News Analysis

Video Over IP: What it Means for Satellite Service Providers

by Dr. Andrea Franz and Dr. Gerhard Franz

With the introduction of digital TV a new way of video transport and delivery has emerged, using the Internet Protocol (IP). Video over IP is a general term to describe the use of IP in any or all stages of video transport to the subscriber (or end-customer). This has to be distinguished from the term IPTV, which means specifically the delivery of video as an IP stream to the subscriber set-top box or TV set. All digital video today that is broadcast, transported over satellite or distributed in cable systems is using the MPEG transport stream (TS) communications protocol. This worldwide standard describes the way a digital TV signal (audio, video and data) is encapsulated in a specific container format. It also includes metadata such as electronic program guides (EPG).

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Maritime Communications: Is it all "At Sea"?

by Martin Jarrold

Director, International Programs, GVF

My previous column for this publication focused on the oil and gas exploration and production sector, with particular reference to the increasing attention of the energy industry on deepwater and ultra-deepwater hydrocarbon reserves which now appear to be much more abundant than was thought ten years ago. A result of this is that the applications solutions and broadband communications solutions imperatives of the energy market, whilst they represent, in relative terms, a small fraction of energy companies’ total CAPEX and OPEX, well managed ICT networks can play a disproportionately great role in reducing expenditures in exploration, drilling, and production.

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Leveraging Energy Sector Satcoms for Development

by Martin Jarrold

Chief, International Programs Development, GVF

Deployment of broadband satellite technologies is correctly recognized as an imperative to maximization of cutting-edge digital oilfield applications and to considerations of cost-effectiveness – it is a force multiplier, enabling return on investment, as well as facilitating mission critical communications links.

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The Middle East Market: Poised for Growth

by  Bruce Elbert

President,  Application Technology Strategy, Inc.

The video distribution business in the Middle East is booming. Last year,  we provided an overview of commercial Middle Eastern Satellite Communications, based on primary and secondary research. What we provide here is an update from the perspective we gained during travel to the region in the month of June 2009, which included visits to major facilities. In this article, we report on the leading teleports in Dubai, UAE, and Amman, Jordan.

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Asia-Pacific Satellite Market Replete with Opportunities

by Tom van der Heyden

In the course of my work as a consultant and executive recruiter based in Asia, I have spoken to over 150 satellite and digital broadcast sales, business development and senior management professionals in the last six months on the prospects of the Asian market. The consensus among key satellite executives is that the business of satellite communications in Asia continues to grow and is better off than other regional markets by "a significant margin."

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Opportunities in the DTH Ground Equipment Market

by Virgil Labrador, Editor-in-Chief

From 2005 to 2008, the number of direct-to-home (DTH) satellite platforms grew over 49% from 65 to 97 platforms worldwide, according to estimates by Euroconsult. At least 10 new DTH platforms were announced in 2008. Despite this dramatic growth in DTH platforms, the industry is facing pressure to reduce costs in the current global economic environment in order to maintain and expand its subscriber base and to meet investor expectations for returns. Growth in demand for content also drives a continuous need for expansion, upgrade and extension of both space and ground segment systems for DTH providers.

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The Price of 'Free-to-Air' Satellite TV

by Bruce Elbert, President Application Technology Strategy, Inc.

with Michelle Elbert

Satellite TV is the biggest money maker for the overall satellite industry, creating investment, subscriber base and wealth. It rests on the solid revenue footing from a food chain that ranges from the end user paying for subscriptions to networks that collect from advertisers and affiliates like TV stations and cable systems. However, we are witnessing a new business model that provides a free service to end users who only need to buy reception equipment consisting of a dish with a digital set-top-box. This is not unlike C-band backyard dishes of the US from the early 1980s, before HBO began to scramble their signal.

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Of Exabytes, Petabytes and Terabytes: What the Millennial Generation Means for Satellite Service Providers

by Elisabeth Tweedie

Not too long ago when someone got on the internet the chances were it was to do email or to search for information. In other words communication was mainly one to one and users were primarily consumers of information. With a few exceptions these were not time sensitive pursuits and were heavily biased towards downstream communications. Not any more. Many users have become participants creating, sharing and commenting on content. This will come as no surprise to anyone with children in their teens or twenties, as this change in usage is being driven by them – the Millennial Generation. Accounting for 48% of the world population makes them numerically the most significant generation so whatever they do has an impact.

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Challenges Facing the Teleport Sector

by Virgil Labrador, Editor-in-Chief

Los Angeles. Calif., February 2, 2010--The teleport business is a US$ 15 billion-a-year segment of the global satellite industry or roughly 15 percent of the industry revenues, according to the World Teleport Association (WTA). But no other segment of the industry has undergone so many changes as the teleport business in recent years . While the basic function of teleports remains to provide connectivity between the ground and the space segment, teleports have been providing many ancillary services that are constantly changing due to market demands and customer requirements.

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Reaching Out to the "Other 3 Billion"

by B.H. Schneiderman

Editor, Latin America

In these challenging economic times, it’s encouraging to know that there are still visionary companies that have ambitious plans aimed not at the most saturated, advanced countries but in the underserved developing countries. Denver, CO-based O3b Networks (registered in St. John, Jersey, Channel Islands) headed by Greg Wyler is one such company. Unlike other companies before that were high on ideals and low in practicality, O3b Networks, which stands for the "Other 3 billion," seems to know have a sound business plan to back up their lofty goals.

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