you find ways to either make better use of what you got or go out and get spectrum that’s not being used effectively.
Great. Now go out and sell it, baby!
Pricing is the real challenge. New satcom services priced to assure an 80% EBITDA are destined to fail, as they’re based on costs incurred many years before service launch. And what do we know of today’s data communications pricing schemes? They move fast. Very fast. Extremely competitive, too, so prices move lower and lower. Iridium? Financial disaster: pricing was based on mobile costs-per-minute in the 1990′s. When they launched, people were paying a fraction of that. As Iridium was about to go belly-up, the U.S. DoD steps in and says “we’ll carry you after bankruptcy.” Why? Iridium covered the globe with a diverse path for communications, and that’s very valuable. But not at that old price.
Diversity is for when other communications fail or are unavailable. We always thought a combination iPhone that uses the S-band for connectivity when regular signal or WiFi are not available would be oh so cool. So maybe now our vision might be realized.
With Dish Network as the “stalking horse bidder” in the TerreStar Networks bankruptcy auction, they see something not readily apparent to others. It’s the spectrum, stupid. Yes, TerreStar has S-band spectrum for CONUS service, but they also have authority for a combined satellite and ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) service. The FCC granted authority in January, 2010. This is really good and it comes without the GPS interference crap that LightSquared has to contend with.
Good move. Dish has a chance to sell mobile data plans with their current TV service packages — or perhaps future packages for on-demand (Blockbuster) or à la carte services to appeal to the growing number of cord-cutters.
Two scenarios emerge: (1) Dish Network adds reasonably-priced mobile data plans to satellite TV services, and (2) an alternate mobile telecom infrastructure emerges to augment today’s overloaded terrestrial networks.
Dean Olmstead was a fan of TerreStar, so he probably had much to do with laying plans to make this kind of move before he passed on.
Boeing receives Thales Alenia Space contract to provide system integration and testing support for Iridium NEXT. [SatNews - 06/09/2011]
Taiwanese operator Chunghwa Telecom informs New Tang Dynasty TF that it will not renew contract because new ST-2 satellite does not have enough broadband to carry NTDTV signals. [Satellite Today - 06/09/2011]
Romantis, international group of companies specializing in space trading and VSAT network solutions, forms Romantis Inc. in Montreal offering satellite capacity, ground infrastructure, VSAT hardware, and IP and video solutions. [SatNews - 06/09/2011]
Advantech Wireless to deliver VSAT equipment, including new DVB-RCS VSAT hubs and hardware to one of China’s largest satellite communications providers, as it renews supplier contract. [SatNews - 06/09/2011]
Northrop Grumman provides power system for first spacecraft to orbit Mercury that works to its maximum even in searing heat surrounding closest planet to sun. [SatNews - 06/09/2011]
NewCom International of Miami adds worldwide satellite phone coverage and mobile global broadband services to its bundled communications portfolio. [SatNews - 06/09/2011]
Gilat selected by one of Russia’s largest telecom operators to expand network reach of data and telephony services with SkyEdge II broadband satellite network. [SatNews - 06/09/2011]
Gateway Communications and Altobridges’ combined remote community satellite solution, African Cell Direct/Altobridge lite-site, is named best ‘Wholesale Service Innovation’ at Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards. [SatNews - 06/09/2011]
Raytheon completes upgrade of Antarctic satellite communications system at McMurdo Sound, increasing the off-continent communications bandwidth from 20 Mbps to 60 Mbps and integrating alternate downlink station in Australia. [UPI - 06/08/2011]
Second set of six satellites for Globalstar G2 constellation being prepped for July launch. [SatNews - 06/08/2011]
Latest solar flare, generating greatest amount of radiation since 2006, could threaten satellite communications. [mystateline - 06/08/2011]
Soyuz and NASA astronauts travel as a team aboard Russian spacecraft to the International Space Station. [SatNews - 06/07/2011]
Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency announces that it will launch two new satellites by the end of June. [Satellite Today - 06/07/2011]
Data from GPS testing in Las Vegas area indicates LightSquared transmitters interfere with high-precision GPS receivers within 1,800 meters and medium precision receivers within 1,200 meters of tower. [GPS World - 06/07/2011]
KVH mini-VSAT, integrated with KVH’s CommBox Ship/Shore Network Manager, being selected by many competitive fleet operators to meet new ECDIS regulations from the International Maritime Organization. [SatNews - 06/07/2011]
NSR predicts over $250B in satellite hardware to be orbited by 2025, with over 1,600 satellites to be launched for replacement satellites, growth of Ka-band satellites, and government, science and navigations applications. [NSR - 06/07/2011]
Trailblazers in digital voice and data communication Irwin Mark Jacobs and Jack Keil Wolf wing prestigious 2011 Marconi Prize. [benzinga - 06/07/2011]
Missouri Hospital Association relies on rapid satellite deployments by Spacenet to meet emergency communications needs. [infoTECH - 06/07/2011]
Departing Nigerian Science and Technology Minister urges the National Space Research and Development Agency and Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited to close ranks and maintain peace over launch of NigeriaSat2. [SatNews - 06/07/2011]
Members of Software Practitioners of Nigeria confident that satellite projects of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited capable of improving Nigeria’s economy and taking it to the next level of advanced technology. [Afrique en ligne - 06/07/2011]
International mission aims to measure saltiness of the sea, with instruments from the United States and other nations aboard an Argentine-built spacecraft to be launched this week from Vandenburg. [R&D Magazine - 06/06/2011]
Boeing set to lay off 510 employees in its Space Exploration division as the Space Shuttle program comes to an end. [SatNews - 06/06/2011]
Metacom develops low-cost satellite communications solution ideal for low usage industrial and commercial applications in remote areas of Southern Africa. [SatNews - 06/06/2011]
UK Government Cabinet Office’s Civil Contingencies Secretariat to discuss its High Integrity Telecommunications System project with Paradigm at CNI 2011 in London. [info4 Security - 06/06/2011]
Indian former communications and IT minister Dayanidhi Maran takes control of granting spectrum to satellite channels and telecom firms, in direct conflict of interest with his family’s satellite TV business. [Hindustan Times - 06/06/2011]
Philippine lawmaker expresses grave concern over China’s access to only Philippine satellite Agila 2, in light of China’s continued military aggression in disputed Spratly group of islands. [Journal Online - 06/06/2011]
Thomas Choi of Asia Broadcast Satellite states that Africa and the Middle-East lose at least $1.4B in annual local market share of satellite communications because of spectrum assignments to Europe and American markets. [SatNews - 06/06/2011]
STMicroelectronics introduces first member of family of power transistors fully qualified for use in electronic subsystems on board satellites and launchers. [EETimes - 06/06/2011]
Broadband to be hot topic and CommuncAsia tradeshow according to organizer Singapore Exhibition Services. [ZDNet Asia - 06/06/2011]
Indra to supply rapid deployment satellite communications systems to Brazil’s armed forces. [defpro - 06/06/2011]