sábado, 31 de julio de 2010

CASBAA Expands Indian Footprint

The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA ) is an association dedicated to promoting multi-channel television via cable, satellite, broadband and wireless video networks across the Asia Pacific.
CASBAA announced a powerful expansion of its Indian agenda with the addition of three market leaders as members of the Association.
The new CASBAA Corporate members are telecoms-to-media services specialist Bharti Airtel, leading news content provider NDTV and media and entertainment giant Star TV India.

In line with this market growth, as a regional body with a domestic agenda, CASBAA continues to increase its commitment to India through undertaking conferences, issuing reports and regularly engaging with policy-making government bodies on key industry issues.
"As a leading DTH player, we are committed to collaborating with world leaders in bringing innovative technologies," said Ajai Puri, Director & CEO - DTH, Bharti Airtel. "We are confident that CASBAA, leading the evolution of ecosystems and technologies that enable cable, satellite and broadcast industry, will impact positively on some critical structural changes to help digitize India rapidly."
K V L Narayan Rao, Group CEO and Executive Director, NDTV said: "We are delighted to become members of CASBAA. As the market-leading news broadcaster in the region, we look forward to working with CASBAA for what can only be mutual benefit."
Anupam Vasudev, EVP - Marketing, Star India added that "as the country's leading television network, we are committed to working with reputed industry bodies on initiatives that can help develop and move the broadcasting industry to the next level. We look forward to our partnership with CASBAA to create successful programs to achieve this objective."
"Certainly, the additional memberships bring extraordinary new value to CASBAA's contribution to the Indian pay-TV market," said Marcel Fenez, Chairman of CASBAA. "With our extended footprint the Association looks forward to joining hands with all its Indian members and partners."
According to Anjan Mitra, the CASBAA Executive Director, India, "as part of our communications strategy we have been telling the 'India Story' to the international broadcasting and investment communities, the new partnerships with Bharti Airtel, NDTV and Star TV India will benefit all parties."
By almost every measure India is the most dynamic pay-TV market in the world with almost 10% growth every year over the past five years. In the next 12 months it is expected to overtake China as the biggest pay-TV market in Asia.
Supported by 92 million cable and satellite (C&S) homes, including 23 million DTH households and 4 million digital cable homes, India's C&S subscriber base has grown by over 20 million in the past 12 months. The number of India's mobile subscribers stands at 617.53 million at the end of April this year, up from 601.22 million in the beginning of the month, which itself is an impressive growth story.
Other CASBAA members within India include Amarchand Mangaldas, B.A.G. Network, CONAX, IMCL (Incablenet and Indigital), Tata Sky, Zee TV and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Approves Sea Launch Reorganization Plan

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware approved Sea Launch’s reorganization plan to prepare for its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the third quarter.
Sea Launch filed the plan May 10 as part of a 13-month restructuring process that was initiated when the company filed for bankruptcy in June 2009. The reorganization plan will become effective following completion of a U.S. regulatory review.

Details of Sea Launch’s reorganization plan have yet to be revealed. In a disclosure statement filed with the bankruptcy court in May, Sea Launch said it intends to repay its $30 million debtor-in-possession loans in full, while current trade vendor's unsecured claims, such as those from Aker and Boeing, would be repaid at 17.5 percent on the dollar.
The company has remained active throughout the bankruptcy process. Earlier in July, Sea Launch won multiple launch contracts with operators EchoStar and AsiaSat. A $25 million credit line from Space Launch Services has allowed Sea Launch to continue operating through reorganization.

GlobaFone CEO Lou Altman to Speak at the Disaster Management Summit in August 2010

GlobaFone, a leading satellite service provider announced that CEO Lou Altman will speak at the Disaster Management Summit in Houston, TX on August 19, 2010.
GlobaFone supports a diverse client base by providing an impressive portfolio of global communications solutions with a particular emphasis in the satellite segment. “I’m looking forward to once again sharing the satellite phone story,” said Lou Altman. He continued, “With new products, new launches and M&A activity, the industry is constantly changing, so there is always new information to deliver.”

During and after a disaster satellite communication are integral in helping any organization reach emergency professionals, employees, getting a company back up and running, along with many other pertinent issues. Satellite communications have proven to be the most reliable source of communication in any type of emergency situation.
The conference is being held at the Houstonian Hotel and Spa on August 19. Attendees include executives who play a key role in the safety and risk management of successful businesses or are responsible for tenants in a commercial building. Disasters strike any time and being prepared is the key factor whether an organization recovers successfully.
GlobaFone offers five brands of satellite communications and VSAT service as well as cell phones that work around the globe.

ICO Global Communications Issues Statement Regarding UK Judicial Review Decision

ICO Global Communications announced  that it received an unfavorable ruling in the judicial review proceedings that it initiated against Ofcom, the British telecommunications regulatory authority. The Company initiated the judicial review proceeding in 2009 after Ofcom announced its intent to request that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) remove ICO’s global medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite system from the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR). Today’s unfavorable ruling, if not reconsidered by the judge who issued ruling permits Ofcom to move forward with the request. Ofcom’s request is not binding on the ITU, but could increase the likelihood that the ITU will initiate proceedings to cancel ICO’s MIFR assignments.


ICO successfully launched the ICO F2 MEO satellite in 2001, which operates globally in the 2GHz S-band. ICO’s remaining ten partially completed MEO satellites were placed in storage when construction was suspended in 2004, while the Company pursued claims against The Boeing Company relating to Boeing’s construction and launch of the MEO satellites. ICO’s claims resulted in a $603 million judgment against Boeing and in favor of ICO in 2008. The judgment is currently on appeal, with the appeal currently expected to be concluded next year.

The ruling, and Ofcom’s proposed request to the ITU, will have no impact on DBSD North America’s geostationary satellite, known as G-1, which provides next generation mobile satellite services to the United States.

ViaSat Airborne ISR Network Upgrade Demonstrates Very High Rate Intelligence Video Return Link

ViaSat Inc. has demonstrated a new return link waveform which could enable a nearly 10-fold improvement in the baseline return link available to current operations. Recent tests provided high data rate, continuous return link traffic using the same airborne broadband satcom network equipment that U.S. Special Forces and a variety of other intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft are operating in the Middle East. In-theater operational demonstrations of the higher return link rates are scheduled for later this year. This improved airborne ISR capability can transmit multiple full motion high definition video feeds as well as other ISR sensor data streams simultaneously from a single platform.

The development waveform project and demonstration was performed for an undisclosed government customer. Today's operations send high-resolution video and broadband data off the aircraft at speeds up to 1 Mbps. This Ku-band system enables the highest speed ISR missions operating with ultra small .3-meter antennas and meeting the regulatory performance for Ku-band satellites. The purpose of this program is to provide a path for continuous return rates at the highest possible speed while operating on widely available Ku-band satellites.
ViaSat mobile broadband terminals include a mix of systems operating on integrated networks for general aviation, communication on-the-move, maritime, and rail. The terminals use ViaSat patented ArcLight® technology, which enables a very small antenna to deliver improved speed and performance compared to other mobile satellite alternatives. The system connects aircraft to both private managed networks in dedicated regions and over the ViaSat Yonder® global network for mobility. While operating on the Yonder network, the systems are networked through a series of eight secure teleports that coordinate bandwidth on 10 satellite transponders. Total shipments of ViaSat mobile broadband terminals have reached 1,500 units for both government and commercial customers.

Antesky Launches Two Enhanced Earth Station Tx/Rx Antennas Built to Withstand Powerful Winds

Antesky Corporation, a global leader in communications systems and products, has enhanced two of its most popular earth station antennas to make them capable of withstanding the fiercest hurricane-force winds.
Recently Antesky launches two enhanced earth station antennas, which is 4.5m and 9m high wind earth station antennas. Here Antesky gives a brief introduction for these two antennas.

Antesky's 4.5 meter and 9.0 meter High Wind Tx/Rx Antennas ensure minimal degradation of performance during high winds. They have the ability to survive in winds of up to 155 miles per hour in any position and speeds of up to 200 miles per hour in the stowed position.
The superior design enhancements to these two products provide our customers with peace of mind that their antennas will perform well, even when faced with winds powerful enough to force other antennas off the air. This is a perfect option for areas around the world that are subject to excessive wind speeds.
Antesky's Satellite Communications Group provides a complete line of antennas from 60centimeters to 16 meters for all enterprise, government/military, and consumer satellite communication applications. Ante-sky designed and built products--which cover L,S,C,X, Ku, and the emerging Ka band earth station antenna hubs and gateways for broadband and broadcast, VSAT broadband antennas for consumer and enterprise customers, DBS antennas for home satellite broadcast systems, and complete installation and testing services.

Fifth orbiter "GPS" in China

If launched successfully, the satellite will join four other satellites in orbit to form a network that will eventually consist of 35 satellites.

China will launch its fifth orbiter into space, as part of its satellite navigation and positioning network known as Beidou, or Compass system, in the next few days.

An official with the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in southwestern Sichuan Province, who is not identified, said Friday that the satellite would be launched on the Long March 3I carrier rocket in the coming days, adding that it would take place "at a proper time".

China started building its own satellite navigation system to end its dependence upon the U.S. GPS system in 2000, when it sent two orbiters as a double-satellite experimental positioning system.

Beidou, as the system is called, is designed to provide navigation, time and short message services in the Asia and Pacific region in about 2010 and will be capable of providing global navigation services by 2020.

viernes, 30 de julio de 2010

Arianespace - workhorse workout

The fourth Ariane 5 for launch in 2010 continues to take shape at the Spaceport in French Guiana, as Arianespace maintains its mission pace for the heavy-lift workhorse.

Using the workflow that has been applied for the previous 52 Ariane 5s assembled to date, the build-up of this latest vehicle began with the erection of its core cryogenic stage inside the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building, which occurred earlier in the week. The next step is the mating of the launcher's two solid rocket motors, which are installed on each side of the core cryogenic stage. This will be followed by a "topping off" of the vehicle with its ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and the vehicle equipment bay. Then, the Ariane 5 will be transferred to the Final Assembly Building for integration of its dual-satellite payload, which is currently occupied by an Ariane 5 to be launched next week with a pair of telecommunications satellites to serve Africa and the Middle East: the NILESAT 201 direct broadcast spacecraft for Egyptian operator Nilesat; and the RASCOM-QAF1R communications satellite for pan-African operator RascomStar-QAF. Both payloads were built by Thales Alenia Space and they are scheduled for liftoff from the Spaceport on August 4th.

UPDATE 1-Sea Launch to exit bankruptcy in Russian hands

Sea Launch Co LLC, a provider of commercial satellite launches, received court approval for its reorganization and will emerge from bankruptcy under Russian ownership, according to court documents filed on Friday.
Sea Launch will exit bankruptcy with a $200-million line of credit and $155 million in new equity investment by Energia Overseas, a Russian company.
Energia will end up with 95 percent of the company.
Sea Launch was formed in 1995 by a unit of Boeing Co (BA.N), RSC Energia, a company partly owned by the Russian government, a Ukrainian government company and Aker Maritime Finance AS.
The company launched its first satellite from its sea-based platform in 1999, and had 29 successful launches prior to its bankruptcy.
In 2007, one of the company's launches failed and the customer, Hughes Network Solutions LLC, eventually won an arbitration award of $44 million.
Along with cost overruns and declining launches, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 with more than $1 billion in debt. Among that total was more than $760 million owed to Boeing and Aker.
Most of the suppliers to Sea Launch were also the owners, and Boeing and Aker said they were owed more than $1.5 billion when supplier payments were included.
Under the reorganization, Boeing and Aker will divide 5 percent of the company between them.

C-COM revenues decrease nearly 30 per cent in second-quarter results

C-COM Satellite Systems Inc. saw revenues fall 29.5 per cent year-over-year in second-quarter results posted on Friday, but still made a small profit of $638,960, or 1.9 cents per share.

The results for the quarter ending May 30 also saw income, before income taxes, increase 57.4 per cent to $926,989 from $588,971 last year.

The results came just days after the mobile antenna deployment provider reported a $2.3 million deal with an Asian reseller, continuing its sales of iNetVu antennas throughout the continent.

EADS has made improvements in their macro-economic and commercial environment

EADS’ revenues stood at 20.3 billion euros. The EBIT before one-off of 0.6 billion euros benefited from good performance in Airbus legacy programmes and other business activities. EADS’ EBIT amounted to 406 million euros after exceptional foreign exchange effects. The order intake of 30.8 billion euros mirrors the improved momentum in commercial aviation. EADS’ order book of more than 454 euros billion provides a solid platform for future deliveries. The Group’s Net Cash position of 8.9 billion remains a key asset.

Astrium revenues in H1 2010 amounted to 2,110 million euros (H1 2009: 2,194 million euros), reflecting a positive contribution from defence activities and telecommunication services. However, in the second quarter 2009, Astrium booked a one-time catch-up effect for commercial telecommunications satellites of around 200 million euros that is not compensated this quarter. EBIT improved by 7 percent to 106 million euros (H1 2009: 99 million euros), thanks to increased productivity and ramp-up in defence activities as well as growth in military telecommunications services, partially reduced by lower volume in Earth Observation services. Astrium recorded a historic quarter with Ariane 5 marking its 37th successful launch in a row and with the launch of seven Astrium-built satellites in the first half year, of which six in only one month between May and June. Commercial momentum also continues with two new commercial satellite orders in the quarter from Eutelsat Communications and SES WORLD SKIES. Both satellites are based on Astrium's Eurostar E3000 platform.

Two earth observation satellites were booked for Kazakhstan. Astrium’s order intake amounted to € 2.7 billion for H1 2010. Order momentum continued from commercial and institutional customers. However, it was significantly lower than in H1 2009 (6.4 billion euros) which included the Ariane 5 PB batch of 35 launchers. At the end of June 2010, the order book for Astrium amounted to 15.5 billion euros (year-end 2009: 14.7 billion).

Satellite Optimization Helps Satellites Go Where WiMax Can't

Satellite technology is relevant in times of battle. And knowing how to optimize those satellites could mean the difference between defeat and victory.
What tangible benefits optimized satellite communications can provide in times of combat ?
Howard Teicher, one of Expand networks’ founders who is the company’s vice president of public sector and satellite markets, where he is responsible for Expand’s military, intelligence, civilian agency and satellite businesses siad: “First and foremost military operations require the ability to communicate in remote, hostile environments, where the infrastructure we take for granted in the developed world does not exist. Even in parts of the world where we’re seeing the wide-spread deployment of cellular or WiMax technologies, you still don’t find that capability in all of the areas where combat is taking place in the world today, particularly in southwest Asia or obviously… out at sea.”
“Satellite provides the only means to guarantee the delivery of data, the ability to communicate to war fighters in these remote areas where there is no line of sight, wireless infrastructure, towers, fiber, or copper.”
“Satellite has become ever more ubiquitous and more and more companies around the world are putting communications satellites into orbit. I expect we’ll see quite a surge in the next three to five years of satellite capacity.”
“Already, we’re seeing much of the capacity that is being put in orbit is pre-subscribed. Bandwith optimization will remain a high priority item for any user of satellite transport to get the most bang for the buck.”

Harris Corporation Completes Acquisition of CapRock Communications

Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company, has completed its previously announced acquisition of CapRock Communications. Privately held CapRock was purchased for $525 million in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments. Private equity firm ABRY Partners was the majority owner of CapRock.
CapRock Communications CEO Peter Shaper will serve as president of the business, which will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Harris Corporation.

With nearly three decades of experience, CapRock Communications is a premier global satellite communications provider for the energy, government, maritime, engineering and construction and mining industries as well as for disaster recovery services. The company uses the latest field-proven satellite technologies to deliver highly-reliable managed communications services, including broadband Internet, voice over IP, secure networking and real-time video, to the world's harshest and most remote locations. CapRock leverages best-of-breed partnerships, technical expertise and a robust global infrastructure that includes four self-owned and operated teleports and eleven regional support centers across North America, Central and South America, Europe, West Africa and Asia Pacific.

jueves, 29 de julio de 2010

EADS Astrium Kaptures KA-SAT

This company's first satellite operating exclusively in Ka-band frequencies will definitely expand capacity for consumer broadband services across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. Eutelsat Communications has selected EADS Astrium to deliver this satellite which currently possesses the name of KA-SAT. The launch has been scheduled for Q3 of 2010 and KA-SAT will have more than 80 spotbeams. A network of eight gateways, managed by Eutelsat, will provide the access to the comsat and deliver all of the services to end users as an integral part of the new infrastructure.

Eutelsat will locate KA-SAT at 13° E, where it will join three HOT BIRD Ku-band broadcasting satellites. In advance and in preparation of KA-SAT, Eutelsat is using Ka-band capacity on its HOT BIRD 6 satellite for a new consumer broadband service called Tooway that was launched in Europe at the end of 2007. The service is operated by the Group’s broadband subsidiary Skylogic, in cooperation with ViaSat. Tooway uses ViaSat’s SurfBeam DOCSIS system. KA-SAT is the European equivalent to ViaSat-1, a high-capacity Ka-band broadband satellite ordered by ViaSat to serve the North American market and planned to launch in 2011

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade and Hughes Communications launch EPGDIB

The International Business Management program is a specialized post graduate diploma that will fulfill the spiraling demand for international management aspirants in India.
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), a premier management institute in the country in partnership with Hughes Communications India Ltd is launching a Post Graduate Diploma in International Business Management for Young Managers, over Interactive Onsite Learning (IOL) platform. Following the success of their existing programme (EPGDIB) for senior managers, IIFT’s new programme has been specially designed for working managers with less than five years of managerial work experience.

The International Business Management program is a specialized post graduate diploma that will fulfill the spiraling demand for international management aspirants in India. The program covering specialized courses in the field of International management will be offered in three semesters spread over 18 months. The curriculum is an appropriate blend of concepts, tools, techniques and business practices in an international framework. The participants will be offered specialization in two functional areas amongst marketing, finance and supply chain management.

U.S. Army Funds $1 Million to Procure TeleCommunication Systems SNAP

TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. , a world leader in highly reliable and secure mobile communication technology, today announced that it has received an additional $1 million in funding from the U.S. Army for support equipment and maintenance of Secret Internet Protocol Router (SIPR) and Non-secure Internet Protocol Router (NIPR) Access Point (SNAP) Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) Satellite Systems.

This funding will provide support equipment and maintenance of TCS' highly reliable SwiftLink(R) deployable communications products, as previously awarded through other delivery orders for SNAP equipment. The U.S. Army Project Manager for the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (PM WIN-T) Commercial Satellite Terminal Program (CSTP) is funding these procurements through the Army's $5 billion World-Wide Satellite Systems (WWSS) contract vehicle.
The TCS SwiftLink VSAT systems used to fulfill SNAP program requirements provide multimedia communications capabilities which convey encrypted voice, video and data. TCS SwiftLink products are highly transportable and ruggedized, with a graphical user interface that facilitates easy set-up and operation. The modularity and "plug and play" interfaces between all RF and Baseband configurations inherent in the SwiftLink product line result in communication solutions tailored to the end-user's specific needs.

Q-Kon launches iDirect IBS service for Africa

South African turnkey solutions provider Q-Kon has launched its iDirect Evolution Internet Broadband VSAT Service via satellite to its customers in Africa, Q-Kon.

The voice, video and data point-to-multipoint access service is available on C-band beams via the Intelsat IS905 satellite and is aimed at enterprises, ISPs and government bodies. The service is managed from Q-Kon’s network operations center in South Africa and is hosted at its teleport in Mountainside, Wash. The company said the U.S.-based DVB-S2 iDirect hub provides interconnectivity to the U.S. Internet backbone, which will increase the speed of the service.

 The iDirect Evolution platform “is centered on an upgrade to new Evolution X3 satellite modem and IP router with an Ethernet interface that maximizes bandwidth efficiencies. It features iDirect's efficient implementation of the DVB-S2 standard with adaptive coding and modulation on the outbound carrier and iDirect's patented TDMA inbound channel,” Q-Kon CEO Dawie de Wet said in a statement.

Satellite broadband touted as digital divide clincher

Satellite broadband touted as digital divide clincher KA-SAT launch promises 10Mbit/s service for hard-to-reach locations.

A satellite being launched in November could close the digital divide in the UK by helping citizens and companies currently underserved by the cable broadband market to get online with vastly improved services.

The KA-SAT satellite, developed by Eutelsat, will provide broadband to regions where services such as cable and DSL have failed to penetrate, the firm claimed.

"This will be the most powerful satellite in space. It offers 35 times more throughput than traditional KU-band satellites, and can fulfil a crucial role in meeting the broadband needs of some 30 million underserved EU citizens," said Guillaume Benoit, project manager at KA-SAT, at an event in Toulouse Thursday.

"Using spot beam technology we will be able to provide dedicated coverage in 80 set areas across the EU, the Middle East and Africa, delivering speeds of 10Mbit/s download and 2Mbit/s upload to users in current broadband not-spots."

The satellite communicates with 10 ground satellites, with two set aside as backup, that sit on a fibre-optic ring connected to the internet, through which a user's request is transmitted via the KA-SAT.

The satellite will orbit on a longitude of nine degrees east, which the firm said should ensure that it is always visible to a customer's ground satellite, and will offer overall throughout put of 70Gbit/s, a huge increase on industry norms of around 20Gbit/s.

Jean-Francois Fremaux, director of business development at Tooway, the firm that will offer the service to resellers, gave some more details on the types of services that could come to market.

"We expect basic packages that would cover emailing, browsing and some uploading, to retail at around €30 (£25), going up from here to higher level packages leading to services for business users and firms," he said.

Fremaux expects the service to be of particular benefit to small companies with up to 10 employees, but did not detail any pricing structures.

Tooway is keen to enter into partnerships with train and boat companies that could use the ubiquitous nature of a certain spot beam to provide broadband on the move.

The satellite has been developed in Toulouse by Astrium, a division of EADS. Gerard Berger, marketing manager for communication satellites at Astrium, explained more about the development.

"We have now completed key tests including the thermal vacuum test to ensure it can withstand conditions in space, and final integrations are now underway including preparation for moving the satellite to the launch site," he said.

The satellite will be sent into orbit by launch company Proton in November in Kazakhstan, owing to its proximity to the equator, and its services should become commercially available in the first quarter of 2011 once tests have been carried out.

Christopher Baugh, head of satellite broadband at analyst firm Northern Sky Research, believes that the High Throughput Satellite technology used in KA-SAT will revolutionise the market.

"This new satellite is a game changer for the broadband industry. Previously, satellites have been viewed as inadequate for numerous reasons, such as speed or quality of service, but the new satellites now being launched are changing this, " he said.

"Furthermore, firms hoping to offer cable and DSL will find it prohibitively expensive and logistically almost impossible to get their services to those in rural areas, and this is where the new era of satellite technology will prove vital."

However, Baugh warned that many governments remain unwilling to embrace the technology, or are unaware of its capabilities.

"There is a lot of resistance from those we speak to in government about the potential of satellites to meet their broadband initiatives, but we expect the launch of KA-SAT to bring more awareness to what the technology can deliver," he said.

Baugh also noted that the price of satellite broadband is falling as resellers offer improved subsidies on the cost of hardware, which should persuade governments to consider funding access to the technology.

"By offering subsidies to citizens to help them purchase the hardware for access to satellite broadband, governments could get their populations online, as we are seeing in Australia," he said.


New Report Asks for US Space Policy Revision

A new report on how America's space plans should look like is currently making the rounds in Washington DC. The document, elaborated by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), argues that the “assured access to space” policy that the US federal government has interpreted as meaning assured access for its own spacecrafts exclusively, should be extended to commercial satellites as well. The paper also suggests that the country would do well to allow for Chinese delivery systems to launch US-built private satellites, Space reports.

In addition, the document also calls on the US Air Force (USAF) to take a closer look at the relationship it has with the United Launch Alliance (ULA), its main provider of space launch services. The company is a collaborative effort of Lockheed Martin and Boeing Corporation, which formed in December 2006. The new report, entitled “National Security and the Commercial Space Sector,” was released on July 26, and has been undergoing careful scrutiny ever since. Its authors have however steered clear of proposing a clear space agenda of their own.
One of the main conclusions the CSIS researchers arrived at is that “commercial access to space is problematic.” In this sense, their work basically reflects a point of view that includes opinions voiced by the US Defense Department, representatives of commercial satellite operators and providers of commercial launch services. Another point the authors make is that the US military needs to revise its position of relying on bandwidth acquired from commercial satellites for its operations. Current estimates show that 90 percent of the bandwidth the Army uses over Iraq and Afghanistan is obtained from such sources.
The paper additionally draws attention to the fact that none of the major providers of commercial satellite bandwidth are based in the United States. The largest corporations in the field are Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat, which are all based in countries such as Luxembourg, France and Canada. “ependence translates to vulnerability if access to these vital services can be interrupted,” the report argues.

Antesky's Enhanced Earth Station Antennas Built To Withstand Powerful Winds

Antesky Corporation a global leader in communications systems and products, has enhanced two of its most popular earth station antennas to make them capable of withstanding the fiercest hurricane-force winds.

Antesky's 4.5 meter and 9.0 meter High Wind Earth Station Antennas ensure minimal degradation of performance during high winds. They have the ability to survive in winds of up to 155 miles per hour in any position and speeds of up to 200 miles per hour in the stowed position.
The superior design enhancements to these two products provide our customers with peace of mind that their antennas will perform well, even when faced with winds powerful enough to force other antennas off the air. This is a perfect option for areas around the world that are subject to excessive wind speeds.
Antesky's Satellite Communications Group provides a complete line of antennas from 60centimeters to 16 meters for all enterprise, government/military, and consumer satellite communication applications. Ante-sky designed and built products--which cover L,S,C,X,Ku, and the emerging Ka band earth station antenna hubs and gateways for broadband and broadcast, VSAT broadband antennas for consumer and enterprise customers, DBS antennas for home satellite broadcast systems, and complete installation and testing services.

Diverse Industrial Applications Drive the World Satellite Machine-to-Machine Communications Market

Worldwide, wireless, wireline, and satellite networks developed significantly in the last twenty years, setting the stage for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications and equipment to utilize these existing networks. Used for logistical tracking, telemetry, remote monitoring, geo fencing, security, and scientific monitoring, M2M communications provide benefits for industries ranging from agriculture to retail, driving the satellite M2M industry over the next five to seven years.

The world satellite M2M communications market is currently experiencing exponential growth, as companies seek to raise productivity while reducing costs. M2M hardware and equipment have continuously reduced in both size and cost in the last five years.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, World Satellite Machine-to-Machine Communications Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $726 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $1.90 billion in 2016. The United States dominates the world satellite M2M communications market, with 62 percent market share since its enterprises have the capital to implement M2M. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to experience maximum growth in terms of regional share in the long term.
If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Jake Wengroff, Corporate Communications, at jake.wengroff@frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state, and country.
Globally, there are over one billion personal computers, four billion wireless phones, and one billion wireline phones in service. There are only about one hundred million dedicated M2M devices in service, but reversing those numbers would be ideal for the long term. However, the escalating costs of bandwidth and equipment will restrain market growth in the short term. Satellite hardware and airtime are substantially more expensive than that of their terrestrial counterparts.
"The average revenue per user among cellular operators is in the range of $6 to $7 per month, whereas satellite companies are in the $24 per month range," explains Longfield. "Additionally, hardware prices for satellite M2M equipment range from $74 to $3,200."
As hardware sales grow, economies of scale will develop and contribute to reductions in unit prices for M2M equipment. As prices fall for M2M equipment, more opportunities will materialize in the vertical markets.

miércoles, 28 de julio de 2010

Iridium Announces Release Date for Q2 2010 Results

Iridium Communications Inc.,the only mobile satellite service company offering coverage over the entire globe,will host a conference call on Monday, August 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm Eastern Time (ET) to discuss the Company's second quarter 2010 results. The Company will issue a second quarter 2010 earnings press release in advance of the call on August 9, 2010.

Sea Launch post-bankruptcy plan wins court approval

A Delaware bankruptcy court confirmed Sea Launch's plan to reorganize under majority Russian ownership, clearing a key hurdle on the firm's path to emerge from bankruptcy later this year.
The milestone ruling came 13 months after Sea Launch filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2009.

The plan calls for Energia Overseas Ltd., a subsidiary of the Russian aerospace giant Energia, to purchase 85 percent of the stock in Sea Launch for $140 million in cash. The unsecured creditors, or firms that acquired a stake in Sea Launch in exchange for owed debts, will collectively hold 15 percent ownership in the reorganized launch business.
The previous Sea Launch ownership coalition was led by Boeing Co. with a 40 percent share. Energia, Aker of Norway, and Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash of Ukraine held smaller shares.
The California-based firm's Land Launch subsidiary conducted four Zenit flights since 2008 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
While the company's reorganization plan has been stuck in litigation, Sea Launch has bulked up its launch backlog with new contracts for commercial satellite missions.
Earlier this month, Sea Launch announced a firm contract for delivery of an AsiaSat communications satellite to orbit between 2012 and 2014.
Last week, the launch provider signed an agreement with EchoStar Satellite Services to loft up to three spacecraft for the U.S.-based operator.
Sea Launch's backlog now includes four firm contracts, including the AsiaSat deal, an Intelsat satellite launch, and agreements for two flights with Eutelsat payloads. The manifest doesn't include unannounced contracts or the conditional EchoStar agreement.
Energia Overseas also committed $200 million in working capital to facilitate hardware purchases from suppliers in the United States, Russia and Ukraine.
Boeing Co. builds the payload fairing for Sea Launch's Zenit 3SL rocket, Energia provides the Block DM upper stage, while Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash of Ukraine are in charge of manufacturing the Zenit's first and second stages.

SkyWave Announces Availability of Ultra-Low Power Terminals

SkyWave Mobile Communications, a global provider of satellite telematics Machine to Machine products and services, is pleased to announce the release of a new DMR-800 satellite data terminal and SureLinx 8100 dual-mode satellite/GPRS data terminal featuring the ability to significantly reduce power consumption and increase battery life for remote monitoring applications.
Customers using this new feature can now expect more than 5 years of battery life using lithium batteries. SkyWave will provide advice on matching the right battery solution to customer communications needs.

This new version of the DMR-800 and SureLinx terminals will also support other recently announced features including: Flex messaging, GPS and GSM jamming detection, antenna cut detection and software encryption.
Customers who require more information or wish to order DMR-800 series of satellite communication terminals and SureLinx series of dual-mode satellite/GPRS communication terminals should contact a SkyWave Account Executive at +1-613-836-4844 or sales@SkyWave.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Space Data Association Launches Initial Operations

The Space Data Association (SDA) announced 27 th July 2010 that has launched initial operations of its Space Data Center, an automated space situational awareness system located on the Isle of Man.
Initial operating capabilities include conjunction assessment for 126 satellites in geostationary orbit owned by the founding members of the SDA — Inmarsat, Intelsat and SES. The center is scheduled to launch full operations by early 2011, after which the center will be able to support radio frequency interference mitigation and include commercial and government operators with satellites in all Earth orbits as members.
Built on AGI commercial software, the Space Data Center aims to provide members of the SDA with Web-based access to operational capabilities through a service-oriented architecture. The system automatically ingests and processes operator-supplied orbital data and generates automated warning alerts when necessary. It also will support avoidance maneuver planning and facilitate greater data sharing.
“We are working to quickly expand the SDA’s satellite operator membership and obtain greater access to high-accuracy data. We will also proactively contact operators to solicit interest,” Stewart Sanders, chairman and director of the SDA, said in a statement.

Hughes to Address Army Commercial Satellite Users' Workshop

The global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, Hughes Network Systems, announced  that it will participate in the Army Commercial SATCOM Users' Workshop, which is an adjunct event to LandWarNet 2010 and hosted by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA).

Rick Lober, vice president and general manager of the Defense and Intelligence Systems Division at Hughes will participate in a panel discussion on "Mobility Demands," focusing on the U.S. Army's requirements for smaller, lighter and faster terminal capabilities, and addressing innovative solutions that have been developed to help meet the challenge.
Mr. Lober will discuss some of the latest technological advancements by Hughes, including its integrated solutions for net-centric communications -- on land, at sea and airborne. He will present the recently launched Hughes Airborne Video Solution, which features full D-1 video resolution at over 2 Mbps rates, five times greater than what is currently available.

Thuraya phones available at duty free

There is welcome news for regional and business travellers as Thuraya's mobile satellite phones are now available in Bahrain Duty Free.

On top of Thuraya's handhelds portfolio is XT which is the world's toughest and lightest satellite handheld phone. The XT is a uniquely smart handheld with the fastest data service and has GPS waypoint navigation. In addition, Thuraya's SO-2510 (satellite only) and SG-2520 (a dual satellite/GSM phone) also will be available at Bahrain Duty Free.

Satellite Backhaul Continues to Benefit From Blistering Wireless Subscriber Growth

NSR's annual review of the wireless backhaul via satellite market shows the industry made tremendous gains from the blistering pace of wireless subscriber growth in 2009 and the first half of 2010. Despite a challenging economic environment, the wireless industry was one of the global economic bright spots, which led to sustained demand for satellite backhaul services for use primarily in rural markets.
Global wireless subscriptions breached the 4 billion mark in 2009, which represents an additional one billion subscribers in just one year. This pace is the fastest thus far, and it likewise signals the penetration of wireless usage in areas previously untapped. Satellite technology was used to serve new and emerging market opportunities as CAPEX and OPEX began to make sense in key market niches with the advantages of ubiquity and reach that satellite backhaul presents.
However, cost remains the single most important issue in the market. Although the satellite industry benefited overall, company-specific performance was mixed as economic issues led to some postponements of shipments and installations to some wireless telcos. Nevertheless, cost due to efficiencies and other technological developments should continue to decline, which should help justify ROI to address relatively low population density areas. As such, the market should remain healthy and improve satellite technology's value proposition over the next 5-10 years.
Of particular interest are High Throughput Satellites (HTS) and the upcoming O3b program, which dramatically cut bandwidth costs in targeted service areas. Since ARPU in rural markets in the developing world are limited due to disposable income, wireless operators can now package services for basic voice and data that are affordable with the reduction in backhaul costs. And as the remaining unserved and underserved markets become the final arena of wireless operators, competition will require continued cost-reduction solutions for subscriber acquisition and retention as well as the long term addition of more advanced services such as high-speed data.
In total, NSR projects that satellite backhaul equipment and services will grow from an estimated $316.6 million in revenues in 2009 to $583.4 million by 2019, yielding total revenues of close to $4.8 billion over an 11-year period. Satellite bandwidth procurement should dominate revenue streams, accounting for 94% of cumulative revenues. Equipment sales will likewise experience healthy growth as a mix of solutions including SCPC, IP VSATs and HTS solutions begin to impact the marketplace.

martes, 27 de julio de 2010

New 4G-LTE Wireless Broadband Network LightSquared Launched

LightSquared, a new nationwide 4G-LTE wireless broadband network integrated with satellite coverage in the US, was recently launched. LightSquared will provide wireless broadband capacity to a diverse group of customers, including retailers, wireline and wireless communication service providers; cable operators; device manufacturers; web players; content providers.

The LightSquared network will allow these partners to offer satellite-only, terrestrial-only, or integrated satellite-terrestrial services to their end users. This wholesale-only business model ensures LightSquared has no conflict of interest with its customers.

Building on SkyTerra's record of public safety services support, LightSquared will continue developing reliable and affordable solutions using its integrated 4G-LTE satellite network.

Hughes Earns Top Rating from Better Business Bureau

Hughes Network Systems, provider of broadband satellite networks and services, announced an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for its HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet service. The HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet service is available to customers in the contiguous U.S. with a clear view of the southern sky.
The BBB research states that all its accreditation standards and the addressing of all customer issues have been met by Hughes.
The BBB research takes into account a company's business practices and responsiveness to customer concerns, factoring in elements such as company longevity, size, and commitment to BBB standards. The ranking is reflective of the effectiveness of the company in resolving customer issues.


Using satellite technology instead of landlines, HughesNet gives its customers, regardless of how remote their locations might be, a super-fast, always-on Internet connection.
The BBB A+ rating takes into account the major investments Hughes has made in bolstering its customer care capabilities. These efforts include new customer welcome support calls, new user tutorial videos, auto-repair troubleshooting services, and establishing customer-driven advocacy and advisory support services, among many other initiatives for resolving customer issues quickly and thoroughly.

Thales communications gear for new subs

German submarine shipbuilder HDW has chosen Thales and Samsung Thales to provide the X-band Satcom Terminal for six South Korean submarines.
The satellite communications system from Thales's DIVESAT technology is a second-generation submarine terminal.

The system, which comes in versions for new submarines and for retrofit, is capable of operating at different frequency bands -- X, Ku, Ka or EHF -- and delivers high-tracking performances even in extreme environments.
It also guarantees high-level integrated communications, offering the latest innovations in terms of data rate requirements for voice and data transmission, Thales said in a news release.

KVH Industries Reports Second Quarter 2010 Results

KVH Industries, Inc.,a leading manufacturer of solutions that provide global high speed Internet, television and voice services via satellite to mobile users at sea, on land, and in the air, reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2010. Revenue for the second quarter of 2010 was $29.5 million, up 35% from the quarter ended June 30, 2009. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter totaled $0.36 on net income of $5.3 million. Net income resulted from pre-tax earnings of $2.0 million and a $3.3 million income tax benefit. Excluding the income tax benefit from the change in deferred income taxes valuation allowance, quarterly adjusted net income was approximately $1.3 million, and adjusted EPS was $0.09. During the same period last year the company reported net income of $0.2 million or $0.01 per diluted share, on revenues of $21.9 million.

For the six months ended June 30, 2010, revenue was $57.5 million, up 43% compared to $40.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2009. KVH reported net income of $7.4 million or $0.50 on a per diluted share basis for the first six months of 2010. Excluding the income tax benefit from the change in deferred income taxes valuation allowance, year to date adjusted net income was approximately $3.4 million, and year to date adjusted EPS was $0.23 per diluted share. During the same period last year, the company reported a net loss of $2.4 million or $0.17 on a per share basis.

Comtech Telecommunications announces $1.0 million in orders for new modem

Comtech Telecommunications Corporation announced that its Tempe, Arizona-based subsidiary, Comtech EF Data Corp., has received $1.0 million in orders for its new CDM-750 Advanced High-Speed Trunking Modem. The modems are being deployed by a leading operator of cellular telecommunications services in Southeast Asia to support high-speed GSM/IP trunking backhaul. By using the CDM-750, this operator will enable links of approximately 90 Mbps in 15.5 MHz of bandwidth, which is spectrally equivalent to running at 64-QAM over satellite.


The CDM-750 Advanced High-Speed Trunking Modem simultaneously supports DVB-S2, Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) and the award-winning DoubleTalk(R) Carrier-in-Carrier(R) bandwidth compression. Leveraging the DVB-S2 EN 302 307 LDPC/BCH standard, the CDM-750 provides a blend of coding and forward error correction (FEC) to ensure that the maximum amount of satellite traffic is transported for a given signal to noise capacity. With its ACM support, it can respond to changing link conditions by automatically adjusting modulation and FEC rates and converting link margin into user capacity under all conditions. Additionally, the DoubleTalk(R) Carrier-in-Carrier(R) technology allows the transmit and receive carriers of a full-duplex satellite link to be transmitted in the same transponder space. When combined with advanced FEC and modulation techniques, DoubleTalk(R) Carrier-in-Carrier(R) can deliver unprecedented operating expense savings.

Q-KON beams up the best of broadband for continent

Management at Q-KON, a South Africa-based provider of turnkey solutions covering specialist areas of telecommunications and ICT, has announced the launch of the company’s flagship VSAT service, called iDirect Evolution IBS (Internet Broadband Service), delivered via satellite to the benefit of a growing client base across Africa.

The IBS service is now available on C-Band beams via Intelsat IS905 satellite and is aimed at the corporate and Soho market, as well as ISPs and government bodies. It offers quality Internet-based services that may be used for broadband Internet, Voice and data.
In addition to the fact that the service is managed from the Q-KON Network Operations Centre in South Africa, it is hosted at the Mountainside Teleport in Washington. This means that the DVB-S2 iDirect hub is interconnected to the United States Internet backbone and offers fast Internet connectivity.
As a result, investors operating within key regions throughout Africa - including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, can now benefit from ‘always-on’ broadband satellite Internet.
The satellite IBS access service is a point-to-multipoint access service that provides a dedicated two-way communication circuit from an on-premise earth station at the customer site to the International Teleport facility in the US.
Interconnection from the remote site to the international teleport is via Intelsat IS905 satellite. From the teleport the access circuit is connected to the global Internet cloud via redundant STM-1 connections.
From a technical infrastructure point of view, the service is based on proven, advanced network product says Dawie de Wet, CEO, Q-KON.

CapRock Expands Information Assurance

CapRock Government Solutions, innovative specialty telecommunications and IT solutions partner for defense, intelligence and government organizations, announced a new strategic initiative to strengthen and extend its Information Assurance (IA) portfolio with the addition of key IA resources and expertise within the company. The new strategic focus will address a wide range of growing network threats and security challenges that government and military customers have been forced to contend with in recent years.
To assist its government customers in strengthening the confidentiality, integrity, availability and over-arching security posture of their networks, CapRock has hired William Janosky as Director of Information Assurance. A highly respected IA subject matter expert, Janosky has extensive experience with advanced technologies and methodologies to help government agencies counter the growing sophistication of network threats and attacks.

Janosky has over twenty years of experience leading IA operations in support of Department of Defense (DoD) leadership including the Army and Navy Chief Information Officers. Previously, Janosky served as IA Manager at FCI, where he provided IA solutions to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for commercial satellite provisioning to U.S. Government end-users. He has extensive experience in DoD IA policy, operational strategy and risk mitigation.

In his new role, Janosky will be responsible for upgrading and implementing CapRock's overall IA posture and driving the company toward progressively higher standards of IA compliance. Janosky will also guide the expansion of CapRock's role in providing DoD-focused IA evaluations and assessments to commercial and government agencies looking to formalize their IA compliance programs. Janosky will report to Vice President of Operations, David Cavossa.
In addition to the multiple networks that CapRock manages for its customers across 63 satellites and 4GHz of capacity, the company also has extensive experience in integrating U.S. Defense installations onto DISA's Global Information Grid (GIG). CapRock's DoD customers rely on this secure information-sharing environment for access to decision-quality data.

BusinessCom Launches Evolution VSAT Services

BusinessCom, a global satellite Internet service provider, has launched iDirect Evolution enabled satellite Internet access services on the Loral Skynet Telstar-11N and the newly launched SES WORLD SKIES NSS-12 geostationary satellites. The new Evolution services are available on Ku-Band beams covering the Middle East, Iraq and many other countries. The new Evolution based services allow customers to enjoy always-on 24/7 broadband satellite Internet access with only a small 1.2m VSAT antenna and 3W block up-converters.

The iDirect Evolution platform selected by BusinessCom is an ideal choice for multi-service broadband satellite Internet access. The Evolution X3 modem is based on the DVB-S2 standard that delivers very high spectrum efficiency, and is backed up by ACM (Adaptive Coding and Modulation) technology.
The ACM automatically changes the outbound modulation and FEC overhead per each remote VSAT terminal on the fly, depending on the actual rain fade margins observed, allowing Evolution VSAT terminals to stay in the network even during heavy rainfalls. The return channel is based on a patented iDirect Deterministic TDMA technology that enables true QoS (Quality of Service) support.
The primary markets for the newly launched services, which complement BusinessCom's flagmanship PEP-iDirect solution, are demanding DTH and SOHO users, Internet cafes, SCADA and telemetry applications, and small to medium-sized Wireless Hot Spots. Because the Ku-Band Evolution X3 satellite based equipment is much more affordable than the C-Band PEP-iDirect VSAT kits, BusinessCom quality service just got one step closer to a consumer market.
With a built-in Ethernet interface, additional key features of the newly launched BusinessCom VSAT services include support for a rich set of IP protocols (including both TCP and UDP), multicasting, DHCP and NAT, built-in TCP and HTTP acceleration, advanced QoS and traffic prioritization and seamless terrestrial integration.

Satellite Optimization Meets the Kill Chain

The development of communication satellites during the volatile 1960s proved a major breakthrough in battle tech. But as the decades have passed the technology has become globalized – and even more important.

Satellite speed and accuracy are topics of great interest for our military leaders. To stay competitive on the world’s stage, satellite optimization is now more important to them than ever.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Howard Teicher, one of Expand networks’ founders. He is the company’s vice president of public sector and satellite markets, where he is responsible for Expand’s military, intelligence, civilian agency and satellite businesses.
I asked him how Expand’s accelerators, in particular, help the U.S. military achieve its goals abroad.
Howard responded by saying that, “If you track the manner in which the U.S. military attempts to destroy targets. It’s a process called the kill chain. The kill chain is fundamentally dependant on the ability of intelligence agencies to collect information, to transmit that information back to an analytical center which then transfers that information to commanders who then transfer this information on to the actual soldiers which are on the front line.”
He went on to discuss the “kill chain” in more depth. “This kill chain obviously takes time. The better the ability of the chain to be shortened, condensed, optimized, increases the ability of the war fighters to achieve their missions.”
After talking to Howard, I realized that Expand accelerators are in use in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are also used by international law enforcement officials to counter the narcotics trade.
And airborne optimization is used for command and control both at sea and underground. In virtually every area of tactical operation you will find Expand accelerators accelerating the kill chain.
In light of this information, it’s clear to me why satellite optimization is a necessary focus for our military.

Globalstar encouraged by the Federal Communications Commission

Globalstar, a provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, governments and consumers, announced that it is “encouraged by the Federal Communications Commission” initiation of proceedings to make wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband networks using mobile satellite services or “MSS” spectrum.”
The FCC has announced it is taking steps to make additional spectrum available for new investment in mobile broadband networks by promoting flexible use and removing barriers, while ensuring robust mobile satellite capabilities.
Additionally the FCC also stated that the three frequency bands that are allocated to the MSS are capable of supporting broadband service. “Big LEO Band from 1610-1626.5 MHz and 2483.5-2500 MHz.”

Globalstar, which provides services to approximately 400,000 subscribers in the United States and over 120 other countries using Big LEO Band global MSS spectrum, commented the FCC’s announcement will benefit both the MSS industry and the American people.
Globalstar is licensed by the FCC to use a total of 19.275 MHz of its Big LEO spectrum (1610-1617.775/2483.5-2495 MHz) for ancillary terrestrial component or “ATC” use.
Open Range Communications began offering wireless broadband Internet services to subscribers in rural America in November 2009 and the Company is expected to provide service to over 200 rural communities by the end of 2010.

Peter Dalton, CEO of Globalstar, said: "With Globalstar’s second-generation satellite constellation launch expected to begin in less than 90 days, the company is expected to fulfill the FCC's goal of ensuring that the MSS industry remains robust while looking for ways to utilize Globalstar's spectrum to advance the goals of the Broadband Plan.
The FCC's overtures will also help remove regulatory barriers to terrestrial use of MSS spectrum, Globalstar thinks.
Globalstar is already using the spectrum efficiently through their ATC agreement with wireless broadband provider Open Range Communication. The company has contracted to use both L and S-band spectrum authority to deliver broadband services to all Americans.

Globalstar recently announced it has opened a 90-day launch window for the inaugural lift-off of six Globalstar second-generation satellites, TMCnet reported.

lunes, 26 de julio de 2010

Tiscali opts for Eutelsat to expand broadband coverage

Italian telco Tiscali has signed an agreement with Eutelsat Communications to expand its range of broadband products. Branded Tiscali BroadbandSat, the new satellite service will target homes across Italy that are beyond the range of existing high speed terrestrial networks. The service will use Tooway consumer broadband technology, provided by Eutelsat Communications and its Skylogic subsidiary. The service, which offers speeds and prices comparable to ADSL, will enable Tiscali to reach the 12% of the Italian population currently not served by ADSL or fibre.

Tooway is already serving customers in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Ireland - with additional countries preparing to roll out the service. Luca Scano, general manager of Tiscali commented: "We are delighted to enlarge our broadband service portfolio with the Tooway consumer broadband technology provided by Eutelsat. Their expertise and satellite technology will support our mission to make broadband available in the most extended manner and with the best ratio in terms of price and quality".

American Aerospace

Forty-seven years ago, the United States successfully orbited the world's first geosynchronous communications satellite. This accomplishment marked the advent of today's massive global communications market.
A geosynchronous orbit is one in which the orbital period of a satellite is equal to the time it takes the Earth to complete one revolution about its rotational axis. That is, the satellite completes one revolution around the Earth in slightly less than 24 hours. The altitude for such an orbit is 22,300 miles.
A geostationary orbit is a geosynchronous orbit that lies in the Earth's equatorial plane. A peculiarity of a geostationary orbit is that the satellite's position above the Earth remains fixed. Three (3) satellites equally spaced around the Earth in geostationary orbit are within direct line-of-sight of each other. Earth-based stations can use this arrangement to relay radio, television and other signals to any point on the globe.
The Hughes Aircraft Company in California began working on a concept for a geosynchronous satellite in early 1959. A trio of Hughes engineers (Harold Rosen, Thomas Hudspeth and Donald Williams) ultimately came up with a workable geosynchronous satellite design. It became known as Syncom -- Synchronous Communications Satellite.
Syncom was cylindrical in shape. It measured 28 inches in diameter and had a height of 15.35 inches. The satellite weighed about 150 pounds fully fueled. Syncom's external surface was covered with solar cells for power generation with nickel-cadmium batteries used for power storage. Syncom was spun about its symmetry axis for stabilization. Attitude control was provided by an array of nitrogen thrusters.
Syncom 1 was launched on Thursday, 14 February 1963 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Unfortunately, the spacecraft's signal was lost during the final boost to geosynchronous orbit. The loss of signal was attributed to an electrical failure. Later, ground-based telescope observations confirmed that the satellite had achieved a near-geosynchronous orbit.
Syncom 2 was launched from Cape Canaveral's LC-17A at 14:38 UTC on Friday, 26 July 1963. A NASA Thor-Delta B provided the ride into orbit. Syncom's 1,000-pound thrust apogee motor was used for the final ascent to a quasi-geosynchronous orbit. Over a period of several weeks, the satellite was nudged into a true geosynchronous orbit.
Syncom 2?s geosynchronous orbit was inclined 33 degrees with respect to the Earth's equator. Thus, the resulting orbit was not geostationary. Coupled with the Earth's rotation, the spacecraft actually moved in a figure-8 pattern over the globe that tracked 33 degrees north and south of the equator.

Syncom 2 went into active service on Friday, 16 August 1963. The satellite went on to perform brilliantly in its intended role as a communications link. A companion satellite, Syncom 3, was launched on Monday, 19 August 1964 and subsequently joined Syncom 2 in geosynchronous orbit. Significantly, Syncom 3 was used to broadcast the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics to America.
Syncom 2 and 3 continued to provide intercontinental communications across the Pacific Ocean until 1966. Increasingly more sophisticated and capable satellites followed. The communications revolution that Syncom started has grown to the point where there are now several hundred communications satellites operating in geosynchronous orbit about the Earth. While long silent, Syncom 2 and 3 continue to orbit the Earth today.

Telecoms in a different splashdown

After years of doing business in outer space with its satellite phones, Thuraya has splashed down with a new product for maritime communications.
The UAE-based telecommunications operator is offering handsets and basic internet connections using two satellites covering Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Thuraya distributes three handsets sold by authorised dealers, two of which are able to connect to the internet through a satellite link. It has sold about 500,000 devices since it began commercial operations in 2002.
Sultan Ahmed al Ghafli, the chief strategy officer for Thuraya, said the operator had about 250,000 subscribers using its handsets around the world but was also losing customers.

Worldwide satellite mobile revenues have been flat between 2008 and last year at US$2.2 billion (Dh8.08bn), figures from the Satellite Industry Association show.
To stimulate growth, Thuraya has developed products aimed at the lucrative maritime market, including a phone and internet bundle that will be launched this October at the Gitex technology conference.

With 250 Million Messages Being Sent Via AmosConnect Maritime Email Service, Stratos Touches New Height

Stratos Global is globally known for its suits of advanced mobile and fixed-site remote communications solutions. With its AmosConnect maritime satellite communications service, the company has reached a milestone, where some 250 million messages were sent via its remarkable maritime satellite communications service.

It was just the last month that the latest version of AmosConnect---AmosConnect 8---was released by Stratos. It enhances new broadband IP-based maritime satellite services which include FleetBroadband, Iridium  OpenPort and the VSAT solutions OceanVSAT and StratosITek. Integration with these broadband services enables users to control their sessions and ensure optimal airtime use directly from AmosConnect.
In its latest version, AmosConnect 8 includes such features as StratosNet Accelerator, extended remote configuration, cost allocation and extended message filtering in addition to its existing features of email messaging, automatic file transfer and data synchronization. These improvements, according to Stratos, would help ensure streamlined operations, cost efficiency and optimization of available bandwidth.
Stratos said that new AmosConnect 8 optimizes the use of satellite airtime by automatically compressing and caching all transfers. AmosConnect 8 also supports all narrowband satellite connections. Stratos' new AmosConnect hub platform, featuring ultra-modern hardware technology, has been extensively tested and began operation last month.
According to Stratos, nearly 20,000 AmosConnect from Stratos licenses have been issued and the service is used by more than 200,000 officers and crewmembers on vessels operated by Wallem Shipmanagement, Dockendale Shipping and the Royal Netherlands Navy, among others. Stratos is the largest supplier of mobile satellite services to the maritime industry, with communications to more than 40,000 maritime terminals worldwide.
Wallem Shipmanagement has been using this user-friendly and robust AmosConnect application for quite some for business and crew communication. The Crown Garnet from Wallem Shipmanagement was the very vessel that transmitted the milestone message. Interesting to note that Wallem deploys AmosConnect on more than 100 vessels.


Integrated communication services are essential for maritime industry as nothing can better handle corporate productivity and crew satisfaction simultaneously. And Stratos has always stayed committed to this growing industry need.
Stratos President and CEO Jim Parm commented: “We reached this milestone quicker than anyone expected. This is further proof of our commitment to meet the maritime industry's need for integrated communications services that help ensure both corporate productivity and crew satisfaction for an ever-growing global population. Today's news also is testament to our engineers who design and deploy our AmosConnect service, as well as to our customer-service professionals who consistently ensure end-user satisfaction”.

Hughes Maritime Broadband Solution Upgrades Black Elk Energy's Offshore Capabilities

Off-shore capabilities are being upgraded by Houston-based oil and gas company, Black Elk Energy. The safety, efficiency, and profitability of its Gulf of Mexico operations will be improved with a fully managed broadband satellite solution from Hughes Network Systems. Black Elk-operated production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico with HX broadband satellite routers will be equipped with HX broadband satellite routers by Hughes. High-speed Internet, SCADA, Wi-Fi, Fax, and VHF radio backhaul services will also be provided by Hughes. An Environmental & Safety Systems International or ESSI Corporation, Hughes is a provider of broadband satellite networks and services.

With a focus on clean-burning natural gas, Black Elk Energy is an ecologically-minded company. The company has a distinctly different structure from its competitors. The health and safety of its team and the environment are ensured by the company by seeking out new technologies and at the same time improving its production efficiencies.
A highly reliable network infrastructure for remote communications and real-time monitoring is provided by the Hughes Maritime Broadband solution. The solution also provides compliance reporting, emergency response, and a host of other platform-to-shore applications.

According to Kim Adams, president, ESSI Corporation, ESSI is pleased to have won this high visibility account. The kind of customer ESSI services best is represented by Black Elk's stringent technical requirements and demanding standards. Adams added that ESSI looks forward to a long and successful relationship with Black Elk.

European Officials Embrace Open Data Policy for GMES Satellites

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Parliament have endorsed the idea of free and open access to data from Europe’s future generation of Sentinel Earth observation satellites, with the possible exception of imagery with a ground resolution sharper than 10 meters, European government officials said.
The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) project, in which three types of Sentinel satellites play a key role, ultimately will be owned by the 27-nation European Union, with its data policy to be set by European Union governments and the European Commission.
But with ESA already adopting the policy for the satellites it controls and the recent European Parliament endorsement of the free-and-open scheme, officials here said they were confident that most GMES data would be open to just about anyone in the world with access to a broadband Internet connection.
ESA Earth Observation Director Volker Liebig said the agency has already thrown open access to its Earth observation satellites, eliminating the need to wait for an announcement of opportunity, or AO, before submitting a request for data and awaiting approval.
“You don’t need to go through the AO anymore,” Liebig said. “Obviously we are restricted by our own data processing system, so you can’t order full-planet coverage and ask for delivery within five days.”
In its June 16 resolution on GMES, the European Parliament endorsed this view, concluding:
“There should be a full and open-access data policy for the Sentinels through a free-of-charge licensing and online access scheme, subject to security aspects.”
Gunther Kohlhammer, head of ESA’s Earth observation ground segment department, said June 29 satellites whose data are made part of the GMES portfolio but are not owned by ESA or the European Commission — so-called Third-Party Missions — may have more-restrictive data-distribution policies that GMES managers will have to respect.
In addition, Kohlhammer said the European Commission’s ongoing review of the security aspects of GMES could add new wrinkles to the overall open-access policy, particularly with respect to high-resolution imagery.
“Ten meters is the range where operators offer data free and open and that is what we are talking about now — imagery with a ground resolution of 10 meters and greater will be subject to the free-and-open policy. The Sentinels, as defined, adopt this 10-meter limit. But the ‘S’ in GMES could force a review,” he said of security-related concerns that could still surface.
Satellite data access has been a hotly debated topic for years. Some argue that the private sector will not fully develop the sector if the imagery cannot be put behind a firewall and prepared for sale. Others, pointing to the U.S. GPS navigation system, say offering the data free of charge at the source, and having the private sector focus on value-added services, is the best way to stimulate the use of the data.
Access to U.S. Landsat data used to be subject to fees. Since it has been available free of charge, downloads of Landsat data have increased “exponentially,” said Timothy Stryker, director of policy, plans and analysis for land remote sensing at the U.S. Geological Survey.
The August 2008 decision to make the archives of Landsat data available on the web without charge has resulted in a 60-fold increase in the number of scenes downloaded per day, with U.S. and Chinese users being the most frequent of the 186 nations that have taken advantage of the service, Stryker said here June 28.

Ariane 5 lifts off Arabsat-5A, COMS satellites

French launcher Ariane 5 lifted off Arabsat-5A and South Korea's COMS satellites in French Guiana one minute after the launch window opened at 6:41 p.m. Saturday local time (GMT 0941).
After two stops of the last minute countdown, the Saturday launch marked the second Ariane 5 flight of 2010.
The heavy-lift Ariane 5 weighed approximately 8,390 kg as a whole, including a combined mass of 7,315 kg for the two satellites.
Arabsat-5A, the spacecraft on the upper position in the rocket, was built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space on a Turkey contract for the Arabsat telecommunications operator, and is to operate at an orbital location of 30.5 degree East.
As the seventh Arabsat satellite lofted by the Ariane family, it is expected to offer telecommunications and TV broadcasting services over the Middle East and Africa.
South Korea's COMS (Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite) is a multi-mission satellite with three payloads for meteorological observation, ocean surveillance and experimental broadband multimedia communications.
Astrium and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute are joint producer of the COMS multitasker, which was ejected at 32 minutes into the flight following the separation of Arabsat-5A.
The 2010 second flight was previously scheduled for Wednesday night, but due to subsystem anomaly, it was postponed to Thursday night. However, the second try was also frustrated by atypical problem to pressurization system.
The Paris-HQed Arianespace announced earlier Saturday that the launch was reset for the night after "precise analysis" and " complementary checks" of the observed anomaly were carried out.
The two satellites will head to geostationary orbit during their remaining trip. The company has targeted seven missions for the whole year.

sábado, 24 de julio de 2010

The Battlefield Internet Sneaks Up On Everyone

One of the big changes in the American military in the last decade has been the emergence of the battlefield Internet. This can be seen by the growth in the number of radios (nearly tripled, to over 900,000) and the increase in data transmission capability (“bandwidth”) from 46 megabytes (million bytes) per second in late 2001, to nearly ten giga (billion) bytes per second now. This is just for troops in CENTCOM (the Middle East and Afghanistan). That’s 200 times more data being pushed through three times as many “wireless devices” (radios). This doesn’t even count the many cell phones and laptops used by troops in the combat zone, which often use civilian bandwidth.

The major consumer of all this new bandwidth is the use is live video being generated by the increasing number of vidcams on the battlefield. These vids are being exchanged by the units cooperating in an operation. This huge growth in bandwidth began in the 1990s, when the U.S. armed forces moved to satellite communications in a big way. This made sense, especially where troops often have to set up shop in out of the way places and need a reliable way to keep in touch with nearby forces on land and sea as well as bases and headquarters back in the United States. At the time of the 1991 Gulf War, there was enough satellite military communications capacity (commonly known as "bandwidth") in the Persian Gulf for about 1,300 simultaneous phone calls. Or, 12 megabytes per second. But while the military has a lot more satellite capacity now (the exact amount is a secret), demand has increased even faster. UAV reconnaissance aircraft use enormous amounts of satellite capacity. The Global Hawk needed 60 megabytes per second, and Predators about half as much. The major consumer of bandwidth is the live video.
UAVs have other sensors as well, as do aircraft. A voice radio connection only takes about 240 bytes per second, and each of the multiple channels needed to control the UAVs use about the same. But it adds up, especially since the military wants high resolution video. At the moment, the U.S. has far more demand for satellite communications than it can support. As a result, not all the Predator and Global Hawk UAVs in combat zones have sufficient bandwidth to send their video back to the United States. Data compression and using lower resolution is often necessary, or using satellite substitutes (aircraft carrying transponders) to send the video to local users. The substitutes are becoming more common, simply because there is neither the money, nor the time, to get sufficient satellites into orbit.

While the larger UAVs need satcomm to send video back to the United States, most of the bandwidth demand now is for local use. Tanks, helicopters and aircraft are all sending and receiving more vids, maps and data of all sorts. The combat Internet is hardly identical to the civilian one, but the basic idea is the same; to keep everyone connected, all the time. More radios, and other wireless devices are on the way, as well as more features any Internet user would recognize, all available while under fire.

Thuraya Handheld Phones to be Sold at Bahrain Duty Free

To expand direct sales to regional and business travelers, Thuraya’s mobile satellite phones are now available in Bahrain Duty Free, which is one of the busiest transit points in the Middle East. Thuraya is aiming to serve travelers who are heading towards Gulf states via Bahrain for business, tourism or leisure as it is a vital hub for several Gulf residents.

“Market research has indicated that demand for Thuraya phones via Bahrain airport is enormous. With massive passenger traffic growing at Bahrain airport, we want to ensure our customers can easily purchase our phones from the airport retail outlets,” said Thuraya’s Chief Strategy Officer, Mr. Sultan Al Ghafli.
He also added that by expanding Thuraya’s current distribution network through airport outlets, the Company will be able to grow its handhelds customer base which is already the largest in the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) market.
On top of Thuraya’s handhelds portfolio is XT which is the world’s toughest and lightest satellite handheld phone. The XT is a uniquely smart handheld with the fastest data service and has GPS waypoint navigation. It is also extremely robust and durable. In addition, Thuraya’s SO-2510 (satellite only) and SG-2520 (a dual satellite/GSM phone) also will be available at Bahrain Duty Free.

Bahrain Airport has approximately 45 airlines with passengers traveling to over 65 destinations and more than 9 million annual travelers. Most recently, it has been named as the winner of the Best Airport in the Middle East Award at the Skytrax 2010 World Airport Awards.

Arabsat-5A and BADR-5 satellites have been handed over to Arabsat by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space

The Arabsat-5A and BADR-5 satellites have been handed over to Arabsat by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, as part of the in-orbit delivery contract and have entered commercial service. Both satellites were deployed and tested in orbit in the same time period, due to their close launch dates.

Arabsat-5AAfter the successful completion of in-orbit testing, the BADR-3, which was launched via a Proton vehicle on June 3rd, was officially transferred to Arabsat on July 17th, at the designated orbital location. This event was followed shortly by Arabsat-5A, launched by an Ariane 5 onJune 26th and officially transferred to Arabsat on July 21st at the designated orbital location, less than one month after launch. Astrium and Thales Alenia Space are acting as co-prime contractors for the satellites’ construction and delivery into orbit. Astrium, the team leader, supplied the Eurostar E3000 platforms and assembled and tested the spacecraft. Thales Alenia Space supplied the communications payloads. The Launch and Early Orbit Phases were conducted from the Astrium spacecraft control centre in Toulouse, and the In-Orbit Testing from the Arabsat main control centre in Riyadh with the participation of the Arabsat control centre in Tunis. Arabsat’s first 5th generation satellites are now in commercial operation providing communications services.

BADR-5 is collocated with the BADR-4 and BADR-6 DTH satellites at Arabsat’s hot spot. BADR-5 provides the highest level of service within the MENA region as well as new services for the Central Asia region. BADR 5 provides capacity for more than 700 TV channels, HDTV, 3D, telecom services as well as providing a ful,l in orbit backup for the Arabsat fleet. BADR-5 is equipped with a payload that includes 56 transponders operating in different bands. Arabsat-5A is a multi-mission satellite which provides additional transmission capacity at the Arabsat orbital position for a wide range of satellite communications services, covering the African contenent, Central Asia, and Middle East regions. Arabsat-5A is a Eurostar E3000 satellite equipped with a payload that includes 50 active transponders operating in different bands.


viernes, 23 de julio de 2010

Astrium creates presence for geo-information in Greece

Astrium has strengthened its presence in Greece by creating the company Spot Infoterra Hellas, a provider of geo-information products and services.

The Greek company Geomet, a long-standing partner of Spot Image and Infoterra in Greece, will be merged into the new entity.
Spot Infoterra Hellas will be distributing the full range of Spot Infoterra products and services, including data provided by the Spot, Pleiades and TerraSAR-X Earth observation satellites.

Talia Maintains Powerful Platform — Celebrates Launch of Arabsat 5A

Talia, a major supplier of satellite Internet for Africa, the Middle East, and Europe announced the successful launch of Arabsat's newest satellite, Arabsat 5A on July 2nd. With significant capacity for both Africa and the Middle East, Arabsat 5A provides a new and powerful platform for Talia customers throughout all of Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
Arabsat 5A will provide a wide of satellite communications services for Middle East and Africa .


Arabsat 5A, a multi-mission satellite, will operate at 30.5 degree East to increase satellite communications and broadcasting services over sub-Saharan Africa, the North-Africa and Middle East region, and beyond. Launched on 27 June 2010, by Arianespace in French Guyana, Talia will offers dedicated services, trunking, and the complete host of iDirect services on Arabsat 5A, including VNO and private network options. Arabsat 5A joins Arabsat BADR-6, and Ku-band services on Telesat T11N to enhance Talia's African service portfolio and NSS-12 and Telstar 12 in the Middle East.

UK Space Agency to launch CubeSat

The UK Space Agency has announced a one-year pilot programme to design and launch a CubeSat and is running a competition for ideas for payloads.This miniature, cube-shaped satellite will allow the UK to test new space technologies and carry out new space research ‘cheaply’ and quickly.
The pilot programme, named UKube 1, will use a spacecraft platform that is currently under development by the company Clyde Space Ltd and will involve a competition amongst companies and academic groups to come up with the most innovative ideas for payloads. The winning payloads will be launched on the satellite in mid 2011.
Companies and academics who are interested in designing a payload can contact the UK Space Agency for more information.
There is another CubeSat under construction in the UK called FUNcube.
It is being built by AMSAT-UK and the hardware will be shown at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford July 31 - Aug 1.

3rd CCG provides connectivity at bare base in Afghanistan

Senior Airman Brad Scala, 34th Combat Communications Squadron uses an Iridium satellite phone to receive information in order to get the ground multi-band terminal up and running while deployed with a 50 member team from the 3rd Combat Communications Group, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. charged with setting up communications and internet connectivity at a bare base in Afghanistan.

Comtech Telecommunications Sank To A New Low On Contract News

Comtech Telecommunications announced that its subsidiary, Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp., was advised by the U.S. Army Contracting Command-CECOM Contracting Center that it was not selected as the program manager and vendor for the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, Blue Force Tracking 2 program.

Comtech Telecommunications spiked sharply to the downside following the announcement. Shares slipped further around 1:30PM and finished lower by 10 points at $21.30 on the highest volume of the year. The stock sank to a new low for the year.

Satellite Saga

The Paris Court of Commerce last week handed a victory to the Russian propaganda machine, allowing French satellite operator Eutelsat—one quarter French Government-owned—to bar Tbilisi-based First Caucasus Television from one of its broadcast satellites.
For now, this prevents First Caucasus from reaching most of its intended Russian-speaking audience. Nonetheless, the station is determined to get back on the air, which will strike a blow for media freedom everywhere. Meanwhile, the saga of First Caucasus Television evokes some worthwhile observations.
The saga originates in early 2008 when Russia began preparing its invasion of Georgia. For six months, logistics were laid. Land, sea and air forces were mobilized, trained and exercised. “Volunteers” were recruited. Heavily armed Russian troops reinforced so-called peacekeepers in the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Medical capabilities, fuel and armaments were pre-positioned in the territories. Beginning on August 2, a crowd of journalists was emplaced in Tskhinvali, the administrative center of South Ossetia.
The stage was set for the August 7 invasion.
Off stage, Russian forces executed their war plan, including attacks on civilians, complemented by looting, vandalism, rape, murder and, ultimately, ethnic cleansing and occupation. On stage, the Russian propaganda machine presented a tragicomedy of Georgian aggression, even “genocide,” in which Russia alternated between the roles of victim and savior.
Many westerners bought it; most Russians bought it. Indeed, many Russians believe that Georgia is a large, aggressive, CIA-run country, seething with American Marines and terrorists poised to strike poor Russia. Misled about Georgia, they are unaware that Russian policies and actions in the North Caucasus may soon drag the entire region into disaster. As in Soviet times, many people no doubt suspect that they do not know the truth, but they have not the means to learn the truth. The Kremlin controls or intimidates the Russian-language media.
First Caucasus Television was conceived as “the first Russian language television station in the Caucasus that is not controlled by the Kremlin.” Part of Georgian Public Broadcasting (GPB), it would focus on the North Caucasus, but also present content interesting to Russian speakers across the former Soviet space. By late 2009, the station was ready to broadcast.


On December 14, GPB and Eutelsat concluded a €600,000 per year five year contract to broadcast via the French company’s W7 satellite. A week of trial broadcasts began on January 15. And the Russian propaganda machine was ready.
Speaking in the North Caucasus Republic of North Ossetia on January 14, Russian Deputy Interior Minister Arkady Yedelev said, “The closest attention should be paid to a brainchild of the Georgian propaganda machine…sponsored by the American structures…the television channel is definitely directed toward planting an anti-Russia, anti-state stance and the ideology of extremism.”
Remarkably, on the very day that W7 began beaming First Caucasian programs, Eutelsat announced that it had leased the satellite’s entire capacity for its entire on-orbit life to Moscow-based Intersputnik. W7 would broadcast Gazprom Media Group’s NTV-Plus programs.
Then Eutelsat began spouting spurious concerns about First Caucasian: technical issues with First Caucasian’s signal, fear of computer hackers and, of course, concerns over First Caucasian’s content.
Finally, Eutelsat said, Intersputnik offered “a firm contract for significantly more capacity than that requested by the Georgian broadcaster.” Precise figures are difficult to find, but sources say that Intersputnik’s business with Eutelsat may be worth €200 million.
Eutelsat offered to host First Caucasian on its W2A satellite, a red herring designed to deflect suspicions. Television broadcast satellites orbit the earth 35,786 kilometers above the equator at a speed that keeps them always above the same location on earth.
W7, the originally contracted satellite, orbits at 36o East, above Kenya, in East Africa. Moving north, the 36o East line roughly passes through Kharkiv, Ukraine and Moscow, making it, in the words of Eutelsat’s website, “a key orbital location for TV broadcasting in Russia, the CIS, Central Asia and Africa.” In contrast, W2A orbits at 10o East, above Gabon, in West Africa. The 10o line roughly passes through Milan and Frankfurt, again quoting the Eutelsat website, “serving Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.”
Understandably, GPB refused. Instead, it asked the French courts to enforce its contract with Eutelsat, which maintained that there was no valid contract with GPB. The Paris Commerce Court apparently found sufficient defects in the contract to rule in Eutelsat’s favor.
It would be naïve, however, to believe that this was a routine court case, decided on technical merits. The French Government is unlikely to have stood by on a matter so diplomatically delicate with a partially government-owned company before a French court.
Arguably legal in France or not, the real story here is that Eutelsat booted First Caucasian as a result of some combination of Russian money and pressure, likely with at least the acquiescence of the French Government.
And this is just one episode in the ongoing global information struggle, which prompts three observations.
First, despite the vogue for blather about globalization, vast chunks of humanity still live in informational black holes. It is no coincidence that controversy also swirls around Eutelsat for shunning television broadcasts aimed at China and Iran. This underscores the need for efforts such as First Caucasian, Radio Free Europe and many others.
Second, these efforts are sorely needed for Russian-speaking audiences, most of which live in informational black holes. In particular, having stamped out media freedom at home, the Russian propaganda machine reaches abroad with money and threats to stifle any hope of free information reaching people in Russia.
Third, many in the West are all too eager to clasp the hand of Russian repression. The saga of First Caucasian Television unfolds in France, but, honestly, similar things can—and do—happen in other western countries. A quip probably apocryphally attributed to Lenin is as applicable today as it was ninety years ago: "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."
Let us hope that First Caucasian finds another satellite before that happens.

Outerlink Tracking and Communications Operates Successfully in School Evacuation Exercise

Outerlink Corporation, a leading provider of satellite-based mobile asset management solutions, announced today that it had participated in the 2010 Sandwich School Evacuation Exercise. Sandwich, Massachusetts is located on Cape Cod in close proximity to the Yankee Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant and abuts the Otis Air National Guard base. Working with Sandwich first responders, Outerlink supplied satellite and terrestrial based communications and tracking for the exercise which involved evacuation of children with disabilities from their school to a safe haven.

Various devices from Outerlink were tracked throughout the exercise by the Outerlink Emergency Management System (OEMS). The OEMS is a free standing control system that is independent of terrestrial based power and communications links.
In the simulation, the OEMS monitored three different Outerlink tracking devices: the Outerlink Personal Tracking Unit, the Mobile CP4i and the ground version of Outerlink's CP2. The personal Tracking Unit was the only device that utilized terrestrial connectivity during the exercise and is a placeholder for a new satellite based device that will be unveiled by the Company later this year. The Mobile CP2i provided satellite based voice communications for Sandwich Police. Outerlink CP2s were used to track school buses, police vehicles and ambulances during the exercise.
As a preplanned part of the simulation the PTU tracked one of the students and his aid as they left the communication bubble during the exercise. Sandwich first responders relied on the command center screen to locate the missing students. Event managers dispatched ground assets to retrieve the student.
In an unplanned event, the CP2 was utilized when one of the buses left the scene to return to the school without an escort. Event managers were able to track down the bus on the screen and coordinate with the CP2 unit in one of the police cars to make sure the bus arrived back at the school safely.
Outerlink Chief Executive Officer, Steve Durante, commented on the drill: "The exercise was a clear example of how public and private entities can join forces to produce a very beneficial product that will benefit many citizens in the future."

Gateway Business Selects Cisco for MPLS Solution in Africa

Gateway Business, a Vodacom Group company and a supplier of African telecommunications services, has selected Cisco for its MPLS network in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa.
Officials with Cisco said that by utilizing the company’s technology, Gateway Business is able to use MPLS at the core of its pan-African network and a blend of fiber, wireless or satellite at the access level.
Gateway Business is one of the largest independent providers of secure, high speed, reliable bandwidth services in Africa. Over 1,500 multi-national corporations rely on Gateway to deliver business critical information between head quarters and branch offices from simple voice solutions, to private MPLS virtual private networks (VPNs) and internet access.
In Nigeria, Gateway Business is deploying a national MPLS network, rolling out wireless broadband services across 36 different states in 2010 and 2011.
This agreement with Cisco will help Gateway to deploy a range of new services for customers in Nigeria, West Africa, and across the African continent.

"Gateway focuses on delivering an integrated end-user experience through high quality products and services to our customers throughout the sub-Saharan region”, said Paul Jaikaran, executive director (technology) Gateway Business, in a statement.
Jaikaran said that Cisco's leadership in IP solutions will enable the company to maintain this competitive advantage by delivering converged voice, video, and data services on a common infrastructure to both consumers and business.
He said that this is another key milestone for Gateway Business as the company continues to invest in and deploy world class terrestrial networks across Africa.
Company officials said that Cisco IOS MPLS technology solutions will enable Gateway Communications (News - Alert) to build a next-generation intelligent network that delivers a wide variety of advanced, value-added services over a single infrastructure.
According to company officials, this economical solution can be integrated seamlessly over any existing infrastructure, such as IP, Frame Relay, ATM, or Ethernet.
Subscribers with differing access links can be aggregated on an MPLS edge without changing their current environments, as MPLS is independent of access technologies.

MPLS, company officials said, fuses the intelligence of routing with the performance of switching and provides significant benefits to networks with a pure IP architecture as well as those with IP and ATM or a mix of other Layer 2 technologies.
Cisco officials said that MPLS technology is key to scalable virtual private networks (VPNs) and end-to-end quality of service (QoS), enabling efficient utilization of existing networks to meet future growth and rapid fault correction of link and node failure.
The technology also helps deliver highly scalable, differentiated end-to-end IP services with simpler configuration, management, and provisioning for both Internet providers and subscribers. A wide range of platforms support this solution, which is essential for both service provider and enterprise networks.
"Innovative service providers like Gateway are rapidly bridging the digital divide and establishing connected communities,” said Richard Edet, general manager, Cisco Nigeria.
Ede said that Gateway uniquely combines impressive global coverage with an unrivalled local presence and the Cisco powered MPLS network will help take its customer offering to the next level.