It was the first, in person AsiaTechX (previously known as CommunicAsia) since the onset of the global pandemic and it was good to be back in this vibrant city at the region’s flagship event! With back-to-back meetings, our team was very busy but reflected on how good it felt to feel that energy and buzz of an in-person event, experiencing those chance conversations and seeing people that we haven’t seen for years!
Singapore is the gateway and a Global-Asia node to the world’s fastest growing digital economies. ATxSG drives conversations only possible in Singapore across business, tech and government leaders that will shape our shared digital future. The event enables participants to keep their finger on the pulse of latest tech trends, challenges and opportunities.
Offering Insights at SatelliteAsia
A key part of the overall ATxSG Summit was SatelliteAsia, which gathered together satellite operators and network providers. The inaugural Asia Satellite Business Week Asia Satellite Business Week brought together over 200 global space and satellite key players to share industry perspectives, network, and secure partnerships.
“Revolution in the Satellite Ground Segment” featured speakers from Integrasys, HNS, Spacebridge and our very own Sean Yarborough, VP Product Management.
The panel explored the ground segment transformation that will enable it to operate a new generation of satcom networks and to manage traffic on increasingly virtual networks. Next generation antennas are combining with software defined approaches to offer end-to-end communication solutions with ever greater flexibility, affordability, and interoperability. The question posed to the panel was whether these changes are revolutionary or simply evolutionary?
A key point of discussion was the requirement of software-defined satellites and what it means for the ground segment providers.
Sean made the critical link between ground segment capabilities and the ultimate success of New Space. Sean told the audience: “Ground Segment in our view is the driver, the enabler to harness the great advances in New Space. Therefore, ground segment platforms need to serve satellite constellations in multiple orbits and must also be as flexible as the dynamic payloads that they are serving.”
There are three technology enablers that will enable this transition and they are virtualization, orchestration and standardization. These elements will promote a move to cloud-based services which will be integral to the next generation of capabilities and will enable satellite to remain highly relevant.
Customer experience and the ability to shift between these new orbits in the most seamless and orchestrated way possible without impacting performance is of paramount importance. Customers must be safe in the knowledge that they have access to the right capacity at the right time in order to be able to provide the best service in GEO, LEO or MEO orbits. Sean commented: “In a way, what we are seeing today is an evolution of the customer’s requirements. In the past customers wanted LTE and satellite to work seamlessly, and now it’s GEO and LEO and GEO and MEO.”
From an ST Engineering iDirect perspective, we are fully engaged in this transformation of ground segment capabilities. The initial and critical step forward will be to standardize. “Standardization enables interoperability between different types of networks,” explained Sean. “Our VSAT systems have, until now, really been managed as standalone systems but today, we have the opportunity to align them with dominant terrestrial standards 5G/3GPP and the MEF standards and by abstracting the software from the hardware and standardizing the interfaces allowing us as ground segment providers to move towards a standards based, software-defined modem on generic hardware.”
Successful Partner Events
During the week, we also held two Partner Summits during which we welcomed 88 customers from all markets to receive an update on recent trends, drivers and product technologies and innovations both from our perspective and from those of our ecosystem partners.
The event was opened by Ka Hoe Low, President, Satellite Communications at ST Engineering. He delivered some opening remarks that reiterated the importance of satcom to ST Engineering’s overall business and that the satcom industry is embarking on what is a truly exciting time with many new opportunities that are waiting to be taken. As a combined company, there are many synergies across the rest of ST Engineering’s business divisions and in the future there will be a focus on leveraging satcom to complement this diverse portfolio across aerospace, smart city, defense and public security segments.
As highlighted by ST Engineering iDirect CEO, Kevin Steen, the new trends and drivers in New Space are creating more demand for ground systems. Those drivers are evident in the surge in demand for capacity, new connectivity demands and network convergence. He also explained that demands for higher throughput and more cost-effective solutions have become increasingly intense with networks becoming larger and more complex in nature. On top of these trends, the choice of technologies is multiplying. Our technological mandate is to ensure that these demands are delivered upon, continuing to innovate to enable the transformation of satellite service delivery in a perfectly seamless yet in a significantly more economical and infinitely scalable way – for any connectivity application.
Sean outlined our product strategy that will be behind these innovations and the new technology capabilities that we will bring to market to provide continued performance, efficiency and scale by enabling partners to leverage their existing investments to capture new opportunities. He highlighted our platform portfolio including Evolution, Velocity and Dialog and how they enable our partners to deliver cost-effective services across key growth markets. He also gave details on the high-level innovations and roadmap of each product line and highlighted the new capabilities we are building for our next-generation platform.
Sean also highlighted our ecosystem partners and their importance to our success, bringing their extensive capabilities to leverage and supplement our own platforms’ capabilities. Our work with partners such as Integrasys and Xiplink continuously pushes us to re-evaluate and get better. These relationships are invaluable.
ST Engineering iDirect’s product portfolio continues to offer the broadest selection of modems from very low to very high throughputs; continuous innovations to new levels of performance and efficiency; the highest flexibility with multi-service capabilities for all markets and the lowest cost of ownership.
Paving the Way to New Dimensions of Opportunity
As a company, ST Engineering iDirect has ambitious plans to build innovative New Ground capabilities. We offer our partners maximum protection on their investment through the ability to leverage their existing forward and backward compatible infrastructure for ultimate interoperability and a seamless, single pane of glass for operations across all of our platforms.
We’d like to thank everybody that visited us in our meeting rooms, attended the Summit session and our partner events. We value every interaction and we look forward to providing you with the path that will allow you to consume new, innovative capabilities when the time is right for your business.