One of the major new satellite developments to happen during the past 12 months was Ka-band’s evolution from a concept to a reality in orbit. The bandwidth has taken off with considerable momentum and is set to accelerate at a blinding pace as $5 billion in new Ka-band spacecraft are set to launch through 2014 and place unprecedented amounts of new bandwidth into the sky. At this year's IBC conference, satellite companies and industry organizations have been using the event forum to showcase new Ka-band technology on the ground and host discussions on what role may Ka-band have in preserving satellite’s competitive edge.
While Ka-band has already been deployed for broadband access and TV distribution in the United States, other regions have not had access to the appropriate technologies to support these applications. Newtec CEO Serge Van Herck recently told Via Satellite that he believes this is about to change, as multi-service platforms become a reality at IBC. “The additional applications will rapidly add value to Ka-band satellite networks and provide a way of dramatically increasing the return on investment for satellite and service operators, by speeding up the fill rate of Ka-band satellites,” he said, “Additional services will generate extra service revenues and provide new offerings to millions of households and businesses, which will help the satellite industry to compete with terrestrial high-speed broadband services.”
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Services based on Ka-band have made a significant impact on several operators and their business models as a fair amount of Ka-band satellites were launched to rectify capacity shortfalls. Van Herck counts himself as a believer in the fact that Ka-band has almost become a necessity for satellite players to remain competitive in the long-term. How many other satellite executives will walk away from IBC convinced of the same? Only time will tell.
Saturday, September 10, 2011