Amor Sets The Record Straight About Satellite Myths

Amor Sets The Record Straight About Satellite Myths

Joe Amor
Joe Amor is GM of Microspace.

The following article appeared in the May 2003 issue of “Uplink,” the newsletter published by CBC subsidiary Microspace.

Found in Space: Savings by Debunking Common Satellite Myths
by Microspace VP & General Manager Joe Amor

In today’s economy, with the current corporate mantra to reduce costs, many business are revisiting satellite solutions for network delivery of video, audio and data content.

Satellite is the ideal communications medium to deliver content to many sites. Some companies have saved as much as 98 percent in network costs by growing from terrestrial to satellite delivery. Let’s say you need to provide content to one hundred locations and each site needs a high capacity telephone line. Say, each telephone line cost $1,000 per month per location. 100 locations multiplied by $1,000 per month per locations, multiplied by 12 months equals an annual network cost of $1.2 million. If you use satellite service – like those provided by Microspace’s Velocity® delivery – the same network costs $460,000, saving almost $800,000 annually. This is typical of the savings you can find in space.

Let’s look at some common satellite myths and reveal the truth:

  1. Satellites are expensive. As shown above, the bigger the network, the bigger the recurring savings. That return on investment savings often helps to justify long overdue network upgrades. As for hardware, the cost of satellite hardware is typically less than or equal to telco modems. And current satellite receivers are known in the industry as “speed agile,” so you don’t have to replace or upgrade perfectly good equipment as your bandwidth needs grow. Satellite hardware also now optionally includes the data routing requirements found in today’s local area network routers and servers. So satellite receivers can actually reduce capital expenses while reducing multiple points of operational failure.
  2. Satellite installations are difficult. Microspace’s customers have over 300,000 businesses installed today. Add in the fact that DirecTV and Echostar have about 18 million subscribers in North America. There are similar examples of satellites delivering content throughout Europe and Asia. This worldwide acceptance of the dish shows just how easy satellite installations are – thus dismissing another past concern.
  3. Satellites cause delays in data networks. While this is a valid concern for older technology, when broadcasting (or to use the new term, “multicasting”), data is received at all sites simultaneously. Broadcasting content to the entire network saves a huge amount of time. In our hypothetical network of 100 locations, let’s presume that the organization server can communicate with eight remote locations at a time via telco circuits. 100 locations divided by eight at a time means it will take 13 times the length of the file for delivery via telco. So if the file is 120 minutes long, it will take over a full day to deliver that content. By comparison, that same 120-minute file will be delivered to all 100 sites at the same time in only 120 minutes.
  4. Satellites aren’t secure. While many of us have seen free video content on a neighbor’s backyard dish, those days are gone. Businesses now understand the value of their network and protect that content. Systems like Microspace’s Velocity® can add encryption over the satellites to ensure its integrity. Furthermore, many applications now use Internet Protocol, which has its own set of addresses and encryption techniques, that are perfectly compatible with today’s satellites.

There are many applications for satellite delivery, but we see growing interest specifically in the timely and secure delivery of long-play content (digital movies) to high-capacity video servers. You see this content in restaurants, department stores, hotels and theaters. You will recognize it as a product informational video in retail store aisles and as a trailer in your local theater. All of these applications have found business benefits in space.

Satellite is the right solution. Satellite networks reduce network costs, improve timelines and are absolutely secure and reliable.

The savings are found in space.

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