Sjoerd De Clerck, Newtec’s vice-president sales, Asia-Pacific, shares with APB how Newtec's key strategies in Asia is evolving with technologies such as HTS.
new opportunities and capabilities in APAC
Can you share with us your plans to expand Newtec's business in Asia in 2018, and what specific opportunities do you see in this region?
Sjoerd: The continued growth of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) is opening up new opportunities and capabilities in numerous vertical markets across APAC. This is especially true for areas such as mobility and maritime, as the need for data to be delivered everywhere will see ‘Communications on the Move (COTM)’ becoming increasingly key. This includes In-Flight Connectivity (IFC), which we expect to see really take off following the first commercial flights featuring Panasonic Avionics’ Newtec-designed modem for IFC in 2017.
Additionally, as governments continue to enforce Universal Service Obligations (USOs) for connectivity in rural areas, satellite over cellular backhaul is enabling mobile operators to bridge the digital divide and we predict this area will continue to grow. Our Newtec Dialog® multiservice platform was deployed by several major operators to provide cellular backhaul in 2017, with some networks preparing to deliver 4G services, as well as 2G and 3G connectivity.
Regionally, India will be a priority for Newtec. This follows our expansion in 2017 which saw various strategic moves to fuel our growth in APAC, including:
- Further investment in our customer service support with expansion of our Singapore team.
- Expansion of our geographical reach through new partnerships in Indonesia, Korea and other countries.
- Continuous commitment to enabling community broadband in rural areas, including Indonesia.
All this contributed to our APAC business doubling in 2017, compared with the year before.
Would you like to expand on Newtec's strategy for HTS and how it is meeting the demand for the service in the Asia region?
Sjoerd: In the domestic sphere, Asia’s vast land mass – which includes many rural and isolated areas – means terrestrial broadband is not always an option when deploying high-speed services. This makes HTS ideal for service providers looking to offer competitive broadband packages.
Furthermore, HTS’ wide beam feature allows service providers to deliver connectivity to a specific area or location, enabling them to tailor their data services – proving increasingly beneficial for Asia’s aviation and maritime markets. This will allow those providers to offer new services for commercial markets, such as IFC, and meet increasing capacity demands in the maritime sector.
For HTS to succeed, the innovation in space must be matched on the ground and this drives Newtec’s strategy. It also drives innovation in our product development and last year we unveiled new HTS-optimized DVB-S2X wideband products as part of our Newtec Dialog multiservice platform. Designed to support the massive scalability required by HTS networks, this hub architecture provides higher throughput and density in a robust, carrier grade package. The architecture is already being used in several HTS projects.
What other technology trends do you expect to impact the satellite industry in 2018?
Sjoerd: As viewing habits change, the broadcast landscape is shifting. In 2018, we expect further demand for 4K Ultra-High Definition (UHD) content, meaning broadcasters must efficiently make the most of their existing space segment. Newtec’s high-performance satellite broadcast solutions are designed for this, enabling broadcasters to deliver more content at lower costs, while maintaining high quality and – very important – reliability.
Throughout 2017, broadcasters reaped the benefits of these solutions. BBC News, for example, leveraged IP connectivity over satellite via our Newtec Dialog platform, which allowed news teams to deploy mobile solutions capable of transmitting video, voice, files and general broadband services. Newtec Dialog also played a key role in the World Solar Car race, giving the Belgian Punch Powertrain Solar Team a global stage by enabling interviews and race footage to be streamed along the race track, even in the Australian Outback.
Another undeniable change is the rise of bandwidth-hungry broadband applications such as OTT services – for which China is expected to be the main driver of revenues across the globe.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G will also bring change and opportunity. For the IoT, we believe satellite will play a key role as the long tail of the connectivity graph with satellite nodes serving as injection points to the cloud-based services the IoT can deliver. For more advanced IoT applications such as connected cars, satellite is likely to act as a complementary connectivity tool. Connected to this is 5G, which is poised to radically change the connectivity and service landscape in the coming years. Again, satellite will be part of the communications suite enabling this ubiquitous connectivity.
What drivers do you see in this region fueling the satellite industry in 2018?
Sjoerd: Throughout Asia we see Governments and Regulators paying more attention to including the entire population in the economic boom Asia continues to enjoy. ‘Connecting the Unconnected’ acts as a driver for education, knowledge enhancement and information sharing and forms the basis on which local entrepreneurship thrives.
We see this in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, India and others in various formats, from USO for community Wi-Fi and mobile backhaul bringing sheer connectivity, over ATM and POS networks enhancing electronic trading, to remote education and healthcare networks benefitting the remote population to connecting and integrating all government buildings and establishments for improved efficiency and higher security.
Satellite will continue to play a major role in these, and we are looking forward to another successful year!