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FEATURE - Innovations = Latin American Growth
by Carmen Gonzalez-Sanfeliu
V.P., Latin America + Caribbean Sales, Intelsat

With the steady growth of Latin America’s largest economies, the region’s telecommunications companies (telcos and celcos) are working diligently to meet increasing demand for more powerful communications networks for enterprises and government agencies. These same telcos also seek new solutions to help meet surging demand for mobile voice and Internet connectivity from the region’s consumers and businesses. The world’s leading satellite operators assist Latin American telcos by helping them integrate satellite transmissions into their service offerings, ensuring maximum coverage, performance, reliability and continuity.

At the same time, major satellite operators are assisting Latin American broadcasters on two important fronts. First, they are helping broadcasters expand their audience by distributing programming to the maximum number of cable and DBS providers worldwide. Second, operators are helping broadcasters proliferate international programming into the region from other parts of the world.

Helping Telcos & Celcos
At an ever-increasing rate, satellite service providers are assisting the region’s telcos by providing infrastructure solutions that extend their network. These solutions enable communications to reach remote and rural areas lacking access to major fiber routes, thereby allowing telcos to increase their service offerings into new markets.

The satellite solution is often used for expansion of existing networks to cell sites and/or cellular sub-networks constrained by conventional terrestrial systems. The use of satellite technology is often selected for rapid deployment, or as the most cost-effective, available alternative.

In areas not accessible by terrestrial circuits, due to infrastructure or anti-competitive constraints, satellites have proven to be an ideal solution to help celcos meet their network backhaul needs. To enhance cellular backhaul solutions, progressive satellite operators encourage the use of efficient techniques to optimize capital and operating expenses, thus delivering more value to their customers.

Quickly deployable, satellite-based solutions provide telcos with the ability to expand their offerings rapidly on a local, national, and international scale. Latin American telcos depend upon satellite technology, with fully redundant networks and transmission reliability levels of 99.99 percent, to help them deliver uninterrupted service for mission-critical applications.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Telcos also depend on satellite technology for enterprise networking, supporting a variety of transactional and multimedia applications (including video conferencing, LAN/WAN interconnections, multicasting, virtual private networks, Internet, distance learning, point-of-sale transactions and VoIP), especially during times of natural and manmade disasters. After decades of experiencing the effects of one of the world’s most active hurricane zones, Caribbean enterprises have placed an urgent emphasis on business continuity. Similarly, Latin American governments have renewed their focus on disaster recovery to better prepare for earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters. Both of these market segments have come to depend upon the versatility of satellite technology.

Every organization depends on its voice, data, and video communications to keep operations running at peak efficiency. Whether the mission at hand is for a national bank, a hospital, or a government organization, downtime of just a few minutes can cost thousands in lost revenue and unforeseen expenses. A severed communications line can paralyze a business, creating not only financial concerns, but also employee and customer safety issues. Any company that has experienced even a minor network outage knows that operating without critical communications disrupts immediate operations and can have long-term, negative impacts due to lost data, transaction errors, and eroded customer confidence.

Because of corporate accountability, senior managers are increasingly concerned with the reliability of network systems and communications. To guarantee that business-critical networks will be dependable, Latin American telcos are collaborating with satellite communications providers to complement wireline networks. Unlike DSL, cable, and wireless services that depend on local facilities, satellite networks bypass the local terrestrial infrastructure. With rapid switch-over capability, nationwide coverage, and easy integration into an existing IT infrastructure, a satellite solution can enable a company to maintain nearly constant operations right through a wireline network failure.

The combination of wireline and satellite technologies enables businesses to minimize, or eliminate, lost revenue from frozen financial transactions, decreased productivity from off-line applications, and safety and security concerns over disabled telephone systems.

The Benefits of New Services
In the energy sector, satellite technology provides highly reliable service delivering broadband, IP-based voice, video, data, and Internet packages to offshore platforms, tankers, and remote energy facilities without interruption, regardless of how many sites need to be networked or their geographic location. A satellite-based infrastructure provides complex networking solutions to keep vessels and stabilized platforms connected to their servers and mainframes, enabling real-time communications.

By working together with the region’s telcos,
businesses and governments, the satellite industry continues to meet Latin America’s growing
communications requirements.

Expanding Audiences for Broadcasters
In a time when the quality and quantity of programming is growing rapidly, Latin American broadcasters face two distinct challenges:
  • How can they expand their audience by distributing programming to the maximum number of cable and DBS providers worldwide, and,
  • How can they improve customer satisfaction by offering the maximum amount of programmingfrom other parts of the world?

The answer is simple: Identify and become a part of a premier satellite neighborhood, one that offers leading cable and DTH penetration and world-class video content.

Major satellite operators offer robust Latin American video neighborhoods that reach millions of homes. Those satellite video communities offer redundancy, reach, and connectivity for cable networks and DTH providers transmitting into the Latin American region. The most innovative operators combine leading penetration of cable headends with a network of highly qualified channel partners to provide value-added services.

Leading operators also provide the distribution infrastructure of satellite, teleport, and fiber that enables effective solutions for global video transmissions. These solutions provide seamless connectivity into and out of Latin America.

Recently, Latin American broadcasters began facing the growing challenge of bringing HD content to customers. To meet growing regional HD demand, major operators use satellites that provide enhanced power and filtering to support digital services, high levels of redundancy, and optimal cable and DTH system penetration.

By establishing strong partnerships in Latin America, leading operators have become ideally suited to meet increased demand for satellite capacity from all of the region’s growing markets. These operators will continue to play a critical role by providing reliable connectivity alternatives that ensure constant access to communications that improve business productivity, safety and quality of life for all Latin Americans.

About the Author
Carmen Gonzalez-Sanfeliu is Intelsat’s Vice President, Latin America & Caribbean Sales. She may be reached at +1-305-445-5536 or carmen.gonzalez@intelsat.com.