The awards were presented at an invitational ceremony and luncheon on Wednesday, March 3, at SATELLITE 2004 in Washington DC.
Christian Steffen, CEO of Stellar DBS, accepts the Teleport Operator of the Year Award.
Teleport Operator of the Year
Stellar Data Broadcast Services GmbH (Huerth-Cologne, Germany)
The Stellar Teleport, located in a high-technology park in the suburbs of Cologne, Germany, was merely an idea at the beginning of 2001. However, through the entrepreneurial initiative of its founder and current CEO, Christian Steffen, the idea came to life later that year. In a nation where the incumbent telecom carrier has for long dominated the business, the Stellar Teleport was built from scratch, without external investment, and funded by revenues and customers. In its early days it delivered programming from a Russian TV network to clients in the United States. Today, the teleport features a Hotbird platform for leading Russian and Asian content. In addition to its connection to a London playout center via fiber, Stellar delivers 40 Mbps of programming to the United States via redundant co-location spots in Manhattan, including the award-winning 111 Eighth Avenue. The company developed its own subscriber management system, which allows several customers to share and bill for their programming on one platform using a variety of conditional access systems. With its unique focus on the emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and its partnership arrangement in the Home@US Corp. initiative, Stellar has positioned its teleport for growth in 2004.
WTA Chairman Andrew Stimson (l) congratulates Skyport International Chairman Clarence Marshall and CEO Roger Klotz on the Teleport Developer of the Year Award.
Teleport Developer of the Year
SkyPort Teleport, SkyPort International
(Houston, Texas, USA)
SkyPort is a licensed commercial international carrier of advanced, secure global satellite and terrestrial communication services. Situated adjacent to NASA's Johnson Space Center, on a 63 acre parcel of land, the teleport was designed and built to deliver 99.99% reliability that has been independently validated through rigorous testing. The teleport's location minimizes backhaul charges for customers while providing physical and network security to ensure the privacy of all communications. SkyPort's Network Operations Center is manned on a 7x24 basis providing seamless integration of satellite and terrestrial networks. SkyPort opened with a VoIP call over satellite in August 2003. From conception, the teleport was designed to satisfy the most demanding customers, and was built in an astonishing 150 days, according to its CEO, Roger Klotz. The teleport currently serves a diverse range of commercial customers in several industries, including oil and gas, finance and international carriers. According to Klotz, the teleport anticipates providing services to meet the growing requirements of government agencies for enhanced security. SkyPort has taken advantage of its unique location and security structure to reach out to organizations that seek maximum protection for their communications.
WTA Chairman Andrew Stimson (l) congratulates Brent Gale, Vice President of Broadcast and Satellite Operations at Echostar, on the Teleport Executive of the Year Award.
|Teleport Executive of the Year|
Brent J. Gale, Vice President of Satellite and Broadcast Operations, EchoStar(USA)
Adding value and supporting a growth business are what enabled WTA to select Brent Gale as the 2004 Teleport Executive of the Year. An unusual choice, in that the two teleports under Mr. Gale's direction - in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Gilbert, Arizona - are not commercial teleports in the traditional sense, the scope of his accomplishments and work at EchoStar represent a standard of excellence that fit WTA's definition. Gale's accomplishments include development of international markets, management of the two centers and the contribution of a significant volume of programming that was distributed in 2003. At every step, the company has given a boost to the satellite industry's reputation and added value to the customer's satisfaction and experience, according to WTA. Mr. Gale has been a member of the EchoStar team for over 20 years. During his career, he has held a number of wide-ranging and key management positions, including Director of Broadcast Engineering, Director of Quality and Director of Product Marketing. In addition, Mr. Gale has co-authored five books, including Ku-band Theory, Installation and Repair and Digital Satellite TV.
John Aiello, Senior Director of Sales for Motorola Broadband Communications, accepts the Teleport Technology of the Year Award for Digicipher II.
|Teleport Technology of the Year|
Motorola DigiCipher® II (USA)
Motorola, Inc.'s DigiCipher II encoding system, and the statistical multiplexing (variable rate compression) within it, have been a key component in the growth of programming services. The technology enables the creation of a multi-channel digital transport multiplex, where bandwidth is allocated to individual streams based on scene complexity and detail. The DigiCipher II system allows more content to be transmitted within a fixed transponder bandwidth when compared to fixed-rate compression. The net result is that operators have been allowed to make more efficient use of available bandwidth. According to WTA, this has helped increase the demand for transmission and related services, such as program origination from teleports. Video distribution remains the single largest use of commercial teleports and satellites, largely due to MPEG and statistical multiplexing. DigiCipher is recognized for its ability to provide the teleport operator with a tool for enhancing efficiency and better serving video customers. The technology is used by several World Teleport Association member teleports worldwide, as well as by satellite programmers, including HBO, MTV Networks and others.
The 2004 Teleport Awards were sponsored by Inmedia Communications (now known as Arqiva). , a wholly owned division of Kingston Communications, the UK's fifth largest communications company. Inmedia is backed by a fully funded, successful business with 3 million customers. Inmedia operates the highest capacity network in the UK and the country's largest DSL network. Its headquarters provides a state-of-the-art master control room, mobile and fixed facilities, and three fully equipped TV studios including the world's largest Orad Cyberset virtual reality studio. Its new Centre K service provides cutting-edge technology for data storage and manipulation capabilities for broadcasters, enterprises, and ISPs.