Second-Generation IP Networking Products Focus on Integration

By | August 11, 2009 | Feature, Telecom

[Satellite News 08-11-09] A new wave of second-generation IP networking products has entered the market over the past six months, with a focus on integrating multiple features to meet the demands of  unique niche markets. VSAT providers claim there is plenty of room in the market and that they are all enjoying their own share of it.
    On Aug. 3, Spacenet introduced its Prysm Pro application, the company’s second-generation integrated and off-the-shelf IP networking solution. Interestingly, Spacenet integrated Prysm Pro with its managed network services and designed the unite for deployment in Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) environments. The unite can also be customized to support multiple secure wireless networks and provides integrated support for data acceleration, retail applications/POS hardware interfaces, PCI compliance, and digital media delivery. Its WAN interfaces to a VSAT, DSL, cable, or 3G-wireless modem. Its LAN attaches via Ethernet and USB to IP-based devices and via serial ports to legacy serial devices.
    Spacenet said the release was driven by enterprise customer demand for a range of networking and content-delivery functions with support for enhanced security and backup connectivity for business continuity. According to Alasdair Calder, director of product management for Spacenet, the demand is so high that VSAT companies are not even competing at this point. “The long-term, three- to five-year enterprise contracts we see, combined with a significantly growing budget in the government sector and the fact that VSAT offers IP broadband to businesses and consumers where there is no terrestrial option, will greatly benefit our industry. The VSAT providers aren’t even competing with each other with the growing demand and our advantage with DVB-S2 technology. We’re sailing in the same direction,” he said.
    The demand for smarter integrated technology is clear. Just a few days after unveiling Prysm Pro, Spacenet won a contract to deploy a Gilat SkyEdge 2 broadband satellite communications network at more than 1,300 sites for the Colombian Ministry of Communications to provide broadband Internet services to remote areas of the country. Gilat’s SkyEdge 2 is also able to integrate with Prysm Pro. “By integrating a variety of technologies, Gilat has delivered a robust solution that exceeded the established requirements. Gilat’s pre-deadline deployment of the network reflects its commitment to quickly provide new communication services to the country’s most isolated regions,” Colombia’s vice minister of communications, Daniel Medina, said in a statement.
    ViaSat are winning the same deployment contracts in other parts of the world. It’s SurfBeam IP broadband service was contracted by BB Sat in April to connect rural areas of Japan to the Internet. The company also received contracts worth about $6 million from High Capabilities Telecom (Hicap) to expand a demand assigned multiple access (DAMA) VSAT network to provide connections for a variety of advanced networking applications in Saudi Arabia in July. With the addition of the ViaSat networks, Hicap now runs 14 similar VSAT networks in the Middle East region.
    With the contracts comes even more products with "combination" focuses. Cisco Systems’ IP VSAT satellite WAN network module provides two-way broadband satellite connectivity for remote sites and branch offices. sing the Cisco IP VSAT module in conjunction with its Cisco Enterprise CDN (Content Delivery Network) solution, aims to create a scalable content delivery system for enterprise customer’s branch offices.
    In May, Comtech EF Data unveiled its new CDM-740 Satellite Modem – a high performance architecture featuring an integrated DVB-S/S2 receiver combined with a turbo product-coding Single Carrier Per Channel (SCPC) Modulator. Comtech EF Data said that the combination of a shared, high speed outbound DVB-S/S2 carrier and TPC for the low latency data return channel aims to facilitate efficient IP networking and transport over satellite.
   Optimized for high-speed packet processing and reliability, Comtech said its CDM-740 product uses an embedded central processing unit, real time operating system and flash data storage, while offering dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.The system transmits industry-standard TPC up to 9.98 Mbps. The receive side supports DVB-S and DVB-S2 operation at L-Band up to 62 Msps.
    Integrated terminals are also getting cheaper. Newtec CEO Serge Van Herck said that the industry is making equipment smarter and smaller, naturally leading to a drop in price and an increase in demand. “The fact that IP traffic is doubling every two years only supports the fact that Ka-band’s growth potential is a no-brainer. Imagine giving those stats to the U.S. auto industry. Just the demand alone is going to cut the cost of equipment by a factor of 10 in 2012. The real question is, what affect will the demand have on its infrastructure when we can’t keep up with demand?” he said.

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