New tech, apps fuel satellite industry rebound

08 Aug 2006

(Satellite News via NewsEdge) After a few challenging years, satellite-enabled business initiatives have begun to rebound, fueled by new technologies and applications.

Many industry observers believe that the notion of a "killer app" that will trigger significant business development has gone by the wayside. Rather, diversified service offerings enabling voice, video and data for a broad client base are now the leading advancers of satellite-enabled communications.

In September 2005, IPTV services, centralizing military communications and niche-focused broadband applications, both for mobile and fixed transmissions, were the top agenda items for industry equipment and service providers. Business topics consistently surfaced as the focus for their business growth.

Likewise, niche programming of content delivery between Europe, North America and Asia was increasing, with high-definition technology being fueled by global sporting events such as this summer's World Cup.

Broadband service providers were also witnessing significant growth opportunities coming from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Russia, which were still developing today.

What was most interesting to note was the growing need for cohesion between IPTV services and HD content. Talks had also begun to significantly center on mobile transmissions and getting away from traditional television programming.

Today, companies continue to look at new business avenues that can provide an enhanced service offering to customers. During the next few years, satellite service providers and telecom giants will conduct trial runs for numerous ways to distribute programming, the Internet, interactive services and telephony through a more transmission-agnostic platform.

As of press time, EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV, under the consortium Wireless DBS, were preparing to bid for the advanced wireless services spectrum auction.

Though it is still unclear how the satellite operators plan to use the spectrum, their interest potentially indicates a significant desire to deliver more content services beyond traditional programming.

VSAT developments

Within the VSAT services sector, momentum materialized behind the uptake of connectivity needs surrounding disaster recovery and emergency response applications, triggering new business partnerships that were still maturing today.

Service providers who were called upon to provide emergency communications in the wake of Hurricane Katrina cited as problems disorganization, lack of accessibility to affected areas and even slow implementation of satellite-enabled services once delivered.

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