Print Page   |   Your Cart   |   Report Abuse   |   Sign In
Community Search
Featured Research


Industry Leaders


Industry Patrons


MARKETPLACE



Downlink
Blog Home All Blogs
News and opinion from WTA

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: bandwidth  compression  frequency  physics  spectrum 

What is a Satellite Services Business Really Worth?

Posted By Robert Bell, Friday, March 01, 2013

It is a bad time to sell satellite ground segment, aka a teleport.  But it is a great time to sell a successful satellite services business with a teleport at its core.  

That paradox is the conclusion of Best Practices in Teleport Valuation, a newly published report from the World Teleport Association.  

A teleport executive with several acquisitions said, "The only way you’re going to get any real value out of a business you are trying to sell is to look at it on an EBITDA basis (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization).  The only way you would ever sell a teleport just as a physical asset is if you had to, because there was no ongoing business.  And it would be a distress sale.”  

What makes a teleport valuable to a buyer, if not the physical assets?  It is the value of the customer contracts, less the risk of their being cancelled, plus the track record of growth – and an analyst’s opinion of the current value of that future cash.  But there is much more to the story.   

It also makes a difference to buyers who the customers are.  "Contracts with other service providers are not of much value to us,” said an executive of a company that is making acquisitions annually.  "They are likely to be competitors.  We are interested in end-customers, not intermediaries.  The exception is in the emerging economies, where we like to see contracts with local partners.  Let’s say we are looking at a teleport in Europe that services Africa through small-to-midsize resellers.  There is value in that.  In each country, we need local partners who can find business, license it, install it and maintain it.”  

Another serial acquirer put it this way: "When you plan to put assets together, they need to perform better together than they would apart.  One plus one has to equal three or four.  Otherwise, why are you doing it?  One approach is to chase savings but that really doesn’t apply well to our business.  Most facilities are pretty lean when it comes to their biggest expense, which is people.  The point of having multiple facilities is to attract business that you never could before.”  

The satellite services business also has surprises in store for anyone used to valuing more conventional telecom assets.  "What is different about buying a teleport from buying most communications businesses,” said a former teleport CEO, "is that it is also a real estate purchase.  And in real estate, the three most important things are ‘location, location, location.’  Even in our global market, the services of a teleport are dependent on where you perform them from.”   

What can the owners of a teleport-based business do to increase their return on investment?  "When entrepreneurs sell businesses,” said one broker, "they have spent their whole lives getting customers and keeping operations going.  Attending to the mundane details of documentation has never been a priority.  But it becomes a priority now.”  

Another broker summed it up: "The more you have your act together, the better your valuation is going to be.  At least have your financials ready in GAAP form (generally accepted accounting principles) and make sure you have all the due diligence materials to back them up: bank records, records of litigation, environmental records, licenses, customer and vendor contracts.  The more you have this stuff neatly packaged with a bow on it, the more people are likely to believe what you say.”  

A media executive valued a different kind of investment.  "One very valuable step that doesn’t cost much money is to put extra effort into building your image or reputation.  Show up at trade shows, join association boards, sit on panels and work to be perceived as a leader in the industry.  It is one thing to have a business that is well-run; it is another to have people perceive that your company has strong, competent management, which can make it much more attractive to buyers.”   

And what’s the biggest mistake an owner can make in putting the business up for sale?  "A lot of sellers have unrealistic expectations,” said a teleport executive.  "In our industry lately, we have seen some deals done at very high valuations in terms of EBITDA multiples – high single or even double digits.  That is for companies that are large, have good contracts and professional leadership.  Owners see that and think that their small company can be sold for the same high multiple.”  But demanding a high price can carry risks.  "The owner just wants to recoup his investment, said another executive.  "He asks for crazy numbers and sticks to them.  In the end, he gets the opposite of what he wants.  He doesn’t get his price, and a broker comes in to break up the facility and sell the pieces as used equipment at the worst possible price.”  

It is the rare satellite services business that is publicly held and reveals its inner workings.  Best Practices in Teleport Valuation is a unique glimpse behind the scenes of a private market that is setting value on satellite services companies every day. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

2012 Was the Year of Spectrum. What Will 2013 Hold?

Posted By Robert Bell, Monday, February 04, 2013

For better or worse – and mostly for better, I think – 2012 was the Year of Spectrum.   

We saw a series of amazing announcements about step-changes in the number of megabits we can run through a given amount of satellite spectrum.  In 2007, the research firm NSR coined a new term, "high-throughput satellite.”  Until 2012, high throughput was pretty much synonymous with the Ka band of frequencies, able to deliver more bits per hertz due to their shorter wavelengths and re-use of frequencies among spotbeams, from Wildblue and ViaSat-1 to Eutelsat’s KA-SAT, Hughes’ Jupiter, and Ka-band payloads on Avanti, Arabsat, Jabiru, SES, Inmarsat and O3B space-craft. 

But then Israel’s Novelsat and Belgium’s Newtec introduced modulation technologies that began a well-publicized race toward higher and higher speeds: 250, 310, 500 Mbps and beyond.  And in June, Intelsat said that its next generation of EPIC spacecraft would be high-throughput satellites employing the frequency re-use and architecture of the Ka-band birds in a mix of frequencies: hemi or regional beams in C and spotbeams in Ku and Ka.  No longer an outlier, the HTS design has now gone mainstream.    

In WTA’s Teleports in a Gigabit World report, we said that it is only a matter of time before one of these wizards announces the ability to put a gigabit per second through a transponder.  As ViaSat founder Mark Dankberg put it in that report, "What we are doing is to give you lots and lots of bandwidth to make your customer happy.  You are no longer trying to squeeze high performance out of a small amount of resource, and you are suddenly in a whole new world.”   But this brave new world also brings new challenges – and radio frequency interference is certainly one. The harder we push the spectrum to meet the world’s apparently limitless demand for bandwidth, the worse interference is likely to grow as an issue.   

At the end of last year, I was in Dubai for the annual meeting of the Satellite Interference Reduction Group and saw a starting presentation.  SES and Intelsat have recently upgraded their capabilities for capturing information on interference and its sources, and showed the meeting their first results.  They confirmed something I suspected ever since I did interviews for two of WTA’s What Customers Want reports, one on the media market and the other on enterprise. 

I learned that interference is a big issue for broadcasters, because they occupy full transponders carrying programming that earns them revenue.  In response to a question about interference, enterprise customers basically said "what interference?”  Their needs are met by fractional slices of bandwidth, and the impact of interference on them is not sufficient to get their attention.  So the early results announced by the satellite operators were startling but hardly a surprise: broadcast traffic, including SNG, generates only a tiny percentage of persistent interference.  By far the biggest source is VSAT carrying enterprise traffic.  Which means that, no matter how hard broadcasters work on reducing the interference they cause, they can’t fix what they mostly haven’t broken.  

And finally, in 2012, we began looking forward to 2015, when the World Radiocommunications Congress reconvenes and the mobile industry once again comes, like Oliver Twist, saying "Please, sir, may I have some more?”  The satellite industry did a good job of defending C-band from land-grabs at the last WRC, and will have to repeat the performance in 2015.  

The prospect of 2015 makes the following year-end news item a comfort.   

Two professors at the University of California, Riverside have developed a new method that doubles the efficiency of wireless networks.  Mobile traffic operates today in half-duplex mode: it sends on one channel and receives on another.  A full-duplex circuit sends and receives simultaneously on the same channel, doubling the efficiency.  Except that we don’t know how to do it in 3G and 4G.  Professors Yingbo Hua and Ping Liang have developed a solution called time-domain transmit beamforming, which prevents the simultaneous incoming and outgoing signals in a full-duplex circuit from interfering with each other.  It apparently does so in a manner consistent with existing mobile technologies.  Doctors, call your patent attorney.   

Don’t’ you know there’s a spectrum crunch?  The people want mobile voice and data, and we need your bandwidth now!  By 2015, maybe not so much. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Teleports in a Gigabit World

Posted By Robert Bell, Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Throughput, measured in bits per second, has long been the Achilles' Heel of satellite communications.  The global satellite network, with its unique location in the high ground of space, can do things that no other communications technology can do as efficiently and effectively.  But it has never been able to do very much of it.   

When TV was the only "broadband" application requiring significant throughput, it didn't matter.  But with the average smartphone today consuming more than a gigabit of data per month, we are clearly not in Kansas anymore when it comes to end-user demand.   

Since the 1990s, the industry has done its best to adapt.  Advances in compression delivered step-change improvements in capacity and allowed media companies and their service providers to squeeze more and more channels into a single transponder.   Each advance made service providers fear for the future – that demand would drop as capacity increased – but after a short time, customers always absorbed the extra capacity and wanted more.   

When Internet trunking became a market, it raised the bar by requiring advanced coding and error correction to reduce latency in two-way traffic.  And now Ka-band is making its way from specialized niche application to the mainstream through the efforts of Avanti, Eutelsat, ViaSat, Arabsat and Hughes.  In the process, it seems to have unleashed a different paradigm on the industry.  

When ViaSat bragged that its ViaSat-1 spacecraft would add more bandwidth in space than the entire GEO satellite fleet, it was more than a marketing statement.  It signaled a change in the rules of the game.  The "high-throughput satellite," a term coined by NSR, went from vision to reality in a remarkably short time.  And it has triggered an "arms race" among satellite technology companies to deliver higher and higher throughput in C and Ku bands as well. Intelsat's EPIC announcement was only the most recent, if most far-reaching, of a wave of innovation in coding and network architecture.    

Why is it happening now and what will it mean for the companies that deliver services via satellite?  From now through early September, WTA will be conducting interviews with executives from technology, teleport and satellite companies for a report titled Teleports in a Gigabit World.  We will ask whether the ability to market a lower-cost service in C, Ku or Ka-band will be a positive or negative for their businesses.  Are there opportunities to gain a competitive advantage over slow adopters or become gateways for integrated high-speed networks?  If so, what new investment demands will it create and what technologies should they bet on?  In the process, how can they stay true to a successful teleport's most important rule: invest ahead – but only a little ahead – of customer demand to avoid getting stuck with unusable technology.  

Find out on September 24, when Teleports in a Gigabit World will be published online.  Like all WTA reports, it will be free to members and available for sale to non-members.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Satellite Contracts, What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You

Posted By Robert Bell, Friday, July 06, 2012

Satellite capacity is a uniquely valuable asset.  It can do some things, like broadcasting one signal to millions of destinations, better and cheaper than any other technology.  But it is also a scarce asset, thanks to the laws of physics and the skilled yield management of the operators that fly spacecraft in Earth orbit.

In 2011, the members of World Teleport Association shared with us in confidence the amount of money they spend on satellite capacity.   The average teleport operator spends an amount equal to 47% of revenue – in effect, turning over half of its annual income to the provider of transmission capacity in the sky.  Spending on terrestrial capacity doesn't even come close.

That is why, on June 13, we published a report titled Best Practices in Satellite Capacity Contracts.  It focuses on the actual terms of capacity contracts that can create potential harm or advantage for the service provider, from ramp ups to termination clauses, portability to usage and resale rights.  It may not be a thrilling read to take on your summer holiday, but it offers valuable insights culled from interviews with teleport executives who know the contracting process inside and out. 

What are the biggest potential traps to avoid when you sign a contract for satellite capacity? They range from everybody's top-of-mind concerns to subtle nuances in wording.            

Lease Term
Anything in the contract that doesn’t line up with your customer contract represents a risk to your business.  "The conditions that cause us the most concern in satellite capacity contracts,” one teleport operator told us, "are firm, fixed end dates without respect to who the end user is and what their service is.  Sometimes our customer may only ask for one to two years, while the satellite operator is asking for 7 years.  We should be able to match the same terms as our customer requests.”  

Interference
Your transponder may not suffer interference from cross-pol or adjacent carrier interference today, but what about five years into the contract?  Will you have the right to move or end the service if interference becomes so bad that, in your judgment, you can no longer use your capacity?   

Resale Rights 
Some contracts place restrictions on the teleport operator's ability to resell capacity.  It is understandable that satellite operators want protection from competition from their own customers. But some restrictions can severely limit the service provider's options.  A teleport operator with long-term leases and major media customers said that, "We want the ability to resell and use the capacity for video, data, or whatever we want, with or without value-added services.  Reducing the risk as a wholesale buyer, by being able to resell, is my main request.”  

Liability and Indemnification 
Most contracts require the buyer to indemnify the operator against damage due to an act or omission of the buyer.  The buyer may also be required to indemnify the operator against claims or damages by third parties.  Some teleport operators find these uncapped liabilities to be their single largest concern.  "Normally the satellite operators impose liabilities on the contract, uncapped liabilities as a start,” said one executive.  "We don’t want to sign up to unlimited liabilities.  That is the most difficult issue to negotiate, and is very important as far as risk management is concerned.”  

Buyers may not always be able to get the terms they want.  That's a matter of negotiating leverage, which comes down to how much you are buying, in what market, for what purpose, and who you (or your customer) are.  Above all else, our experts stressed the need for clarity.   Buyers need to make sure their operations and their customer's expectations are aligned with what the satellite operator can actually deliver in both best and worst-case situations.  And they can only do that if the contract spells it out in detail.   

Best Practices in Satellite Capacity Contracts is available free to members of WTA and for purchase here on our site.  Read this post and other articles in Satellite Executive Briefing at Satellites & Markets.  

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

How seriously do we need to take the laws of physics?

Posted By Robert Bell, Thursday, May 17, 2012

In the Seventies, there were major fears that the world was running out of stuff.   Food, metals, energy resources, you name it.  A 1972 book called The Limits to Growth portrayed a future in which population growth, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion ended in tears unless we learned to curb our appetite for growth.   

In 2001, a Danish statistician and environmentalist named Bjørn Lomborg published The Skeptical Environmentalist.  He made a startlingly different case, based on numbers.  If we are running out of everything, he wrote, then why are the costs of almost everything going down?  The laws of supply and demand say that the scarcer a commodity, the higher a price it will fetch.  But in case after case he presented, the opposite had happened.   

Innovation explains the difference.  We have become much better at finding and extracting raw materials, and at making more efficient use of them.  The global supply of useful stuff keeps expanding because our ability to get at it continues to grow.  

Of course, there are limits, whether to the supply of oil and gas or to the Earth’s ability to absorb greenhouse gases.  There are always limits – but we don’t seem to be very good at forecasting them.   

Which brings me to the laws of physics.  Currently, the number one discussion on WTA’s LinkedIn Group is about bandwidth.  It started when we posted news of Newtec announcing a new speed record by helping Yahsat deliver 310 Mbps over a 36 MHz transponder.  Group members weighed in with questions and answers about the achievement, and a NovelSat executive described delivering 365 Mbps over a 72 Mhz transponder for SES, which helped the company win our Teleport Technology of the Year Award in March.         

This is important work.  Satellite technology can provide high bandwidth capacity to places that no other technology can reach as cost effectively.  It can deliver one-to-many better than anything else.  But the total bandwidth available remains bound by the laws of physics.  Every advance that lets us send more bits per hertz – from frequency re-use to adaptive coding – is of great significance.   

This discussion, however, raised an interesting question in my mind.  Practically speaking, just how seriously do we need to take those laws of physics?  We know there are limits.  Claude Shannon of Bell Labs defined the theoretical maximum information transfer rate of a communications channel, for a particular noise level, and it became known as the Shannon Limit.  His son was a childhood friend of mine and I remember Dr. Shannon as a quiet, courteous gentlemen quite absorbed in his own remarkable thinking process.  I am no more equipped to dispute his Limit now than I was at the age of ten. But I wonder.  In the manufacture of silicon chips, we read every few years that we are coming up against a theoretical limit which will prevent us from squeezing any more transistors or wiring onto that tiny square of high-quality sand.  And every few years, regular as clockwork, we find that the forecast date for reaching that theoretical limit has been pushed a few more years into the future.   

I suspect that, in the back rooms of the technology companies in our membership, there are wild-eyed visionaries conceiving the next impossible bandwidth breakthrough and making it work.  Which means that there are a lot more interesting discussions waiting to happen. 

Tags:  bandwidth  compression  frequency  physics  spectrum 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

"We Are Not Belgacom"

Posted By Robert Bell, Monday, August 01, 2011
Teleports are high-value assets. It takes at least a couple million bucks to build one, and the longer it operates, the more investment is typically poured into keeping it current with the state of the art.  

In every down cycle for the business, teleports are put on the block. There, they can prove to be volatile assets. An operating teleport with a customer base has a lot of value but these are seldom the ones put up for sale. How much is the facility itself worth?  It all depends on market conditions, on the specific needs of the buyer, and on the design, licensing and terrestrial connectivity of the teleport itself. One of the best deals in the industry's history – for the buyer, that is – was the acquisition by SES of the teleports that American Tower accumulated in its Verestar subsidiary before putting the business unit into bankruptcy.  In 2004, SES paid $18 million for 4 teleports and related businesses for which Verestar had spent many, many times that amount.  

All this I knew already when I spoke with Nitin Dhawan, CEO of Belgium Satellite Services, during the SATELLITE conference in Washington.  From him, I learned something new: that teleports have reputations that can outlive their ownership. The name Belgium Satellite Services (BSS) may make you think of chocolate and beer, but Nitin and his team are Indians and BSS is owned by an Indian company, ORG Informatics.  ORG bought 2 teleports near Brussels from Belgacom, the national carrier, with the aim of building out a diversified satellite services business serving broadcast, ISP and enterprise markets.   

After the purchase, however, BSS discovered that it had acquired more than it bargained for. In addition to the facility, equipment and terrestrial interconnects, the teleports also came with a reputation for terrible service. Under Belgacom, satellite ground services were apparently delivered in classic PTT style: minimum effort, maximum bureaucracy and little or no interest in solving the customer's problems. The reputation was bad enough that, when prospective customers learn what teleport will be delivering their service, it can put a chill on the developing deal.   

"We are not Belgacom," Nitin told me, "and the sooner everyone realizes it, the better off we will be."   

Fortunately, while memories can be long in this business, good performance trumps all, and there is always the opportunity to build a new reputation as a high-value asset in the European market. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (1)
 

Of Satellites and Bicycle Rickshaws

Posted By Robert Bell, Thursday, January 13, 2011
What is the single biggest operating expense for most teleport operators?  Teleports are capital-intensive businesses, but that cash outflow appears on a different part of the ledger.

Teleport operators write their biggest operating expense checks to the vendors who sell them satellite transmission capacity, which they use to deliver end-to-end solutions to customers.  That fact makes the ability to get the best deal of prime importance to every operator, and a matter of survival to some. 

WTA has just published the first-ever guide to getting that best deal.  How to Buy Satellite Capacity is based on interviews with more than a dozen executives for operators large and small in North America, Europe and Asia.  It describes the factors that determine what teleport operators pay for capacity, how to position requirements, negotiate and – perhaps most important of all – manage the risks. 

The relationship between teleport operators and satellite operators is complex.  Satellite operators are vendors to teleport operators, and view them as an important channel to market.  Sometimes, satellite operators function as strategic partners that bring uplinking business to teleport operators.  But in other cases, satellite operates compete directly with teleport operators for managed services business.  As one of our interviewees put it, "Everybody is a partner and customer and competitor at the same time.”

How to Buy Satellite Capacity offers the experience of "old hands” at playing this complex game.  We have published it to spread essential knowledge among our teleport operator members on the best ways to manage their businesses.  We will be doing a great deal more of that through our Four Nines Project, which promotes best practices in teleport operators, technology and management for the good of teleport operators and their customers.

This industry is full of great stories, and How to Buy Satellite Capacity has its share.  My own favorite: the travails of an operator who was delivering satellite-based services into an Asian nation when a coup toppled the elected government.  Overnight, the military government outlawed satellite operations.  Why?  The army had installed a lot of fiber capacity and their marketing plan involved arresting competing telecom executives and forcing customers to use their fiber.  To help his company survive the damage, an intrepid executive for the teleport operator went into the country to collect from customers for services rendered before the coup.  During a public transit strike, he hired bodyguards and a bicycle rickshaw, collected tens of thousands of dollars in cash and caught an evening flight out of the country.

Now that’s the spirit that built the teleport industry, and will keep it competitive for years to come!

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Stepping up to the Ka-Band Challenge

Posted By Robert Bell, Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, December 14, 2010
In September, WTA published a white paper titled Ka-Band and the Teleport.  In it, we described one of the few opportunities that the new satellite band is likely to open for teleport operators – to become a gateway in the national or international networks of the Ka-band satellite operators.  

At the end of November, Ka-band operator O3b Networks announced that it had completed funding its business plan to put a network of MEO satellites into orbit to deliver vast amounts of IP bandwidth, which will be marketed through telephone companies in developing nations where the "other 3 billion" live.  But even before then – and before the publication of our report – one of our members had seized the initiative with 03b. 

On August 4, Europe Media Port (EMP) announced that it had been selected by 03b to be the first provider of gateway services for the new network through its Nemea Teleport in Greece.  03b will install a 7.3m antenna able to support the provision of up to 12 Gbps.  Dimitrios Papaharalabos, who heads sales and marketing at EMP, attributed the contract win to the company's high-quality facilities and robust fiber connectivity. 

Another member, Globecomm Systems in the US, won a contract in October to integrate the earth station network for Hughes' Jupiter Ka-band satellite, which will be launched into GEO orbit in 2012.  Though Globecomm is an international teleport operator, this job went to its systems integration division, because Hughes made the choice to own and operate its own ground infrastructure for the network. 

Expect more Ka-band ground segment announcements in the new year.  Despite the postponement of the Eutelsat Ka-Sat launch due to the Dec 5 Proton M launch failure, billions of dollars of Ka-band assets are heading skyward in the next two years.    The threats to existing lines of business are many and the opportunities still uncertain.  But there is no alternative to getting ready for the wave to break. 

Ka-Band and the Teleport is available free to WTA members and may be purchased by non-members for $995. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Tapping the Power of the Network

Posted By Robert Bell, Thursday, November 11, 2010
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that teleport operators have been in the news a lot lately.  GlobeCast's AP partnership at the ASEAN summit, the Harris acquisition of Schlumberger GCS, which it plans to combine with CapRock Communications, and Arqiva Broadcast & Media's 100-cinema digital distribution deal with Odeon UCI are just three recent examples.   

Teleports are a critical link in the space-terrestrial network.  But it was not so many years ago that all the news in satellite or terrestrial communications was about the major carriers or the pioneering technology providers.  Starting earlier this decade, WTA made it a priority to raise the profile of the teleport sector, because greater recognition translates directly into greater opportunity for our members.   That is one of the motives behind reports like Ka-Band and the Teleport and market research like Sizing the Teleport Market.  It is why we announce each year’s Top Operator rankings of the world’s largest and fastest-growing teleport operators.  And it is the reason we honor teleport operators, executives and technology companies at each year’s Teleport Awards for Excellence on the opening day of SATELLITE.  

So, I believe that WTA has something to do with the higher profile accorded our industry.  But when you are on a voyage, it also helps to have the wind at your back.  The teleport sector itself has become a bigger and more active player in the market.  In the past, the biggest operators of teleports were slow-moving incumbent telcos for whom satellite services were an afterthought.  Today, they are well-capitalized publicly-traded companies like Globecomm, RRsat or Telecommunications Systems Inc.  They are also subsidiaries of a diverse collection of companies committed to growth.  Think of GlobeCast, Harris, and Arqiva, of course, but also Singapore Technologies, GE and Emirates Telecom.   These companies and their teleport units are making things happen around the world.   

And as they make things happen, the value of the WTA network is rising.  Teleport operators of every size have a growing opportunity to "punch above their weight” by networking through WTA, contributing to research and programs, participating in events and joining our committees.  Small companies that think of themselves as filling a narrow niche can scale up their ambitions by tying into this global network of strategic partners and innovative technologists.  Big companies are increasingly using WTA to speak with one voice for a teleport sector that faces greater competition every day.  You can do it on your own using our online tools or by asking our staff for help.  We can guide you to the right colleagues, the right resources and the right connections to accomplish your goals – however large your operation, wherever you may be in the world. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

How will Ka-Band Impact the Business of Teleport Operators? More Than You May Think.

Posted By Robert Bell, Thursday, September 16, 2010
Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Ask most teleport operators about the new generation of Ka-band satellites that began lifting into orbit in 2005, and they will tell you it has little to do with them.  The satellites are intended for broadband Internet access by consumers and small office/home office (SOHO) users, and serving them has never been part of the teleport business model.  

But dig a little deeper into the topic, and teleport operators can find much to concern them.  The savviest among them are keeping a sharp eye on the evolution of this new capability – because its impact on the satellite service provider may range from mild to severe.  

WTA has just published a white paper, Ka-Band and the Teleport, which explores the possible development paths of Ka-band services and how they may impact what teleport operators do every day.  It is based on interviews with executives of the new Ka-band operators, teleport operators and technology companies.  

More than $5 billion of Ka-band investment will be in orbit by 2014, offering vastly more bandwidth than the entire GEO arc does today.  The white paper argues that it has the potential to create a revolution in satellite services, containing severe threats as well as potential opportunities for the existing players in the market.  Depending on how the business plans of the Ka-band operators work out, the impact could be fairly narrow.  By narrow, I mean the extinguishing of much of the IP trunking and VSAT business over a matter of only a few years.  (Doesn’t sound all that mild, does it?)   

But Ka-band could eventually wind up becoming the default satellite technology, just as the broadband pipe into your home is rapidly becoming the default channel for data, voice and video today.  Then, how the Ka-band business develops will matter a lot to the rest of the market.  

All forecasts of future threats and opportunities need to be taken with several grains of salt.  But teleport operators need to be aware and to be prepared for the future.  I encourage all WTA members to log in and download a copy of Ka-Band and the Teleport for free in the Research section of this site

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Sign In


Forgot your password?

Haven't registered yet?

Latest News
Calendar

10/27/2014 » 10/30/2014
CASBAA Convention 2014

10/28/2014 » 10/29/2014
VSAT Mobility 2014

11/4/2014 » 11/6/2014
Global MilSatCom 2014

11/5/2014 » 11/7/2014
OilComm 2014

11/11/2014 » 11/14/2014
Africa Com | Africa Cast 2014

Sign up for our Newsletter

Networks

Join our circle on
Google+

Join our group on

Follow us on

Follow us on

Follow us on