The HOST programme focused on the development of the Hellas Sat commercial offering in end-to-end satellite telecommunication services for supporting the delivery of bidirectional, (broadband) applications in Greece, the Balkans, SE Europe, and Middle East.
Since its launch in May 2003, Hellas Sat has received several requests for end-to-end satellite telecommunication service provision by a variety of potential customers for applications and generic services in the area of e-Government, e-Business, e-Inclusion/Digital Divide.
Also, market data in the area of interest for Hellas Sat, supported the business case for such an end-to-end service provision. In order to address this market and complete its basic offering of capacity for TV and occasional transmissions, Hellas Sat and his partners decided to develop an end-to-end satcom service able to HOST a wide range of applications.
Since December 2006, a range of Pilots became officially operational within the project addressing representative market segments (the pilots informal launch took place during summer 2006).
Figure 1: Overall Pilot System Architecture
click for larger image
The "HOST Service Platform" is based on DVB-RCS technology, which is supporting independent networks providing several kinds of applications within the Hellas SAT coverage.
The DVB-RCS standard supports bi-directional broadband connectivity via satellite enabling services such as fast Internet access, intranet/VPN for secure connections, multicast and real time applications.
The forward link, from the central Hub, is based on DVB-S/ATM data format and is able of carrying information with bit rates up to 45Mbps. In the receiving site, each RCST connected to the network is able to upload up to typically 2Mbps per carrier in the return direction using Multi Frequency-Time Division Multiple Access (MF-TDMA) scheme.
The DVB-RCS Multimedia Platform is using Hellas Sat 2 capacity.
During the initial stages of the HOST project a number of pilot trials were undertaken in the areas of tele-Education, tele-Medicine, e-government, Digital Divide and corporate networks (VPN). The partners of the HOST project and their roles are summarised in Table 1 below. The overall system architecture can be seen in Figure 1 above.
Table 1: Partners and their roles
|Pilot Service ||Pilot User ||Pilot Manager |
Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs
HELLAS SAT Also Prime Contractor, Provider of satellite and terrestrial components.
Corporate Networks (VPN)
of Milos island
O.AY.T.E. - Hospitals 'Igias Melathron'
AKMI group of Education and Technology
Site surveys/SIT installations
Installation and user training for the SITs
The project was managed according to the Work Breakdown Structure, project schedule and the list of deliverables as a standard engineering approach. The Plan of the Project includes the following main phases:
- Requirements and Planning.
- Design and Development.
- Integration and Commissioning.
- Pilot Trial Operations.
- Pilot Trial Evaluation.
The associated Management policy has been defined so as to guarantee an effective and economical conduction of the study.
The key issues addressed in the HOST project are the following:
- Implement and validate the required end-to-end telecommunications infrastructure by adopting the DVB-RCS standard.
- Perform pilot trials addressing typical users and applications.
- Strong footprint of Hellas Sat 2 in the region.
- Access to wide market basis through main OTE shareholder.
Whilst investigating the market for telecommunications services in the region, Hellas Sat and its partners have found a demand for communications in the educational, healthcare, governmental and corporate sectors. Many of these potential customers are unlikely to obtain service by any other means.
The main requirements were for a set of core bi-directional services on which specific value added applications can be built. These services included:
- Broadband Internet connectivity,
- Virtual Private Networks,
- Secure Communications for Government Applications,
- VoIP Telephony,
- Teleconferencing for Education and Medicine.
It is these core services that the HOST Project developed, employing a range of existing products to demonstrate viable applications to a representative sample of end user organisations.
In the Hellas Sat target market of South Eastern Europe where infrastructure is not yet developed to support broadband services, satellites provide an alternative solution, removing the need to embark on expensive, for rapid deployment of broadband services, terrestrial infrastructure development.
After following a successful DVB-RCS Network Installation and Commissioning as well as Overall System Validation, all the pilots became fully operational. The Corporate Connectivity pilot offered ALUMIL S.A. an ideal way of interconnecting their distant locations and thereby exchange operational data. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs communicated with 3 of its embassies abroad through VoIP technology.
In Milos Island, there are two WiFi via DVB-RCS Networks operating in the capital (Chora) of the island and the port (Adamas). The Tele-Education and the Tele-Medicine pilots were operated on a live-session basis organised by the Institute AKMI and the Medical School respectively.
Hellas Sat had decided, before the finalisation of the Project, to enter into commercial operation as of January 2006. Hellas Sat net! is the new brand name of the service offerings by Hellas Sat and the initial target market is Greece, Cyprus and the Balkan area. The company, has, from the first year of operation of this new service, exceeded targets set and is looking at making a profitable business out of it in 2009.
Services currently offered commercially range from 512 Kbps to 2Mbps providing the ideal broadband solution for distant places in the countries of the target market.
Still in the framework of the project, Hellas Sat was awarded an extension to design, build and demonstrate a fully mobile Satellite Broadband VAN for the purpose of assisting the marketing effort, gaining the know how in similar applications and developing a market around Mobile Satellite Broadband.
The VAN was successfully manufactured and was used for preliminary demonstrations in 2009. The HOST VAN extension was judged to be very successful up to that point, but it was terminated by mutual agreement in February 2010, due to the lack of resources to perform the planned pilots with the governmental agencies.
Last Update: 08 Sep 2010