I have been in the communications industry for over 50 years. One thing I have learned is that it takes a challenge to bring out creativity. These are challenging times. Even before the financial crisis, the satellite communications business was challenged by price and capacity. Satellites can do things no other form of communication can do. Broadcast one-to-many for the same cost as one-to-one. Provide comms-on-the-move and comms-on-the-pause. Connect remote regions into the network, and restore communications in minutes or hours. But no matter how useful satellites are, the high price of bandwidth limits their use. And in many regions, we are short of capacity to meet current needs, let alone future growth.
Globecomm is on the leading edge of companies that are finding more efficient ways to use satellite bandwidth. Higher efficiency delivers lower cost to our customers. It also protects their ability to get access to satellite when they need it. And it makes satellite a more reasonable part of a total network that may include fiber, microwave and wireless last-mile technologies, tied together by our unique expertise in making the most complex solutions simple for our customers.
In Europe, Africa and much of North America, satellite capacity is currently as tight as it has ever been. That's great news for the satellite carriers, who can charge a premium for the capacity they have left. But it's not such great news for their customers. As a result, getting more throughput from satellite bandwidth is now the goal of every Globecomm system and service. How do we do it? In most cases, it comes down to how you design, monitor and manage the network.
Designing It Right
For mobile carriers, our award-winning, demand-assigned SatCell technology optimizes mobile signaling and backhaul traffic for transmission as IP via satellite. Rather than following mobile network tradition – assigning a fixed amount of bandwidth to each base station – SatCell uses a hybrid architecture customized to the network's traffic volumes and patterns. It prioritizes traffic, dynamically shares bandwidth among base stations, and deploys higher-order modulation where needed. The result is a dramatic reduction in the bandwidth required to connect base stations, often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
For a recent air traffic control communications project in the Middle East, we designed a network to aggregate phone calls, wire circuits, asynchronous data service, IP data and 4-wire voice for air-to-ground circuits onto a single TDMA frame relay platform over satellite. Nobody had ever done it before. But we believed it would deliver high reliability while dramatically decreasing the amount of bandwidth needed to support the network. And it did.
To support troops in the field, Globecomm engineered a friendly-force tracking system that combines GPS and Inmarsat capacity to provide dynamic mapping of hundreds of vehicles in the field as well as text-based messaging among field units and with headquarters. The amount of satellite bandwidth involved is small, but the benefit to the troops and their commanders has been enormous.
Managing It Right
In each case, network design was important. But so was network management. Networks are dynamic, and small changes on the ground can have a ripple effect that impacts the efficiency of the entire network. Depending on what our customers want, we train their staff to monitor and continuously optimize the network, or we monitor, manage and optimize from our own Network Operations Center.
These are just a few examples of the many ways Globecomm works to bring communications – whether by satellite, fiber, microwave or wireless – to the next level of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Rather than asking you to adopt the technology we happen to offer, we develop and provide solutions from best-of-breed technologies, based on the enormous combined experience of one of the largest engineering staffs the business. For help with your next project, contact Globecomm today.
Globecomm recently completed a state-of-the-art Media Processing Center in New Delhi, India providing program origination for Bharti Airtel's new DTH service, digital TV. Airtel digital TV employs MPEG-4 over DVB-S2 to offer high audio and video quality in an HD-ready system, with a universal remote for both the set-top box and television and a significantly larger antenna offering superior rain-fade performance. The service will initially be marketed through 21,000 retail outlets in 62 cities and includes interactive applications for booking cinema tickets and travel packages, online shopping, news and games.
Globecomm has launched Cachendo, an information technology (IT) professional services company providing integrated, end-to-end technology services, from strategy through implementation. This new, wholly-owned subsidiary will offer a wide variety of services, including advisory services, consulting services and information engineering. As part of Globecomm, a trusted advisor to government and commercial clients, Cachendo will offer expert guidance on complex IT projects requiring keen insight, innovative thinking and commitment to performance. The mission is to deliver these services by contracting skilled talent to organizations with complex technology challenges.
Globecomm has received a contract from Atlantique Telecom to develop a VSAT network connecting seven GSM mobile networks in seven central African countries. Under the agreement Globecomm will design, integrate and deploy systems at the Atlantique Telecom main hub facility in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, at remote network nodes in Niger, Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin, Gabon and the Central African Republic and at Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications' primary gateway at Sharjah, UAE. The VSAT network will provide cost-effective voice and data traffic routing, and will support the growth of Atlantique Telecom's subscriber base in one of the world's fastest growing mobile markets.
Globecomm now offers government and military customers its compact, self-contained 1.2m Auto-Explorer terminal in X-band. Like all Auto-Explorers, it can be set up one person in less than 15 minutes. Once deployed, its auto-acquisition system locates the appropriate satellite, peaks up and brings itself live into the satellite network - all without operator intervention.
As part of a $1.7 billion Harris Corporation project to rebuild the FAA's legacy communications network, Globecomm designed and installed a satellite network linking challenging remote sites and backing up terrestrial circuits across the US. Globecomm also provides Tier One lifecycle support for the hub and remote sites.