New Satellite-Based IP Data Services for the Enterprise
By John Stevenson and Christopher Baugh, Northern Sky Research
Published 2003, Posted August 2003




Despite all of the recent collapses and turmoil within the telecom business sector, there remain steady and substantial year-on-year increases in the volumes of data traffic that enterprise sites generate, and which they need, in some proportion, to transmit one to another. While specific business applications that were earlier predicted to be major drivers of new traffic - both intra- and inter-enterprise - have not materialized, others continue to both appear and evolve, though nowadays with substantially less fanfare.


For example, DSL and cable modems represented more than 95% of all business broadband subscriptions in 2001. Small business and remote office use of both xDSL and cable network access services grew by better than 50% in the U.S. from 2001 to 2002. (It is noteworthy that the now sizeable HFC cable portion of this market has been the subject of almost no concerted marketing effort in the U.S.) Total North American revenues from all such services are projected to exceed US$10 billion annually this year. Comparatively, satellite-based network access service providers have had only limited success - to date - in this market.


We deal with four topics in the balance of this white paper. Current satellite terminal technologies are briefly reviewed first, followed by an overview of performance levels offered in network access services today. Some new service initiatives, based upon use of the same technologies but potentially either augmenting or complementing pre-existing terrestrial IP network facilities are outlined in the second half of the paper. We conclude with a summary of business case outcomes for such growth services. Our “headline finding” here is that satellite service providers, currently making only limited inroads in the enterprise IP data networking market, have concrete opportunities to substantially improve this situation through a repositioning of their activities in network access and content distribution services.


About the Authors:


John Stevenson has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including extensive involvement with satellite and wireless technologies. His expertise ranges from data communication and networking to Web-based content management and applications. He has worked in the development of satellite-based Internet services since 1994 and has held senior positions during the recent past at INTELSAT, at Orblynx, Inc. and at Astrolink International, all with responsibility for advanced system and service concepts. He founded the Leapfrog Telecommunications Consultancy, based in Alexandria, VA, in 2002.


Christopher Baugh founded Northern Sky Research in 2000, to provide market research on domestic and international high-speed networks to vendors and carriers worldwide. He directs all Northern Sky multi-client research and single client projects related to the broadband telecommunications industry, with a specialization in satellites and broadband technology.



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