2017 Trends in Broadband

Broadband …Moving Closer to Delivering the High-Quality Online Experience to End Users Who Go Where the Work Takes Them
Karen Emery, Director, Product Management, Broadband

The demand for connectivity anywhere, anytime and to any device, will continue to grow in 2017, both in traditional sectors such as wireless connectivity and enterprise networking as well as new opportunities in providing services to the fast-growing mobility, Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) sectors. But the difference in 2017 will be meeting the needs of users will move beyond simply providing capacity and evolve toward delivery quality services as well.

No single technology or company can reach all the possible markets and customers that will be available in the future. Satisfying this demand will require hybrid communications solutions combining fiber, wireless networks and satellite. Hybrid networks comprised of technologies that work together seamlessly will be critical to meet the needs of the connected world in 2017 and beyond, and HTS satellites such as Intelsat EpicNG are in orbit and ready to serve as the connection point for remote regions.

As IoT and M2M become more common – a report by Juniper Research, “The Internet of Things: Consumer, Industrial & Public Services 2016-2021,” forecasts that the number of IoT devices will increase by 200% to 46 billion units by 2021 – satellite connectivity will play a critical role in the hybrid systems that enterprise users who want to expand their operations will need.

But simply delivering the bandwidth does not end the challenge for communications providers. Once network operators and end users gain access to additional bandwidth, they will begin to look at what else is available and how to solve problems that raw bandwidth doesn’t fix. This is where network operators will be looking for service providers that can offer SLAs, service support and enable differentiation in a competitive market.

This will include supporting access to cloud-based applications and hybrid- or software-defined wide area networks to connect branch offices to data centers and applications over large geographic distances. As enterprises move more of their services to the cloud, it will be critical for the network operators in this area is the ability to ensure the same level of connectivity at all nodes of the network and the capability to monitor the entire network, quickly deliver access to employees and immediately identify and correct potential anomalies.

We believe this will highlight even further the advantages inherit in satellite connectivity. By enhancing satellite’s ability to cover vast areas with the bandwidth improvements delivered by HTS platforms such as Intelsat EpicNG and services such as IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise, network operators will enable their enterprise customers to quickly spin up additional connectivity on demand, providing the ability for quick expansion.

Network operators will also need to focus more on making their networks future-proof so they can react quickly to changing end-user demand. This is why Intelsat EpicNG is backward compatible with existing ground equipment, so customers don’t have to make additional investments to access HTS services, and why we’ve made it simpler and more cost-effective to integrate satellite services. This means network operators will benefit from the combination of the best of satellite and terrestrial technologies to more effectively serve end users.  Going forward, Intelsat will provide integration into and extension of Service Provider SD-WAN services, bringing on-demand capacity anytime, anywhere closer to reality.

In 2017, enterprise users will need broadband connectivity everywhere – even the most remote areas – and they will need more of it. This is why we believe this year will be a major tipping point for satellites, as it moves from a being seen as “filling the gaps” to becoming an essential technology of the hybrid communications networks the world needs.

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