Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

HTSEmpower Report Summary

Project ID: 778472

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HTSEmpower (The High Throughput Satellite Enabler Instrument: HTSInstrument)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The satellite industry has dramatically advanced over recent years, both in terms of capability and competitiveness. The satellite “facelift” mainly culminates around High Throughput Satellite (HTS). The technology will enable more people to access digital services via satellite than ever before, but, perhaps more importantly, it means that satellite is becoming a viable alternative to other types of communication technologies, especially in those hard to reach areas. This in turn has led to a veritable explosion in service provision, giving our industry the chance to shine, but not without a few hurdles. Then, satellite broadband services are offered to rural areas at a much cheaper rate and better quality than ever before, so consumers are beginning to see the value in turning to these services for a better (or in some cases any) connection.
HTS is a great alternative to terrestrial connectivity however many customers are complaining about the complexity compared to fiber, especially in the deployment face. HTS is based on economy of scale where the operators have to provide larger networks to cope with the extra demand, which often need to be deployed in a short time frame.
The installation is usually costly and the margin for error is high. It is quite often to misaligned the antenna causing a multitude of problems, including interference in other satellites and services. Many VSAT networks are also mobile. Take the maritime, for example, where the unit is constantly on the move. In those cases, it can have been perfectly well installed and pointed, but then every time it moves, you risk all those same misalign problems again. Often the personnel accompanying the unit won’t be highly trained in satellite communications, but even when they are, it means a constant job of realigning to ensure the equipment is always working at its optimum and without satellite interference. In most cases, the network will factor in extra cost.

For the end user, HTSEMPOWER aims to (i) To make VSAT and Satellite Technology a more attractive proposition to the end customer by drastically simplifying the task of installing and commissioning VSAT-based satellite services, ensuring the required technical quality and reducing the cost of VSAT deployment, and (ii) Open the door to accurate self-customer installation with easy-to-use technology by simplifying the installation process through intuitive tools and allowing the VSAT installers to self-check critical parameters in real time.

The overall objective is to develop this tool for the main manufacturers of infrastructure of VSATs, in such a way, that our solution will be available worldwide for most of the VSAT networks technologies that are leading this market.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During first nine months of the execution of the project, Integrasys is mainly working in the following lines:
- To reach an agreement with main stakeholders of VSAT network infrastructure to customize our solution for their platform. In the first nine months we got the agreement for seven new platform and three new ones are negotiating. These targeted manufacturers are covering more than the 70% of these market and they will act as a reseller of our solution.
- To perform the technical analysis for the integration of HTSEMPOWER in the manufacturers platforms.
- Development of the customized solution for the seven platforms (work in progress).
- To set up a support office in USA to deal with the future customer as the main customer are coming from USA.
- Five demo stations installed on manufacturers and early adopters premises, so they can check firsthand the benefit of our platform.
- The dissemination in industrial fair, conference, specialized magazines, social network. In September of 2017, Integrasys was awarded as Best Ground Technology Award in the prestigious VSAT Global Event. In March of 2018, Integrasys was awarded in Washington by the World Teleport Association, during the Satellite 2018, the most important international Fair for SatCom.
- Legal support and consulting for future full internationalization of the company.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The HTSEMPOWER brings the following benefits to user and markets:
- Reduction of physical and economic barriers to deploy satellite broadband services, especially in very isolated areas. Automation Network Deployment: as VSAT market tends to grow, service providers are requesting ease of use and auto-deployment capabilities from modem manufacturers.
- OPEX Cost saving in deployment: Faster installation, it enables the service provider to save time and resources on the deployment: (i) automated deployment process, (ii) avoid the need of coming back to reinstall, HUB and NOC personnel, (iii) No more Calls to the NOC and (iv) allow multiple installation in geographically disperse sites at the same time. This is explained in more detail in the following interview at Cabsat tradeshow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9tTkGIZtMM
- Mitigation of satellite interference: Today there are many more satellites in space than ever before, therefore, satellites are closer to each other, which makes interference more common. Interference causes significant service failures, which increases the bandwidth price and decreases the satellite operator turnover. Our product is a unique auto-commissioning system able to minimize Cross Pol and ASI (Adjacent Satellite Interference), which in turn allows more reliable communications and helps to avoid penalties due to interference. Interference has long been a problem in the VSAT industry.
- Usability for installers: The installer just needs a mobile handheld to carry out the installation. Other equipment, such as an on-site spectrum analyser, is not needed in the field.
- Social Impact: E-learning/eHealth for Rural Areas: Reducing the cost and easing the deployment of VSAT in isolated areas of underdeveloped/developing countries facilitates the access to information and the provision of services related with eLearning and eHealth. This has a positive impact for the mitigation of the Digital Divide.
- Impact First Responders for disaster recovery: Search and Rescue teams become fully operational with a solid communication infrastructure, and the reduction of time to establish the network has a positive direct impact on their ability to save lives. This benefit has already been tested by end users through coaching sessions delivered by Integrasys.

The unique selling point of the solution are:
- Minimizes the calls to the Network Operation Center and Reduces Human Factor issues.
- It minimizes Adjacent Satellite (ASI) and Cross Polar (XPOL) Interference.
- No more Telephone connection required. No more expensive Spectrum Analyser required in the field.
- Easy to use for installers. Available in Laptop and Smartphone
- Immediate Return on Investment (ROI) is less than three months, even one month in extreme cases.
- It allows Simultaneous Installers in different locations at the same time.

Given that typical network are around 1000 VSATs, the ROI is estimated in less than six months.

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