Astrium announces SKYWAN 5G satcom modem at AfricaCom

by Adrienne Harebottle | November 14th, 2013

Astrium has announced the upcoming launch of its next generation SKYWAN 5G satcom modem. It is a bi-directional MF-TDMA plus DVB system that supports voice, video and data applications, reportedly, in the most bandwidth efficient manner. The SKYWAN modem family is part of ND SatCom’s product range.

“SKYWAN 5G unlocks new business opportunities with improved total cost of ownership for service providers that need to leverage multiple hub or hubless network configurations – something that is not easily achieved by other vendor platforms” says Petra Visuri, Head of Product Management and Marketing at ND SatCom for Astrium Services. “The SKYWAN 5G modem is currently undergoing diligent customer tests and will be commercially available in the Q2 of 2014”.

The next generation SKYWAN 5G brings new benefits to its network operators, according to the company. Total cost of ownership is significantly reduced as only one type of device is needed for all roles in the network. This saves costs in terms of logistics, certifications, network configuration and maintenance.

SKYWAN 5G enables star, mesh, multi-star or hybrid topologies with communications-on-the-move (COTM) support. No matter what type of network is requested, the hardware design fits all existing topologies within the VSAT world. Each unit can act either as a hub or master station, therefore adding agility in terms of its network role. Geographical redundancy of the master station is already built-in. The device is flexible so that the customer can change the topology at a later point, use the unit for other networks or even split or pool networks together. Peak IP rates on LAN ports up to 20Mbps in transmit and receive direction is supported to cover current demands for network speed.

Measuring in at only 1 RU, the SKYWAN 5G is reportedly the smallest hub device on the market that can also support its outdoor equipment using its own power supply. It offers the option of being either mounted in a rack or to be used as a table top device. Its light weight and slim dimensions contributes to cost savings on shipping and storage.

A SKYWAN 5G network requires no standard hub but enables high-speed communication between remote network sites. With SKYWAN’s fully meshed network topology support, connectivity can be established between any two stations in the network with a single satellite hop. This capability allows deployment of remote to remote applications (such as video conferencing/collaboration, voice communications) between sites with minimal satellite bandwidth utilisation and link delay. Up to 20Mbps bi-directional communication is supported by the TDMA system.

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