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IP OVER SATELLITE. Research Seminar on Telecommunications Business II Jarkko Viinamäki Helsinki University of Technology April 6 th 2004. Agenda. Introduction Satellite IP Technology Current Market Status Future Prospects Case Study: TiscaliSat Conclusion. Introduction.

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Ip over satellite l.jpg


Research Seminar on Telecommunications Business II

Jarkko Viinamäki

Helsinki University of Technology

April 6th 2004

Agenda l.jpg

  • Introduction

  • Satellite IP Technology

  • Current Market Status

  • Future Prospects

  • Case Study: TiscaliSat

  • Conclusion

Introduction l.jpg

  • The number of Internet users is growing rapidly (~720 million in March 2004)

  • Need for broadband connections

  • Many areas do not have high speed terrestrial networks

  • Satellites can be used to route Internet traffic without expensive infrastructure

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Satellite IP Technology

  • Satellite access equipment

  • Positioning

  • Operating frequencies

  • Service models

  • Standards

  • Pros & cons

  • Comparision to other technologies

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Satellite Access Equipment

  • Spacecraft (Satellite)

    • multiple transponders (20-80 x 40-155Mbps)

    • separate frequencies for uplink/downlink

    • most common: C, Ku, Ka-bands

  • Service Provider Ground Station

    • ODU (large dish), IDU, NMS, NCC

    • connected to backbone Internet

  • Subscriber Side Ground Terminal

    • ODU (dish), IDO (satellite modem/DVB-card)

Positioning l.jpg

  • GEO (Geosynchronous Earth Orbit, altitude 35786km, >250ms 1-way delay, 33% footprint)

  • MEO (Medium Earth Orbit, altitude 8000-20000km, 50-150ms 1-way delay, ILS)

  • LEO (Low Earth Orbit, altitude 350-2000km, 10-30ms 1-way delay, ILS)

  • Higher altitude means higher

    • round-trip-delay

    • launching cost

    • satellite lifetime and size

    • footprint/coverage

    • bit-error-rate (BER) and signal attenuation

    • need for transmission power

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Operating Frequencies

  • S, L, X, C, Ku, Ka and V-band

  • Allocation controlled by IRFB (International Radio Frequencies Board)

  • C and Ku-band becoming congested

  • Ka-band suffers from high BER in rain

  • New satellites utilize the Ka-band

  • V-band is reserved for future use

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Service Models

  • Hybrid unidirectional (high bandwidth downlink via satellite, uplink via ISDN/Modem/GPRS)

  • Bidirectional (pure asymmetric down/uplink via satellite)

  • Push/Broadcast mode (only downlink via satellite)

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  • DVB-RCS (Digital Video Broadcast, Receive Channel via Satellite)

    • FEC

    • MF-TDMA

    • ATM Adaptation Layer 5 (AAL-5)or MPEG-2 transport

  • DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification)

  • Proprietary protocols (DSSby Hughes Network Systems)

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  • Practically global coverage

  • No need for expensive infrastructure

  • Single-hop transmission

  • Efficient broadcasting

  • Bandwidth-on-Demand (BOD)

  • Demand Assignment Multiple Access (DAMA)

  • Excellent reliability (up to 99,97%)

  • Same satellite dish can be used for IP and as television/radio channel receiver

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  • high latency especially with GEO satellites

  • weather-related outages

  • solar-related outages

  • required Line-of-Sight (LOS) to the satellite

  • Ku-band is heavily degraded by atmosphere attenuation

  • high usage and equipment costs

  • high Bit-Error-Rate (BER)

  • usually lower bandwidth for end-users than with xDSL/Cable

  • TCP performs poorly in satellite links

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Comparison to Other Technologies

Satellite vs. terrestrial networks

  • very high latency (500ms vs. 10-50ms)

  • usage much more expensive (up to 100%)

  • higher equipment and installation costs

  • data transfer based billing vs. flat rate

  • possibility for almost unlimited BOD vs. fixed bandwidth/limited BOD

  • available anywhere vs. available only in dense residental areas

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Satellite IP Markets


  • Demand for high-speed Internet in areas with poor or non-existent terrestrial infrastructure

  • Decreasing component costs

  • Standardization for increased vendor interoperability


  • still expensive satellite equipment and usage costs

  • latency issues

  • line-of-sight issues

  • better utilization of bandwidth

  • over supply and competition

  • delays: planned broadband systems have not materialized

  • business failures: satellite mobile systems have not achieved expected demand

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Satellite Market Segments

  • Fixed Satellite Services (FSS)

    • trunk telephony, IP networks / Internet backbone, corporate VSAT, BOD, contribution services

  • Direct-to-Home Broadcasting (DTH)

    • analogue/digital satellite DTH

    • dominant market segment with around 66% share by 2012 ($85 billion revenue) (ESYS estimation)

    • North America and Western Europe current hot areas - markets in Asia look very promising

  • Digital Audio Radio Services (DARS)

  • Broadband Access Services (BBA)

  • Mobile Satellite Services (MSS)

    • maritime, auronautical, personal mobile, messaging & paging

  • Navigation (NAV)

    • road, maritime, aviation, personal

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Market Viewpoints

  • Satellite operator view

    • risky market, satellite fleets cost up to 7 billion dollars

    • wide range of services (tv, radio, IP)

    • satellite lifetime is short

    • terrestrial networks steal practically all broadband customers in dense residental areas

    • lots of competition, over supply, big players

  • ISP view

    • no need for expensive infrastructure

    • co-operation with satellite operators and equipment vendors

    • BOD offers an ideal service model

    • very dynamic setups

    • currently approximately 7-10% of ISPs in the world use satellites

  • Customer view

    • choose satellite IP if you have no choice

    • broadcasting, distance-learning, high bandwidth requirements

    • use as backup for terrestrial links

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Customer Segments

  • Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SME)

  • Small Office/Home Office (SOHO)

  • Business Multi-Tenant Units (MTU)

  • Multi-Dwelling Units (MDU)

  • Hotspots

  • Rural communities

  • Aviation

  • Maritime

  • Military

  • Media & entertainment

  • Carriers & ISPs

  • Corporate networks

  • Public sector/government

  • Business (Point-of-Sale credit card processing)

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Current Market Status

  • currently satellite systems only have 1.5% of the broadband market and may ultimately gain 6-7% of the global market according to guru Dr. J. Pelton

  • lots of competition, over supply, hype

  • complex pricing models, not enough focus

  • clear customer segments where customers have no other choice than satellite IP

  • satellite IP market growth has been radically overestimated

  • projects fail, plans are changed

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Pricing Models

  • Per month pricing (flat rate)

    • rare, expensive

  • Transfer based billing

  • Hybrid models

    • limited transfer amount

    • monthly fee + transfer limit + extra cost/Mb

    • lowered bandwidth when limits exceeded

    • priority traffic with extra cost

    • unlimited BOD

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Future Estimations

  • Most satellite ventures delayed (global recession, investments down)

  • European broadcast market near saturation

  • Terrestrial network usage prices going down

  • DVB-RCS equipment prices must fall by 50-60% to gain momentum

  • Pioneer Consulting expects global broadband satellite market to grow from $1 billion (2001) to $27 billion (2008)!

  • Northern Sky Research expects enterprise installed satellite base to grow from 76000 (2002) to 420000 (2007) and customer base from 71000 (2002) to 701000 (2007) in Europe

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Future Estimations (cont.)

  • figures may be radical overestimates according to some gurus

  • affecting factors: rollout of new Ka-band satellites, improvements on technology, pricing, improvement of business models

  • connection price and latency issues are the most critical

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Case Study: TiscaliSat

  • TiscaliSat offers satellite Internet connections in Finland using EUTELSAT satellites

  • Covers entire Finland – for remote areas a slightly larger dish is required

  • Two service models: 1-way hybrid, 2-way pure satellite

  • Customer needs a small satellite dish (150EUR) and a DVB PC-card (150EUR)

  • 1-way hybrid model:

    • 400-2000kbps downlink with 800Mb limit for 40 EUR per month. Customer needs ISDN/Modem for uplink

    • 40 EUR/month, installation 50 EUR + uplink costs

  • 2-way model:

    • 400/150kbps (downlink/uplink) bandwidth with 1,3Gb limit (after limit 64-200kbps)

    • 79 EUR/month, installation 1170EUR

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  • There is a clear need and market niche for satellite IP connectivity. The customers are there, the money is there.

  • Customers are mainly those who can’t use terrestrial broadband networks, need high BOD or high level broadcasting ability

  • Prices are high

  • Some critical technological problems

  • Market hype, over supply