In 2012, our customers have transmitted the Olympics to billions in HD, have gone to the darkest part of the deepest ocean and have put our equipment above the clouds in some of the world’s most advanced unmanned aerial vehicles.
They are demanding higher speeds to increase their Quality of Service (QoS) in order to offer the best possible experience to their customers. The consumer broadband market is demanding higher speeds and efficiency as well as the professional service provider.
Getting more bits per hertz, increasing bandwidth efficiency yet further, achieving higher speeds for customers, developing new standards and mitigating satellite transmission interference have been our number one priorities in 2012.
Breaking the "Half a Gig" Barrier with Newtec
To meet and exceed customer demand for higher speeds and increasing bandwidth efficiency, we have launched a new modem portfolio:
- MDM2200: A new consumer and SME IP satellite modem (22 Mbps / 3,5 Mbps)
- MDM3100: A new IP satellite modem for high throughput B2B applications capable of doing 45 Mbps / 5 Mbps, with a future release going to 45 Mbps / 10 Mbps
- MDM6000: A new high speed satellite modem, doing 2 x 380 Mbps, and already includes the upcoming DVB S2-extensions candidates. These S2-extensions give an increase of 15% to 37% on top of DVB-S2. The MDM6000 recently received the Vision Award for the most innovative product of the year.
During tests of our new high speed modem our engineering team was able to smash the previously unthinkable 500 Mbps satellite throughput barrier on a 72 MHz transponder.
Testing the new equipment with three of the world’s leading satellite operators, Eutelsat, Intelsat and Yahsat, we were able to demonstrate how the new technology would take DVB-S2 efficiency technology even further.
During the test, conducted at Eutelsat’s teleport Rambouillet, 506 Mbps was achieved. The test combined Newtec’s Bandwidth Canceller and MDM6000 modem along with candidate DVB S2-extension technologies. As a result of the tests we have received authorization from Intelsat for use of our Clean Channel Technology™ (CCT) on Intelsat satellites. We are now aiming at the 1 Gbps barrier!
New Broadcast Product of 2012 - Ready to Fight Interference
Alongside the new range of modems, we also launched the new M6100 Broadcast Satellite Modulator at NAB2012 in April. It is the latest in the next generation DVB-S2, DVB-DSNG and DVB-S modulator range designed specifically for multimedia contribution, broadcast direct-to-home and primary distribution to cable headends and towers.
In a deal with PBS, the largest public sector media enterprise in the US, Newtec has provided a large set of M6100 Broadcast Satellite Modulators to carry content to nearly 124 million people each month.
In the industry as a whole, many customers and operators are experiencing interference on their satellite transmissions, which is a big issue. Our aim is to create a standardized solution that can be integrated into any type of equipment by any vendor.
Both PBS and Newtec are supporting the World Broadcasting Unions - International Satellite Operations Group (WBU-ISOG), the GVF (Global VSAT Forum) and SIRG (Satellite Interference Reduction Group) to promote and implement Carrier ID standardization. The M6100 already has Carrier ID built in.
Upcoming DVB standards: S2 Extensions
For satellite businesses, the creation and adoption of new Extensions to the DVB-S2 standard will translate into better efficiency, higher speed and improved service robustness. We understand the value in the industry pulling together and working hard to develop the technologies that will form the basis for extensions to DVB-S2. These extensions have the potential for 15% to 37% improvements on top of the current standards.
The latest product releases, including the MDM6000, MDM3100 and MDM2200 as mentioned earlier, all meet and already exceed the current DVB-S2 standards and also include technology that will be capable of meeting the standards soon to be set for S2 Extensions.
The Greatest Show on Earth
Viewers in the Middle East and North Africa were able to watch, for the first time, the London 2012 Olympics in Full High Definition (HD). This was possible through our partnership with the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) which enabled an upgrade to the member’s infrastructure to allow them to receive live Olympic multilateral feeds and news channels.
It allowed over 3000 hours of live TV coverage, an additional 2000 hours of English news, interviews, background stories and more. The content was sent by OB vans during the Olympics with 11 HD channels transmitting them to audiences in the MENA region with Arabic commentary following home nation athletes.
Taking to the Skies, the Bottom of the Ocean, the Indianapolis 500 and Elections in Burkina Faso
As well as sending images across the world, we also took to the skies this year as our IP traffic enhancement and shaping technology has been implemented in the flagship EURO HAWK® Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). The Newtec technology is required to secure the downlink via satellite.
In addition our broadcast equipment was taken to the darkest part of the ocean during James Cameron’s deep sea dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, located in the Pacific Ocean. The equipment allowed the project to transport simultaneous live broadcasting and data over the satellite link in the same carrier.
As well as the skies and sea, we also sped into the fast lane providing fans of Indy car racing front and center seat views of the Indianapolis 500. Adtec’s and Newtec’ combined strengths in digital’s compression, multiplexing, DVB-S2 and S2 Extensions transmitted spectacular pictures from the largest spectator sporting facility in the world. Images from 12 unique drivers-seat angles were beamed around the world enabling an astounding level of throughput.
We have also supplied a VSAT system and IP satellite modems to Burkina Faso, enabling flexible satellite connectivity for the municipal and legislative elections which took place on December 2, 2012. The equipment facilitated ‘always on’ connectivity between 45 remote electoral district offices which serve as the hubs for 14,698 polling stations across the West African country and the central election office in the capital, Ouagadougou. The system was used for video conferencing and surveillance, Internet access and fast and secure communication of ballots.
Newtec Welcomed Giuliano Berretta
Mid-2012 we welcomed former CEO of Eutelsat, Giuliano Berretta, to Newtec’s Strategic Committee. He brings enormous industry experience with him and is the third external member of the Strategic Committee, with Brigitte Boone, formerly the CEO of the Merchant Banking division of Fortis Bank, and Martin De Prycker, the former CEO of Barco, joining in 2010 and 2009 respectively.
New Ka-band Projects
There is a clear trend towards Ka-band with several succesful satellite launches in 2012. As a result we are now shipping Ka-band equipment for consumer broadband and IP trunking for various customers.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
- Avanti Communications launched its HYLAS 2 satellite which utilizes Newtec’s Broadband Hubs to extend its IP service range. Avanti’s customers will be able to offer a true broadband experience to B2B and B2C customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. One of them is InSat, who became the first customer to install our broadband terminal technology which is delivering Ka-Band communications across Afghanistan
- We have tested our technology with several satellite operators as mentioned earlier, so no surprise that our long-term customer SES was on board successfully testing our high speed Ka-band technology for SES Broadband (previously called ASTRA2Connect). The test was completed with next generation Ka-band terminals and related hub infrastructure
- Yahsat implemented our technology to offer high-speed, Ka-band IP trunking service under their brand YahCarrier, which is set to be the region’s first Ka-band IP trunking service
Tradeshow, Conferences, Panel and Info Sessions: Staying in Touch
During 2012 we have had a major presence at more than twenty of the most important international trade shows. Apart from presenting our latest technology, we’ve hosted multiple successful free sessions including panel discussions with leading industry players. E.g. at this year's NAB show in Las Vegas and at CommunicAsia in Singapore, there was a lot of interest in our hosted sessions covering satellite interference, carrier ID and new technologies.
Satellite operators such as Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Measat, as well as industry organizations like DVB, sIRG, GVF, WBU, ISOG, RFI-EUI and CASBAA and broadcasters such as ABC, CNN, Fox, ASBU, Astro, Eurovision and HBO have participated in our panel discussions.
bePART of Something Powerful
In 2011 we unveiled a new strategy to ensure partners can access our comprehensive range of products quickly and easily across the globe, called bePART. In the past we had sold our products to end-users directly or through business partners, depending on the region or the specific relationship with the end-user.
Today our strategic goal is to fulfill more of our business through key partnerships that will bring added value to end-users locally and reinforce the Newtec brand and sales strengths. Now, beyond the first birthday for the program, there are more than 70 global partners covering more than 100 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America providing local access and support.
Sharing our Knowledge
They say knowledge is power and to that end our Customer Service Training Center offers a wide variety of training courses. During 2012 over one hundred individuals were trained by more than 20 experts and 5 training partners. Feedback on those courses has been impressively positive!
Our new training program ties in closely with our bePART program and now sees us also working with the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) certification initiative.
And while talking about numbers, we are proud that our customer service has also reached an all time high with the Newtec engineers receiving a rating of 9.5 out of 10 for the year.
Outlook: So What is Next?
Where is the industry going? Despite having been up there for many years in the satellite communications industry, bandwidth efficiency is still on top from service providers and manufacturers point of view. With the new DVB-S2 standard coming in 2013 we are entering a new era and so it will be a major trend and talking point in the industry for next year.
The industry will also be talking about High Throughput Satellites (HTS), perhaps even more so than Ka-band itself. Ka-band has been a huge topic, with launch plans and what to do with all that capacity at the forefront of everyone in the industry’s minds.
Though still important, the topic will broaden with HTS and the mix of Ku-band, Ka-band and C-band, becoming more important. How the satellites are positioned and laid out, the services they will carry and how the cells will be positioned on the ground are becoming a more important topic than Ka-band specifically.
The HTS discussion will lead to a lot of intrigue into multi-service and multi-technology platforms. Although many providers launched their services initially with the consumer in mind, it is clear now that they need to diversify their service offering in order to be able to speed up their satellite fill ratio. This will enable them to speed up their return on investment.
The multiservice approach mitigates risk. People are asking for platforms that can handle different vertical markets and terminals to make sure they are not putting all of their eggs in one basket. Therefore multiservice solutions will be top of the agenda next year.
The television market is also changing, which is reflecting on the satellite industry. TV is not a pure linear technology anymore. Satellite broadcast used to be relatively conservative in the way it handled content but this coming year will be pivotal. There will be a new open-mindedness in how broadcast networks will be implemented, from sports contribution and distribution, to news gathering and distribution of content in general.
We will see new satellite techniques in an innovative industry that is in transition.
Whichever direction you look, satellite technology though finite in nature, is growing in demand with bandwidth efficiency and workflow technologies in hot demand. The coming year will be another great year for satellite and we are glad to be helping to shape its future prosperity.