Home >> April 2022 Edition >> Increasingly Complex Satellite Networks...Need A Next-Gen Ground Game
Increasingly Complex Satellite Networks...Need A Next-Gen Ground Game
Richard Swardh, Senior Vice President Premium Enterprise and Mobile Operators, Comtech Satellite Network Technologies


New advanced satellites and constellations are bound for space to meet the rising demand for broadband connectivity across the globe. 

However, it will take an equally transformational ground infrastructure to unleash the full potential of these new communications networks and allow providers across a broad range of markets to squeeze the most from their satellite bandwidth. 

It will take a next-gen VSAT platform capable of simultaneously supporting both big and small network applications, from ATM to cellular backhaul and mobility — covering everything from comms-on-the-move (COTM), comms-on-the-pause (COTP), maritime and land mobile. 

Comtech has just unveiled Comtech ELEVATE — a Next-Gen VSAT solution designed to empower businesses and service providers with an affordable, reliable and scalable platform that intelligently meets the needs of the smallest and largest IP satellite networks. 

It’s a milestone advancement when you consider that, until now, companies and network operators had to deploy and manage separate VSAT networks if they wanted to support low traffic applications such as ATMs and pipeline monitoring plus more demanding mega-bit- hungry services, including COTM, COTP, video, or cellular backhaul. 

Comtech ELEVATE is an all-inclusive, highly intelligent, cloud-enabled, modular platform that is capable of supporting small and large networks across any GEO, MEO or LEO satellite orbit. The scalable solution combines the best of Comtech’s popular Heights Dynamic Network Access (H-DNA) and Comtech’s, industry-leading, UHP MF-TDMA waveform flexibility and efficiency. 

Comtech ELEVATE features D-RAM (Dynamic Return Access Modes) protocol with dynamic seamless switching between SCPC, H-DNA and MF-TDMA waveforms using the same pool of bandwidth and industry-leading throughput in both Forward and Return channels. 

Next-Gen VSAT Capabilities 

Satellite networks are getting much more complex and VSAT providers — telcos, MNOs, integrators, and satellite operators — need a scalable, reliable, flexible and affordable solution to help simplify their managed VSAT services. 

Here are a few next-gen capabilities that ELEVATE brings to the table: 

• A unique software-defined, modular architecture that enables the highest bandwidth efficiency in dynamic SCPC and TDMA 
VSAT hubs can scale from small networks to large networks over 500,000 remote sites on a single platform and Forward link capacity at 2.5 gigabits-per-second per service area 
• Fastest processing in the industry with satellite routers supporting up to 200,000 packets per second using only 12W of power 
The Highest Return Link throughput in the industry at 200 megabits per second per satellite 

• The Hi router Provides built-in virtualization, and cloud capabilities to meet the needs of current and future multi-layered satellite networks 
Industry-leading low latency and jitter performance along with header and payload compression 

Comtech ELEVATE simplifies the VSAT solution for increasingly complex networks and requirements with extremely smart technologies that serve SCADA, ATM and other apps requiring small bits of data, and high traffic gigabit networks for services ranging from cellular backhaul networks to connected cruise ships over a single VSAT platform. 

Game-Changing VSAT Platform 

Having the ability to automatically switch from multiple waveforms is a true game changer for many network applications. If you’re running a few dozen remotes, for example, and need to scale from smaller high performance networks to very large networks of 10,000 to 20,000 sites, ELEVATE makes the transition simple and seamless. 

And that level of scalability is critical because the demand for broadband is only increasing. 

A broad range of our customer base serving a vast and diverse set of markets and requirements have strongly advocated for a single VSAT platform that can do it all, and Comtech listened early on and we are fast approaching commercial rollout of Comtech ELEVATE later this year. 

Clearly, MNOs, telcos, satellite operators are moving away from just selling bandwidth to selling managed services. They don’t want to invest in thousands of sets of demodulators and other gear. They need to move into virtualization to meet challenges and unique requirements on the fly. 

MNOs and satellite operators, for example, have made their networks incredibly flexible and they must have a ground infrastructure capable of keeping up with their terrestrial and space-based systems. Comtech ELEVATE has the cloud-based capabilities to enable them to move and centralize certain operations whenever and wherever they want. 

As the value chain and business models evolve across the industry, Comtech has designed and purpose-built the ELEVATE platform for the cloud economy. Comtech is adopting a wide-ranging “as a service” approach to offer key customers the flexibility and scale they need to grow their business. 

A Constant Eye On The Future 

Comtech is transforming the way we transfer data to offer the most efficient, highly reliable and performing VSAT platform for geographical redundancy and mission critical networks. 

And it’s all backed and validated by 50 years of industry leadership, expertise and an unparalleled reputation that comes with Comtech’s unmatched innovation and market vision. 

Comtech ELEVATE will continue to cover the markets historically addressed by Comtech’s UHP and Heights solutions with more power, speed, agility and efficiency to meet the evolving customer requirements. 

The next-gen VSAT capabilities soon to be unleashed across multiple applications and locations will mark a new level of tailored VSAT services never offered or experienced before. 

The company is excited about the upcoming launch and remain laser focused on enabling VSAT providers and end users everywhere to elevate their ground game. 

Author Richard Swardh is the Senior Vice President Premium Enterprise and Mobile Operators, Comtech Satellite Network Technologies.