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Ground Rules for Capturing the HTS Opportunity
 

Ground Rules for Capturing the HTS Opportunity

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    Ground Rules for Capturing the HTS Opportunity Ground Rules for Capturing the HTS Opportunity Document Transcript

    • Ground Rules for Capturing the HTS Opportunity October 2012 1
    • With the advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) technology, the satellite industry is poised to enter a new era of innovation and possibility – one in which the challenges of quality, reliability and cost have been overcome, and satellite is poised for exponential growth and mass adoption. However, while HTS brings considerable opportunity, it comes with its own set of challenges. New satellite architectures. One of the primary issues the industry must face is the introduction of new, complex satellite architectures. Satellite operators are choosing different architectures to get the most out of the markets and geographic areas they want to serve. The first architecture model to emerge is the Ka-band spot beam satellite. To gain throughput improvements, these spot beams continuously re-cycle frequency on the remote side, while connecting through a feeder link to a hub infrastructure. Other models that have recently debuted are combined spot/wide beam Ku-band satellite and MEO fleets. The reality today is that HTS satellites encompass a wide range of different bands, beam sizes and ear th orbits – each with distinct strengths and unique physics. And the industry must adapt to these new complexities. New business models. HTS satellite architectures will impact the value chain – namely, who owns and manages infrastructure and who owns and manages customer relationships. That means new business models will emerge for bringing HTS capacity to market – from managed services developed by satellite operators and delivered through service providers to new levels of infrastructure sharing and collaboration. And these will co-exist with traditional business models. Success will require flexibility to adapt to any business model present or future. Higher end user expectations. The HTS era will usher in a new wave of end user expectations. They’ll demand connectivity that can flawlessly handle high bandwidth applications. They’ll expect better price points on service and equipment. They’ll need a network that can seamlessly, quickly and affordably scale across any geography and support any application. Satellite technology must also be easy-to-use and deploy and designed precisely for their business and operating environments. And everything must combine to deliver a reliable, high-quality experience and deliver carrier-class reliability.1
    • The role of next-generationground infrastructureAs satellite operators and service providers chase the Ground infrastructure developers responded to this challengeHTS opportunity, they need ways to grow affordably and by making significant technological strides in the past decade,respond quickly to new market opportunities. This means bringing satellite to more users than ever before.finding ways to leverage their current infrastructure to enterthe HTS market while building out new infrastructure in line The key development was the shift toward IP-based satellitewith demand. It can’t be a rip and replace solution. More systems. iDirect introduced this significant change, andthan ever, they’ll need to manage an integrated portfolio. positioned satellite as a solution for high-quality and reliable connectivity supporting sophisticated applications – not justAll this gives new importance to the capabilities of ground basic data access. From this foundation, iDirect developed aninfrastructure. Ground infrastructure must enable the entire IP-based communications platform comprising a satellite hubvalue chain – satellite operator, service provider and end and line card system, operating and management software, anduser – to capitalize on these opportunities in the most remote routers. Through the iDirect Platform, network operatorsprofitable ways with maximum choices, flexibility and value. and service providers could offer carrier-class quality. And theyAs networks become more complex, ground infrastructure had a full suite of tools to optimize their networks, grow theirmust be able to deal with it. revenue and lower their business costs.This paper will detail how this can be achieved. And in This shift fundamentally redefined the capabilities of satellite,particular, it will examine how the iDirect Platform – from its leading to a significant increase in demand. Satellite suddenlyoriginal design to its next-generation capabilities – presents had newfound relevance as a form of reliable, immediatethe best opportunity for satellite operators and service connectivity that could extend high-speed, secure connectivityproviders to capture the HTS opportunity while managing to any geography, environment or communications application.their existing deployments. Yet there remained a serious challenge. Ironically, as end users embraced satellite communications, it placed a strainHow we got here – advances on the ground on already limited capacity. This undersupply of capacity – coupled with the additional costs of purchasing, installing andFor many years, satellite was considered an expensive, managing hardware – kept the price for satellite service highinflexible, and inefficient technology that wasn’t and hindered much broader adoption.sophisticated enough to handle complex applications. “Ground infrastructure must enable the entire value chain – satellite operator, service provider and end user – to capitalize on these opportunities in the most profitable ways with maximum choices, flexibility and value.”2
    • Where we’re going - advances in the skyToday, operators are solving the challenges of bandwidth the launch of HTS coupled with significant advances in small cellavailability and price by launching next-generation high technology makes satellite a much more affordable option forthroughput satellites (HTS). These satellites will deliver mobile operators to cost-effectively fill coverage holes in moresignificantly higher data speeds at lower costs. According developed markets.to NSR, HTS satellites are going to supply at least 1.6Tbps ofcapacity by 2020. COMSYS projects that Ka- and Ku-band HTS Estimates suggest that HTS operators will be able to offerwill account for 90% of all available bandwidth by 2015. bandwidth at one third of the price, making it economically feasible for mobile operators to expand 3G coverage to all areasHTS, coupled with rising demand for satellite, will change our that have demand. Furthermore, the influx of new HTS capacitybusiness on an order of magnitude never seen before. End will bring down the price of traditional Ku- and C-band satelliteusers will gain greater access to satellite communications at capacity, making traditional satellite backhaul more affordable.lower price points. Markets that have been developing will hitnew levels of growth. And markets that have been somewhat The U.S. Department of Defense has also expressed greatout of reach will now be open to what satellite can deliver. interest in HTS for military and defense applications. With shrinking DoD budgets and greater satellite bandwidthFor example, in the maritime industry, companies that have demands generated by Intelligence Surveillance andbeen holding off on the technology over cost concerns will Reconnaissance (ISR) video missions, the DoD is looking towardreconsider its strategic value. HTS will open up an untapped commercial HTS to augment its existing Wideband Globalsegment of the maritime market that includes small to mid-sized shipping companies, fishing vessels, yachts, and other SATCOM (WGS) fleet. The worldwide coverage and powerfulspecialized vessels. Meanwhile, for current users, HTS offers and consistent EIRP contours of HTS make the solution idealthe ability to quickly increase the flexibility of their existing for airborne ISR missions. In addition, HTS will allow theinvestment in satellite or expand their network to more of DoD to leverage the commonality of the commercial portiontheir fleet at a lower cost. of Ka band with the WGS constellation. Furthermore, the high capacity steerable beams available on HTS offer theWhile mobile operators have increasingly turned to satellite for DoD a highly flexible “bent pipe” capability, which is compatibleuse as a cellular backhaul solution in remote and rural markets, with any existing MIL-STD 188-165 FDMA modem. HTS Capacity Launches (Gbps) 180.0 170.0 160.0 156.7 150.0 140.0 120.0 100.0 Gbps 80.0 72.3 60.0 44.0 40.5 40.0 26.7 20.0 11.0 10.0 10.5 5.4 0.0 0.0 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Source: NSR3
    • The new imperative: aligning ground and skyinfrastructure to deliver HTS capabilitiesThe demand for innovation now shifts back to ground • Single management system to make large-scaleinfrastructure providers. How will these providers advance deployments manageable and that automates,their platforms to enable satellite operators and service optimizes and integrates NOC applicationsproviders to best capture the HTS opportunity whilemanaging their existing deployments? Each of these requirements validates the core design of the iDirect Platform while driving our next chapter of innovation.At iDirect, our goal is to ensure that the entire satellitevalue chain can take advantage of the HTS opportunity in Universal IP hubthe most profitable way, gaining the highest value across With HTS, satellite operators and service providers willmultiple markets, with maximum flexibility and minimum need to manage an increasingly diverse and integratedrisk. So what does an HTS platform look like? There are five network portfolio that spans traditional, HTS, MEO and GEOfoundational requirements: satellites; integrates bandwidth across multiple bands and beams around the world; supports legacy deployments • Universal IP hub that can support all frequencies and all and new growth; and meets the needs of any network size, satellite architectures application and bandwidth requirement. • Infrastructure that can scale with demand and flexibly iDirect has worked to support this reality for years through support diverse business models its universal hub and line card system, which can connect to any satellite architecture, support any frequency and • Carrier-class service reliability integrate into a terrestrial IP-based network that is backed by carrier-class redundancy – at both the earth station and • Easy to use, easy to deploy terminals engineered to hub component level. With the iDirect hub, it is possible to meet distinct end user needs support any business model, as explained in greater detail in the next section. Figure 1: Universal IP Hub4
    • Ability to expand cost-effectively and leveragemultiple business modelsThe iDirect platform consists of a hub chassis which is been engineered for high throughput bandwidth – to yourdesigned to be populated with network line cards in a existing hub infrastructure. You can then continue to add linepay-as-you-grow manner. With HTS bringing much more cards and hubs as demand increases. See figure 2capacity and performance into the mix, iDirect is enhancingits platform to support significantly greater scale. Line Imagine now that you want to add capacity in the Middle Eastcards will be able to handle exponentially more bandwidth through a Ka-band high throughput satellite. This satellite hasand symbols, reaching data rates in the tens of Gbs. With a common feeder link that is only accessible from the satellitethese improvements in scale, satellite operators and service operator’s teleport. To launch a network, a service provider canproviders can leverage a consistent hub infrastructure co-locate a hub within a satellite operator’s teleport – and thento reliably deploy high-bandwidth networks exceeding add line cards to light up spot beams. See figure 3hundreds of megabits per remote site and/or large-scalenetworks including hundreds of thousands of terminals. Another option is a VNO model, in which a service provider simply buys a line card and leases hub space from a satellite operator.With iDirect’s hub and line card system, satellite operators and A service provider can also distribute a managed service from aservice providers can leverage their existing infrastructure satellite operator – avoiding capital costs altogether, simplifyingto launch and scale HTS networks. Imagine you have a hub operations, and entering new markets faster.in Africa, and it’s supporting Ku- and C-band capacity. A newKu-band high performance satellite becomes available, which These options represent flexible business models and go-to-uses a spot beam overlay to expand coverage. To tap into this market approaches. And it’s critical that a ground infrastructurecapacity, you can simply add new line cards – ones that have platform supports them all.Figure 2 Figure 3 VNO5
    • How HTS will impact the way capacityis delivered and impact satellite operatorand service provider business modelsHTS business models comprise six key elements: a satellite the satellite, teleport, hub infrastructure, network operations,operator, teleport facility, hub infrastructure, network service provision and customer relationships.operations, service provider and end users. Hub Co-Location Model. If a satellite operator wants toManaged Service Model. Due to the economics of the ground lower opex and capex, it can develop a shared infrastructuresegment infrastructure needing to be centrally located within model. A satellite operator can also invite a service providerthe feeder link, the first HTS satellite offerings were marketed as to co-locate a hub in its teleport. The service providera managed service. The satellite operator owned and operated has greater control and higher margins, while the satelliteall infrastructure and network operations, relying on distributors operator is able to establish an accelerated path to market byto re-sell its service and manage customer relationships. gaining access to service providers that are ready to purchase significant amounts of HTS bandwidth.In this model, satellite operators assume responsibility forinfrastructure and network management. Service providers have Virtual Network Operator (VNO) Model. Other satellitea narrower operations focus, but also a smaller capital outlay. operators have chosen to offer a VNO model through whichAnd they gain speed to market – as they can immediately access they lease hub space to a service provider. The serviceand market HTS capacity. provider only needs to purchase a line card to establish an HTS service and has full control of its own network and endVertically Integrated Model. Several satellite operators are users. This is an attractive model for service providers thatalso developing a vertically integrated service. In this model, want to lower their investments while getting quick accessa satellite operator owns and operates the entire value chain: to the HTS market and expand in response to demand. Business Model Satellite Operator Service Provider Advantages Disadvantages Advantages Disadvantages • Lower opex • High capital investment • Scale service rapidly • Less management control Managed Service at NOC • Distributors provide sales • Global coverage and marketing support • Less margin • Low capex Vertically Integrated • Highest margins • Highest total investment • N/A • N/A • Lower capital investment • Lower margins • Branded service • Restricted to satellite operators’ teleport Hub Co-Location • Accelerated path to • Dictates service levels locations market – service providers • Maintain full control of ready to take bandwidth • Hub is local to feeder link network • Moderate capital expenses • Lower capital investment • Lower margins • Higher margins • Restricted to satellite operators’ teleport • Accelerated path to • Branded service VNO locations market – service providers • Dictate service levels ready to take bandwidth • Hub is local to feeder link • Maintain considerable control and differentiation • Low startup expenses • Scale with demand6
    • Carrier-class service reliabilityAs operators and service providers position HTS satellite as a Figure 4: Hub Diversity/Redundancymainstream technology, it is critical that they deliver carrier-class service reliability. In part, this means that a network shouldalso provide sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) features sothat satellite operators and service providers can easily prioritizetraffic for customers in a shared network environment.Carrier-class service reliability also means that groundinfrastructure must ensure maximum availability. A networkmust automatically optimize inbound and outbound trafficfor high performance under any condition – adjusting toweather, beam location and terminal size. And it requireshub diversity to overcome rain fade and hub redundancy toensure network failover.Range of easy to use, high-performance terminalsengineered to meet distinct end user needsWhether it’s an enterprise user that needs access to high-speed offering data rates that span from kilobits per second forInternet, a military unit that needs streaming reconnaissance SCADA applications, to tens of mega bits per second forvideo, or an offshore oilrig that needs to connect with land- enterprise, and even hundreds of mega bits per second forbased headquarters to improve operations, a reliable link to trunking applications. iDirect terminals will be smaller, easieradvanced broadband IP data is a must. Fortunately, all these to install and quicker to deploy. They will also become morescenarios will be possible with the launch of high-performance integrated, as antenna manufacturers begin to build all thesatellites, and, more specifically, the development of diverse infrastructure and functionality into a more contained unit.remote terminals that are designed with end users in mind. Collectively, these enhancements to the remote terminalsiDirect is committed to enhancing its already diverse remote will significantly reduce the capex required to deploy a VSATportfolio and plans to introduce major processing gains – network, which will increase the number of first-time VSAT users.Figure 5: Wide Range of High-Performance Terminals7
    • Single management system to make large-scale A future of collaboration and innovationdeployments manageable and that automates,optimizes and integrates NOC applications The next generation of satellite communications will introduce landmark changes that build on a decade of innovation andSatellite operators and service providers will need to manage overcome longstanding cost and availability challenges thattheir entire HTS deployments, as well as their non-HTS have limited market expansion. Satellite communications willdeployments, through a single Network Management become easier and more cost-effective to manage, positioningSystem (NMS). This NMS must be able to scale to any size satellite as the logical answer to a much wider variety of usersnetwork and create a seamless interface between network and applications, delivering the kind of constant connectivityand business operations. that the world has been demanding for years.The iDirect NMS is a single Web-based system that integrates To succeed in the future, satellite operators and serviceacross all networks and syncs with an operator’s business providers must choose the right mix of HTS business modelsoperations, such as provisioning, OSS and BSS. It automates and be able to integrate them with their existing non-HTSNOC activities and provides extensive monitoring and analysis networks. They must become more market-driven to meetfeatures that enable operators to optimize their networks and increasing end user demands. And they need an easy wayincrease customer satisfaction. Further, critical NMS functionality to scale and manage their operations and greater flexibilitycan be extended to end-users and customized features can be in how they go to market to capture the most opportunitydeveloped based on unique requirements. while minimizing risk and investment HTS represents a tremendous strategic opportunity for satellite operators and service providers to achieve unprecedented levels Monitors of growth. iDirect has studied the HTS market thoroughly, and Networks we have designed our technology to meet the key requirements most critical for success. As demand for satellite communications accelerates in the HTS era, iDirect will continue to lead the way in developing high-performance, easy-to-use, and cost-effective ground infrastructure technology that pushes the entire Integrates Single satellite industry forward and achieves our vision of advancing Network Manages with Business a connected world. Management Service Systems System Performance (OSS/BSS) Automates NOC Operations The iDirect Next-Generation Evolution Platform • Highest performance, service availability and reliability • Broad range of remotes and terminals that are powerful, compact and easy to use • Infrastructure optimized for all frequencies, all networks • Single, Web-based management of all customers no matter what infrastructure8
    • iDirect 13865 Sunrise Valley Drive Herndon, VA 20171 +1 703.648.8000 +1 866.345.0983 www.idirect.net Advancing a Connected World9