Unlocking new revenue for operators with satellite and Cloud integration


Cloud technology has made an increasingly visible mark in the satellite sector over recent years. Beginning with the delivery of Cloud-based applications to remote locations via satellite, fully managed satcom services are on the rise.

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings, for example, can provide teleport operators the benefits of managed cloud applications whilst avoiding the expense and complexity of establishing and owning the software itself.

The marriage between satellite – delivering flexible, high-bandwidth and cost-effective connectivity – and Cloud platforms – offering scalability and reduced IT cost for services –  can give operators in nascent markets and hard to reach areas needing to deploy easy, cheap, scalable solutions to meet new and rising demands.

Yet to fully exploit new revenue streams, operators need a truly disruptive and innovative platform to maximise the technology’s potential.

Changing landscapes

The satellite industry is realizing the potential of Cloud-based applications via satellite, going beyond just delivery to remote locations. Although still a vital component of the satellite-Cloud partnership, recognition of further and broader opportunities are emerging and are poised to reap benefits for the whole satellite industry value chain.

The advantages of incorporating the Cloud into satellite businesses are clear. Satellite access to the Cloud brings with it a form of flexibility not available on terrestrial networks. Cloud allows operators to circumvent prohibitive upfront capital and reduce operational costs. It also gives operators the ability to scale rapidly, develop and deploy easily, and benefit from ubiquitous accessibility. Also, regardless of the application, Cloud platforms can reduce the barrier of entry to market.

Digitalization is becoming increasingly important for industries as we enter Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies emerge. This will be especially true fo sectors such as energy and maritime, which are heavily dependent on satellite services for remote communications. The IoT revolution has over spilled into this world, driving further demand for connectivity and advanced analytics, and satcom managed services will be a key enabler here.

There is also increasing user demand for bandwidth-intensive applications delivered over the Cloud, from Over-the-top (OTT) services to mobile applications. Research from the GSMA shows that mobile device penetration is expected to rise over the coming years, and that the primary means of internet access in Low- and Middle-income Countries (LMICs) is mobile.  Satellite network operators and service providers looking to improve their bandwidth delivery services to meet this demand can turn to Cloud technologies for increased capacity and low-cost services.  

New sats on the block

Alongside the changing digital landscape, innovation and new trends in the satellite ecosystem are enabling Cloud’s power. Newer constellations in low earth orbit (LEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) will alleviate the Achilles’ Heel for satcom: latency. As LEO constellations are closer to earth than GEOs (orbiting at 160 to 2,000 kilometres compared to 35,000 kilometres) latency is massively reduced which can present huge advantages for the delivery of real time applications like VoIP.

The emergence of LEO as the first-choice satellite technology presents operators with an immeasurable opportunity – so long as they have the tools to fully realize the benefits.

Introducing the Cloud-based Service Delivery Platform

A revolutionary idea introduced by SatADSL, a provider of professional VSAT services via satellite, is to interconnect satellite hubs on the ground to allow operators to reap the benefits of satellite connectivity using a PaaS solution – Cloud-based Service Delivery Platform (C-SDP).

This would enable operators to provide omnipresent, low-latency high-bandwidth satellite connectivity to the regions where high-CAPEX connectivity solutions, such as fiber, are just not feasible. The PaaS solution requires no upfront investment and its quick deployment time allows operators to roll out their services to market immediately. It is carrier-grade, technology-agnostic, and works on all bands (Ku, C, and Ka).

By interconnecting hubs worldwide, the platform has the capability to offer any kind of service worldwide through the aggregation of multiple satellite operators. For the first time, teleports and hub operators can sell and purchase on the fly packaged services to and from each other.

New revenue streams

SatADSL offers pre-configured, redundant routers that enable the operator to connect its hub to the C-SDP through redundant optical fiber links. Operators can then choose how much Virtual Network Operator (VNO) capacity to sell through the C-SDP and define their service packages portfolio and tariffs. Following this, SatADSL can then configure and implement this portfolio, along with online payment tools. In addition, SatADSL provides the tools to manage and monitor the VNO bandwidth, as well as technical support.

With the C-SDP in place, operators can extend their hubs’ capabilities to offer any contended, volume-based, or voucher services, whatever the technology – be it ST Engineering or Hughes, for example. As an industry first, VNOFlex allows customer organizations operating across multiple sites the ability to dynamically self-manage bulk bandwidth capacity delivered by SatADSL.

By acting as a broker or aggregator service, SatADSL offers to hub operators various ways to sell capacity, which suits the majority of teleports who have excess capacity and are looking for an outlet to monetize it.

Thanks to SatADSL’s worldwide network of hubs already connected, it can offer the benefits of the Cloud platform on any available bandwidth, aggregating capacities while optimizing bandwidth management. The company currently connects 13 different capacity providers, including 15 teleports with coverage already on 20 satellite beams.

More Cloud forecast

As our connectivity demands increase, and become increasingly complex, Cloud will continue to play a vital role especially in emerging and developing markets.

Over the past year, SatADSL has accelerated the global expansion of its Points-of- Presence (PoP) globally, reaching new regions to deliver its solutions and extensive value-added services portfolio worldwide. The PoP, which has been introduced in Singapore and Miami, replicates SatADSL’s European and African models to enable operators to offer satellite services via the Cloud – unlocking new revenue streams to operators worldwide.

This article was first published inside the June 2020 issue of Disruptive Telecoms, a TelecomDrive.com initiative