With VSAT Latin America, less than a week away – we spoke with our Intelsat speaker, Marcio Brasil, the Managing Sales Director for Brazil, about Intelsat’s HTS Launch and how the evolution to HTS will impact the satellite industry as a whole.
- Intelsat has recently launched Intelsat EpicNG, its next generation satellite platform – Why was HTS such an important evolution for Intelsat?
Responding to exponentially increasing demand for bandwidth-hungry applications, the satellite industry is undergoing a technology renaissance. However, in order to increase satellite’s role and share in the broader communications landscape, we need to break away from the traditional satellite architecture. In its place is a Globalized Network that is open architecture in design and backward compatible. HTS is the tipping point of what is shaping up to be a huge transformation of the satellite industry and the way in which we provide our customers with innovative solutions.When we set out to create our next-generation satellite architecture, we approached it in a very different way than our competitors. We started by addressing the need to be highly efficient providing our customers with more bits per Hz and more profitable business models. And we took it a step further: We designed our system to ensure full continuity with our customers’ existing infrastructure and equipment and to give them choices. Intelsat EpicNG is based on an open architecture that allows customers to choose and deploy hardware that meets the needs of their business (not the needs of the network). By retaining control over their brand and service offering, our customers can affirm their differentiation in the market place.
HTS is a very important – even essential – part of the solution, but it’s not the exclusive disrupter. In order to be fully disruptive, we’re leveraging our Globalized Network and driving innovation across all levels – the development of ground systems, antenna technology, software-defined technology, and hybrid end-to-end networks – as enablers for our customers. By working with Intelsat, our customers gain the ability to quickly react to market changes and future-proof their business.
- What new revenue streams do you think the launch of HTS will open up?
Our sector’s transition to new, high-throughput technologies is driven by the need for connectivity everywhere for billions of devices. HTS brings higher performance to demanding applications like web browsing, video streaming, video conferencing for the media, oil and gas, cellular backhaul, corporate enterprise and government industries, and enables them in mobile networks to serve the aviation and maritime sectors. The economics and performance of HTS will also unlock new, mass market segments such as the Internet-of-Things, Machine-to-Machine and Connected Cars. And this is not a distant vision. EpicNG is already a reality: IS-29e entered service in March 2016 with early performance tests exceeding our customers’ expectations.
- How is Intelsat using strategic partnerships to improve its service offering?We generally work with service providers to accelerate their growth into new regions, or to expand into adjacent markets. This in turn provides scale in our business which supports our new offerings such as fully managed services. For example:
- We’ve worked with major platform manufacturers to bring to market next generation equipment that take full advantage of EpicNG’s unique performance and capabilities. Each one of these vendors brings their own innovation and expertise, allowing EpicNG to address the whole spectrum of applications and end users. Amongst other benefits, these new technologies enable better performance and economics, smaller and more cost efficient terminals that are easier and faster to deploy.
- Leveraging these highly efficient technologies, we developed managed services such as IntelsatOne Flex and IntelsatOne Prism which enable our customers to climb up the value chain.
- Our investment in Phasor will help unlock and expand the Ku-band broadband market to smaller aircraft which are currently unserved due to a lack of suitable avionics solutions.
- Pairing the EpicNG platform with Kymeta’s high-performance metamaterials antennas will deliver cost-effective and convenient solutions for a range of applications, the first of which will center on mobility applications.
- In the space segment, our investment and future interoperability with the OneWeb constellation will strengthen our expansive portfolio of satellite solutions and bring an additional layer to our Globalized Network. This will enable us to extend our service offerings to the polar cap regions (an important element for our aviation and maritime customers) and will complement our highly-efficient GEO assets with LEO high-elevation angles for geographies like mountains or urban canyons where GEO signals may be blocked.
- How do you think the satellite industry will change over the next 5-10 years? How will Intelsat continue to innovate?As the HTS market becomes more established and customers gain confidence in the systems, a surge in usage, driven by increased customer requirements, is expected in most regions. According to Euroconsult statistics, by 2024 HTS will be a $4-billion business globally. Corporate networks are forecast to demand 350 Gbps, and backhaul/trunking 260 Gbps.
We are only beginning to scratch the surface and will continue to push the boundaries of innovation to enable better solutions to customers: in space, by moving towards software-defined payloads which breed flexibility and faster time-to-market, and on the ground with powerful and flexible antenna terminals that are smaller, less expensive, easy to install and easily re-configurable, enabling easier access to connectivity for any device anywhere.
- Why do you think VSAT Latin America is such an important event?
Intelsat has been committed to the Latin American continent for many years. Today, 15 of our satellites serve the region, including our first Intelsat EpicNG satellite. Several more satellites will be launched in the next couple of years. Intelsat’s leadership in satellite innovation results in solutions that address the different needs of our partners, customers, and target segments. VSAT Latin America highlights current technology and market trends across the industry value chain and offers important opportunities for networking and idea exchange.