VSAT2012 to focus on maritime applications

by Staff Reporter | July 10th, 2012

Simon Bull, senior consultant at COMSYS and
chairman of the conference

The COMSYS VSAT2012 Conference (12-14 September in London) considers a VSAT industry in the midst of major change.

This year’s conference will take place on 12-14 September at The Lancaster London Hotel, London, England, and the main event is preceded by two one-day training seminars – on 11 September –addressing “VSAT Industry Fundamentals” and “Satellite Communications for Non- Technical Professionals”

After years of scarcity in many regions of the world, satellites bringing terabits of bandwidth at a vastly reduced cost – perhaps as low as a tenth of the current pricing – are now coming into service. Typical C-band and Ku-band satellites have been capable of providing less than 5 Gbits / second of capacity per spacecraft, whereas

Ka-band high throughput satellites are in development which can provide significantly greater than 100 Gbits /second from a single spacecraft.

“VSAT operators still reliant on the provision of broadband connectivity only, are in for a rough ride, as entrepreneurial operators seek out opportunities to create, market and sell, value propositions based on this additional spot beam capacity,” says Simon Bull, senior consultant at COMSYS and chairman of the conference.

Satellite operators with individual spacecraft supporting 40, 80 or 120 Gbps of capacity will rely on companies who can envision the possibilities and bring innovative new services to market. Longer term, the possibilities are even greater as the next generation of Ka-band or even V-band spacecraft are planned.

Maritime VSAT to change fundamentally

The maritime VSAT service environment has exhibited continuing growth, but looks set to change fundamentally over the next few years. Channel positioning, teleport infrastructure, investment criteria and customer ownership are all possible elements that may be caught in the mix.

Large and small operators are likely to face difficult, but often very different decisions. Milano Teleport has a substantial maritime business, but sees its strength as a trader of maritime services – a strategy that is not necessarily tied to its own infrastructure or to any particular channel model. So where is the value in this position and what preparation is required? Alberto Boratto Carpene, a board member of Milano Teleport will provide the answers in his presentation.

MSS L-band service has its advantages, but plentiful bandwidth is not one of them. Inmarsat essentially owns the mobility brand in many key market segments, but all of these applications are experiencing exploding demand for bandwidth and the Ka-band Global Xpress service is the company’s answer to this dramatic challenge to its traditional L-band offering.

However, this is much more than simply a technological step up, it’s about a radical change in where, when, why and how to sell a new Ka-band spot beam service that offers some unique attributes and a major restructuring of a market environment.

Leo Mondale, Global Xpress’ CEO, will present his own unique analysis of these factors and how they are affecting his company’s perception of the market. Enough room for the tailoured maritime solution Bernard Hartmann, CEO of OmniAccess in Spain, will discuss his company’s work with a range of interesting customers.

From Royal Family yachts to the Smith family’s cruise, everyone wants to be connected when they take to ocean, but is delivery of bandwidth enough or is much more required of an operator? As with all markets, maritime VSAT services are being increasingly commoditised, but there will always be room for the independent service provider willing to provide a tailoured, flexible, responsive and integrated solution. After all, ultimately customer relationships are what really make a sale and these are based on trust resulting from demonstrable expertise.

Building upon its reputation over the past 14 years the annual VSAT conference will serve as a platform for operators and end users to get up to speed on the complex changes taking place and to debate the possible threats and potential opportunities that the new environment will bring.

The mixed bag of Ka-band

It is worth remembering that Ka-band carries its own penalties, although many of these have been mitigated with new technology, advanced modulation schemes and error correction. But the established and Ku-bands will retain many advantages that a specialised service provider can continue to leverage, notes Bull.

“Some VSAT service providers will proactively plan on incorporating Ka-band services into their current value propositions whilst others will focus on their strong solution skills, customer relationships, industry knowledge and managed infrastructure. These businesses will, however, still have to maintain a watching brief on Ka-band capacity and services, and quickly adapt to use the new capabilities where appropriate”.

Speakers at VSAT2012 will reportedly represent some of the market’s leading innovators in the satellite communications industry. More than 28 key players will talk about the practical aspects of providing global and regional VSAT services addressing subjects from technology enablers to regulatory access. In both 2010 and 2011, the VSAT Conference reportedly sold out, with over 300 delegates and speakers from 42 different countries attending VSAT2011.

“Our objective for the conference is simple,” states Bull, “to focus on the key issues, latest developments and strongest areas of opportunity in the global marketplace by bringing together the key figures and most successful exponents in the industry. Whether you require some vision on how to tackle the economic downturn, an industry update, coverage of new technologies and market developments, or a unique chance to network with some of the most influential people in the VSAT business, then the COMSYS VSAT2012 conference will meet your needs”.

This year’s conference will take place on 12-14 September at The Lancaster London Hotel, London, England, and the main event is preceded by two one-day training seminars – on 11 September –addressing “VSAT Industry Fundamentals” and “Satellite Communications for Non- Technical Professionals”.

Visit http://comsys.co.uk/wvc_main.htm

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