Home >> November 2019 Edition >> A Conversation with Bill O’Hara
A Conversation with Bill O’Hara
General Manager, Media, Intelsat

Mr. O’Hara’s responsibilities with Intelsat include product development, product strategy, marketing, global sales, and market development for the media sector. Prior to his current position, he worked in sales at Intelsat. Before that, he was the CEO for a streaming start-up.  Bill also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

At IBC2019, Intelsat focused on conveying the value of the media ecosystem and showcased their ability to converge and harmonize customer’s requirements into a single platform.

The company is integrating new solutions for customers and are taking what was a fractured ecosystem and turning it into one that simplifies content management and transport for the customer.

According to Bill, the goal for Intelsat at IBC2019 was to show how satellites can be used to solve various
customer challenges.

Intelsat has about 40 satellites that are video platforms and a approximately 54 global satellites in-orbit. Intelsat’s historic strength is in the satellite distribution of content for Direct To Home (DTH) and cable headend distribution.

The company has partnered with DEJERO to bring new connectivity solutions to market, including IronRoute for Media, a cloud-based solution that blends broadband, cellular (3G/4G/5G), and satellite connectivity to create a virtual ‘network of networks’ with the necessary bandwidth required to deliver broadcast-quality content.

This platform intelligently packages connectivity together for the customer’s business needs.

Intelsat believes that by adding satellite to broadband and cellular connectivity, they can provide a scalable and reliable platform across the globe. IronRoute for Media simplifies the simultaneous distribution of content to multiple locations.

Because the connective platform is native to the cloud, Intelsat is able to successfully integrate other value-added services, such as IBM Watson Media processing solutions with IronRoute for Media.

Intelsat wants to show that the company is building an advanced ecosystem of services that solves more than just one problem. All of the firm’s services and applications can be combined to deliver unified solutions, as opposed to platforms that can only offer divergent options.

Intelsat’s Network Operations Center in Ellenwood/Atlanta, Georgia.
According to Bill, Intelsat delivers customer support services for the biggest brands in media, a market segment that has an extremely low tolerance for service interruptions.

The company has achieved extremely high up-time levels across their operations. An extremely experienced staff operates Intelsat’s Network Operations Center (NOC) which manages the content being delivered via in-orbit satellites.

One of their leading initiatives, Bill said, is to train and educate customers on new products and how to effectively use them. The bottom line is Intelsat is the gold standard when it comes to media distribution for partners and they have a long history of being first in class for
service availability.

Mr. O’Hara noted that Intelsat firmly believes that their core business will remain robust. The value proposition of what the company offers today is extremely strong, from media to government to commercial services.

Bill stated the company’s view is that the satellite broadcasting industry has many areas for growth and that satellites definitely need to be an integral part of the broader telecom industry.  Intelsat realizes that satellites are not the only solution for connectivity, but they are crucial to deliver connectivity, content, and cloud services to the underserved world.

As Bill indicated, the company can scale to meet the needs of future applications.

He related that customers should select Intelsat for their operations because of the company’s global scale, especially noting that the company’s 54 satellites provide coverage for the entire population of the world.

In his opinion, no other company has invested the time necessary to produce such a highly reliable delivery of global satellite connectivity for media services as Intelsat.