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Terminator Tape Test

August 30, 2019

Orbital debris continues to be a nagging problem for the continued expansion of NewSpace, in the LEO (Low Earth Orbit) operating region. Various technologies are being proposed and tested to a) prevent the addition of more debris, and b) work to remove existing debris. TriSept Corporation, who provides launch integration and mission management services is working with Millennium Space Systems and Rocket Lab to test new technologies for managing space debris.


Residential vs Enterprise Class Services

August 17, 2019

A question we sometimes get at BusinessCom is why our prices are higher than some other big-name companies. Generally, this question comes from end-users or partners who are not very familiar with the industry.


A Dollar a Bit and as Big as a Shoe Box

August 10, 2019

As BusinessCom’s token “old guy,” I’ve been asked to share some of my memories surfing the technology wave since the late 1970s. Let’s go back to the 80’s.


Altaeros SuperTower

Jule 25, 2019

In September 2018 we discussed Google X project Loon, a HAPS, or High-Altitude Platform System based on inflatable balloon technology, delivering connectivity to difficult to service regions. Project Loon provides a solution similar in many ways to that of satellite, by positioning the platform high in the stratosphere where it can provide services to the ground below.


Nationsat and Curvalux to Service the Underserved

Jule 13, 2019

In March 2019 we posted an article (MicroGEO Satellites Stake out a Claim) about MicroGEO satellites, designed to provide low cost GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit) satellites to select markets that lack broadband capacity – often because it is too difficult or expensive to pull fiber or run microwave due to difficult terrain.


Pat's Memoirs: My First Job...

Jule 8, 2019

As BusinessCom’s token “old guy,” I’ve been asked to share some of my memories surfing the technology wave since the late 1970s. Please feel free to share your comments and memories.


BusinessCom and VisionNet Support Gorilla Conservation Program

June 27, 2019

One of the great things about being in the satellite business is learning about all the ways broadband satellite solves problems for our clients. We have had clients in war zones who used our services to stay in touch with their friends and family back home, clients who provide telemedicine services, petrochemical, exploratory and drilling companies that allow employees deep in the jungle to make phone calls back to home and family, as well as, of course, all the standard business applications for which internet access of private IP networks are required.


How Will LEO Mega Constellations Make Money?

June 7, 2019

The marketing pitch is heard on YouTube videos that discuss SpaceX’s Starlink project. Other LEO constellation startups such as OneWeb, Telesat LEO, LEOSat, and now Amazon, also refer generously to the “other 3 billion” who are without internet access in both developed and developing nations. In the comments sections, consumers anxiously announce their plans to sign up when the new services are available.


SES-14. What is Velocity, and why the iQ modem?

May 24, 2019

BusinessCom Networks has launched a new Velocity service on SES-14, starting with the VPEC beam which covers northwest S. America. Partners are asking what Velocity is all about and why they need to start buying iQ modems. This article is directed in large part to these partners.


Audio-Video Over Satellite

May 21, 2019

Helping clients estimate bandwidth needs is an essential task for BusinessCom representatives and our partners. When we get sales inquiries, we ask a series of questions so we know which of our several broadband satellite products we should propose. We like to understand what kind of company or organization we’re working with, since we can draw on experience with similar clients.


Wafer Thin

May 9, 2019

Hundreds, if not thousands of new LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites are being designed, developed and prepared for deployment over the next few years. The first SpaceX “Starlink” satellites are slated for launch any day now. OneWeb launched its first six satellites in late February 2019. For OneWeb, the launch helped to procure additional funding the company had been trying to acquire for a couple years. Just before additional funding was announced, Greg Wyler the founder and executive chairman of OneWeb (and the founder of O3b a MEO satellite service), announced that he had solved one of the biggest problems holding back deployment – the antenna.


Is Space Trashed?

April 20, 2019

Whether Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” had anything to do with it is uncertain, but the world is slowly waking up to the reality of space debris and the dangers it poses, not just for space operations and travel, but for human civilization itself. In much the same way, that we are waking to the dangers of all the plastic we’re dumping in oceans, so too is awareness being raised regarding the trash we’re dumping in space.


A Bad Day for Boeing and Intelsat – IS29e Lost

April 11, 2019

Was Intelsat’s first Epic-series HTS (high-throughput satellite) the victim of a collision with space junk? The reasons are as yet unidentified, but Intelsat has reported that on April 7, 2019 Intelsat-29e (IS29e) “experienced damage” to its propulsion system. This damage instigated a fuel leak, resulting in an interruption in service to customers.


Satellites Are Falling on My Head

March 29, 2019

A new concern with proposed mega constellations of LEO satellites has emerged, and that is concern over satellites that are de-orbited and dropped into earth’s atmosphere at the end of their mission. This happens all the time, and the possibilities of damage or harm to people and property below have historically been negligible, but now companies such as SpaceX plan to launch thousands of new LEO satellites, and eventually, they will come down.


ANU Study of 2D Material Use in Space

March 24, 2019

Space is a very harsh environment and spacecraft such as satellites, with their critical electronic components, face very difficult conditions ranging from extreme temperatures to intense radiation. Australia National University (ANU) has produced a new study describing several “2D Materials” that not only withstand the harsh conditions of space, but that may even thrive there. 2D Materials, also referred to as “single layer materials” are crystalline materials that consist of a single layer of atoms.


OneWeb Takes Flight

March 23, 2019

On February 27, 2019, at 9:37 PM UTC a Soyuz launch vehicle lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana with six OneWeb satellites. The satellites were successfully deployed, and signal acquisition was confirmed with all six satellites. The satellites manufactured by OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus Defense and Space marked the start of the largest satellite launch campaign in history, marking the transition from proof-of-concept to commercialization.


MicroGEO Satellites Stake out a Claim

March 13, 2019

News from the satellite industry has been focused on the darlings of NewSpace, the new LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite constellations, with their effusive marketing message of internet for all; but GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit) satellites are not going away, and indeed may be joined by a new breed of satellites. GEO satellites are generally quite large and heavy and require powerful launch vehicles dedicated to transporting them into orbit.


LEO Update - The Big Three: Which is Best?

February 17, 2019

A recent analysis by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology proclaims that Telesat LEO is the most efficient of the three leading contenders for delivering broadband satellite services. Technical aspects of the OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat solutions were analyzed to determine the total system forward capacity – or sellable capacity – for each of the three systems.


BusinessCom’s “UHP Broadband” Supports the “Streaming Wave”

February 9, 2019

In a January 23, 2019 article, “Can Satellite Broadband Support the Streaming Wave?” Northern Sky Research (NSR) reviews the huge growth in demand for streaming video services including YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu. These streaming video applications are referred to as OTT, or Over the Top. These are providers who stream video over the internet, bypassing the typical broadcast television platforms that normally distribute video content.


BusinessCom Networks VSAT Services Come to the Aid of Ebola Workers

February 7, 2019

BusinessCom Networks’ first experience with Ebola came in the Sierra Leone epidemic of 2014-2015. People in rural areas were dying of a terrible disease. Ebola is a deadly disease caused by a virus that kills cells and causes heavy bleeding inside the body, damaging most organs. The virus is not spread through the air and requires direct contact with bodily fluids such as blood or vomit.


More Internet Shutdowns – Zimbabwe in the News

January 26, 2019

Government control of internet access has become an issue of increasing concern. Quote requests on the BusinessCom Networks website, are a key indicator of when and where internet shutdowns and censorship are occurring. Following the shutdown in DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), in which the government shut down all major ISPs with the stated goal of quelling violence related to pending election results, a new situation has arisen in Zimbabwe, providing an opportunity to take a closer look at the reasons, mechanics and impact of such shutdowns.


Internet Censorship – Big Brother is Growing

January 22, 2019

On January 1, 2019, the communist government of Vietnam, following China’s lead, put a new censorship law into effect. The law, passed back in June 2018, requires global technology firms with operations in Vietnam to keep user data there. Social media companies such as Facebook and Google, will be required to remove “offending content” from their services, within a day of receiving a request from the authorities.


Bending Light?

January 19, 2019

Thomas Choi, the outspoken Co-Founder and former CEO of ABS Global, is a successful entrepreneur whose innovations have significantly expanded the contribution of satellite to the economies, societies and people of the developing world. He was a founder of Speedcast in 1999 and he founded ABS Global in 2005. Choi has been a vocal critic of NGSO (Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit) solutions, pointing out several challenges for new MEO (Medium Earth Orbit) and LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite constellations being developed to provide broadband services to consumers.


Flat Panel Antennas and Consumer Broadband: Yes or No

December 12, 2018

In November 2018, the FCC granted LeoSat access to the US market. LeoSat plans to launch up to 108 LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites to provide high-bandwidth, low-latency, high-security data transmissions for large commercial and government customers in the United States. OneWeb plans 882 satellites. Similarly, SpaceX has been authorized by the FCC to deploy over 4000 satellites to deliver broadband services in the US and around the world.


3MB and Counting - Web Page Size and Performance

November 22, 2018

Here at BusinessCom Networks, one of the most frequent tasks involved in providing broadband satellite services is estimating how much bandwidth to propose. A few clients know exactly what they need, but many require some assistance estimating how much capacity they should sign up for. Our bandwidth estimates for clients have risen steadily over the last 15 years and will likely continue to do so.


NewSpace Rockets Getting Smaller

November 8, 2018

Rocket Lab, a US company headquartered in Los Angeles, and a wholly-owned New Zealand subsidiary, seeks to offer traditional players such as NASA, along with newer companies, such as Moon Express, Spire and Planet, a launch platform designed to compete with major satellite launch providers such as SpaceX and Arianespace. How do they plan to compete? Answer: They are going small.


The FCC and the Small Birds

November 1, 2018

November 2018 is scheduled to be a busy month for the FCC. It will be voting on at least nine space-related issues. One of these issues, seems like a no-brainer. There is a proposal on the table to allow US devices to access the new European Galileo global positioning system, to enhance the existing American GPS system.


A NewSpace Risk Assessment

October 19, 2018

As the commercial development of space proceeds full speed ahead, we’ve examined some of the issues that will face companies such as OneWeb, Telesat and Starlink (SpaceX), as they develop and launch new LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite constellations that are intended to compete with terrestrial broadband, and deliver services to the many in the world who remain without internet access.


Satellite Internet Access – An Update

October 17, 2018

So many choices. ADSL, wireless, cable, fiber…. What role does satellite play in providing broadband services to enterprises? Accessing the internet over satellite is a technology and business option that has been steadily developing and maturing over the last few decades, and it continues to do so.


Putting a Net Around Space Junk

September 27, 2018

A topic of growing interest is the “Kessler Syndrome,” the scary hypothesis that a chain reaction of events could occur in low earth orbit (LEO) as the result of collisions between various pieces of space junk above earth’s atmosphere. As one piece of debris collides with a satellite or other piece of space junk additional pieces of junk will be shed, resulting in more collisions due to more junk in a cascading disaster. Models show that the collisions may snowball out of control, destroying satellites in low earth orbit and leading to the unavailability of LEO, potentially for generations.


Loons and Balloons

September 21, 2018

Formerly known as the Google X project, Loon LLC now an independent subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc. has been making some real progress. As discussed in February 6, 2018, “A Looney Idea?”, Loon is a HAPS or High-Altitude Platform System based on reliable weather balloon technology. The concept involves having a fleet of floating balloons that are guided by raising and lowering them to use the prevailing wind currents around our world.


The Empower Space Alliance

September 20, 2018

NewSpace, as has been discussed, aims to further the commercialization of space, and is pushing the industry to evolve creative, cost effective business models. Advocates propose new ways to deliver space-based services using smaller, cheaper, highly capable satellite platforms. These services include imagery, communications, content delivery, civil sciences and government/military applications.


Could the Kessler Syndrome Put an End to NewSpace?

September 19, 2018

NASA scientist, Donald J Kessler, proposed in 1978 that a chain reaction of debris exploding in space could end up making it impossible to use satellites, and ending many other space activities. Should this happen, the region above our atmosphere could become unusable for generations. The idea is that the extensive number of things we launch into low earth orbit (LEO), could create such a dense environment, that an inevitable collision could create a cascading effect, with each collision adding to the growing crescendo.


Is US C band Capacity Packing its Bags for Mobile Land?

September 12, 2018

C band is a set of frequencies used by GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit) satellites. These stationary satellites located above the equator utilize two sets of frequencies. 3.7 – 4.2 GHz is for transmission from space to earth, and 5.925 – 6.425 GHz is used for transmission from earth to space. The FCC is evaluating proposals to use the 3.7-4.2 GHz capacity for mobile use, in addition to legacy satellite use. This range is judged to be the “spectral sweet spot” for 5G technology known as massive MIMO. Owning this spectrum provides a huge competitive advantage.


Aerospace - Advancing Laser Communication in Space

September 5, 2018

The growth in the number of small satellites in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) is expanding quickly. Iridium, for example, recently launched ten new satellites, raising the count to 65. Their NEXT satellites will provide satellite phone and broadband communications around the world. SpaceX is scheduled to launch as many as 70 satellites at once, from 35 different organizations, in the next few months. How will all these new satellites communicate, in some cases with each other, and with earth stations on the ground?


HAPs in the News – Airbus Zephyr S Goes into Production

August 31, 2018

The satellite industry, sporting the moniker “NewSpace,” is poised for a major evolution, if not a revolution, in commercial space projects. New constellations comprised of hundreds or even thousands of small satellites are being staged for launch into LEO (Low Earth Orbit). Deployments for some of these will begin this year (2018) and will go on through the mid-2020’s. To be successful, the endeavor will require several things to come together.


DVB-S2 and DVB-S2X – What Are They?

August 24, 2018

A client recently requested a quote for a 10 Mbps x 10 Mbps service. It sounds simple enough, but as has been discussed in another article about modcods (modulation and coding), there are several factors involved in quoting a broadband satellite circuit. The satellite band, beam, signal strength, the climate, the size of the antenna and power of the BUC enter into the equation, and now BusinessCom Networks is generating quotes with two options: DVB-S2/ACM and DVB-S2X/ACM. What is this all about?


Rocketing into NewSpace

August 17, 2018

The satellite industry, sporting the moniker “NewSpace,” is poised for a major evolution, if not a revolution, in commercial space projects. New constellations comprised of hundreds or even thousands of small satellites are being staged for launch into LEO (Low Earth Orbit). Deployments for some of these will begin this year (2018) and will go on through the mid-2020’s. To be successful, the endeavor will require several things to come together.


What’s Happening with HAPs

August 7, 2018

Recent announcements from Facebook that they are abandoning their HAPs program suggests that it might be a good time to see how HAPs are doing. There have been some HAPs success stories, and these have been shared in the press. Google’s Project Loon provided services to Puerto Rico following a large hurricane. Others such as Worldview Enterprises and Raven Aerostar have demonstrated the effectiveness of balloons for communications, remote sensing and adventure tourism applications.


A Mining Boom for Satellite?

August 3, 2018

The fastest segment of the Oil and Gas industry is mining. This market presents an ongoing and increasing opportunity for satellite communications. Northern Sky Research (NSR) predicts that this market will grow by more than $150M between 2017 and 2027. Mining companies are seeking increasing demand for bandwidth as new technology works its way into the industry. Growing requirements include intensive data reporting, real-time images and video, not to mention the growing use of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors that are used for safety, security and monitoring.


SSL Loads up SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches with Broadband Satellites

July 31, 2018

Space technology solutions provider, SSL a provider of advanced spacecraft systems announced the shipment of the first of three satellites to the SpaceX launch base at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The three state-of-the-art satellites will contribute significantly to broadband communications within their respective footprints.


Record Breaking SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches Telstar 19 VANTAGE

July 28, 2018

On July 21, 2018 at 1:50 AM Eastern time SpaceX launched the second of its upgraded “Block 5” Falcon 9 rockets. Telstar 19 VANTAGE, the heaviest commercial communications satellite ever built, went along for the ride and was successfully placed into orbit at 138 degrees EL.


Finnish Investigation of New Frequencies for Broadband Satellites

July 24, 2018

With the advent of a new generation of NGSO (Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit) satellites going into design and development, new frequency bands for these satellites are also being studied. GEO satellites today, typically use C band (4 to 8 GHz), Ku band (12 to 18 GHz), and Ka band (27 to 40 GHz) to deliver services. From their position high above the equator, they deliver services to various sized regions on earth, ranging from hemisphere to region to country to state-sized spot beams. MEO and LEO satellites, operating closer to the ground, will have even smaller, tighter beams and will use higher frequencies that will need to be made available to support growing capacity demands, if these new ventures are to be successful.


Isotropic Systems Brings Innovation to the Flat Panel Antenna Market

July 17, 2018

On March 12, 2018 at the Satellite 2018 Show at the Washington, DC Convention Center, Isotropic Systems announced that they intended to become a contender in the emerging flat panel antenna (FPA) market.


What NEXT for Iridium?

July 10, 2018

The Iridium satellite constellation, conceived in the early 1990s, was designed to support high Earth latitudes with reliable satellite communications. Most communication satellites are in GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit), over the equator. The curvature of the earth makes providing communications at the poles nearly impossible with GEO satellites.


Charging Up the Energy Satcom Market

July 3, 2018

According to NSR (Northern Sky Research), the satellite industry should consider taking aim on new energy markets. Historically attention has been focused on the Gas and Oil segments of the industry, where requirements are often based on remote locations. One sector that may be going unnoticed is the Electrical Utility market that is responsible for 6 out of 10 in-service units within the entire Energy satellite communications (satcom) sector. This sector is showing continued signs of growth.


The ESA/Airbus SpaceDataHighway

June 24, 2018

Almost all satellite based broadband communication today takes place between a GEO satellite and one or more teleports or earth stations, within its footprint below. The next generation of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) constellations being developed and deployed will not be fixed in orbit, as GEO satellites are, high above the equator. These low flying satellites must orbit the earth at a fast rate, or fall into its gravity well, and burn up. This means these satellites will pass quickly over earth stations, rather than be permanently stationed above them, raising the question of how will these satellites continue to provide uninterrupted communications between users and earth stations and teleports, if they are not permanently stationed above them.


Delivering Business Class VoIP over iDirect Broadband

June 17, 2018

An application that continues to be of interest in broadband satellite services is VoIP (Voice over IP). While many people turn to Skype and similar voice or video applications to communicate with others on a variety of devices, standardized VoIP remains popular for those who want to make phone calls to the POTS or plain old telephone service. The POTS service, we grew up with delivers consistent, reliable, high quality communications. Businesses that rely on good telephone service need that quality to be extended to remote locations over satellite links. That is not as easy as it sounds, and it’s one reason that there is a perception among many people that satellite is not capable of supporting high quality voice communications.


Is Inclined Orbit Satellite Right for your Business?

June 10, 2018

Most of the satellites we use for broadband communications are in GEO or Geostationary Earth Orbits. That is, they are located some 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the equator, and the goal is for them to stay fixed in that one spot over the same piece of the planet, right over the equator, so that fixed VSAT terminals on the ground can be pointed at the satellite and always have a solid signal.


UN and Satellite Industry Join Together for Disaster Recovery

May 23, 2018

Satellite has long been recognized as a key player in disaster recovery scenarios. A major disaster such as a hurricane, flood or tornado, can wipe out standard means of communication. Cell phone services can go down and internet access may be unavailable due to power outages or damaged infrastructure. Satellite services can quickly be deployed to provide services for first responders and permit companies that plan ahead, to remain operational. The focus here is on humanitarian efforts.


Satellite Pricing - A Turning Point?

May 14, 2018

A number of articles by industry analysts have commented recently that satellite capacity prices are coming down. This can be ascribed to new HTS (High Throughput Satellites) that have increased capacity, as well as promises of new capacity in the form of NGSO (Non-Geosynchronous Orbit) satellites being prepared for deployment.


Is Satellite Limited to Providing Backhaul for 5G Networks?

May 7, 2018

Much discussion in the telecom industry today centers on the development of 5G wireless services, and the role that satellite will play as the technology is deployed. Current projections are for a half billion 5G subscriptions by 2023. The obvious role for satellites in a 5G world, is cellular backhaul, but are there other roles? Is that the full extent of satellite contribution to 5G?


Are Flat Panel Antennas Affordable?

Apr 30, 2018

During a recent visit to Satellite 2018 in Washington, DC, the warm basement of the Convention center opened to the main Exhibit Hall, easing the transition from the blisteringly cold wind outside. An item of particular interest this year, was FPA’s or Flat Panel Antennas. How were they coming along, what did they look like, how did they compete, and most of all – what did they cost?


And a Grapefruit Satellite Shall Lead Them to Space

Apr 20, 2018

Who remembers the “Cold War”? In 1958, Nikita Khrushchev, in what was intended to be an insult, christened Vanguard 1, the “grapefruit satellite.” Guess what! The grapefruit sized satellite, Vanguard 1, 60 years later, still flies! What’s more – the satellite industry is preparing to follow its exploratory footsteps.


Orbital ATK – In-Orbit Satellite Servicing Technology

Apr 10, 2018

In March of 2018, Orbital ATK announced plans for a next generation of “satellite life extension and in-space servicing products.” These are robotic systems that will bring new options for servicing and enhancing their customer’s satellites. This is an emerging market being pioneered by Orbital ATK.


A Multi-Gateway Solution for Flexible, Hierarchical VSAT Networks

Apr 05, 2018

Most broadband satellite networks are based on a “star” or “hub and spoke” topology. There is a central hub which connects to all the remote sites that it supports. This is a simple, standard solution for basic internet access. All the remote sites connect to the central Hub, which in turn passes them to the Internet backbone. Sometimes networks are more complicated.


Will the LEO Satellite Industry Succeed?

Mar 26, 2018

The recent news that SpaceX has launched experimental satellites following FCC approval, has taken the NewSpace industry by storm. Several satellite companies such as OneWeb, LEOSat, and Telesat LEO have been working to develop and manufacture a constellation of LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellites designed to offer high speed, low latency broadband services to underserved regions of the world. Where these operators are proposing a few hundred satellites in their constellations, SpaceX is proposing to launch almost 12,000 satellites by the mid-2020s.


C-Band in the News Again

Mar 20, 2018

In October, 2017 Intelsat and Intel put forward a proposal to the FCC designed to set up a framework that would allow MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) to leverage unused C-band capacity in the US in order to expand deployment of 5G services. This proposal would provide about 100 MHz of downlink C-band spectrum in the US.


Panasonic Avionics Upgrades Broadband Satellite Communications Service

Mar 10, 2018

HTS satellites provide a significant improvement in throughput and capacity by leveraging “spot beams” and “frequency reuse.” Instead of providing a large, but weaker satellite beam, HTS uses small hot beams that can deliver higher speeds to clients. Because the beams are smaller, the same frequencies can be used again, as long as they are far enough away from each other not to cause interference.


Tom Choi on HTS Hype and Broadband Density

Mar 5, 2018

Tom Choi recently resigned as CEO of Asia Broadcast Company (ABS). He turned ABS into a huge success as a tough competitor in the satellite industry. Choi remains on the board of ABS, but he has not abandoned the satellite industry, and remains outspoken and influential. In an article in ViaSat’s March 2018 newsmagazine, he questioned how realistic a view the satellite industry holds for its future.


Understanding the Basics of HTS

Mar 1, 2018

Most in the satellite industry are familiar with the term HTS or (High Throughput Satellite), and more and more of them are being deployed all the time, but this technology is still unknown to many clients and customers. What is different about an HTS satellite? Why is this an important development?


Understanding VPNs over Broadband Satellite

Feb 26, 2018

When a client sends an inquiry about broadband satellite services, BusinessCom representatives respond with a series of questions. Understanding what kind of company or organization the client is, the number of users, number of active VoIP lines, video requirements, and critical applications are essential to proposing the best solution for the client. One consideration on the list, is the question of whether the client is using a VPN or Virtual Private Network.


A MODCOD is not a “Hip” Fish

Feb 23, 2018

“Just give me a quote,” the client demands, on the phone. “What will it cost?” It seems like a simple question, but the satellite business is a game of trade-offs. For example, why do services from different providers, each advertising the same data rates, often have very different pricing structures? Why might a service provider offer a dedicated circuit at two different prices, and what would account for the difference?


O3b MEO Fleet Still Growing

Feb 19, 2018

One of the earliest companies to get involved in “NewSpace” was O3b Networks, Ltd. The name O3b refers to the “Other 3 Billion,” or the population of the world where broadband internet services are not generally available. And it continues its mission, launching new satellites this year.


iDirect’s Evolution® Multi-Carrier Mesh Solution

Feb 16, 2018

Most satellite networks are based on a star, or hub and spoke architecture, in which all the remote sites connect back to a central hub that is responsible for allocating bandwidth and managing, aggregating and routing traffic. What happens when a remote site in City A wants to have a VoIP (Voice over IP) call with another remote site in City B?


What is Rain Fade?

Feb 14, 2018

Several frequencies are used to carry satellite transmissions. The most popular today are C-band and Ku-band, with Ka-band deployments increasing rapidly. At the higher operating frequencies of Ku and Ka-band, the satellite signal strength may be affected by heavy rain conditions. C-band is mostly immune to poor weather conditions.


Satellite and 5G – Should We Care?

Feb 12, 2018

While the satellite industry is all abuzz with “NewSpace,” down here on earth, the buzz is “5G.” Is there a relationship between the two? Should there be? When it comes to the “wish list” for the digital revolution, the market is demanding that services be unlimited, with super-fast speeds - all the time. Services should be available everywhere, indoors or out; they should be reliable and consistent, and switching between them should be seamless. This is clearly not our current reality.


Riding V-Band to Victory

Feb 9, 2018

The name of the game in the communications industry today is “spectrum availability.” Networks are expanding at ever-increasing rates, demanding more and more bandwidth. Making RF (Radio Frequency) spectrum available for terrestrial and satellite communications providers is, therefore, of growing interest.


A Looney Idea?

Feb 6, 2018

In late September 2017, Hurricane Maria barreled through the Caribbean devastating the US territory of Puerto Rico and its 3.4 million residents. Vast sections of the island were left without electricity or cellphone service and internet access. In an effort to restore services, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Inc. deployed its stratospheric balloons to Puerto Rico, where internet access and cellphone services were made available to some 100,000 users, according to reports.


GOLD to Hitch a Ride with SES-14

Jan 24, 2018

In the first quarter of 2018, SES, a world leading satellite operator, will be launching a new satellite SES-14 to replace NSS-806 at 47.5° west, providing new capacity over the Americas and North Atlantic Region. SES-14, based on the Eurostar-3000 platform manufactured by EADS Astrium, will bring additional Ku band capacity to service growing Direct-to-Home and Direct-to-Cable services.


Military Satellite Procurement Under Review

Jan 15, 2018

Military organizations in many countries are big users of commercial satellite services, and in the past, they have been challenged to find enough capacity to serve their growing bandwidth needs using their own satellites, so they have been seeking capacity on commercial satellites.


Reviewing the Rules in Space

Jan 12, 2018

The nature of the space industry is changing rapidly. In the past, things were pretty static. A typical launch consisted of one satellite per launch vehicle, both generally owned by a single agency. That model is changing with the advent of “NewSpace.”


Communications Satellites - How Did It All Get Started?

Jan 9, 2018

In a fast-paced world of emails, texts, image sharing, web surfing, videoconferencing, business applications, entertainment applications, and the IoT (Internet of Things), perhaps it is worth taking a moment to recall what helped make all that possible. It’s such an integrated and indispensable part of our lives that it’s hard to imagine a time when such things did not exist.


Cross-Breeding Drones and Satellites?

Jan 5, 2018

Among idyllic locations to live and work, being nestled among the mountains comes to mind; but suppose there are no terrestrial internet services available, what are the options? The natural solution is to turn to satellite for connectivity, but in a mountain valley, there may be no clear line-of-sight to any satellites that can provide service. What then?


MNO and Satellite – Competitors, Collaborators, or Both?

Jan 2, 2018

Among the challenges considered to be facing the satellite industry, is competition with mobile network operators (MNO), but how significant is that state of competition? How much do mobile operators compete with satellite for subscribers? Is there perhaps more room for cooperation and mutual benefit?


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