News Analysis

ITU Standards in Disaster Relief: The Role of Satellites

by Roxana Dunnette

The increasing use of telecommunications and ICTs for emergency communications, international agreements, new national policies, partnerships for cooperation in emergency are important tools already in place for even faster response to disasters.The International Telecommuni-cations Union (ITU) as the UN agency encharged with telecom-munications and information communications techno-logies (ICT) is leading the efforts in harmonizing technologies, services and establishing standards for emergency com-munications. All ITU sectors are involved and are working hard at the complexity of this issue. This article presents a short summary of ITU standards, recom-mendations and studies on the subject of emergency communications.

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Military Force Deployment in the Maritime Space: Naval Communications in Non-Conflict Situations

by Martin Jarrold

In a previous article I referred to the operational deployment of naval and naval auxiliary forces in "non-conflict" roles and within "non-conflict" environments – across multiple and varied geographic theatres – particularly during times, and against a general backdrop, of "international peace." Specifically, such deployments include fisheries and oil/gas installation protection; human trafficking and narcotics trade interdiction in home waters; international sea lanes security; emergency food aid distribution in drought/famine-struck regions; and, similar types of task for which naval resources are particularly suited. It is in the context of such deployments that, once again, the fundamentally mission critical role of satellite-based communications – as characterized by some of its most crucial features of flexibility, reliability, rapidity of deployment, footprint ubiquity, and cost-effectiveness – becomes evidently clear.

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Video Over IP: What it Means for Satellite Service Providers

by Dr. Andrea Franz and Dr. Gerhard Franz

With the introduction of digital TV a new way of video transport and delivery has emerged, using the Internet Protocol (IP). Video over IP is a general term to describe the use of IP in any or all stages of video transport to the subscriber (or end-customer). This has to be distinguished from the term IPTV, which means specifically the delivery of video as an IP stream to the subscriber set-top box or TV set. All digital video today that is broadcast, transported over satellite or distributed in cable systems is using the MPEG transport stream (TS) communications protocol. This worldwide standard describes the way a digital TV signal (audio, video and data) is encapsulated in a specific container format. It also includes metadata such as electronic program guides (EPG).

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Maritime Communications: Is it all "At Sea"?

by Martin Jarrold

Director, International Programs, GVF

My previous column for this publication focused on the oil and gas exploration and production sector, with particular reference to the increasing attention of the energy industry on deepwater and ultra-deepwater hydrocarbon reserves which now appear to be much more abundant than was thought ten years ago. A result of this is that the applications solutions and broadband communications solutions imperatives of the energy market, whilst they represent, in relative terms, a small fraction of energy companies’ total CAPEX and OPEX, well managed ICT networks can play a disproportionately great role in reducing expenditures in exploration, drilling, and production.

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Leveraging Energy Sector Satcoms for Development

by Martin Jarrold

Chief, International Programs Development, GVF

Deployment of broadband satellite technologies is correctly recognized as an imperative to maximization of cutting-edge digital oilfield applications and to considerations of cost-effectiveness – it is a force multiplier, enabling return on investment, as well as facilitating mission critical communications links.

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Long-Term Prospects for Middle East FSS Operators

by Bruce Elbert, President, Application Technology Strategy, Inc.

and Michelle Elbert

The Middle East market has seen the recent addition of new Fixed Satellite Serivces (FSS) operators who are betting on the potential of Direct-to-Home (DTH) and broadband services via satellite in the region. But is the market really there for these services?

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Mobile Satellite for Europe?

by Elisabeth Tweedie

On May 13, 2009 the EC announced the award of two S-Band satellite licenses. Thus opening the door for the winning operators - Solaris Mobile and Inmarsat - to provide broadcast mobile satellite TV and other services throughout Europe. Unfortunately the path leading from that door is beginning to look more like an obstacle course than an open road.

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A Mid-term Assessment of 2009 and the Annus Horribillis that was 2008

by Lou Zacharilla

Director of Development,  Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI)  

Simply put, 2008 and the first half of 2009 have been years best described in 1992 by Queen Elizabeth as annus horribillis. In other words, they really stunk. This is obvious to the millions of men and women dangerously out of work everywhere; to the North American auto industry; to those dependent on financial services for credit or to make payroll, and to the billions of folks in Asia who were raised out of poverty during the past two decades, but who find their rising economic circumstances in peril.

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The Middle East Market: Poised for Growth

by  Bruce Elbert

President,  Application Technology Strategy, Inc.

The video distribution business in the Middle East is booming. Last year,  we provided an overview of commercial Middle Eastern Satellite Communications, based on primary and secondary research. What we provide here is an update from the perspective we gained during travel to the region in the month of June 2009, which included visits to major facilities. In this article, we report on the leading teleports in Dubai, UAE, and Amman, Jordan.

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Opportunities in the DTH Ground Equipment Market

by Virgil Labrador, Editor-in-Chief

From 2005 to 2008, the number of direct-to-home (DTH) satellite platforms grew over 49% from 65 to 97 platforms worldwide, according to estimates by Euroconsult. At least 10 new DTH platforms were announced in 2008. Despite this dramatic growth in DTH platforms, the industry is facing pressure to reduce costs in the current global economic environment in order to maintain and expand its subscriber base and to meet investor expectations for returns. Growth in demand for content also drives a continuous need for expansion, upgrade and extension of both space and ground segment systems for DTH providers.

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