Year in Review 2017

Friday 15 December 2017
Year in Review 2017


In 2017, Newtec has continued to innovate and develop new technologies and partnerships, cementing its position in the satellite industry doubling its size and impact since introducing Newtec Dialog® in 2014. Disruptions in satellite technology and market changes in media, government, cellular and mobility markets – along with the growing prominence of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) platforms and the advent of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations – present a complex set of challenges but also a lot of opportunities. However, amid the changes there is consistency in the ever-increasing data requirements of the end-user, which acts as an important driver for Newtec.

It is against this backdrop that the Newtec Dialog multiservice platform is becoming ever-increasingly relevant, providing service providers and operators with flexibility across different markets to serve a wide range of customers and applications, including broadcast, government and defense, consumer and enterprise VSAT, and especially in mobile backhaul and mobility, including Inflight Connectivity (IFC) and maritime communications.

”Newtec continued its expansion in 2017, with our latest results showing increased revenue across our core markets of broadcast, consumer and enterprise VSAT and Government and Defense, fueled by HTS deployments. Newtec specifically saw increased market penetration in mobile backhaul and mobility, including Inflight Connectivity (IFC) and maritime communications. In 2018, we will continue growing further on both our commercial and government markets, as well as in VSAT mobility, cellular backhaul for 4G and 5G, and solutions to monetize HTS.”

Thomas Van den Driessche, Newtec's CEO

A Growing Family

There is no question that HTS technology is transforming the satellite industry. This evolution in the payload is driving the market to look for new opportunities to exploit the increased performance it can offer. However, for HTS to succeed, this innovation in space must be matched on the ground. This key dependency drives Newtec to ensure that terminal and hub technologies are ready to maximize the benefits of HTS, and are never the weakest link in the value chain. As such, Newtec unveiled a number of new HTS-optimized DVB-S2X wideband products this year, as part of its Newtec Dialog® multiservice platform.

Designed to support the massive scalability required by HTS networks, Newtec launched the Newtec Dialog XIF Hubs at SATELLITE 2017. This new hub architecture provides higher throughput and density in a robust, carrier grade package. At the same time, Newtec completed its DVB-S2X wideband modem portfolio with the launch of the MDM2210 and the MDM3310, which joined the existing MDM5000 modem. Built to address the needs of various vertical markets, the full family of modems allows customers to benefit from the unprecedented efficiencies and throughputs enabled by HTS, regardless of their application or price point.

Shifting Landscape

The broadcast market is another example of an ever-shifting landscape. The way in which people consume content is changing and the demand for 4K/Ultra-High Definition (UHD) programming is increasing. In order to keep up with these trends, broadcasters need to find new ways of making the most of their existing space segment. This can be achieved by deploying Newtec’s high-performance satellite broadcast solutions, allowing broadcasters to deliver more content at lower costs, without compromising quality or reliability.

Throughout 2017, Newtec’s ground segment equipment has been deployed by broadcasters and news agencies around the globe as they increasingly focus on streamlining their operations by leveraging the power of all-IP services. Ahead of IBC in September, Newtec announced that BBC News had deployed the Newtec Dialog multiservice platform to reap the benefits of IP connectivity over satellite. Bonding terrestrial and satellite IP media allows news teams to deploy mobile solutions capable of transmitting video, voice, files and general broadband services though a single multiservice communication link, which is available regardless of geolocation, actual 3G/4G access or weather conditions.

Newtec Dialog played a key role in September’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, providing the IP connectivity the Belgian Punch Powertrain Solar Team required to livestream interviews, enriched with professional-grade race images, as well as backhaul video clips during the >3,000km race from Darwin to Adelaide. Collaborating with Network Innovations, VRT Sandbox and Pacific Life Media, Newtec’s technologies enabled the race crew to broadcast daily overviews of their journey even when camping in the middle of the Australian Outback, where Satcom was the only way to stay connected. The ease of use of the provided solution avoided the need to deploy traditional satellite trucks operated by skilled staff.

The Newtec Dialog platform was also used by the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) for the upgrade of its MENOS platform. Originally installed by Newtec in 2008, MENOS allows broadcasters to exchange multimedia content over satellite between several sites scattered across a large geographical area. The now-upgraded MENOSPLUS+, based on Newtec Dialog, creates up to 50% additional capacity for HD exchanges.

Efficiency Equals Profit

Bandwidth efficiency is another key cost driver for Newtec’s broadcast customers, with DVB-S2X providing a solution that enables significant OpEx savings. Televisa in Mexico was among the broadcasters which made the upgrade to DVB-S2X in 2017, with the Newtec MCX7000 Multi-Carrier Satellite Gateway, which comes with DVB-S2X on board.

The efficiencies delivered by DVB-S2X technologies formed a key part of Televisa’s decision to opt for the MCX7000 for part of its nationwide end-to-end primary distribution system. Deployed in May, the satellite gateways enable Televisa to offer six HD channels and improved picture quality using a 36 MHz transponder.

M7 Group chose the MCX7000 for its new European Direct-to-Home (DTH) transmission sites, saving power and rack space. Advanced technologies such as low roll offs and Equalink®3 pre-distortion allow more channels to be transmitted with the best possible quality, without increasing the number of transponders. Viewers receiving content via Media Broadcast Satellite GmbH’s uplink in Usingen, Germany, will benefit from this new platform, which was installed earlier this year.

As mentioned, using DVB-S2X gives the satellite industry the opportunity to increase profitability by delivering improved efficiencies without investing in additional costly space segment. DVB-S2X’s Channel Bonding is one such optimization, allowing a single direct-to-home stream to be transported over up to three transponders and treating them as one logical transponder. Our IBC demo in September featured Channel Bonding according to the DVB-S2X standard. This showcased Newtec’s compatibility with the Broadcom DVB-S2X Channel Bonding chipset, which is supported by leading players from the industry (Eutelsat, Harmonic, Hispasat, Insight TV, Intelsat, MEASAT, SES and Yahlive).

Building Bridges with Mobile Backhaul

Increasing pressure is also being felt by mobile operators. As markets mature and governments begin to enforce Universal Service Obligations (USO) to bridge the digital divide, they are facing increased demand to extend their services in rural areas. In those regions, where terrestrial infrastructure is limited or non-existent, cellular backhaul over satellite is allowing people to remain connected and keep pace with the fast-developing technology landscape, providing the reliable connectivity and quick roll-out that mobile operators crave.

This requirement saw the Newtec Dialog multiservice platform deployed by several major and incumbent operators in 2017 for the provision of cellular backhaul services in rural areas. Teledata – Mozambique’s publicly-owned telecommunications specialist – opted for the multiservice platform with a HUB 4IF Hub Module at its core to power its network for hundreds of mobile backhaul sites across the nation.

Teledata also made use of Newtec Dialog’s multiservice capabilities, using the MDM2500 IP Satellite Modems, centrally managed by the same hub, to connect hundreds of ATMs at remote sites and provide reliable back-up connectivity to regional bank branches.

Earlier in the year, Newtec Dialog was also deployed to provide cellular backhaul for Mattel, Mauritania’s leading mobile operator. Working with its certified business partner GLOBAL Technologies, Newtec installed a Newtec Dialog Hub and deployed several remote sites across the Mauritanian nation in record time. The network is built to initially deliver 2G mobile connectivity, but is gearing up for 3G and 4G services in the future.

Mattel is also leveraging Newtec’s unique, dynamic Mx-DMA® bandwidth allocation technology on board the Newtec Dialog platform, enabling services to be delivered with the efficiency of SCPC and the flexibility of MF-TDMA, reducing operational costs while increasing reliability.

Beyond this, Newtec is actively working to expand its solutions for upcoming 5G networks. Newtec is working closely in this area with other industry partners such as the European Space Agency (ESA), including on defining solutions and investigating opportunities for satellite to support 5G across expanded vertical industries.

“The current satellite industry is an incredibly exciting place to be right now. The rapid advancements being ‘launched’ by global satellite network operators are, more than ever, creating a growing need for advanced and innovative solutions and services which allow integrators, service providers and end-customers to exploit this new era in space. Newtec is paving the way in delivering technological and business differentiators that will provide enormous value.”

Steve Mills, Newtec's Global VP Sales

Eyes on the Future

The need for data to be delivered everywhere will see ‘Communications On The Move’ become an increasingly key market. Newtec is already making great strides here, with the first commercial flights featuring Panasonic Avionics’ Newtec-designed modem for IFC taking place in 2017.

In a nutshell:

Newtec’s focus for 2018 is to continue to provide the answers to difficult questions in the satellite industry, enabling the businesses of today to prepare for the developments of the future and delivering what people need before they know they want it.