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Scheduled Reports

Look for the following reports and projects from WTA in the coming months.




New Antennas, New Opportunities

A new generation of flat panel antennas is entering commercial service, and manufacturers of more traditional antennas are responding with smaller, lighter and more nimble alternatives.  As with any new technology, they offer new advantages and disadvantages, and early adopters are exploring the trade-offs among form factor, power consumption and performance.  We interview antenna manufacturers, satellite operators and teleport operators to learn what the teleport industry can expect from the flattening of the antenna world in terms of costs, operational complexity, applications and access to new markets. 

September 2020


High-Performance: How Customer QOS Demands Vary by Vertical Market

Quality of service can be objectively measured but, like beauty, is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. The broadcast of a high-profile live sporting event has QOS requirements very different from cellular backhaul or the provision of internet services in developing nations. In How Customer QOS Demands Vary by Vertical Market, we ask teleport executives about the SLAs and other QOS requirements of vertical markets they serve and how these are reflected in the facilities, technology and procedures they put in place for customers.



Teleports and the Emerging 5G Satellite Standard

Through the 3rd Generation Partnership Project 3GPP), the satellite industry is making a major push to make emerging 5G mobile standards satellite-friendly. The goal is to ensure that waveforms specified in the 5G standards make it simple for satellite to participate in fixed and mobile broadband, autonomous vehicle support and massive IoT connectivity, where 5G is expected to dominate. As 5G proliferates, the complex technologies required for satellite backhaul of 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE are expected to begin a slow fade into obsolescence, while new opportunities in mobility will begin to open. In Teleports and the Emerging 5G Satellite Standard, WTA asks technology and satellite executives to forecast the likely future of this technology innovation and investigate the likely technology and business requirements for teleport operators to access the new opportunities.

November 2020


High-Performance: Fundamentals of NOC Design and Management

The design of a network operations center – its physical layout, instrumentation and cabling, and key technologies – has a major impact on its effectiveness. Initial design, however, can only take an operation so far. Effective management practices at the NOC, and reaching out to the systems it monitors and controls, are what maintain quality of service over the long term. In Fundamentals of NOC Design and Management, WTA asks teleport and technology executives to describe the key principles of facility design, technology and procedures, illustrated by examples of those principles delivering cost-effective quality of service in operation.



The Virtual Teleport? The Growth of Ground-Segment-as-a-Service

The smallsat revolution and major advances in network management technology have had an unintended consequence: the birth of teleport operating companies that own little infrastructure of their own. Through multiple partnerships, fiber links and advanced network management platforms, they aggregate demand from customers and leverage the capital investments of teleport and satellite operators to meet it. In practice, they can be both competitors for customer relationships and strategic partners bringing new revenue to facilities-based operators. For The Virtual Teleport, WTA talks with ground-segment-as-a-service providers, facilities-based teleport operators and satellite operators about this new business model, its benefits and downsides, and how it may change the rules of the game for traditional teleport operators.



High-Performance: Delivering End-to-End Quality of Service

Teleport operators are delivering network services today that involve a complex mix of technologies and transmission systems provided by multiple vendors and partners. A single service may transit across fiber, satellite, cellular and local Wi-Fi or LORA systems and connect with devices ranging from IoT sensors to video cameras and voice and data terminals. To meet customer demands, they increasingly must take end-to-end responsibility for quality of service – a requirement that would have been all but impossible not long ago. In Delivering End-to-End Quality of Service, WTA asks technology and teleport executives about the technologies making end-to-end QOS achievable, the maturity of products, pitfalls in implementation, and the competitive advantages gained.



Recent Reports

Available free to WTA members, and for purchase by non-members, from the WTA Store.


The Cybersecurity Buzzwords Every Manager Needs to Know

Like every technology field, cybersecurity is filled with buzzwords. They have vital meaning to practitioners – but they can also be a barrier to understanding for managers who have to make decisions about cybersecurity based on their knowledge of finance, sales or satellite communications.

Drawing on the expertise of cybersecurity professionals and educators, WTA offers this guide to terms you are most likely to encounter when grappling with cyberthreats and the practices and technologies that protect against them.

 August 25, 2020

High-Performance: Insights that Improve Quality of Service

In today’s highly competitive markets, subject to falling capacity prices, customers are becoming more demanding rather than less. They expect to pay less but enjoy high availability and flawless execution. For this High-Performance report, we turn to WTA auditors, teleport and satellite operators for insights on the proper management of the most important contributors to high QOS and the often-overlooked issues that can take even well-managed teleports by surprise.

 June 25, 2020

Finding Growth in Media Services

Since HBO, Turner and PBS put their program distribution on satellite in the 1970s, the media and entertainment business has been a major customer for satellite capacity for both distribution and contribution. Until now. On-demand streaming of video and audio content got it start in 2005. Today, it is growing at an explosive rate.

Viewing hours in the US for streaming content grew 72% from Q1 2018 to Q1 2019, according to Conviva. That growth rate itself is 50% faster than in the prior year. On a global basis, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) reported that subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime surpassed cable TV for the first time in 2018.
Cable and satellite still bring in the lion’s share of subscription revenue, but cord-cutting is whittling it down year by year.

This change has had massive impact on media and entertainment companies, and on the transmission vendors that serve them. Ground-based service providers have consolidated, video fill rates for satellites have plummeted and pricing has followed. Yet there are still growth opportunities in the market for companies that have been forward-looking and agile enough to stay one step ahead of market demand. In Finding Growth in Media Markets, WTA invites their executives, and the vendors they work with, to describe the challenges they face, the opportunities they have seized, and how their companies have changed to meet the needs of the next generation of media and entertainment.

May 7, 2020

New Paths to Teleport Profitability

Times of drastic change can be tough times to maintain profitability.  With established markets and processes, skillful managers can find plenty of opportunity to develop new efficiencies and trim costs.  When services, technologies and markets are in flux, it becomes much harder to estimate costs, prioritize investment and make smart personnel decisions.  Yet the same changes also bring new opportunities to replace high-cost technologies with lower-cost ones and re-engineer operations in major ways.  We talk with technologists and operators to uncover the service, technology and market changes that present the most challenge to profitability as well as those that open new routes to higher margins. 

April 9, 2020


Budgeting for Cybersecurity

An executive with a major cybersecurity firm recently conducted an experiment via Twitter. She sent a tweet to industry decision-makers for her service and asked them the following question: “Cybersecurity budgets come in many sizes. How does your company determine yours?” Among the answers that surprised her were: “Pick a number and subtract that number from itself. That’s your budget.”

Even if you’re a bit hazy on cybersecurity, you probably agree that this is not smartest ways to plan for the costs of protection. Particularly when the average cost of a data breach to small businesses ranges from US$120,000 to $1.24 million, and the average across all businesses is $3.92 million, according to IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach report.

Good planning and budgeting are needed. According to Gartner Group, worldwide IT spending is growing at 3.2% per year, while information security spending is growing at more than twice that rate or 9.4% CAGR. That’s not surprising given the financial, operational and reputational damage a successful hack can inflict and the seemingly explosive growth in people making a living at it. In this report, WTA provides benchmarks on IT and cybersecurity spending and a structured approach to establishing and justifying a budget.

March 25, 2020 

High Performance: Safety & Security

Safety and security are two sides of the same coin in the management of the complex technology and operations of a teleport. Good safety processes protect the health and welfare of employees operating amid the potential dangers of high voltage, microwaves and combustibles. In addition to being the right thing to do, it reduces disruption and avoidable expenses for the business.

Good security procedures protect the business from malicious actors, whether outside or inside the business, while offering another layer of protection for the people working for the company. Employees do not always appreciate the additional tasks that good security adds to their working day, but the potential for major negative impact on the business makes it worthwhile.

February 4, 2020

LEO/MEO Constellations and the Teleport

The next eighteen months are critical ones for the first attempt since Iridium to loft a large-scale constellation of low-earth-orbit satellites that promise to transform global communications. OneWeb is leader of the pack of LEO constellations seeking to deliver low-priced, low-latency connectivity everywhere and its success could have major market impacts for GEO satellite operators and teleport operators. Already, LEO operators are in serious deal-making mode with operators of ground segment to provide the gateways they need to manage and provide access to their constellations.

At a moment when most of that impact is still to come, we seek answers from LEO constellations in development, GEO operators, teleport operators and the examples of Iridium, Globalstar and Thuraya integration into the business model of teleport operators. In LEO/MEO Constellations and the Teleport, WTA investigates the history and current status of the sector through interviews with the senior executives of large and small teleport operators, technology experts and operators of LEO, MEO and GEO fleets.

January 7, 2020

How Cybercriminals Break into Your Teleport

Every discussion of cybersecurity descends, sooner or later, into a fog of words that only people who are cybersecurity experts understand. They can talk all day about cross-site scripting, SQL injection and buffer overflow vulnerabilities – and decision-makers will be none the wiser.

What’s missing is a shared understanding of – not what the bad guys are doing – but how they go about their work. When you understand how hackers work, decisions about what to defend and how best to defend it get easier. As any cybersecurity expert will tell you, the biggest risks you face come from people who have painstakingly honed the skills needed to break into your digital domain and find your valuables. How do they go about targeting your teleport and breaking through its defenses? Cybersecurity will always be complex, but it is an activity conducted by human beings, and to know them is to know the real enemy

 December 5, 2019

Teleports and Big Data

The big data revolution is big news on the ground, but how will it impact the business of connecting the highway and the skyway?  NSR estimates that the biggest markets for big data via satellite will be in transportation, government/military and oil & gas – sectors where teleport operators are deeply embedded.  Devices and connectivity are key parts of the mix, but so are applications: formatted data streams and data analytics are the end-products that customers actually need.  Success in big data requires teleport operators to evolve beyond connectivity to management of complex networks, sophisticated information processing and a deep understanding of customer requirements.  We explore the opportunities and business challenges with teleport operators, satellite operators and big data companies already serving vital niches in the sector. 

 October 30, 2019

The Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats to Teleports

For teleport operators, from global companies to those running just one facility, cyber threats are all around. Executives could once take comfort in the idea that providing satellite services was too small and obscure a niche to attract the attention of hackers, but those days are gone. Cyber criminals set automated systems to scan the internet for undefended points of entry to networks. When they find one, they get to work. In our last report, Making Cybersecurity Pay Off, we shared the story of an IT manager who set up a new web server and began receiving the first probes from Chinese hackers only 30 minutes later.

Big companies can afford robust information security teams, but midsize-to-small companies have to try covering the same ground with far fewer resources. WTA’s cybersecurity series is dedicated to them and offers guidance on making smart choices about what to defend and how.

 September 26, 2019

High Performance: Service Management

Change is a constant at teleports. It is also the enemy of quality of service, because every change to the complex chain of hardware, software and transmission capacity creates a risk of failure.

As every teleport operation has become more dependent on software to manage equipment and deliver services, the risks have only mounted. Satellite and terrestrial capacity, once relatively fixed for most applications, must increasingly be managed dynamically to deliver the most cost-effective and reliable service. Quality of service itself must be more tightly managed because the competitive pressure on operators is rising. And when problems do occur, how they are handled can make the difference between a big loss to the business and congratulations from a customer on a challenge well met.

WTA produced this report based on its complete data set on Provisional and Full Certification of teleports completed from 2016 through May 2019. Provisional Certification is based on answers to a questionnaire covering facilities, technologies and the operating procedures used to manage them and deliver service.
September 12, 2019

Inside the Top Operators (2018)

The annual Top Operator rankings are developed by surveying teleport operators in many nations on their revenues and revenue growth and supplementing the results with financial data from publicly-traded firms. The Top Operators respondents not only provided financial data for the past two complete fiscal years but also shared information on trends in markets, pricing and services during the 2018 calendar year. Inside the Top Operators reports on growth, pricing changes, the state of competition and how leading teleport operators are responding to the trends.

September 5, 2019


Satellite Operator Benchmarks 2019

Ninth in the series of benchmarks studies of satellite operator commercial and operational performance.

July 25, 2019




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