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Partnership With Understanding: Forming Relationships That Drive Success In The New Era Of Satellite
By Rajanik Mark Jayasuriya, V.P. for the Satellite Network Group (SNG), ST Electronics


A new satellite era has arrived, one in which the dynamics of the industry are in continual transformation—the manner in which business is conducted will never again be the same. 

Today, more powerful satellites are handling throughput levels that are hundreds of times faster than ever before experienced. Mass-produced fleets of LEO telecom-class micro satellites are set to launch, adding even greater coverage for untapped markets around the globe. Terminal prices are now on par with the average smartphone, while the cost to launch satellites continues to decrease and bandwidth prices are becoming quite competitive with that of terrestrial connectivity.

As a satellite service provider, all of these factors are changing the meaning of success. An entirely new perspective on what is necessary to compete for the business of highly demanding end users around the globe is mandatory. 

A new approach to business relationships is necessary for today’s market. The need is to forge partnerships that are built around understanding all the unique challenges being faced—from a technical and business perspective. Having a partner that understands the full breadth and depth of the marketplace as well as a firm’s unique business drivers can go a long way in determining a businesses success in this new landscape of opportunity.

A Study In Understanding
Looking specifically at how this changing dynamic is playing out in the current market, take a look at SpeedCast, a key Agilis partner. Among the largest and most successful satellite service providers in the market, SpeedCast operates a highly complex communications network with multiple access technologies that support multiple applications for a range of customers. 

Key to SpeedCast’s success is the ability to determine how best to harness the influx of capacity coming online in order to uniquely serve each of these customers segments. This task grows increasingly complex as, for each customer, there is, potentially, a different design and solution that must cemented together.

Today, the company is using more than 70 satellites around the world via 39 strategically located teleports. The network is also growing in terms of the geographies that must be covered, with the number of countries where customers being served now eclipsing 90, worldwide.

While many of SpeedCast’s customers rely fully on satellite communications (SATCOM) for core communications, different access technologies, such as cellular, fiber and microwave link, must also be incorporated into the mix. 

One might say that SpeedCast has become the model as to how the business of the satellite service provider is transforming into a hybrid platform, where the need for multiple pieces of equipment operating across mobile, fixed and satellite network, integrated in a manner that addresses application-specific needs while providing value to the core business, is necessary. As customers become more demanding and seek extremely high communication standards, they want to be informed immediately if something does go wrong. 

In order to strike the correct balance, SpeedCast holds the idea of a ‘partnership with understanding’ in high regard, ensuring all aspects of the company’s operation are in tune with this goal. 

Two Sides Of Understanding 
Step inside any of the aforementioned SpeedCast teleports around the globe and there is an excitement and energy that reflects a vibrant global network in action. In order to make this a reality, a broad range of technologies and equipment are required to serve customers in all areas of the globe. All of the technologies must flawlessly come together in order to address the needs of each individual customer.

This means, from a technical perspective, a partner is required that possesses the necessary experience and in-depth understanding to design complex end-to-end solutions, as well as provide hardware and software products that will meet customer needs. 

For its new teleport in Singapore, SpeedCast trusted the professional services of Agilis to help install and commission 10 satellite antennas on the roof of the facility—the first teleport to have an antenna farm located on the roof.

As network footprints increase, complexity also increases. The requirement is for more and more data connectivity and, as a result, more and more available capacity. 

From a business perspective, network growth is mandated, as the need for data connectivity accelerates—more capacity to manage, more applications to support and more data being tied to critical business decisions. 

A partner on the business side understands this dynamic and works to always become more proactive in the management of the global network. They work diligently to provide deep analysis across networks to provide the best quality of service to customers at all times. 

With this level of insight, the overall quality of service also improves, continuing to meet highly complex SLAs (service-level agreements) and to ultimately reduce operational costs across the business.

Build The Partnership 
Being able to strike that correct balance between technical knowledge and business understanding is far easier said than done. As a satellite service provider, the ability to maintain pace with the changing demands on equipment, all the while keeping a meticulous eye on the business, requires a partner that has experience at both ends of that spectrum, along with proven results.

Another view of the roof-based SpeedCast teleport in Singapore,

A trusted partnership is one that comes with the understanding of the impact they have on a particular business, but also on their clients’ customers, as well. 

As part of this three-part series, an in-depth look will be offered to SatMagazine readers as to at what is meant to truly develop a partnership with understanding. The correct approach to both the technical and the business perspective, along with how to develop the right strategy for properly addressing each, will be examined. 

In the next issue, the spotlight will be placed on the technology approach, unpacking the ways whereby the appropriate partner can help navigate through the complexities and create a complete solution, fully optimized for the business needs.

Such a partnership must be formed with this well-rounded approach in mind to help propel a business forward. As a satellite service provider, consider this the ultimate key to success during this exciting time in satellite communications.