Three Steps to Unlock the Promise of High Throughput Satellites
By Mark Rasmussen, Vice President, Americas
High throughput satellites (HTS) have much to offer in terms of power and, well, throughput. What isn’t quite as clear is how best for customers to implement an HTS solution that meets their needs. At Intelsat, we believe that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Rather, it’s important to have a conversation with your provider about your business needs today and into the future.
If your provider is only talking about bits, you’re missing the boat altogether. There are (at least) three critical questions that should be considered when beginning the HTS discussion.
- Do you have the right infrastructure to seamlessly manage an increasingly complex network? Some of our customers want to build their own networks and invest in hubs and other equipment at their various corporate locations and buy bandwidth from us. These are usually operations with predictable bandwidth needs and fixed sites. Other customers prefer not to invest in capex to such an extent. For those customers, our managed services offer a viable, economical alternative with no need to invest in hubs and other equipment where they want satellite connections.
- Do you have the in-house staff to actively manage a network? Depending on your business, the applications served and seasonality, you may be faced with an ever-more-complex inventory of bandwidth that may be used sometimes and sit idle at other times. That can be a complicated – not to mention risky – proposition for some businesses to manage. Our IntelsatOne Flex for enterprise service simplifies network management by removing the notion of satellites and beams as well as the need to invest in terrestrial infrastructure. Instead, we aggregate capacity from many of our satellites to create a 5 Gbps global pool that combines both wide beams and spot beams. For many of our customers, this is a more economical solution that also minimizes the risk inherent in maintaining an inventory of bandwidth that may become difficult to monetize if their end users all show up in certain beams and vacate others.
Which brings us to the third question…
- Is your traffic mobile or stationary? When end terminals are literally on the move, as in aeronautical, maritime and some government applications, contracting capacity across mobile users in the right locations and quantity to maintain Committed Information Rates or Service Level Agreements can be a challenge. Airlines may be a little less complex to serve because bandwidth allocations can be engineered around scheduled flights. However, maritime and government needs can be unpredictable and service commitments for these applications can create a certain amount of financial risk, especially with irregular beam utilization. Here, again, our IntelsatOne Flex service can make less predictable or volatile traffic – and even the notion of peak and off-peak demand – more manageable with guaranteed Committed Information Rates and Service Level Agreements within pre-defined zones made up of wide beams and spot beams.
Making the best use of satellite services tied to a corporate network is growing ever more complex with the proliferation of connected devices, more sophisticated applications, and the widening global reach of company operations. The advent of high throughput satellites like the new Intelsat EpicNG platform raises this level of complexity even higher and considering these three questions can make it simpler than ever to unlock the promise of HTS.