The New Space Race featuring Telstra

By working together, telco and satellite providers can discover easier pathways into multiple markets worldwide to provide global coverage to more people faster.
major advantages of LEO over GEO are low latency and its ability to “self-heal” in the event of a satellite failure or a network attack. Conversely, GEO’s strength in “one point to many” connectivity makes it a better option for applications like broadcasting or direct consumer broadband.

While telcos are continually updating and expanding their terrestrial fiber and undersea networks—driven by increasing global bandwidth demands—in many areas, especially remote locations, it’s simply not scalable or economical for telcos to invest in high-speed fiber networks. Satellite technology can help fill in these gaps and the evidence supporting this is growing almost daily.

We’re also seeing new and emerging applications for satellite technology. It's an interesting time to be in the satellite arena. Both new entrants and traditional players are modifying their fleets to serve end-user needs.

For example, following a natural disaster or emergency, a disaster relief organization could use a satellite to get the data needed for a period to understand the scope and plan out their response. Then they can shut it down and someone else uses that satellite.

While the use of satellite technology for remote services is still a big part of the telco industry, other opportunities are arising. Unlike a decade or two ago, as prices and latency drop, satellite services are becoming much more efficient, complementary and in some cases competitive to terrestrial telecommunications offerings such as those provided by subsea cable systems.

Although MEO and LEO deployments have different requirements to GEO constellations, such as a need for tracking antennas and a higher number of distributed teleports, colocating at facilities already owned by an existing company can be a big draw for new providers seeking to establish early points of presence in a market as a faster, lower-cost point of entry than building facilities themselves.

Assets from telcos could also support satellite operators’ efforts to open efficient, adaptive, and flexible transmission pathways to businesses and consumers alike for sending and receiving information and content around the world. In addition to traditional networks, many telcos have readily established relationships with large enterprises, international governments, major OTT providers, numerous Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and cloud players.

These types of relationships are key elements most satellite operators currently lack, but they are potentially vital in supporting their efforts to establish disruptive commercial deals. It’s one more reason why working with a telco can open amazing possibilities and establish a foothold with large enterprises and content providers.

It is crucial and incredibly important to define the needs and capabilities of each technology and how to best put them to use. Every satellite provider has unique needs so together with telcos, it's important to identify scalable solutions that are also mutually beneficial. Establishing this benchmark is key to developing an ecosystem of technologies that will succeed in the marketplace.

Terrestrial and satellite technologies will continue to advance and give rise to new connectivity models, infrastructures, and services. Yes, there are challenges for each, but also just as many business opportunities. By working together, telco and satellite providers can discover easier pathways into multiple markets worldwide to provide global coverage to more people faster. Telcos and satellite operators will over time gain economic efficiencies the more they collaborate, complement, and create an ecosystem that relies on one another.

Regardless of which technology is ultimately delivered to the end user, there will always be a need for collaboration. Embracing this reality rather than fighting it is the more logical path to long-term success.

Those organizations that can effectively combine the best of space-based platforms and software-defined terrestrial networks stand to benefit the most and will play a larger role in forming the network of tomorrow.


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