Offshore Communications 2010 Generates Excitement for Expanded Satellite Capabilities

By | November 4, 2010 | Feature, Satellite News Feed, Telecom

[Satellite TODAY Insider 11-04-10] Vendors and booth operators at the Offshore Communications 2010 conference in Houston agree — WiMax and Ka-band video are the two hottest topics this year for international energy sector communications customers.
    On the show floor, GVF Director of International Programs Kristen Kloster told Satellite TODAY Insider that satellite’s achievements in delivering high-quality video over Ka-band VSAT is making a big impression on the sector. “High-quality video conferencing is a crucial capability for offshore platform operators. Satellite providers made a lot of progress this year on delivering these services and, in return, we are seeing a lot of excitement and engagement from customers at this year’s show.”
    The use of video in the energy industry also has grown. Video images from remotely operated vehicles working beneath the ocean’s surface are being used by engineers for platform operations to assess construction and repair projects. Video services also have recently replaced surveillance flights in the Gulf of Mexico after hurricanes.
A majority of conference attendees also point out that satellite’s wide-area access points and smaller antennas have made Wi-Fi is easier to deploy, providing workers much more freedom when trying to connect to an Ethernet port.
    Representatives and conference vendors from CapRock Communications told Satellite TODAY Insider that this year’s Offshore Communications conference provides an opportunity for satellite companies to promote a seamless connectivity experience across different regions as the oil and gas market sees more drilling operations moving out of the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea and into the Middle East and Asia.
    These conversations follow up on topics that were glanced over at September’s Comsys 2010 in much more detail. One conference attendee, who asked not be named for this story, said most offshore information technology customers have gotten over the perception that VSAT is a last resort. “While there are some [information technology] professionals that still insist on one platform over the other, most of us know that applications can perform equally as well over both.”

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