Speaker Spotlight – Tech start-up Swissto12’s Emile de Rijk

It’s less than a month until VSAT Global – four days of debate and discussion around the biggest issues shaping the satellite industry. With the emergence of new technologies set to be high on the agenda, we spoke with Emile de Rijk, CEO and co-founder of tech start-up Swissto12 to hear how 3D-printing is helping the company contribute towards global satellite internet access.

How does Swissto12 use 3D-printing in their manufacturing process?

Swissto12 specialises in the manufacturing of Radio-Frequency antenna components. Rather than machining mechanical components out of metallic materials like aluminium, we 3D-print them from plastic materials. We then cover with a thin layer of copper to make them functional.

3D-printing allows antenna components to be produced at a lower cost and weight. Lead time is reduced too, because traditionally pieces needed to be manufactured separately whereas we’re able to build them in one single piece.

  1. How does your technology address the changing needs of the satellite industry?

The satellite industry aims to deliver the best service possible to the maximum number of people at the lowest cost. The emergence of high throughput satellites suddenly makes connecting ships, aircrafts and people in remote locations possible – but the cost of ground antennas connecting to these satellites is high.

3D-printing brings down the barriers, allowing new services to reach even more people. New mega constellation projects like OneWeb and LeoSat that are working to connect people across the earth rely on these high throughput satellites – in this context our technology can reduce weight, price and ease of production for both satellite antennas and user terminal components.

  1. What do you think makes tech start-ups successful in the satellite industry?

A collaborative approach is important. We work with partners, whether they’re satellite manufacturers, user terminal vendors or operators to integrate their antenna concepts into our technology. We adapt to suit their needs, and as a result we produce a different product for each partner.

  1. There’s a surge of interest for VSAT coming from the maritime industry. How does Swissto12’s product address this?

Maritime applications are one of the four areas we’re currently developing products for, alongside satellites, ground terminal components and aeronautic antennas. Maritime is an interesting space as the prospective volumes are high, with the focus on making them as cheaply as possible while maintaining high throughput connectivity.

  1. What is the key priority for the satellite industry at the moment?

This is a relatively risk-averse industry, given the volumes of money at stake per launch. The emergence of constellation projects has placed a pressure on geostationary satellite platforms to be competitive. These projects need a lot of satellites to operate, meaning the cost per satellite needs to come down to be successful.

  1. What do you expect from speaking at VSAT Global in London in September?

The industry needs to be working together at the moment. A key issue I’m keen to discuss is how we get new technologies through qualification, especially for applications in Space. With an increasing pressure on the space industry to lower costs, we need to collaborate to change the approach to quality and requirements. It’s vital that it’s safe enough to put satellites into orbits, but the industry should also offer sufficient versatility to move towards more innovative core technologies.

Find out more about Swissto12, and  join Emile de Rijk in the ‘Innovation Accelorator: Game-Changing Tech at VSAT Global in London, 13 – 16 September 2016.



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Further Evolution In Satellite Technology

Guest post by Darren Ludington, Senior Director of Sales, iDirect, & Alvaro Sanchez, Sales & Marketing Director, Integrasys

Rural areas across the globe are lacking connectivity, especially in Latin America, Asia and Africa. 

Now, worldwide governments and commercial entities are trying to connect the unconnected. For example, Silicon Valley players are focusing their efforts to provide affordable Internet to the most remote areas of the world at a lower price point and doing their best to bridge the digital divide.

Thanks to the advances in satellite technology in the space and ground segments, VSAT technology has been extremely well positioned for connecting the unconnected in a reliable, fast and secure way.

High Throughput Satellites (HTS) allow end users to experience greater bandwidth capacity at a lower cost. Among HTS advances are the frequency reuse through multiple spot beams architecture—by minimizing the footprint, the bandwidth is increased and the price drops by reusing the same spectrum multiple times within the same spacecraft.

Space technology innovation has pushed ground technology to quickly adapt to this new way of thinking; therefore, equipment manufacturers, such as iDirect, are innovating to lower the cost of network deployment and to also support massive network expansion.

Integrasys has developed the cutting edge technology on self-installation antennas and commissioning of the remotes. Together, iDirect and Integrasys bring forward an unprecedented combination for simplicity, service availability and performance in approaching the solutions for the digital divide.

Today, VSAT is the preferred solution for many service providers as this technology is much easier to deploy (previously a main concern), is more cost-effective and provides a greater service.

Recently, VT iDirect was awarded by Entel Chile for the provisioning of a Universal Satellite Hub and several Evolution® remotes for the rural VSAT market, specifically for 2G, 3G and 4G backhaul deployments. This will allow Entel Chile to deploy their networks with the latest iDirect technology.

iDirect leverages Satmotion Pocket from Integrasys as the iDirect remote commissioning solution for intelligent and quick deployment of VSATs. Satmotion Pocket is used by Entel Chile for auto-commissioning their VSATs without contacting the NOC—that adds the important value of having the maximum quality of the service and, at the same time, being able to complete deployments in as short a time frame as possible.

Satmotion Pocket enables the installer to perform the commissioning process by using the intuitive iOS or an Android App. This brings extreme efficiency to those service providers who aim to benefit their customers of the most innovative technology.

While the collaboration between these two technology providers has been successful, customers are demanding even more and asking: Why not use Satmotion Pocket from the hub to virtually monitor the site?

Typically, site monitoring requires sending an installer to the site, which can take a few days. Today, Integrasys has introduced Alusat, the evolution of Satmotion Pocket. Alusat allows users to check the RF health of the overall network at the hub without the need of the tedious processes necessary to coordinate all actions with satellite operators or the local support at the site.

Service providers can ensure Quality of Service (QoS) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) compliance automatically using an intuitive tool for remote maintenance. This is a huge step forward in the ground technology innovation that is being driven by HTS.

This new remote maintenance technology aims to further simplify the VSAT solution by providing greater value to service providers looking to save operational expenses without compromising service availability and network performance.

Alvaro Sanchez is joining a panel at VSAT Global 2016 in London on September 13 – 16, to discuss antenna innovations that will enable new services. 

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Industry experts predict the future of the satellite industry

With rapid development of new technologies and a colossal increase in mobile devices and internet usage, there’s a new pressure on connectivity and a question mark over the future role of satellite.

We ran a survey to take stock of the current industry. Everyone from C-level Satellite operators to end-users from maritime, oil and gas and the aviation industry responded. The results are in, here are your top 7 predictions:

  1. Over the next 5 years, the satellite industry will see a huge amount of change

Pressure from new technologies LEO and HTS will change the landscape of the industry a great deal. While many agree that innovation will enable entry into new markets, it’s yet to be seen whether the major players will remain the same, or if new providers will disrupt.

  1. LEO innovation will have the biggest impact on the industry

40% said LEO technology will impact the industry the most, enabling the satellite industry to manage the ‘significant data increases’. 30% said antenna innovations will drive the most change, with flat panel antennas suggested to be revolutionary.

  1. Cruise will be the biggest growth area for satellite connectivity, closely followed by unconnected populations

With the cost of smart devices lowering, 21 billion connected devices expected to be on the planet by 2020 and the falling cost of satellite capacity thanks to HTS and other innovations, VSAT connectivity will be a key player in connecting the unconnected. Whilst growth in satellite is expected across maritime, aviation, military and oil and gas, you said VSAT will make the most gains in cruise and unconnected populations.

  1. Whilst LEO has the potential to be revolutionary, implementation may be challenging

Half of those asked agreed that LEO will not only become a reality, but also has the potential to be change the face of the industry. Although its deployment wouldn’t come without challenges, ‘exceptional costs’ and ‘challenging development’ being listed among these.

  1. HTS will be important to the satellite ecosystem over the next few years

High-throughput technologies (HTS) will enhance data rate capabilities. Expected to generate $4.9 billion in revenue by 2024, it’s not surprising HTS is being seen as vital for VSAT survival. HTS will enable more applications, dramatically changing the price point and increasing demand for satellite technology.

  1. Satellite will be a crucial technology in the 5G world

How satellite will integrate into the 5G network is yet to be seen, but satellite is expected to add significant value to the 5G ecosystem – perhaps in areas of limited infrastructure, or where current mobile networks are saturated.

  1. Integration of satellite with other technologies is crucial

It’s been predicted the most successful network of the future will be a ‘system of systems’. It’s widely agreed that a ‘seamless integration’ is important, with it being ‘impractical to connect end devices to satellite’.

You can view the full results of the survey here. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to have your say in future surveys.

Check out the full line-up for VSAT Global now

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Preparing for the next decade of satellite communications

At VSAT Latin America, Susan Bull of Comsys discussed the trends, challenges and upcoming opportunities for the satellite communication industry. Here’s a copy of her presentation if you missed it:

Susan will also be speaking at VSAT Global in London in September, identifying the key forces driving change in the industry. Check out the agenda for her session,  and register now. 

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Speaker Interview: Marcio Brasil, Managing Sales Director for Intelsat Brazil

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.Marcio Brasil

  1. 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.


  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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ViaSat inks in-flight wifi deal with American Airlines

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Satellite provider ViaSat has signed an exclusivity agreement to provide in-flight wifi connectivity to a new fleet of American Airlines (AA) planes.

american airlinesHarnessing the bandwidth capabilities of the Ka band, which covers the 26.5-40 GHz frequencies, ViaSat says AA customers using in-flight wifi services on new Boeing 737 MAX planes will be able to stream video, upload and share images – a luxury ill afforded with most existing in-flight wifi offerings today. Recent research conducted by rival satellite player Inmarsat saw 92% of 9,000 passengers say they wanted connectivity on board, and 54% said they’d rather have wifi on board than any other service.

Earlier this year the satellite provider said it will be launching the ViaSat-3 platform; which, by using three satellites on the Ka band, will be able to deliver 100Mbps superfast broadband across the world, even in the most rural areas. ViaSat-3 is not scheduled to launch until 2019, but until that point AA will be utilising its existing ViaSat-1 and 2 flavours. ViaSat says AA will be using the ViaSat-3 system as soon as it becomes available.

“Our satellite bandwidth enables an ‘at home’ internet experience that can serve everyone on the plane – and empowers innovative business models for airlines and their passengers,” said Mark Danberg, ViaSat’s CEO. “We are delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to work with American Airlines and help fulfil their goal of delivering the best in-flight Wi-Fi experience throughout their fleet. We believe we are now approaching the end of an era where passengers have paid very high prices for very slow connections. Our agreement highlights a significant initial step for American to deliver an onboard Wi-Fi experience every passenger will want to use.”

Danberg’s closing comment could be seen as subtle dig at competing in-flight wifi provider Gogo, which was the previous holder of the tender and previously held a firm grip on supplying connectivity to AA’s fleets.

The first ViaSat-connected AA planes are scheduled to take off in September 2017.

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Is LEO the next Big Thing For Data Networks?

Q&A – Ronald van der Breggen, Chief Commercial Officer, LeoSat Enterprises

In a world which is increasingly inter-connected, cloud-based and data-driven, existing satellite systems do not and cannot meet these connectivity requirements.  LeoSat aims to deliver the only viable satellite solution for enterprise data – responding to customer needs which are not being met by today’s service offerings.    The LeoSat network will provide Ronald van der Breggenthe highest performance offered by any existing or planned system, including fiber.  The satellite constellation will be interconnected through laser links creating an optical backbone in space which is about 1.5 times faster that terrestrial fiber backbones, thus creating a paradigm shift in the use of satellites for data connectivity – rather than a gap filler or last resort where no terrestrial alternative is available.

Tell us about the new satellite constellation venture of LeoSat and how will it facilitate high-speed, low-latency and highly secure data communications to business users around the world?

  • As the world is getting increasingly connected and bandwidth requirements keep rising, traditional satellite infrastructure is starting to show weaknesses in its ability to offer services that keep up with that demand. At the same time the traditional benefits of satellites in the area of rapid deployment, ubiquity and connecting mobile sites remain strong.
  • LeoSat will be leveraging these latter advantages to address todays data-requirements by combining them with high-capacity, speed and security features, unique to LeoSat. By putting our highly powered satellites in a low orbit and by also linking the satellites together using optical lasers, we will be creating a backbone in space, secured from all terrestrial infrastructure and able to send data from anywhere to anywhere on the globe with up to 5Gbps of capacity per link and do so with latencies that are better than fiber.

What are the main advantages of Leo Sat’s technology for data communication?

  • There are basically 5 areas where we believe to have advantages over existing service offering:
    1. Speed/Latency, with latency being only 2/3 of what it is in fiber, we have a leg up and will actually outperform fiber once the cable length exceeds ~5000km.
    2. Ubiquity: our 78 satellites divided over 6 polar planes cover every inch of earth. Combine that with the rapid deployment using phased array antennas and you have a very powerful approach to setting up high capacity infrastructure anywhere.
  • Symmetry: Satellite data communications have always been characterized by a-symmetrical bandwidth. While in the early days of terrestrial infrastructure we have seen this as well with e.g. ADSL, they have moved on to symmetric links – and so now do we. Data communication is all about symmetry and now we are better able to support the SDH and SONET standards.
  1. Security: LeoSat will be taking data from anywhere to anywhere on the globe in a physically closed network. Alternative infrastructure will always require the use of 3rd party cable systems and/or satellite access gateways, with LeoSat there now is the unique opportunity to build infrastructure that allows for introducing security on the most basic and crucial level: physical infrastructure.
  2. Throughput: Our total capacity goes beyond 1,5Tbps, this an unmatched number in our industry. To be able to offer that with the highest levels of redundancy – on any point on earth there are always multiple satellites in view – makes for a very compelling offer when compared to other GEO(HTS) offerings.
  • While all aspect are relevant to all data communication infrastructure, we find is that subject to the industry we are talking to, our prospect typically focus on one particular aspect. Government and Corporate like the security aspects, Finance and military place great value on our latency characteristics, whereas operators in hight north or deep south like our polar abilities and that we better cover their regions with high-capacity, something they never had before.

    Why do you think there is a renewed interest in LEO satellites for communications and how do you think these will augment data communications in Latin America?

  • Generally speaking there are merits in putting satellite close to earth. The proximity allows for more bits per unit of power so that makes it a better trade off. On the back of that, latency will decrease as well which contributes to the reliability and overall quality of data communication, particularly where application to application communication is concerned. This is unique to LEO and that will explain some of the renewed interest.
  • However, to extend these benefits on a global scale, LeoSat has connected the satellites using intersatellite links. It is here where LeoSat is unique and sets itself apart from the rest of the LEO crowd by combining high-throughput with intersatellite links.
  • For Latin America, as well as for other developing regions, satellite has always provided a level of flexibility and rapid deployment that is so important for this region. To now offer the same capabilities with fiber like characteristics in terms of cost and features will allow a new series of options to connect the rest of world to Latin America. Not just designated areas, but the whole of the continent, literally every inch.

What market segments will LeoSat address? Are you strictly B2B or will you also offer Internet connectivity for consumers?

  • We will indeed be strictly B2B, offering LeoSat to consumers will be done by our corporate customers. Markets that we will be addressing include Oil and Gas, Maritime, Government, Media, Wireless and Mobile Backhaul as well as Corporate Networking. As mentioned before, LeoSat is perceived a fit for many type of applications and for various reasons. As we’re engaging with our customers we ourselves are learning new things on a daily basis as to why our solution is ideal for their specific needs. My job is really very rewarding as a result of that.

You came on board earlier this year as Chief Commercial Officer at LeoSat- what attracted you to the company and what plans do you have for the company?

  • Having worked in both fiber and satellite I know firsthand the limitations of data communication via satellite. So when I got a call if I was interested in working for a start up satellite company, I was initially quite reserved. Upon receiving the technical specifications and the business plans for the company, I changed my opinion 180°. In LeoSat I see an opportunity to finally help put in place the right architecture for data-communication on satellites; an architecture that is so intuitive, so logical that one cannot help but ask: ‘Why was this not been done earlier?’.
  • Going forward I think we are set out to do great things. Once we have the constellation up and running I envision LeoSat offering its services to a multitude of customers active in all sorts of vertical and geographic markets. . Through them we’ll be able to connect more people and businesses and offer them better connectivity, we’ll be able to contribute to global trade and the development of regions and lastly as a global infrastructure provider we’d be proud to help welfare organizations with offering infrastructure in support of disaster relief and recovery.

LeoSat will be presenting at the VSAT Latin America and Global Shows, catch Ronald in Sao Paulo on the 22nd of June

09:50 Making LEO A Reality: The LeoSat Story
– LeoSat: The story so far…
– What new opportunities will LEO satellites deliver?
– The LEO business model
Ronald van der Breggen, Chief Commercial Officer at LeoSat

You can register to attend VSAT Latin America here
Or, if you’re an end-user you can apply for a free end user pass

About LeoSat Enterprises

LeoSat Enterprises was established in 2013 to leverage the latest developments in satellite communications technologies to develop and launch a new low-earth-orbit satellite constellation which will provide the first commercially available, business grade, extremely high-speed and secure data service worldwide.

With up to 108 low-earth-orbit communications satellites in the constellation LeoSat is the first company to have all of the High Throughput Satellites (HTS) in the constellation connected together in networked HTS satellites, connected to each other and to select established sectors on the planet.

Based in Washington DC, LeoSat is currently working with Thales Alenia Space for the low-earth-orbit constellation of between 78 and 108 Ka-band communications satellites.   Once operational, the constellation will provide high-speed, low-latency and highly secure communications and bandwidth for business operations in the telecom backhaul, Oil & Gas exploration, Maritime and international business markets. Launch of the constellation is expected in 2018 or 2019.  www.leosat.com

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Integrating Satellite and Fixed Broadband at VSAT Latin America – A speaker interview

In the future, many experts predict Satellite communications will be integrated with other communication systems, such as fixed line broadband and wireless, to form a more efficient “System of Systems” – often known as 5G. Ahead of the VSAT Latin America event we spoke to speaker at the show Ademar Kin I. Iwamoto who is the Business & Technical Manager for Arycom, a company whose business is focused on integrating satellite communication with fixed broadband to provide a better service for consumers.Ademar Kin I. Iwamoto

“There are, of course, specific applications that can only be accomplished with satellite technology” he said “such as accessing parts of the world that lack telecom infrastructure or broadcasting large amounts of data to a big number of individual users. However, satellite technology is increasingly becoming a very efficient complement to other means of terrestrial telecommunications that are may be intermittent. The technology that Arycom is introducing to the Brazilian market together with Forsway, for example, offers a solution that combines satellite and conventional telecom technologies for optimized internet provision. The new Ka-Band technology will also revolutionize data transmission and internet access by offering true broadband at low cost, complementing traditional means of telecommunications.

“We further see the tendency of satellite and terrestrial cellular technologies merge as the 5G platform is developed, making any interconnection or application on the network completely compatible.

“Satellite technology is a great complement to other means of telecommunications and telecom companies can leverage on satellite to expand its services into much wider markets. The result is a broad and expanded coverage with a better and more cost-efficient service to the end-user.

“Arycom offers complete and state-of-the-art solutions for satellite communications in the Americas and is constantly prospecting partnerships with companies of cutting-edge technologies to develop and bring unique and innovative solutions to our customers. Together with our partners, we develop end-to-end solutions for our customers, integrating our technologies and value adds with theirs for maximum customer experience. The partnership with Forsway is an example of an innovative solution offering a complete package for broad coverage and high-speed internet access through optimization of existing terrestrial networks (DTH, mobile or cable), complementing them and adding new value to the end-users.

“The Arycom platform enables complete satellite communications solutions to the Brazilian market and the Americas, including internet access and mobile data over satellite, satellite telemetry, and voice services on land, at sea and in the air. We work with high-end operators such as Inmarsat and Iridium and will soon launch services in the Ka band. We have also deployed special integrated solutions for broadcast streaming and recently entered into the agribusiness sector with telemetry and business intelligence solutions.”

Arycom will discuss their service offering in more detail at the VSAT Latin America event.

“We believe that VSAT Latin America will be a great opportunity to promote the solution developed together with Forsway and to receive feedback from the market. Events like these enables us to get in touch with high level and tech executives from the sector, exchange ideas and create new business”.

To learn more about Arycom and the other speakers joining VSAT Latin America this year, visit our webite to download the full agenda

You can register to attend VSAT Latin America here
Or, if you’re an end-user you can apply for a free end user pass

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Speaker Interview: Connecting the Unconnected through Evolving Ground Segment Technology

Elara Comunicaciones has been investing in upgrading thier ground infrastructure in Mexico. VSAT Voice caught up with Director Comercial at Elara and speaker at VSAT Latin America Maurice Soreque Salazar, to find out the rationale behind thier teleport upgrade and what this will mean for thier customers:

How is Elara innovating its service offering in Mexico?SONY DSC

Elara is an enterprise which provides telecommunication services to different kind of vertical markets. We try to adapt our services not only to customer’s needs, but also to the different vertical markets’ environment. The exchange rate, low price per barrel in the Oil & Gas industry, and the reduction in budget for government projects in Mexico have made Elara to focus on being a more innovative and creative company. We continue providing tailor-made solutions, but we also integrate more and new services to our offer. Customer Service is our main focus, what we do is to offer an integrated solution to our customer, not only satellite connectivity. We know that operation is conformed not only by connectivity, but also by a set of processes developed to ensure proper and aligned work to deliver our solution.

We have identified the need to increase bandwidth (BW) to meet the real needs of many of our customers, due to this we are developing products which may solve this necessity in a creative way, providing more benefits for the operation of our customers. High Throughput Satellites (HTS) will be an interesting tool to start exploring with our customers, and define the scope that we can have together as partners.

How is the ground infrastructure evolving? What new service do these innovations enable?

Ground infrastructure is more powerful today. New satellites combined with new ground technologies give us the ability to design more competitive solutions since we can take more advantage on the space segment.

One of our key differentiators in the offer to our customers is the use of various satellites to provide service. Even when the use of the satellite is transparent for the final user, internally we do an analysis to make the best choice for each project; in this way we can give the best cost-benefit proposal. This advantage, combined with BW optimizers and the experience of our engineers, enables Elara to serve markets thinking in a more innovative and different way.

Even though we are investing in ground infrastructure and we know there is better technology, it is very important to mention that still there is a big component on the “know how” to manage and address each vertical market.

In Elara we seek to be conservative about the optimizations new technologies can provide, this because customer service and functional solutions are very important in our final delivery to the client.

As a teleport operator in Mexico – what are the key trends you’re observing?

Today in Mexico there are more teleports than a couple of years ago. Since 2 years ago prices started decreasing, the situation in the country has changed with the Telecommunications Reform, plus customers are more informed and their requirements are clearer toward the real needs for their businesses. The natural trends we are observing in the industry are lower prices and higher BWs.

Teleports need to be effective in the way they design new solutions, they need to be able to understand the projects and let the customer understand the best way to solve it; we must comprehend and develop specific products for their main appliances. Finally Teleports must figure up how we are going to participate in the HTS solutions, and the way we can add value to final users.

In your opinion what are the key innovations in the satellite industry in general?

In Latin-America we have been talking about HTS for several years, but it is this year that we finally have HTS with coverage in LatAm, and in the next years we are going to have a wider supply. Nevertheless, the next step is to apply this new technology where it makes more sense. We think there are many possibilities to take advantage of these technologies, but it is going to take a while until we find the best way to have an excellent cost-effective solution.

Final users are confused about HTS and we need to make it clearer for them about what is possible and what is not, in order to fulfil their requirements. In the medium term MEO and LEO satellites and services will have the same learning curve.

Innovation in mobility is another opportunity for this industry. Today mobile solutions are expensive and only a few projects have the budget to use the actual technologies. Develop alternatives at a lower costs and with higher capacity in order to meet the needs of this sector will be a priority in the short term.

Why do you think the VSAT Latin America is such an important show?

Emergent markets represent the best alternative of growth in the satellite industry. Latin-America has great potential for the satellite technology.

The connectivity needs in our countries are enormous, our orography makes it difficult for terrestrial infrastructure and our governments are interested in supporting the reduction of the digital divide.

As a whole industry we need to converge in the best way to take advantage of the technologies. The VSAT Latin America summit is a great opportunity to exchange points of view and to understand the way of thinking of each link within the supply chain.

Maurice will be joining VSAT Latin America on the 21st of September to discuss “Is an Oversupply Scenario Coming to Latin America?”

Panel Discussion: Is an Oversupply Scenario Coming to Latin America?
– Where is the new capacity coming from?
– How much extra capacity will HTS and other market innovations deliver?
– Does HTS break the limits of FSS, MSS and BSS definitions?
– What will the impact of current and new national satellite programmes?
– What does this potential oversupply mean for pricing?

If you’d like to join Maurice at the event you can register to attend here
Or, if you’re an end-user you can apply for a free end user pass



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Speaker Interview: Mauro Wajnberg the General Manager of Telesat Brasil

How will HTS change the satellite ecosystem in Latin America? This question will be a key focus of this year’s VSAT Latin America conference. The industry is going through a period of change and there is much uncertainty about how HTS technology will impact satellite operators and service providers alike.Mauro Wajnberg

We caught up with one of our expert speakers Mauro Wajnberg, the General Manager of Telesat Brasil to discuss how Telesat’s HTS offering will deliver new capabilities to their VSAT customers…

Telesat is launching VANTAGE satellites (Telstar 12V and Telstar 19V) – what functionalities will these satellites offer?

Telstar 12 VANTAGE was launched November 24, 2015 to 15 degrees West. Telstar 19 VANTAGE is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2018 to 63 degrees West, a prime orbital slot for coverage of the Americas.

Leading satellite providers are choosing Telesat VANTAGE satellites to serve today’s bandwidth intensive applications. With Telesat VANTAGE satellites, customers in enterprise, mobility and government markets can maximize throughput and spectral efficiency while optimizing network performance by combining broad regional beams with powerful HTS spot beams.

How do you think HTS Satellite will change the industry?

The core focus of HTS is to enable the industry’s telecom and data networking customers – mainly those in enterprise, government, broadband and mobility markets – to make greater use of satellite technology given the ability of HTS to deliver higher data speeds and lower costs. HTS is really about expanding the market for satellite communications by delivering significant performance gains in data networking. If HTS succeeds as expected, it will lead to far greater growth in satellite usage compared to opportunities presented by today’s traditional satellites.

How will this new HTS capacity be used?

HTS capacity will be used for a wide portfolio of applications, serving both corporate and consumer markets. Enterprise services, such as networks for corporate and government customers, along with cellular backhaul and trunking for telcos, are already a main source of HTS demand and Telesat’s new T19 VANTAGE HTS capacity will be a great solution for these needs. Another high growth HTS market is mobility services. Telesat recently sold to Panasonic a large portion of the HTS Ku-band capacity on Telstar 12 VANTAGE to expand Panasonic’s mobile broadband offerings for aero customers and to serve growing maritime markets in the Mediterranean and European waterways as well as oil and gas operators in the North Sea.

Consumer broadband is where most analysts expect the majority of HTS capacity will be used the next five years. For example, Telesat recently announced selling the HTS Ka-band payload on Telstar 19 VANTAGE to Hughes Network Systems mainly to serve consumer and other broadband customers across South America.

What new markets do you think the satellite industry should start to work in?

The satellite industry today covers a broad range of markets including communications, earth observation, navigation, science and meteorology, R&D and government. It is hard to see a significant new market opportunity that the industry is not focusing on. There is   excitement today about the Internet of Things (IoT). The thinking is that even if the satellite industry captures 1% of the six billion devices expected to be connected the next five years, that’s still 60 million satellite access points. The size of the IoT opportunity for satellite is not clear, especially in terms of space segment demand. The connected car is another potential driver of the satellite industry demand but much of this is still undefined. I do think the satellite communications industry is heading in the right direction by expanding capacity through HTS – both GEO and other orbits such as LEO.

How do you think the satellite industry needs to innovate further?

The industry has to continue to focus on reducing the cost per bit. Significant steps are being made with the adoption of new architectures such as HTS and LEO. In the case of Telesat, GEO satellites like Telstar VANTAGE that offer high throughput capabilities will remain core to Telesat’s mission but we believe it is worthwhile to look beyond GEO to expand markets and make satellite more competitive. This is the reasoning behind Telesat’s recent announcement to procure two prototype satellites supporting the development of a low earth orbit/LEO system. Telesat’s LEO system will make use of a unique and innovative architecture with extremely high capacity that provides 100% global coverage and connectivity, is well suited to mobile platforms, is highly distributed, highly secure and offers extremely low latency.

Mauro will be speaking on the 21st of June at the VSAT Latin America Conference in Sao Paulo. He will join the “How will HTS change the satellite ecosystem?” panel discussion 

11:30 Panel Discussion: How will HTS change the satellite ecosystem?
Analysing the new HTS opportunities for satellite providers and operators
– Standardisation challenges associated with HTS
– Lack of flexibility associated with HTS capacity distribution
– How can VSAT operators adopt their business models to accommodate HTS?
– The impact of HTS on traditional VSAT networks
– Spectrum challenges

He recognised the importance of joining the VSAT Latin America show:

“VSAT LATAM will bring top suppliers and purchasers of the satcom industry to Sao Paulo in a concentrated, two-day event that provides unmatched opportunities for learning and networking. It is an ideal forum for those looking to understand new technology trends like HTS or low earth orbit constellations, and to gain an understanding of how today’s satellite services are reshaping communications and driving economic growth across Latin America”

If you’d like to join Mauro at the event you can register to attend here
Or, if you’re an end-user you can apply for a free end user pass

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