Driven by robust market dynamics and technology drivers, the satellite communications industry will gather at CABSAT 2012 to address among other issues, the mature yet escalating force that is communications via satellite Ka-Band, at a two-day Global VSAT Forum (GVF), writes Martin Jarrold, chief of International Programme Development, GVF. It is gratifying to open my […]
Driven by robust market dynamics and technology drivers, the satellite communications industry will gather at CABSAT 2012 to address among other issues, the mature yet escalating force that is communications via satellite Ka-Band, at a two-day Global VSAT Forum (GVF), writes Martin Jarrold, chief of International Programme Development, GVF.
It is gratifying to open my column here with the news that the GVF agenda during and following just after the forthcoming CABSAT exhibition will be busier in 2012 than in all the previous years where I have been involved in the Associations annual programmes at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The subject of Ka-Band will be a key focus of the agenda of the second day of GVF MENASAT @ CABSAT 2012, a day that sets out to examine and profile the nature of satellite applications and technologies in the MENA region. But, prior to this, MENASAT will investigate an issue that for the satellite industry, and for its customers, is responsible for causing service interruptions, significant increases in operational costs, decreasing reliability, and one that generally impacts industry competitiveness radio frequency interference, or RFI.
In the September 2011 issue of SatellitePro, in an article entitled The Practicalities of Mitigating Interference, Martin Coleman, Executive Director of sIRG (the Satellite Interference Reduction Group) wrote in some detail about satellite radio frequency interference issues its causes, and how the industry is working collaboratively to mitigate it including the work that sIRG is doing with GVF. GVF and sIRG work closely on RFI, and indeed sIRG is one of the organisations with which GVF is working to bring the satellite interference agenda to the attention of CABSAT attendees in 2012.
Themes to be included at the GVF MENASAT @ CABSAT are: Addressing Satellite Interference Challenges; Pro-Active & Re-active Solutions; Training & Certification; Product Quality Assurance; Carrier ID; Spectrum Initiatives; Space Data Association; Network Validation Initiatives to Address Sub-Optimal & Dysfunctional Networks; Auto- Deploy Antenna Systems.
Beyond the dialogue on satellite interference, the subjects for discussion during the MENASAT Satellite Markets & Services Summit, to be held on 1st March, is a widely encompassing overview of a range of key issues on the current international satellite communications agenda, including: Understanding Todays and Forecasting Tomorrows Regional Growth Drivers; Satellite Transponder Supply and Demand, and the Dynamics of Ka-band in the MENA Region: Global and Regional Satellite Operators – Local Knowledge and Universal Markets; Satellite-Wireless Access to Multimedia Solutions on the Move; Mitigating Disaster, Promoting Development, Driving Sustainability; Energy, Maritime, other Key Regional Verticals The Mission Criticality of the Communications Space; New Regulatory Dynamics: MENA Administrations in a Global Context; The DVB-S2 Technology Advantage; Sustainable Development Solutions via SatCommunity CSR Initiatives.
The significance of Ka-Band One of the subjects listed above brings me full-circle, back to the subject of Ka-Band. Ka-Band refers in general to frequencies roughly in 17-22 GHz downlink and 24-31 GHz uplink, as compared to C-band which refers to frequencies around 3-4 GHz in the downlink and around 6-7 GHz in the uplink, and Ku-Band refers to frequencies around 10-12 GHz in the downlink and around 13-14 GHz in the uplink.
Worldwide, as of November 2011, a total of 15 global and regional satellite operators have launched spacecraft equipped in whole or in part with Ka-Band transponder payloads. More operators have such satellites at the planning stage, and in the near-term the total number of companies in the Ka transponder market will have risen to 22. Ka-Band allows satellite Operators to provide new and better services to key sectors, and it offers low-cost equipment and lower airtime rates:
For the consumer sector (e.g. broadband internet access, advanced video services)
For the government sector (e.g., policy goals such as Broadband for All; remote education and medicine; connectivity in remote or sparsely populated areas, emergency Communication)
For the enterprise sector (e.g., cellular backhaul for LTE and 4G; global data communications services for both the mobile and fixed communities; redundancy communications for the oil and gas, and maritime communities)
Ka-Band frequency allocations set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have a substantial degree of regional commonality, thus laying the groundwork for harmonised use of the Ka-Band spectrum internationally. This is vital for the rapid deployment of international satellite services and encouraging the exploitation of the Ka-Band for fixed, transportable and mobile satellite service.
To ensure that citizens and businesses can enjoy the benefits of new Ka-Band satellite services, National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) should enable market access for such systems by ensuring the following:
Authorisation procedures and processes should be transparent and non-discriminatory, with minimal associated paperwork and costs.
Regulatory fees should be limited to compensating the relevant administrative costs to the regulator.
Wherever possible, blanket licensing of end-user terminals should be employed.
An “Open Skies” policy should be adopted for market access to satellite capacity, i.e., foreign and national satellite operators and service providers should be treated equally.
The least onerous licensing for all parties (regulators and operators) is a registration system, by which operators inform the regulator of their intent to use a set of frequencies which have already been approved by that regulator for this use.
The demand for spectrum never abates. Over the years satellite systems have responded to this increasing demand by developing evermore efficient and powerful space and ground segments. Now the satellite market has responded to the demand for spectrum by developing brand new state-of-the-art systems that can use the Ka-band.
Specific details of the evolving programme for the MENASAT Satellite Interference Mitigation Forum can be obtained from the GVF website www.gvf.org) and CABSAT website (www.cabsat.com).
For more CABSAT-related news, visit http://www.broadcastprome.com/cabsat2012