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The Teleport Sector
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Teleports are the ground-based side of the global satellite network.  They provide terrestrial networks with access to satellite transponders in orbit 22,500 miles (36,200 km) above the Equator.          

Accessing satellites may be what distinguishes teleports from other com­munications service providers, but it is only part of their re­p­ertoire.  Teleports are the channel by which satellite can be integrated into complex networks involving fiber, microwave, wireless and mo­bile technologies in order to expand their reach beyond the edge of the network, broad­cast one-to-many, or feed bandwidth-hungry applica­tions.  Teleport operators have become experts at bridging "in­compatible" systems and solv­ing "impossible" problems in content delivery or end-to-end networking.  They know how to simplify the complexities of space-based networks in order to make satellite links "just another port on the router."  They are among the world's leading experts in adapting Internet Protocol technology for high-latency circuits, "push" applications and other uses never envisioned by the developers of IP. The expertise they have devel­oped increasingly enables teleport operators to win business that involves no satellite at all, whether it is providing hosted mobile switching or managing video distribution on terrestrial networks. 

The commercial teleport industry had global revenues of US$19 billion in 2010, with an average compound annual growth rate of 7% since 2004.  That $19 billion in transmission service revenues equaled 27% of total satellite transmission revenues worldwide.  

The core business of teleports has traditionally been broadcast-quality video transmission for TV program contribution (incoming news, events and other "feeds" from the field) and distribution (to network affiliates, cable headends and direct to homes).  From this base, however, teleports have evolved into the providers of end-to-end solutions to demanding B2B customers in media and entertainment, government and military, retailing, resource extraction, financial services, publishing and a wide range of other businesses.  Today, teleports also deliver:

  • Enterprise and government multimedia networks carrying voice, Inter­net, data and video to remote offices, ships at sea, oil wells, mines, farms and military forces on the move
  • Ethnic and foreign television channels to niche audiences of immi­grants scattered across the country
  • Live and recorded classroom education through video and data commu­nications to schools and businesses
  • Private-label TV to "captive" audiences in airports, train stations and offices, substituting local promotion for national advertising
  • News stories recorded or transmitted live from the field via satellite, fiber or broadband
  • Internet trunking and access via satellite
  • International backhaul of mobile and wireline voice and data
  • Deployment and management of mobile networks in which satellite takes the place of terrestrial links between base stations
  • Advertising and feature films to cinemas for digital projection
  • Emergency communications networks deployed to disaster areas for voice and Internet access
  • Video files to malls and stores for display as digital signage
For more information on the teleport sector, see the Sizing the Teleport Market report, available free to WTA members and for sale to non-members.

Photo courtesy GlobeCast

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