ST Engineering iDirect sponsors WTA’s report Designing the Software-Defined Ground Segment of the Future (Image Credit: Sat News)
The World Teleport Association (WTA) has released Designing the Software-Defined Ground Segment of the Future, a new research report that examines the technical and operational barriers to digital transformation of ground segment and the progress being made by operators and technology companies to accelerate change for this vital link in the satellite communications chain. The report was sponsored by ST Engineering iDirect.
“For years now, all eyes have been on innovation in the sky,” said executive director Robert Bell. “Well, all eyes have now turned downward with the realization that if the advanced services in space can’t reach the ground, they can’t reach a customer. Our report reveals the teleport industry on the road to digital transformation — and the challenges and opportunities of the journey.”
WTA members can access the report by signing into their accounts on the WTA website. The report is free for WTA Members and available for purchase by others. Members may directly download the report by following this link and logging in with their user name and password.
More on Designing the Software-Defined Ground Segment of the Future
Long after terrestrial telecom went digital, satellite communications has clung to its analog infrastructure of waveguides, amplifiers, filters, mixers, matrix switches and so on. The technology was a good match for the static design of GEO broadcast services. Today, that infrastructure is incapable of keeping cost-effective pace with advances in space — HTS and VHTS satellites, software-defined satellites, LEO and MEO constellations — and the growing dominance of data in the traffic mix. The industry’s future depends on digital transformation, but there remains a broad gulf of opinions on how to achieve it in terms of technology, operations and capital investment.
In this report, WTA consults executives of teleport operators, satellite operators and the technology vendors that will provide their solutions on the value of digital transformation and the road to its achievement.
Quotes from the Report
“We’re moving toward standardization of the digital signal,” a technology executive says in the report. “Once we get that part nailed down, we will have a virtualized software-defined radio, an interface that is fully portable anywhere in the world. We’re not limited by hardware anymore. In the past, something that was two years old might be obsolete. But with a virtualized system and a standard interface, you can just deploy software and upgrade. Our industry has long been a little dinosaurish until technology and markets give it a good shove. Well, we’ve been shoved and it’s time to get moving.”
A teleport executive summed it up remarking, “Starlink changed the game so much in how we do things. Fundamentally, our business is changing. The question becomes how we stay relevant and digital transformation is the answer.”