Telespazio Argentina Case StudyOpening new markets: Argentina’s rural populationsgain cellular access through GSM satellite backhaulThe country of Argentina stretches nearly three millionkilometers across rain forests, mountains and coastline. “We tried for almost half aBut cellular networks in the world’s eighth most expansive year to get another solutionnation cover significantly less ground, stranding thousandsof small towns and villages from mobile service. Today, thanks going, and in less than oneto a satellite network developed by Telespazio Argentina and month, we had an iDirectbuilt on iDirect technology, local operator Telecom Personal system in operation.”has mobile phones ringing across the countryside, helpingArgentina’s rural population join the nation’s mainstream economy. Pablo Recalt, regional salesNearly two billion people worldwide lack mobile service. Yet, several and marketing director ofrecent trends are lowering costs and helping remedy the situation. Telespazio ArgentinaCellular infrastructure companies have developed low-cost,low-capacity Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs), which are beingdeployed to service rural populations. Handset companieshave also introduced inexpensive products that rural consumerscan afford.However, one lingering challenge for telecom operators hasbeen identifying a cost-effective way to backhaul cellular trafficfrom rural locations to BTS sites far away. Microwave hardwareis a viable solution, but does not have a wide reach and can beexpensive to install across extensive geographic areas. Anotheroption is to use SCPC satellite links, but they must always besized for peak bandwidth levels, so they are not a cost-effectivesolution for low-volume rural sites.
Expanding Cellular ReachCellular operator turns to satellite to reach “We tried for almost half a year to get another solutionrural regions working, and in less than one month, we had an iDirectIn 2006, Telecom Personal, one of Argentina’s leading system in operation,” says Pablo Recalt, regional salescellular operators, looked to expand its coverage to new and marketing director of Telespazio Argentina. “For usrural markets. The operator was already using SCPC links it was a great day. We were able to deliver a definitiveto backhaul traffic, but sought a more cost-effective solution to our client, and iDirect was the key factor inway to reach far-flung towns and villages. Telecom winning their business.”Personal leveraged a longtime partnership with satellite The iDirect cellular backhaul network was deployed inoperator Telespazio Argentina to test new developments Telespazio Argentina’s Buenos Aires earth station. It deliversin satellite communications technology that promised several technical advances that differentiate it from theto overcome the current limitations and improve the SCPC network Telecom Personal was using and from thereturn on investment of satellite cellular backhaul. alternative system Telespazio Argentina had initially tested.After extensive investigation, Telespazio Argentina According to Telespazio Argentina, the iDirect networkdecided that a shared bandwidth satellite platform performs on all fronts — bandwidth efficiency, qualitywould be the most cost-effective backhaul system. The of service, reliability and seamless integration withoperator designed and installed a new satellite IP network Telecom Personal’s cellular network.configured to allocate bandwidth across multiple “It’s transparent for the end customer, and that providesdistributed locations based on local demand. But after the confidence and peace of mind that Telecomsix months of effort, Telespazio Argentina’s engineers Personal requires to grow its business,” says Diegodetermined that the test network was not viable. Pazos, Telespazio Argentina’s director of engineering and operations.iDirect delivers timely solutionFaced with a lost opportunity, Telespazio Argentinacalled iDirect, who rushed its own IP networkingtechnology to the operator’s offices. In just 48 hours,Telespazio Argentina had the iDirect network up andrunning. Within 10 days, it had successfully tested thenetwork in Telecom Personal’s environment withoutany of the problems the satellite operator experiencedwith the previous test network. And just five days later,Telespazio Argentina received approval to implementthe iDirect solution.
Making Satellite Backhaul Cost EffectiveExpanded service brings new revenueThe iDirect network has been in place since 2006 providing a cost-effective way for Telecom Personal to expand its business. After aninitial deployment of 15 BTS sites, Telespazio Argentina is executinga plan to grow the network to 100 total sites.With the satellite backhaul network in place, Telecom Personal isadding thousands of new subscribers, providing a new line of revenue “Telespazio Argentina hasin an otherwise saturated mobile service market. The new network now made it profitable forexpands Telecom Personal’s coverage in Argentina’s southern region,where it previously lacked a strong presence. This reduces the need us to extend our networkfor Telecom Personal to sign roaming agreements with competitive to rural populations whoproviders in order to serve their customers. have long awaited cellularThe satellite network is also driving increased connectivity between access. And their choice ofArgentina’s rural and urban areas. While rural regions comprise only one- iDirect as the technologytenth of the country’s population, they are responsible for more than halfof the national revenue from exports and comprise more than one-fifth platform ensures we canof Argentina’s Gross Domestic Product. deliver a reliable customer“A stronger communication network across Argentina is a critical experience and manage factor for sustained economic growth,” says Javier Purriños, director bandwidth very efficiently.” of integration and implementation for Telecom Argentina, the parent company of Telecom Personal. “Telespazio Argentina has now made Javier Purriños, it profitable for us to extend our network to rural populations who director of integration have long awaited cellular access. And their choice of iDirect as the and implementation technology platform ensures we can deliver a reliable customer for Telecom Argentina experience and manage bandwidth very efficiently.”The iDirect network also creates an additional source of revenuefor Telespazio Argentina. “This solution is very important because itestablishes a new line of business for us in the Latin American regionand proves there’s an alternative, cost-effective solution for cellularbackhaul,” says Recault. “We see immediate opportunities in Paraguay,Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay.”
Winning Lifelong Customers Technical edge The iDirect cellular backhaul network comprised an iDirect Series 15000 Universal Hub and iNFINITI 5000 Series Satellite Routers. The network leverages the advanced features of the iDirect platform to surpass SCPC systems and overcome the challenges in providing reliable backhaul over a TDMA network. ♦ Real-time bandwidth allocation: SCPC networks statically allocate satellite space segment based on a BTS’ maximum, or busy-hour, bandwidth requirement. When bandwidth is not being fully used, it is wasted and cannot be recovered. By contrast, iDirect’s TDMA system pools bandwidth onto a shared platform and assigns it dynamically to meet the actual real-time needs of each BTS. This dramatically lowers operating expenses and enables cellular operators to profitably pursue rural markets. ♦ Reduced jitter: A key to providing good voice quality is to minimize jitter, which is the variation in the time of arrival of voice packets. Using patented algorithms, the iDirect platform converts variable length time slots into fixed time slots, which are “feathered” across the transmitted frame structure so that they arrive at evenly spaced intervals. ♦ Quality of Service (QoS) controls: In a cellular backhaul system there are many parallel channels for different types of traffic such as voice frames, GPRS frames, EDGE traffic and signaling channels. Each of these channels has different requirements in terms of the quality of service. iDirect’s Group QoS system enables these different streams to be prioritized so they can be concurrently supported while protecting the network against service degradation.iDirect Universal Hub iDirect Group QoS iDirect 13865 Sunrise Valley Drive Herndon, VA 20171 +1 703.648.8000 +1 866.345.0983 www.idirect.net Advancing a Connected World