Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 02/07/2014

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Ariane 5 launches Athena-Fidus and ABS’s first built-to-order satellite. [Space News - 02/07/2014]

Experimental microsatellite launched three years ago for U.S. National Reconnaissance Office has operated nearly flawlessly according to manufacturer Millennium Space Systems’ press release also revealing some details about the classified launch. [Space News - 02/07/2014]

Proton M – © RIA Novosti. Oleg Urusov

Two Russian telecommunications satellites have been delivered to Baikonur in preparation for mid-March launch. [Ria Novosti - 02/07/2014]

U.S. satellite export regs remain a frustration for European industry. [Space News - 02/07/2014]

Credit: Exelis artist’s concept – Space News

Continuing problems with an Exelis-built payload will delay the delivery of the first of the GPS 3 next-generation navigation satellites. [Space News - 02/07/2014]

Canadian policy outlines broad national goals for space program. [Space News - 02/07/2014]

TCS gets $6.8m contract with U.S. Army for maritime-stabilized VSAT satellite systems and associated engineering systems. [Via Satellite - 02/07/2014]

SKY Perfect JSAT selects Kratos for command and control system for JCSAT-14 satellite. [Market Watch - 02/07/2014]

Globecomm founder and CEO David Hershberg to retire. [Satellite Markets & Research - 02/07/2014]

Credit: Astrium artist’s concept – Space News

Satellite builders likeliest to benefit from French satellite broadband funding. [Space News - 02/06/2014]

ST Electronics selects Antrix corporation to launch its first commercial satellite, TeLEOS-1 earth observation satellite, into a Near Equatorial Orbit. [Satellite Evolution Group - 02/06/2014]

ST Electronics to distribute its TeLEOS-1 satellite images globally, partnering with Satrec Initiative Co Ltd and SPOT Asia Pte Ltd. [Satellite Evolution Group - 02/06/2014]

The first Singapore-made commercial satellite will be put into orbit in the fourth quarter of next year. [Channel NewsAsia - 02/06/2014]

Airbus Defence and Space, formerly Astrium, has expands its Ku-band satellite services portfolio with new Terralink Companion Quick Deploy solution ideally suited for field communication in operations such as mining. [Mining Weekly - 02/06/2014]

Measat highlights satellite capabilities and announces launch of Measat 3b in May. [Via Satellite - 02/06/2014]

ViewSat to use Intelsat capacity to facilitate and enhance distribution service to the North American DTH market. [Via Satellite - 02/06/2014]

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to look into wholesale satellite service to local telecom providers across far north. [IT World Canada - 02/06/2014]

KVH ships 4,000th TracPhone system for mini-VSAT broadband network. [Satellite Evolution Group - 02/06/2014]

Colombian state telco ETB acquires local satellite communications firm to improve nationwide offer for corporate and government clients. [BNamericas - 02/06/2014]

Credit – SpaceX photo – Space News

Next SpaceX station cargo run slips into March. [Space News - 02/05/2014]

ITC Global expands reach in U.K. and European energy industry with new operations in Aberdeen, Scotland. [IT Business Net - 02/05/2014]

Globalstar Sat-Fi MSS solution enables users to use any Wi-Fi capable device through an app and a Sat-Fi hot spot – targets two billion-people market.. [Via Satellite - 02/05/2014]

Using a repurposed commercial satellite, Air Force crews flew MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers from Creech Air Force Base, Nev., during multiple missions in November and December. [U.S. Air Force - 02/05/2014]

Photo: SES – Via Satellite

SES’ Astra 2E satellite enters commercial service at 28.2/28.5 degrees east. [Via Satellite - 02/04/2014]

Inmarsat’s SF1 ready for launch – Photo: Inmarsat – Via Satellite

First of three Inmarsat Global Xpress satellites completes orbital deployment stages on scheduile. [Via Satellite - 02/04/2014]

Euroconsult to organise Latin American satellite summit [RAPIDTVNews - 02/04/2014]

Iridium introduces Wi-Fi hotspot, a high power broadcast service, and a maritime communications solution, and prepares for Iridium Next satellite replacement program [Via Satellite - 02/04/2014]

Globecomm Systems extends contract with Avanti Communications to deploy satellite broadband services in Cape Town and Johannesburg Africa. [Business Day - 02/04/2014]

AST works with SRI International to provide Iridium communications throughout the Arctic for safety of life purposes and tracking. [Via Satellite - 02/04/2014]

Hughes is providing broadband satellite Internet access to Yukon Quest dog sled crews. [Yahoo Finance - 02/04/2014]

SES-8 now fully operational, co-positioned with NSS-6 at 95 degrees East, to serve Asia Pacific region. [Yahoo Finance - 02/03/2014]

NSR’s take on Thuraya’s Satsleeve for Android – how it positions Thuraya in the addressable market, and how partnering with a competitor to enter the U.S. market could be of benefit. [NSR - 02/04/2014]

Hills Limited is partnering with BAE Systems to develop a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) terminal crucial to the satellite communication systems of Australian-USA and allied defence forces. [WhaTec - 02/04/2014]

Demand for Occasional Use (OU) and Satellite Newsgathering (SNG) is leveling out to a more regular year-over-year pace from the familiar even-odd year oscillation of demand in the past. [Via Satellite - 02/04/2014]

THAICOM launches fast Internet connectivity service, powered by Gilat satellite equipment. [Yahoo Finance - 02/03/2014]

After tests last year, “fifteen of fifteen company commanders found the” Soldier Network Extension (SNE) portion of the Army’s Warfighter Information Network “distracting and indicated they would not take the SNE to war.” [Nextgov - 02/03/2014]

Newtec and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), sign a multimillion-euro contract to deploy Newtec’s satellite broadcast solutions as part of the EBU’s major pan-European news exchange network. [SatNews - 02/03/2014]

RigNet completes acquisition of Inmarsat’s energy broadband business. [IT Business Net - 02/03/2014]

Transaero Airlines is expanding its in-flight Internet and mobile connectivity communication services. [Via Satellite - 02/04/2014]

Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) signs contract with Sudanese TV to broadcast the Sudanese TV channels bouquet exclusively on Arabsat satellites. [Korea IT News - 02/03/2014]

Australian telecommunications company Optus wins five-year satellite and broadband contract with NBN. [International Business Times - 02/03/2014]

Emerging Markets Communications (EMC) has enhanced its technology and infrastructure to deliver VSAT mobility services, currently active on trains across Europe and Africa. [Via Satellite - 02/03/2014]

Satcom Direct becomes an Inmarsat BGAN distribution partner. [Contact Center Solutions - 02/03/2014]

Iran unveils two domestically-made communication satellites, one to bolster its wireless connections and the other capable of taking high-resolution pictures, media reported. [ynet news - 02/03/2014]

“Satellite Manufacturing and Launching: The Dawn of a New Era” [NSR webinar February 12, 2014]

“High Utilization AND High Throughput Efficiency? Solving the TDMA vs. SCPC Dilemma” [Via Satellite webinar March 5, 2014]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services


Iridium’s Hot Spot

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Nice job by the marketing folks at Iridium! No, I’m not talking about their cheesy video production. I’m talking about getting their story picked up by the traffic-mongers at Gizmodo.

Iridium GO! is a small Wi-Fi device that connects to the LEO system for connectivity anywhere in the world.

That’s hot.

Their write-up is practical and spot-on:

Satellite data speeds typically max out around 2.4 to 2.8Kbps (that’s KILObits). We’re talking early ’90s dial-up speeds here. So, you can send a picture, but it had better be very compressed, and you may require the patience of a zen master. SMS speeds, though, should be comparable to what you’re used to here in your bustling metropolis, and it should be fine for text-based emails, too.

The Iridium GO! will be rolling out sometime in the first half of 2014. The price will depend on retailers, but Iridium expects it to be under $800. Yeah, that’s steep, and don’t forget you’re going to need a plan in order to connect. Again, plan pricing will be set by retailers but Iridium estimates that they will begin around $35/month on the low end, and about $130/month on the high end for unlimited data.

iridium_go


1st Commercial Launch for Falcon-9

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Today’s launch of SES-8 into GTO made many rocket scientists very happy. Obviously, those who’ve worked at SpaceX for years are ecstatic. The entire launch vehicle community is happy for their success, as are those living on Florida’s Space Coast, who are expecting economic growth again.

The engineers who work on commercial satcom missions are happy to be back at the The Cape for launches. Let’s face it: compared to Kazakhstan or French Guiana, Florida is a better place for launches.

From a business perspective, satcom operators now have more options when it comes to launch vehicles. And with the SpaceX manifest of 50 launches, it seems this “crazy space business” is about to start making money.

We wish SpaceX and their commercial customers continuous success!

Here’s the full launch video…


Satcom Erosion: 4G LTE

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

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.

Until an alternative process for secure transactions comes around. Well, here comes Verizon Private IP Wireless LTE.

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.


WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 03/17/2012

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

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]

North Korean plans to launch satellite meet with widespread criticism.
[The Telegraph - 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]

Sprint terminates contract with LightSquared.
[CNN Money - 03/16/2012]

Head of National Broadband Plan talks about team’s successes, and the difficulty with finding spectrum for broadband illustrated by difficulties of LightSquared.
[Telecompetitor - 03/16/2012]

Globalstar VP says spectrum issues for national broadband capacity will be solved by engineers, not lawyers.
[Satellite Today - 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]

DISA nears end of FCSA commercial satellite services build-out.
[Defense Systems - 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]

Ka-band’s surprising revenue leader is DirecTV.
[Space News - 03/15/2012]

Norsat’s 2011 full-year sales spike 90 percent despite satellite slump.
[Satellite Today - 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]

Eutelsat reorganizes names of its Satellites, unifying them under the company brand name.
[Satellite Today - 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]

Satellite contracts won by Boeing and SpaceX provide boost to California’s South Bay economy.
[Los Angeles Times - 03/13/2012]

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]

Dish Network closes on purchases of DBSD North America and TerreStar, important to its broadband plans.
[Market Watch - 03/12/2012]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Et tu, Hesse?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

“Beware the Ides of March,” they told Caesar. Lightsquared is facing a milestone date on 15 March 2012 in their agreement with Sprint. According to Bloomberg, the part of Brutus will be played by Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint

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.

Playing the part of Julius Ceasar will be Philip Falcone.


WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 02/18/2012

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Falcone’s telecom troubles mount, as the Harbinger Fund investments in LightSquared jeopardize investors’ value and a group of investors sues in federal court.
[Wall Street Journal - 02/18/2012]

Latest Pentagon spending plans scale back push to use commercial satellites to supplement the military’s communication and space efforts.
[Wall Street Journal - 02/17/2012]

Second attempt to launch Atlas V rocket with first MUOS satellite is scrubbed due to weather conditions.
[Central Florida News - 02/17/2012]

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]

General Dynamics demonstrates first MUOS satellite-based communications on JTRS HMS Radio.
[Market Watch - 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]

SES-4 successfully performs post-launch maneuvers.
[Market Watch - 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]

Avanti partner STM buys Ka band capacity on HYLAS 1 to enable launch of Enterprise services in Spain.
[Proactive Investors - 02/15/2012]

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]

Officials eye changes to GPS receivers, but move comes too late for LightSquared.
[Nextgov - 02/15/2012]

NSR reports that FCC statement all but negates years of work from both the FCC and the mobile satellite industry.
[SatNews - 02/15/2012]

Swiss to build clean-up satellites to attack the space junk issue.
[R&D Magazine - 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]

IO Sat one of first customers providing services on Spacecom’s AMOS-5 satellite.
[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]

FCC bars use of satellite spectrum terrestrially for broadband networks, sending LightSquared back to Square One.
[New York Times - 02/14/2012]

Gilat develops customized solution for O3b Networks’ satellite network.
[Globes - 02/14/2012]

Xplornet Communications’ 4G broadband satellite service on ViaSat-1 goes live over Canada.
[Digital Journal - 02/14/2012]

Global Telesat Corp. launches E-Commerce mobile satellite solutions portal on worldwide web.
[Market Watch - 02/14/2012]

ORBIT awarded services contract from U.S. Air Force to install service communication management systems on KC-135 Stratotankers.
[Market Watch - 02/14/2012]

UtiliSat to offer end-to-end managed network services to U.S. government agencies under new GSA custom SATCOM solutions small business contract.
[Market Watch - 02/14/2012]

FAB Express Trucking selects VeriWise(TM) satellite tracking systems to manage dry van fleet.
[Market Watch - 02/14/2012]

Obama budget targets LightSquared.
[Nextgov - 02/13/2011]

YAHSAT begins transmission of High TV 3D.
[Satellite Today - 02/13/2012]

ViaSat phases out WildBlue brand for new Exede service on ViaSat 1.
[Satellite Today - 02/13/2012]

Spectacular view from International Space Station includes lights of hundreds of cities plus massive Aurora Borealis on the horizon.
[SatNews - 02/13/2012]

WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

 


Happy New Year — From Times Square

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Missing out on being in New York for the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square? Don’t go: downlink it!

LIVE coverage in North America…

Via Fiber in HD — Saturday, December 31, 2011; 5:55 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. EST — The New York Switch: PL-5C

Via Satellite in HD — Saturday, December 31, 2011; 10:00 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. EST

  • C-band: AMC 1, Transponder C24 SLOT A; Orbital Location 103-deg. West; Downlink Frequency 4171 Vertical, Bandwidth 18 MEG, FEC 3 / 4, Symbol Rate 13.0
  • Ku-band: AMC 1, Transponder K16 SLOT A, Orbital Location 103-deg. West, Downlink Frequency 12011 Vertical, Bandwidth 18 MEG, FEC 3 / 4, Symbol Rate 13.0
  • Technical Contact: Lenny Laxer 917-299-0205

…and Internationally…

Via Satellite in SD 16:9 — Saturday, December 31, 2011 – 11:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. EST (Sunday, January 1, 2012 0445-0515 GMT)

  • EUROPE: IS 905 61/61 slot A, Orbital Location 335.5-deg. East; Downlink Frequency 10958.5 Vertical, FEC 3 /4,Symbol Rate 6.1113; Bandwidth 9 MEG, Compression Tandberg 4:2:0, Video Standard PAL
  • LATIN AMERICA: IS 9 24C, Slot A, Orbital Location 58-deg. West; Downlink Frequency 4146.5 Horizontal, FEC 3/4,
  • ASIA: IS 5 23C, VIRTUAL CHANNEL 2, Orbital Location 169-deg. East; Downlink Frequency 4160 Horizontal, FEC 3/4,Symbol Rate 6.1113, Bandwidth 9 MEG, Video Standard PAL
  • AFRICA: IS10 15C, Slot B, Orbital Location 68.5-deg. East; Downlink Frequency 3836.5 Vertical, FEC 3/4,Symbol Rate 6.1113, Bandwidth 9 MEG, Compression Tandberg 4:2:0, Video Standard PAL
  • Technical Contact: Lenny Laxer 917-299-0205

The Thrilla is Gone

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011


Well, at least one of them.

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…


Highway to Hughes

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

I love a good customer service “moment of truth” situation. Something that’ll either keep or boot a customer. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, this is a moment when you should delight the customer — or else.

HughesNet just blew it in Texas. The report, via the Austin American-Statesman

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:

  1. The customer is always right.
  2. If the customer is ever wrong, re-read rule #1.