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Now with over 6 billion subscribers of cellular voice and Internet services, the continued burgeoning demand for mobile communications is generating significant business opportunities for solution providers across the globe, including mobile satellite operators. And when it comes to new technology, the world’s leading Mobilesat operators turn to Hughes to develop comprehensive networking and portable terminal solutions. Here’s a brief recap of the latest examples.
Solaris Mobile has one of the two S-band licenses in Europe to deploy a combined satellite and cellular network by reusing frequencies on the ground to deliver comple- mentary services. This marriage of terrestrial cellular and mobile satellite is naturally synergistic, and Hughes’ experience in both realms makes its development role key to successful service delivery.
In this case, Hughes is developing the first portable terminal together with the system infrastructure for Solaris, based on the Hughes-developed GMR-1 3G ETSI standard air interface, and is on track to meet service deployment in the 2016 time frame.
Responding to today’s trend towards higher data speeds and smaller terminals, Hughes has launched the world’s smallest and lightest Inmarsat BGAN high data rate (HDR)-capable terminal, the Hughes 9211-HDR. The new terminal is designed to operate with Inmarsat’s BGAN HDR service, providing asymmetric streaming rates at an average of 650 kbps, with potential speeds up to 800 kbps.
Designed to provide high-performance mobile satellite connectivity even in the most demanding environments where quality of service and performance is paramount, the Hughes 9211-HDR is ideal for media broadcast organizations, government agencies, global relief organizations (NGOs), mobile healthcare, and public safety/emergency response. We expect to begin shipping these units by December 2014.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity supporting the “Internet of Things” is taking off in all communications sectors, and satellite is no exception. Direct M2M communications require little to no human intervention, which is especially valuable in the oil, gas, water, and utility industries where reliable, unattended monitoring of remote sites is essential.
Our all-IP, Hughes 9502 BGAN M2M terminal operates over the global Inmarsat BGAN network, and a variant is expressly designed for hazardous envi- ronments such as oil and gas markets. It is the terminal of choice in upstream well-site automation and midstream pipeline monitoring/control, reliably backhauling data even during the most extreme weather conditions. Consuming less than one watt in always-on mode, the 9502 M2M is ideal for solar-powered sites and remote stations. The unit has experienced strong sales growth over the past few years, dominating the satellite M2M segment.
Reliable connectivity on the move in the Middle East/Asia region is the name of the game for Thuraya, which launched two Hughes-built broadband terminals this year—Thuraya Orion IP and Thuraya IP Voyager—to address the needs of the L-band maritime and land mobile markets. Both terminals went commercial at the beginning of 2014 and are seeing good adoption under the large Thuraya coverage footprint.
Mexico’s national satellite system, known as Mexsat, is undergoing a transfor- mation to a state-of-the-art network that promises to be the most advanced mobile satellite system in the world. Based on the GMR-1 3G standard, the innovative satellite/cellular system integrates a number of communication capabilities, including asset tracking, handheld and portable units, IP data, telephony voice, push-to-talk voice, and on-the-move capability that includes air, maritime, and land vehicular in a single network.
Hughes was selected to develop the ground communications network (GCN) for the Mexsat system, including refer- ence user terminals, as a subcontractor to Boeing. The terminals are based upon the advanced Hughes system-on-a-chip (SoC) technology developed during the main ground segment program.
The Mexsat system is designed to support a range of government initiatives, including education, military, police, social work, rural broadband to villages, and remote medicine.
Hughes is developing a second- generation Globalstar network and chipset—another SoC with integrated software—as well as validating the chip with the network.
As briefly summarized, mobile satellite communications has countless applications in a world constantly on the go—from portable Internet access, to media, to healthcare, to education, to M2M. But its most valuable role is in times of disaster when terrestrial networks are most vulnerable. As towers go down and power is lost, Mobilesat offers a true alternate path via portable and battery-operated, low-power terminals, providing essential continuity of operations.
Whether it’s supporting recovery/relief efforts in the aftermath of a disaster or for an ever-expanding range of commer- cial or personal applications, Hughes stands at the forefront of providing innovative technology solutions, whatever the environment.