Triple Play victory with ESA’s support
ESA’s support in satcom research and development has helped Belgian company Newtec score a “triple play” victory.
Newtec has signed an agreement with SES ASTRA S.A. to provide broadband network ASTRA2Connect® with next generation Ka-band Sat3Play® terminals and related hub infrastructure, technologies that have been and continue to be supported by ESA’s ARTES programme.
The new Sat3Play system will be used with Astra 2E, Astra 2F and Astra 2G satellites, to be launched between 2012 and 2014.
In satcom, the term triple play describes the provisioning of three bandwidth-intensive services; high-speed Internet access, television and telephone over a single broadband connection from the same service provider. The Sat3Play system, developed through the ARTES 3-4 project Sat3Play with Newtec as prime contractor, supported the development of a satellite two-way multimedia platform for the provisioning of the triple play bundle.
The new generation of Sat3Play features increased capacity, efficiency and service level of the Sat3Play system, offering voice, data and television services at a competitive price in areas where no terrestrial broadband connection is available. An ARTES 5.2 project called BeamSat investigates key innovative technologies for the development of Newtec’s next generation satellite broadband access system for consumers able to use Ka-band technology. While Ku-band terminals will still be needed in tropical regions for the time being as rain fade is too significant, the market is expanding from single beam Ku-band to Ka-band multi-spotbeam satellite systems, which makes more satellite bandwidth available for broadband applications at a significantly lower cost.
The latest Sat3Play generation incorporates such features as Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) in forward and return links, improved Network Management System, and Ka-ready terminals.
With the ACM technology, satellite systems are able to adapt the signal parameters to the quality of the link in real time. In the past, static systems required high margins calibrated for rare fading events, wasting the available satellite channel capacity. ACM systems provide two important gains: moving to high data rate in clear sky conditions, which is particularly efficient in Ka-band or in Ku-band over tropical regions, and the ability to protect the signal very robustly under heavy rain conditions, improving system availability.
To date, Newtec has shipped more than 100,000 Sat3Play terminals worldwide. The signing of the deal with SES ASTRA ensures Newtec’s position in the worldwide market as the first successful European satellite-based internet access system provider capable of challenging products from US competitors.
“ESA is delighted to work with Newtec on ARTES co-funded activities in which the company has developed high tech innovative products for Ku-band and Ka-band satellite systems,” says Ms. Michele Le Saux, head of the ESA Telecom ground segment division. “This relationship contributes to the success of satellite broadband services in Europe and elsewhere.”
The Sat3Play system provides the means to establish an "always-on" two-way connectivity between the end-user and the Internet or a private network, therefore remaining completely independent from any existing terrestrial networks, thanks to the satellite. The outdoor equipment of the end-user terminal consists of an interactive Low Noise Block converter (iLNB) mounted on the antenna. The iLNB is the integration of a standard LNB receiver and a low-power, small-size transmitter. Indoors, a compact Sat3Play receiver, called the S3P access box connects to the end-user PC or home network via a standard Ethernet port and to the outdoor satellite antenna via standard coaxial cables. To ease installation, the terminal comes with Newtec’s Point&Play® device for audio guided dish pointing, without the need of a professional installer.
Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec, commented: “We are really pleased that ESA’s support has led to such great achievements, enabling us to continue to push our technology to its very limits. We thank ESA and are looking forward to continuing our fruitful relationship which has played a major role in ensuring we maintain our market-leading position. Utilising technologies developed in partnership with ESA we have been able to continue to drive the industry forward, enabling new and exciting opportunities for our customers, clients and end-users.”
For more information on Sat3Play, BeamSat and ASTRA2Connect, see the links in the column to the right.
Last Update: 29 Aug 2012