Throughout the global developing and developed regions, the need for specialized satellite-enabled communication platforms is on the rise. Specific network criteria is diversified by the client served, but all require advanced equipment and services. Therefore, we asked some of the industry’s top executives the following question:
“There is a growing technological convergence underway for content dissemination. It is no longer just fiber, satellite, wireless, video or data but a mixture of all platforms. What do you think satellite equipment and service providers will need to offer customers to succeed in such business ventures?”
Advantech AMT Inc.
Though the buzzword of the moment is ‘convergence’, the pace of change varies greatly between application areas. At Advantech, we believe the keys to convergence are flexibility and interoperability, enabling a smooth transition between older solutions and newer ones. Present in our technology solutions, these keys enable service providers to deliver change at the rate dictated by their consumers.
Brian Sheperd, President, Amdocs Broadband Cable & Satellite Division
As customers become more demanding, service providers need to offer an intentional customer experience across all their business lines to improve stickiness and profitability from new services. Service providers should do this through a common integrated BSS and OSS infrastructure that gives customers a great experience at a lower total cost of ownership. This is exactly where Amdocs fits in.
Gary Hatch, CEO
It is important for companies to be total solutions providers. Profitable business models require the implementation of best-of-breed technologies which utilize fiber optics and satellite communications effectively, thus powering the limitless possibilities of Internet Protocol technologies. These strategies properly designed and integrated together will create highly competitive service offerings, allowing service providers to retain and win new customers worldwide.
Jim Oliver, President and CEO
Lower costs and ease-of-operation are necessary for customers to consider satellite communication automatically as a viable option or valuable addition to ground-based communication. Goals are two-fold: First, affordable and easy to use systems with cost-effective equipment/systems that do not create adjacent satellite interference and second, flexible contracts/lower costs for bandwidth that are within the reach of the normal communication budget.
Errol Olivier, President and COO
Providers must migrate completely away from legacy TDM infrastructure in favor of end-to-end IP, the common fabric for convergence. Only then will they have the flexibility to respond rapidly to the ever-changing demand for converged services. Service providers must also provide a worldwide service and support organization with diversified expertise to accommodate the mission critical needs of global customers.
Comtech EF Data Corp.
Robert McCollum, President
Users are requiring additional value to justify equipment purchases. Vendors must deliver cost-effective solutions to enable lowering the total cost of ownership and reducing space segment costs. Tools such as Comtech’s Bandwidth Optimization Tool, aid in identifying where advanced technologies (FEC, modulation and DoubleTalk Carrier-in-Carrier) can add value to existing or new satellite links.
Andy Tafler, President, CPI Satcom Division
The challenge for the subsystem provider is to create solutions that accommodate the new and varied applications. This requires an understanding of the requirements of a terrestrial wireless system versus a satellite system, for example, and applying appropriate flexibility into your product. Converging applications also require equipment to be capable of performing in various operational modes.
Keith Attwood, CEO
In these fast changing times it is essential for satcom equipment providers to bring products to market that are compatible with all types of content and can provide cost effective, reliable and seamless transmission solutions. e2v continues to develop new HPA systems that address these market needs, particularly at higher powers, in smaller, lighter and more cost effective packages.
David Hershberg, Chairman and CEO
There are two types of convergence going on. The most important is the use of IP networks for providing data, VoIP, video and Internet on the same platform. If you understand IP technology you do not have to be an expert in switching, multiplexing, encryptors, frame relay, video, FDM and transmission.
Using IP over different transmission media requires the knowledge of performance due to satellite delay, packet loss, accelerators, compression techniques, spoofing, etc. So the message is: Learn IP well and be comfortable in its applications.
Hughes Network Systems
Pradman Kaul, Chairman and CEO
For service providers to succeed they need to be flexible in designing their offerings, providing solutions that incorporate all transport technologies depending upon the requirements of their customers. Service providers also need to add value, moving beyond just transport by offering multiple applications within managed networks. At Hughes we are doing just that by combining satellite and terrestrial transport, such as DSL, into a single, managed network offering. Additionally, we’re supporting a range of services for managed digital media management and distribution.
John Kealey, CEO
In many instances, there simply is no alternative to satellite for broadband access. However, by deploying a true IP over satellite network, remote locations can be seamlessly integrated with existing terrestrial platforms into hybrid networks that effectively deliver the same degree of networks functionality and communications capability to every user regardless of location. Once functionality is no longer a concern, it allows the network manager to determine which alternative is the most cost effective or easiest to implement.
Richard Graham, CEO
The convergence of networks and technologies to deliver broadband services presents many new challenges, but ensuring that the customer experiences a high quality of service is paramount. The ability to automate the management of that converged network and respond instantaneously to network problems will be important.
MCL Inc. (A MITEQ Co.)
Frank Morgan, Vice President, International Sales And Marketing
First, recognize the significant overall benefit that this convergence will convey on all associated technologies. The ‘content’ consumer will now be able to make one contact to receive an integrated solution to their communication needs, no matter how diverse. The savvy provider of equipment or services will need to enter into strategic partnerships to help simplify these convergence solutions.
Arthur Faverio, President
Technology changes over the years have opened up new markets for the satellite industry. Satellite equipment suppliers should be offering a low-cost phased array antenna operating in Ka-band in conjunction with a GPS receiver. The phased array antenna will set up easily in a fixed environment, but most important, will track the satellites as a vehicle is moving. Satellite communication on the move will bring video, Internet and data to every vehicle on the road as well as servicing the rural communities.
John Restivo, CEO
More than ever, successful satellite equipment and service providers need to be flexible and ready to adapt to rapidly changing marketplace requirements. Paradise Datacom’s anticipation of the global communications technology convergence is reflected in the evolution of our products. With IP-centric features such as Web-based M&C and internal diagnostics, onboard TCP/IP link acceleration and integrated fiber optics, our product flexibility allows our customers to support a number of architectural variations. The result is a line of products that can adapt to change and provide longer service life.
Patriot Antenna Systems
Bob Reitz, Director of Business Development
Just as the convergence of computers, audio/video and multimedia has transpired, a similar convergence is happening between transmission platforms. The service providers and vendors that can interface their services and products for use by all modes will be the companies that grow and prosper the most.
Kenneth Wright, President
For 20 years, PetroCom has provided converged services to the offshore oil & gas industry by seamlessly integrating cellular and satellite systems into a highly reliable voice and data network. The key to continuing this success is to ensure customers receive the highest quality-of-service, regardless of transmission medium, through carefully designed solutions, redundant network operations and responsive field and customer support.
Bob Fitting, CEO
The insatiable demand for more information continues to provide opportunities for service providers and equipment providers alike. There are already a large number of interface and transmission standards that have been created to enable interoperability between different technologies and products offered by manufacturers such as Radyne. Products that provide standardized, highly flexible interfaces will be essential as the market continues to evolve.
Satellite Engineering Group Inc.
Chris Childs, Director, Network Sales
As an integrator and equipment distributor, this convergence has impacted business positively. It will be important for equipment manufacturers to continue development of flexibility in equipment input/output configurations so that distribution systems are easily integrated. As this convergence evolves, it is always a challenge training sales, technical and field staff. Continued support from manufacturers will be crucial moving forward.
ST Electronics (Satcom & Sensor Systems) Pte Ltd.
Tang Kum Chuen, Senior VP and General Manager
Advancement of technologies in network efficiency, bandwidth utilization and support for real time applications as well as the realization of affordable, small integrated RF/baseband terminals have enabled seamless hybrid networks combining satellite and terrestrial broadband communications to deliver ubiquitous applications to users regardless of locations and bandwidth demand. Correct implementation of these hybrid networks offers network operators significantly improved bandwidth utilization, enhanced network management and ultimately better service to their customers around the world.
Mark Dankberg, Chairman and CEO
There are competing and converging interests among mobility, fixed delivery, real time delivery, non-real-time delivery (e.g. TiVo), streaming, downloading, and several other business models. Satellite has a good opportunity to capture a meaningful portion of the new value created because of favorable metrics in capital investments per coverage area. For satellite, that’s going to mean a willingness to experiment with new satellites, new payloads, new transmission technologies and new forms of ground equipment.