Net Insight Satellite Terrestrial Wp

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A white paper on how broadcasters can improve their business cases - Satellite verses Terrestrial Networks.

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Net Insight Satellite Terrestrial Wp

  1. 1. NID3250 A2 “New Revenue Opportunities for Operators as Video moves from Satellite to Terrestrial Networks” Author: Bengt Hellstrom Net Insight AB, Singapore info@netinsight.se May 2009
  2. 2. 2(9)  Net Insight AB 2009 ABSTRACT Broadcasters and end users are increasing their demands on operators to deliver media services with high quality of service and high reliability. At the same time bandwidths of video services are increasing, both in the production, contribution and distribution parts of the network. This makes solutions based on fiber and microwave networks more attractive while satellite communications are becoming more expensive and less viable in many applications. This paper further explains why video services are migrating from satellite to terrestrial networks and describes how satellite operators and operators of digital terrestrial TV networks will also find new revenue opportunities by deploying multi-service and multi-purpose terrestrial networks. Examples are given of satellite operators that have implemented global fiber networks to complement their traditional satellite offerings. A cost model is introduced that compares the lifetime investment for DTT and mobile TV networks for satellite, terrestrial, and hybrid solutions.
  3. 3. 3(9)  Net Insight AB 2009 Introduction Satellite communications have traditionally attracted operators and broadcasters thanks to its inherent wide coverage and flat cost independent of the distance to the receiver. However, with the higher demands and increasing bandwidths of video services the role of satellite communications for broadcast applications is changing. Satellite operators are deploying optical fiber networks at an increasing rate to complement satellite solutions. Moreover, the perception of the fiber infrastructure is shifting from being viewed as a costly investment to becoming an important source of revenue for operators. The general satellite to terrestrial migration, combined with analog TV shutoff and increasing take-up rates for mobile TV, will be the primary bandwidth drivers for optical networks in the coming years. Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) networks have already been deployed in most European countries using fiber or microwave links to distribute the TV signals from headend to transmitter sites. In Asia, DTT rollouts are now under way despite the lack of government regulation in many countries. In this region a combination of satellite and terrestrial distribution techniques are expected, especially in larger countries like China and India. New opportunities for satellite operators Why Fiber? Satellite operators initially deployed fiber links to interconnect earth stations with Points of Presence (POPs). These POPs could enable operators to receive, or hand over, customer traffic going to and from the earth stations. The purpose of the fiber network was, and still is in many cases, just to bring in traffic for satellite uplinking. More recently, satellite operators began complementing satellite offerings by deploying terrestrial networks that allow them to bring in revenue on their own. The fiber network offloads satellites of point-to-point traffic, freeing up capacity for broadcast applications with higher revenue. Operators can then take advantage of new business opportunities, such as selling high- end data and video transport services and offering higher bandwidth services including uncompressed real-time video transport. Performance could also be radically improved by reducing the number of satellite hops for end-to-end connections to avoid issues such as delay of video services. Furthermore, the fiber network provides redundancy between uplink/downlink, giving satellite operators the freedom to choose earth stations based on availability. An example of such a deployment is ST Teleport in Singapore. ST Teleport is a full-service satellite communications provider that connects businesses through a network of satellite systems and terrestrial network infrastructures. ST Teleport selected Net Insight’s Nimbra platform to reliably connect its Singapore headquarters with Hong Kong and the U.S. for contribution of ASI video content over an optical network. Hong Kong and U.S. based broadcasters and operators are able to carry video content over this network for subsequent satellite distribution in Singapore. The ST Teleport fiber network is not only used as an extension of satellite communications but also as a standalone communications network. For example, a Hong Kong-based broadcaster uses this network to contribute video content for cable operator StarHub Cable Vision in Singapore. Several major international satellite operators have also deployed large complementing fiber networks lately. GlobeCast, a subsidiary of France Telecom, runs a five-continent satellite and fiber network that includes 12 teleports and technical operations centers. Its global fiber network connects teleports and POPs in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. With the increasing use of high-definition TV, the terrestrial network is becoming more and more important.
  4. 4. 4(9)  Net Insight AB 2009 Eurovision, the operational TV and video services arm of the European Broadcasting Union, has a satellite network serving its members of all national broadcasters in Europe. In 2004, Eurovision began building a complementing pan-European fiber network for high QoS video contribution services. This network has since expanded and now connects Europe with major cities in Asia, North America and South America, dedicated to the delivery of top live sports and news events to the international broadcast and media market. A community of more than 3000 broadcasters around the world is directly connected to the Eurovision network. Key Network Requirements To be able to offer a value add over satellite communications and to support mission-critical live events, there are a number of key requirements for a complementing terrestrial network. It must provide broadcasters with safe and secure routings of services by offering high reliability, fast service provisioning and network restoration in any network topology. A variety of media services including native uncompressed and compressed video and audio services together with voice and data should be supported to allow for new business opportunities. High quality-of- service, low latency and efficient use of bandwidth are other key characteristics of such a solution. Globecast, Eurovision and several other satellite operators have selected Net Insight’s Nimbra solution to meet these demanding requirements for their terrestrial networks. Digital Terrestrial TV distribution With the analog to digital conversion and upcoming shutoff of analog TV transmission, new solutions for DTT distribution must be planned and deployed. Although terrestrial by nature, the distribution of TV signals from headend to transmitter sites could be accomplished either by a terrestrial fiber or microwave network or by satellite. In Europe, where the implementation of DTT has come quite far, terrestrial networks have been the predominant solution for the distribution from headend to transmitter sites. The principle of such a solution is shown in Figure 1. At the headend site the MPEG multiplexer combines the program streams from various input channels into one or more MPEG transport streams in DVB-ASI format. The transport equipment adapts the transport streams to the transmission network consisting of fiber or microwave links, and provides multicast connections from the headend site to all transmitter sites. Figure 1 - Terrestrial distribution network for DTT and mobile TV using integrated time transfer STM-1 Access STM-1 Access STM-1 Access STM-1 Access STM-1 Access STM-1 Access nxASI nxASI Transmitter station Transmitter station Head End Transport Network STM-1 Access nxASIMPEG mux SFN adapter Sync Modu- lator Sync Modu- lator Ref. clock 1 PPS 10 MHz 1 PPS 10 MHz 1 PPS 10 MHz STM-1 Access STM-1 Access STM-1 Access STM-1 Access STM-1 Access STM-1 Access nxASI nxASI Transmitter station Transmitter station Head End Transport Network STM-1 Access nxASIMPEG mux SFN adapter Sync Modu- lator Sync Modu- lator Ref. clock 1 PPS 10 MHz 1 PPS 10 MHz 1 PPS 10 MHz
  5. 5. 5(9)  Net Insight AB 2009 Satellite distribution to the transmitter sites could be an attractive option if there is a very large geographical area to cover and a terrestrial infrastructure is not available. However, a terrestrial solution has a number of benefits as summarized in Table 1. A flexible bidirectional transport solution could provide full multiservice support for other services such as IP data and management traffic as well as other applications including mobile TV, DAB and FM radio, and video and audio contribution services over the same infrastructure. This generates new business opportunities for the operator as shown in Figure 2. A terrestrial solution is also more secure, reliable and less sensitive to disturbance from WiMax interference and rain fade. Cost-effective local insertion of regional content and ads is another driver for fiber or microwave based solutions. A specific requirement from several DTT and mobile TV operators is to have a reliable and secure synchronization of transmitters for SFN networks which is not dependent on the GPS system. As shown in Figure 1, a terrestrial transport solution like Net Insight’s Nimbra platform can carry the required synchronization signals from the headend to the transmitter sites over the same system that carries the video and data traffic. This will eliminate the need for GPS receivers at the transmitter sites, which would otherwise represent an additional cost and could easily be jammed. Table 1 - Satellite vs. Terrestrial networks for DTT distribution In the Asia Pacific region there have been some early deployments of DTT in Australia, Korea and Japan, to name a few, but many countries are still in the process of implementation or deciding on DTT. Here the picture is a bit different from Europe with more of a mix between satellite and terrestrial distribution. In particular in larger countries like China and India the current thinking is to distribute the TV channels by satellite on a national level out to the regions, but then make use of the benefits of terrestrial transport solutions out to the transmitter stations within each region or province. Satellite pros: • Rapid national coverage • Flat fee regardless of size of deployment Satellite cons: • Expensive in long run • Sensitive to disturbance – WiMax interference in C-band – Rain fade in Ku-band (N&P regions) • No return channel, needs other network for management • No multi-service Terrestrial pros: • Multi-service for increased ROI: DTT, Mobile TV, Radio, Contribution services, etc. • Cost-effective local insertion of local content and ads • Inherent management connectivity • Less sensitive, easy to have redundancy • GPS independent solution with Time Transfer Terrestrial cons: • Investment in the beginning • May need civil works for new microwave towers/masts
  6. 6. 6(9)  Net Insight AB 2009 Figure 2 - Revenue opportunities for DTT operators Cost comparison A cost model has been developed to compare satellite based DTT distribution to a terrestrial solution using microwave links, see Figure 3. The satellite alternative includes the cost of leasing satellite capacity together with the headend, network to uplink, and satellite receivers. The leasing cost is yearly and bandwidth-dependent at a typical rate found in Asia. The microwave alternative assumes investing in new radiolink equipment together with headend equipment and a Nimbra transport solution. The number of microwave hops and amount of transport equipment needed will depend on the size of the network. Figure 3 - Model for satellite vs. terrestrial DTT cost comparison Densely populated areas Rural areas Via Fiber / Microwave Links – Regional Content Insertion Via Satellite Revenue from DTT TV (must carry) Revenue from Commercial TV Revenue from DAB, FM Radio and Mobile TV Revenue from WiMax / Broadband Internet with or without VoIP Revenue from connectivity to collocated 3:rd party equipment Revenue from interconnected Sports Venues Revenue from video surveillance cameras Revenue from IPTV Multicast Revenue Reach Densely populated areas Rural areas Via Fiber / Microwave Links – Regional Content Insertion Via Satellite Revenue from DTT TV (must carry) Revenue from Commercial TV Revenue from DAB, FM Radio and Mobile TV Revenue from WiMax / Broadband Internet with or without VoIP Revenue from connectivity to collocated 3:rd party equipment Revenue from interconnected Sports Venues Revenue from video surveillance cameras Revenue from IPTV Multicast Revenue Reach Radio link360 360 Radio link HE HE Network to uplink Sat rec comparison MW links Satellite
  7. 7. 7(9)  Net Insight AB 2009 The results of the cost comparison are outlined in the figures below. In all cases the investment/lifetime is assumed to be five years. Figure 4 shows the number of program muxes (transport streams) as the variable. The network in this example comprises 80 transmitters and requires an avarage of two microwave hops per transmitter for the terrestrial alternative. For low bandwidths, not exceeding one program mux, the satellite solution is more cost-efficient, however the terrestrial alternative is preferable as soon as two or more muxes are transmitted. The number of DTT transmitters is the variable in Figure 5 and Figure 6. Figure 5 outlines a typical situation in a smaller country or in a region of a larger country with a network average of two microwave hops per transmitter. Five program muxes are distributed to all transmitters. As expected, the terrestrial alternative is more cost-efficient when the number of transmitters are limited. The satellite alternative, which is almost independent of the number of sites, becomes the more cost-effective solution when the network grows beyond 220 transmitters. Figure 6 demonstrates a geographic view of a larger network, which requires more microwave hops for the terrestrial alternative. It is assumed that on average two hops is sufficient for 60 percent of the population and 5 hops for the remaining 40 percent. Five program muxes are distributed to all transmitters. This case also introduces a mixed solution that covers all transmitters with one mux using satellite and 60 percent of transmitters with five muxes using microwave links with an average of two hops. This hybrid satellite and microwave solution can be quite attractive for wide-area deployments in large countries where it is an advantage to use satellite to cover rural areas and microwave for urban areas. Figure 4 - Lifetime investment related to number of program muxes 1 2 3 4 5 6 Muxes Investment Satellite MW links
  8. 8. 8(9)  Net Insight AB 2009 Figure 5 - Lifetime investment related to number of transmitters Figure 6 - Lifetime investment related to number of transmitters in wide area network with mixed (microwave + satellite) alternative. 40 80 120 160 200 240 280 320 360 400 Transmitters Investment Satellite MW links 40 80 120 160 200 240 280 320 360 400 Transmitters Investment Satellite Terrestial (MW) Mix (MW+Sat)
  9. 9. 9(9)  Net Insight AB 2009 Conclusions Satellite operators and operators of digital terrestrial TV networks are finding new revenue opportunities by deploying multi-service and multi-purpose terrestrial transport networks based on fiber and microwave links. Many satellite operators have complemented their satellite offerings by deploying terrestrial networks that will bring in revenue on their own. The fiber network offloads satellites of point- to-point traffic, freeing up capacity for broadcast applications with higher revenue. Operators can then take advantage of new business opportunities, such as selling high-end data and video transport services and offering higher bandwidth services including uncompressed real-time video transport. Performance could also be radically improved by reducing the number of satellite hops for end-to-end connections to avoid issues such as delay of video services. Similarly, operators of DTT and mobile TV networks have found that their terrestrial network infrastructure can be used not only for TV distribution but also for many other revenue- generating sources of traffic. By deploying a flexible multi-service transport solution the network can support other services like IP data, management traffic, SFN synchronization signals and other applications such as DAB and FM radio, and video and audio contribution services over the same infrastructure, creating new business opportunities. Also from cost point of view a terrestrial network would typically be more effective than satellite distribution, unless the size of the network is very large, in which case a hybrid satellite and terrestrial solution could be attractive.

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