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High Throughput Satellites Dominate Industry Discussions

By | May 1, 2013

      SATELLITE 2013 was a great event as usual. But, if you had $10 for every time someone either mentioned the Boeing/ABS/Satmex “electric” satellite deal or High Throughput Satellites (HTS), you probably would have ended up very rich.

      HTS definitely was a major topic across a number of panels during the event, and there is clearly a lot of industry excitement about the future. It was telling that perhaps SATELLITE 2013’s major announcement was Hughes ordering Jupiter 2, a huge new satellite with 150 Gbps of throughput. But, aside from new orders, 2013 will also be a year where a number of crucial events will happen: the launch of O3b Networks’ first satellites, as well as Inmarsat’s Global Xpress, are important milestones. Also, Intelsat’s EpicNG next generation satellites could bring new opportunities to the satellite industry across the board, which is why there is so much excitement around these spacecraft.

      In this special edition, we look at different elements of the HTS story. Our first feature looks at HTS and broadcasting, maybe not the most obvious market for these new satellites, but one that could provide lucrative add-on revenue streams for satellite operators.

      Our second feature explores how enterprises could benefit from these new satellites. With IT departments looking for increased efficiency, and looking for better connectivity/communications between various branches, the era of HTS could make this a reality. In the uber-competitive communications space to enterprises, we look at whether these new generation satellites will make a difference.
      Finally, our third feature looks at the military market and how Ka-band satellites might make a difference here. It is becoming a cliché, but governments are looking to rein in spending, and the big dedicated military satellite communications programs are becoming a thing of the past. However, demands for capability and bandwidth are not going down. So, creative solutions are being sought. These new satellites present a myriad of options to governments and around the world.

      We are most definitely now in the era of HTS, which is an exciting time for our industry. With lots of capacity coming online, these satellites are threatening to dramatically reshape our industry.