Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Satellite4All: new technology promises cheap satellite triple-play

10.11.2008
Technology developed by European researchers promises to dramatically lower the costs of satellite bandwidth, potentially bridging the digital divide and enabling satellites to deliver TV, internet and telephony services via satellite. The technical problems are solved, now the research team is working hard on the business case.

Service providers could start offering satellite TV, broadband and voice services for less than €50 thanks to satellite technology innovations by European researchers.

Eurostat estimates that 10% of the European population, or 30m people, are too isolated to be covered by landline broadband services and, so far, no viable solution has presented itself.

Experts hoped that wimax – a long-range version of the wifi wireless technology – would fill the gap, but large WiMax networks are expensive to deploy, and the technology is just beginning to mature.

Satellite services could fill the gap, but in this case, the bandwidth costs are very high. A basic internet service via satellite can cost €150 to €200, way out of reach for the vast majority of users.

But those costs could drop dramatically thanks to the work of European researchers from the IMOSAN project working on integrated multi-layer optimisation in broadband DVB-S2 satellite networks. IMOSAN took advantage of new standards to squeeze more bandwidth from satellite transmissions.

The team also developed components that could offer ‘triple-play’ services – TV, internet and telephony. Finally, they developed optimisation software that could help ensure the best possible service quality in bad weather or during high-demand periods.

Impressive technical hurdles

The EU-funded IMOSAN solved many of the technical hurdles facing widespread satellite adoption for triple-play services. But an equally important element of their task was to prove the business case to make these services viable.

“We had to study the market and examine all possible business models to try and establish a competitive offering for satellite triple-play services,” explains Natassa Anastasiadou, a researcher at IMOSAN responsible for market studies and director of the department of funded programmes at OTEplus.

“The technical advances made by the IMOSAN project mean that satellite bandwidth is 30% more efficient, but we had to see how that translated into real-world costs for real-world business scenarios,” she relates.

Anastasiadou and colleagues whittled the possible offerings to three scenarios for rural and remote regions.

They first covered residential users in isolated areas, served by a purely two-way satellite solution, enjoying high-end services, including high-definition TV channels. IMOSAN calls this the ‘gold scenario’.

The ‘business scenario’, meanwhile, looked towards isolated areas served by a hybrid satellite-WiFi solution, where the emphasis is put on fast internet access.

Finally, for the ‘basic scenario’ the team looked at delivery to scattered residential users, served by a hybrid satellite-WiMax solution, where a standard triple-play package is provided – similar to common packages provided in urban areas by ADSL technology

“Obviously, the lowest price the IMOSAN provider could charge the end-user for the triple-play service package provided depends strongly on the maximum number of users it can serve with a given investment,” notes Anastasiadou.

Going for gold

The gold service package was designed to fulfil the requirements of residential users in isolated areas and included fast internet access of 1 Mbps download, VoIP services and 13 TV channels (10 standard and 3 high definition).

The analysis showed that this package should be priced monthly at €147.60 (at least) for the investment to be depreciated over ten years. At that rate, the terminal had to be provided to end-users for free, whereas if the end-user paid for it, the monthly rate came down to €87.50. But an IMOSAN terminal would cost €1,500 against €350 for standard satellite terminals.

The business scenario fared better. The service package envisaged fast internet access of 2 Mbps download, VoIP services and five standard-definition TV channels. It required a monthly rate to be charged to the user/business of €181.30, again over ten years. It included the terminal, and would be competitive with existing services, especially given the very high quality and service standards, as well as the triple-play offer.

The basic package was tied into WiMax technology. WiMax is a long-range, high-speed wireless networking standard that is just beginning to experience large-scale deployment in the USA and the EU. The satellite transmits directly to the WiMax transmitter, which then delivers service to individual customers.

“It is much more cost-effective to offer the service this way,” reveals Anastasiadou. “Every single end-user does not have to get a satellite receiver, which costs over €1,000, but shares the cost of a WiMax station instead which, although currently costing about €10,000, can serve about 300 end-users effectively.”

And as they continue deployment, WiMax receiver prices will probably drop dramatically, making the basic scenario even more cost competitive over time.

Europe’s broadband losers

The IMOSAN basic scenario consisted of seven standard TV channels, 1Mbs internet and VoIP targeted at the largest group still without ADSL access: scattered residential users in rural areas.

It was the most successful scenario studied by IMOSAN, costing €57.20 with a contention ratio of 30:1. The contention ratio indicates how many users can access a single channel at one time.

At a ratio of 50:1, which is reasonable for residential services, monthly costs would drop to €37 month, which is very competitive with alternatives like standard satellite to individuals.

The work has generated considerable excitement among service providers and satellite operators, with one company currently considering a basic service deployment in Greece, and many others interested.

Through its technical advances, IMOSAN will have an impact on satellite services generally, but its greatest impact could be ensuring that all Europe’s citizens have economic access to the internet – one of the most essential services of the information age.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/90179

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>