Why all that fuss on interference mitigation and Carrier ID in satellite communications?
Interference barely ever happens and only a fraction of satcom operations are affected, right?
The statement is entirely correct I would say… but the problem is… when interference strikes your satcom operations, it strikes hard. Prevention is better than cure. The company reputation might be at stake and the economic damage after a case of interference might be considerable. Remember the continuous jamming of Al-Jazeera broadcasting services about one year ago.
Hence the implementation Carrier ID to fight interference.
Fact 1: Carrier ID Helps to Fight Interference
Not all cases of interference are intentional. In fact the majority of occurrences are caused by operational mistakes such as wrong configuration of the modulator, wrong polarization, pointing to the wrong satellite etc.
By implementing some basic counter measures carrier interference can be reduced significantly:
- By training operational staff on correct deployment of satcom equipment and on best practices
- By automated provisioning of satellite terminals preventing terminals to go online without proper configuration
- By developing satellite pointing technology such as Newtec’s Sat3Play Point&Play®
- By deploying steerable antenna’s and filters on satellite.
Whenever faced with an instance of interference embedding a Carrier Identifier (CID) into the SCPC carrier will help to pinpoint the source of interference quickly to resolve the issue.
But how does Carrier ID work? you might want to check out one of our previous blog posts which explain how Carrier ID works.
Fact 2: DVB-Carrier ID for SCPC Links Is a Standard and as such Interoperable
On February 28th 2013 the DVB steering board approved the DVB-Carrier ID (DVB-CID) standard. The official starting point for manufacturers’ and satellite operators’ initiatives around the world to implement Carrier ID on modulation equipment as well as rolling out a central database. The specification has been submitted to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for formal standardization and has been ratified very recently.
Before the DVB-CID publication another carrier identifier technology was already present since 2009 (a WBU-ISOG initiative). To identify the carrier the technology changed the NIT table in the original stream. The Carrier ID NIT version exclusively targeted the satcom (MPEG Transport Stream) broadcast and video community.
DVB-Carrier ID standard has now improved the technology:
- by making the identifier agnostic of the traffic transmitted over the SCPC carrier (both Transport Stream Video and IP Data)
- by opening up carrier ID to all SCPC applications from broadcast, trunking, backhaul to government networks over satellite
- by maintaining the integrity of the original content (no changes to NIT table)
- by providing higher robustness even when the main carrier is jammed.
The standardization of the Carrier ID technology by DVB directly results in full interoperability as the standard is supported by different equipment manufacturers and satellite operators. Tracing the source of interference goes much easier and the matter of interference is resolved in no time.
Fact 3: DVB-Carrier ID Becomes Mandatory by End of 2014
Kick-started by IRG (Interference Reduction Group) and major industry players such as Newtec, DVB-Carrier ID is becoming reality for everyone involved in satellite communications. Satellite operators around the world (Eutelsat, SES, Intelsat) have now joined forces to combat satellite interference. Major events such as the Olympics and World Cup Soccer tournaments are drivers for the new standard as the stakes during such events are high. No one wants to take the risk of losing the video feed during an important final due to interference as the financial impact and the dents in the company’s reputation might be quite severe.
By the time of the World Soccer Tournament in Brazil in the summer of 2014 the DVB-CID standard will become mandatory for all satellite communications.
Fact 4: DVB-Carrier ID Is already Available on Satcom Equipment Today
The main satcom equipment manufacturers that were at the basis of the DVB-CID standard have undertaken steps to have the carrier identifier on board their modulation equipment. In the case of Newtec both the Carrier ID NIT implementation and the DVB-CID standard are available today on the new modulator and modem platform.
- Newtec M6100 Broadcast Satellite Modulator (Carrier ID NIT + DVB-CID)
- Newtec MDM6100 Broadcast Satellite Modem (Carrier ID NIT + DVB-CID)
- Newtec MDM6000 Satellite Modem (DVB-CID)
- Newtec HUB6000 Satellite Hub (DVB-CID)
Having the Carrier ID standard available on Newtec equipment today allows broadcasters, service providers, satellite operators, teleports and other organizations involved in satellite communications to start preparing before the date the standard becomes mandatory before the summer of 2014.
I only have one question for you: how are you preparing for Carrier-ID ? I would love to know. Just insert your answer in the comment fields below.