All too often, VSAT communication is viewed as complicated and cumbersome. Any advancement in simplifying terminal setup and developing methods for easy, accurate pointing will benefit the VSAT market.
However, in order to increase the accessibility of VSAT the industry faces further challenges. The demand for greater bandwidth, the availability of product, the adherence to standards, the availability of service and the size and weight of equipment are just a few of these.
Demand for greater bandwidth and higher speeds continues to increase in today’s market, driven by developments in technology and media. Consumers expect services requiring bandwidth to be readily and easily available.
The satellite industry is addressing this demand with the introduction and deployment of a number of High Throughput Satellite constellations, such as Inmarsat’s Global Xpress®. In turn, this leads to demand on the VSAT component manufacturers to create products which can operate at these higher frequencies and support faster data rates.
The challenge of product availability is a constant one as VSAT components are sourced from all over the world and requirements for them are typically on short lead times. A global supplier such as Paradigm is able to provide readily available stock ‘off the shelf’ from our large European satellite communications warehouse. We are able to tailor solutions to customer’s requirements quickly and efficiently.
When considering the challenge of adhering to standards, players entering the satcom arena must meet these regulatory standards in the same stringent manner employed by companies such as Paradigm, or risk creating barriers to increasing the accessibility of VSAT by supplying products which are not fit for purpose. It is critical that any VSAT terminal brought to market meets the necessary standards, thus reducing the effects of interference. This involves adhering to in-country and regulatory frequency regulations as well as ensuring the requirements of the satellite operator are met. It is here that experience pays off, allowing established companies like Paradigm to use their acquired knowledge to achieve a trouble-free approach.
High demand for service availability is ever more apparent. Consumers expect to turn on devices and receive a service level without compromise. Standard automatic and manual redundancy systems can cater for typical product failure but other solutions are also available. For instance, Paradigm offers automated solutions to cater for the bearer of opportunity whatever the governing factor might be and solutions which can aggregate multiple bearers to either provide a larger bandwidth connection or a connection that utilises the best availability.
Overcoming the size and weight challenge by creating options which are smaller, lighter, more mobile and cleverly packaged further enhances the accessibility of VSAT. Compact, tailored solutions such as the PIM (Paradigm Interface Module) which deliver technically but also adhere to manual handling and transportation requirements are crucial. In addition, simple pointing procedures, intuitive web interfaces (which can be wirelessly hosted on smart phones and tablets as well as laptops and PCs) and completely integrated VSAT will all result in VSAT communication which is straightforward and simple to use. In turn, this then vastly increases the usage opportunities for less skilled operators and installers and ultimately increases the overall accessibility of VSAT.