By Koen Willems, Strategic Marketing Director
If you are working in the satellite communications industry or closely related to topic you might have noticed the increase in discussions on the subject of a new DVB standard. At this point in time the DVB organization has already approved the commercial requirements for the new standard and is at the stage of writing down the technical requirements. The new standard is expected by September 2013.
Taken the Lead
Newtec has taken the lead and teamed up with other DVB members in order to define and develop the update of the DVB-S2 standard. Newtec’s contribution to the new standard (here referred to as S2 Extensions – but name still to be decided on by DVB) has resulted in a number of candidate technologies such as smaller roll-off’s, advanced filter technologies, increased granularity in MODCODs, higher modulation, wideband etc. To learn more about these technologies and S2 Extensions, the white paper: ‘S2 Extensions Demystified’ is ready for download.
Extensive Industry Survey
In order to gauge the temperature of the sector Newtec carried out an extensive industry survey over a 2 months time frame at the end of 2012. Over 700 respondents from 400 companies answered 6 questions on the launch of S2 Extensions in the satellite market. In this blog post 2 of these questions will be highlighted.
Key Findings: 1) How Important are Standards?
The first question polled the community on the importance of having standards inside the satellite communications industry.
The main finding that could be derived out of the first question shows that 98% of the respondents consider having standards being important or very important. Still, there are different motivations behind that statement. The largest group of respondents (40%) has their application entirely running on DVB standards. Mainly broadcasters support the thought that standards should remain in order to grow their business. Also for Integrators, System Houses, Satellite Operators and Service Providers this was the top answer.
The second motivation to have standards represents 35% of the answers. Open standards allow for a reduction in the cost of equipment and development through an economy of scale. Moreover it helps saving satellite bandwidth. As government and defense applications around the world are heavily affected by budget cuts, CAPEX and OPEX considerations are pushed forward as the main reason why having standards in this market.
The other two motivations focus on interoperability (15%) and the ability to support different vendors in a network (8%). Open standards allow for interoperability mainly between different government, NGOs and commercial organizations increasing the effectiveness of operations in the field. Open Standards also avoid vendor lock-in. Having multiple vendors in the network lowers the overall risk of high pricing and sustain the availability of technology and spare parts.
Key Findings: 2) Switch-Over Timeframe to New Standard
In the second question of the survey the satellite community gives a timing indication when the industry will switch towards the new standard.
One out of two respondents or 51% replied that they would switch to the new DVB standard within one year after the launch. Looking at the result in more detail mainly integrators, system houses and satellite operators (26%) would adapt to S2 Extensions as soon as the DVB standard becomes available in September 2013. Service providers and Broadcasters represent the main segments that would wait 6 months to one year before switching their operations.
As DVB-S2 is currently the widely accepted standard in the government and defense market for SCPC links, it will take a standardization process through governmental bodies (such as DISA) before the majority of the satellite links can be migrated towards S2 Extensions. Hence the majority share of government and defense representatives in the answer that they would rather wait 1 or 2 years after the launch of the new standard before switching.
The final group of survey takers that would adapt to S2 Extensions only as soon as the standard becomes widely accepted within their market (33%) are evenly spread between the different satellite segments and applications (with a small majority for broadcasters). In a lot of cases these companies and organizations already have large operations running where changing the network would have a large impact on the installed base, and on the available budgets. Also these companies want to reduce the risk by implementing the new standard only as soon as it has matured through different installations in the field.
Summary: Big Interest
In summary for these two questions we already see a big interest for the new standard, S2 Extensions, with almost all companies and organizations confirming the need to have standards for the satellite industry. The pressure on the market to have a successor to DVB-S2 is proven by the fact that already half of the satellite community would consider to switch to the new standard within 1 year after the launch.
Coming Soon: More Key Findings
In the next blog posts we will have a detailed view on the results for following questions:
- How Much Efficiency Improvement would it take to switch to the new DVB standard?
- What will your company do with the extra bandwidth obtained by S2-Extensions Efficiency?
- How long will the spectral efficiency race still continue
- What are the biggest concerns when the new standard will be launched?