The question if whether you should implement Carrier ID or not seems to have become irrelevant. The recent WBU-ISOG resolution, issued in July 2013, sets the requirement to have Carrier ID implemented in your satellite infrastructure.
It seems as if this whole Carrier-ID "thing" is now on to a major breakthrough, and will have an impact on our whole industry, from satellite operators, to service providers, teleports, broadcasters and basically everyone who is putting a satellite carrier on a satellite. On the other hand, the requirements for transmission of Carrier ID does not apply to MSS systems, TDMA or burst carriers. (Although GVF, IRG and DVB are working towards some form of Carrier-ID for VSAT systems.)
But what is this resolution exactly about? What are these requirements which are coming your way?
These are 3 key milestone dates you need to know about…
Key Date 1 : Today! Include Carrier ID functionality in tenders and quotes
Yep, already today. Well, to be correct, from July 2013, that's when this WBU-ISOG resolution was published.
Whenever you need new SCPC and MCPC video and data equipment (for fixed and mobile systems), you should include Carrier ID functionality in your RFP's (Request for Proposal) or RFQ's (Request for Quote) towards equipment manufacturers. Obviously you'll only need to do that for the parts of the transmission chain where Carrier ID makes sense. In practice that's the modulators and the codecs with integrated modulator functionality.
What should you do?
- Make sure to inform everyone within your purchase department(s), logistical department(s), pre-sales department, and commercial department.
- Adapt your standard requirements description for buying modulators or encoders, to include Carrier ID.
- Make a list of vendors which have implemented carrier ID in their products. It doesn't make sense anymore to buy any of this equipment without Carrier ID embedded, as you'll probably need to activate it very soon.
Key Date 2 : January 1, 2015: New model modulators and Codecs
This date is maybe a bit more complicated to understand.
Basically it gives a date to manufacturers and vendors of modulators and codecs after which all their new model modulators and codecs with integrated modulators should contain the ETSI TS 103 129 implementation of Carrier ID. So after this date you shouldn't be able to buy new models of satellite equipment without Carrier ID integrated.
To make it complicated, unfortunately, the resolution adds "for video uplinking". This would mean that if you buy equipment for data uplinking, manufacturers can still sell new models without Carrier ID. This is an idea we at Newtec do not support, and we'll make sure our data equipment has this ETSI standard on board. As a matter of fact, all of our new data equipment already has it on board today.
Internally here at Newtec we call this ETSI standard the "DVB-CID" version of Carrier ID, because this is the standard as published by the DVB organization in the beginning of 2013. Before the DVB-CID publication, another carrier identifier technology was already present since 2009, which consisted of changing the NIT table in the original video stream. The Carrier ID NIT version exclusively targeted the satcom (MPEG Transport Stream) broadcast and video community. This ETSI flavor of Carrier ID is basically what is more known as the RF version of Carrier ID, and is valid for video and data transmissions. If you want to know more about this DVB Carrier ID, check out this blog post : 4 Essential Facts You Need to Know about DVB Carrier ID.
Another important element is that from this "key date" onwards all satellite operators start the transition to using Carrier ID for all SNG, DSNG and any other new uplink transmission services. What this means is that WBU-ISOG is recommending all satellite operators around the world actually start using the "NIT" version OR the "ETSI" version of Carrier ID. So here you still have the option to choose one of both flavors.
What should you do?
- If you are in the business of video uplinking, make sure that your operations are ready by this date to start using Carrier ID. That means that your NEW satellite equipment, used for video uplinking, should be using Carrier ID.
- Audit your complete infrastructure to spot equipment that is eligible for replacement. Make a technical and investment plan to start replacing this equipment with new equipment. Verify what impact this replacement will have on the rest of your platforms. And create a RFQ or RFI that contains at least the DVB-CID standard as part of the requirement of your new equipment.
- Only buy new equipment that has the DVB-CID on board: you still have the freedom to use both flavors of Carrier ID, although it doesn't make sense anymore at this to buy equipment that doesn't support the RF variant of Carrier ID. It doesn't make sense, because only a few years later the industry will be phasing-out the NIT variant of Carrier ID.
- I would also recommend to have DVB-CID in your data links. Although strictly you wouldn't have to do that, again, I do recommend this to make your equipment future proof.
Key Date 3 : January 1, 2018: All links shall contain Carrier-ID
Yes, this is it. At this date, all uplinkers must ensure that Carrier ID is included in all their respective SCPC and MCPC video and data transmissions.
No ambiguity anymore, very clear. All of them must contain Carrier-ID. You still have the choice to use the NIT version or the DVB-CID version. But all of your uplinks have to use this.
What should you do?
- Make a plan to complete your transition to full DVB-CID on all equipment: If you have done all the work for the second date, you should already have an idea of which equipment still needs to be replaced. Perform the same steps as in 2015: make an audit of legacy equipment, pinpoint equipment that needs replacing and get insight in the impact this change has on the rest of your infrastructure.
- If you still have equipment that uses the NIT version of Carrier ID, you might want to include that equipment in this replacement cycle. You are not obliged, but most probably by that time the equipment will be at the end of its lifetime, and will need replacing anyhow.
Feel daunted by all of this information? As a way of "conveniently" remembering all of these dates, we made a little timetable. I don't expect you to put this on your bedside table, but it just might come in handy. Print it and put it on a wall somewhere, so you have your eyes set on these important dates.
That's it. If you have any questions, pop them in the comment fields below and we'll be glad to answer them.
Tom De Baere
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