All HTS systems share similar characteristics, however, not all HTS systems are the same. When choosing an HTS system, it is important to understand the architecture behind the technology. Choosing the right architecture defines the user experience and directly impacts the ability to meet service expectations and support customers in the most demanding environments.

Closed Architecture
Unlike traditional satellites whose design has always been open, many HTS systems are vertically integrated and follow a closed architecture approach that prevents service providers to tailor their network to their customer’s needs. Closed architecture locks service providers into a standardised, undifferentiated third-party solution:

• No flexibility. Closed HTS systems have hardwired gateways in fixed locations that require providers to use the satellite operator gateway and abandon their current investments, infrastructure or favourite teleport.

• No technology choices. Closed HTS systems are typically designed and optimised for one specific application, restricting the ability to adapt to changing customer demands and expansion opportunities.

• No differentiation. Closed HTS systems are typically designed and optimised for one specific application, restricting the ability to adapt to changing customer demands and expansion opportunities.

• No operational freedom. The increased dependency on the satellite operator transforms network providers into mere distributors of a standard, third-party solution that cannot keep pace with innovation. You can only improve technology if/when an operator gets it.

Closed systems require service providers to make a long-term investment in a single technology and gamble that a single company can out-innovate the rest of the industry.

Open Architecture
Service providers who offer technology-agnostic solutions based on an open architecture are part of an evolving ecosystem of satellite communications and antenna providers. In an open-architecture environment, each component of the system (e.g. satellite, modem and antenna) can be upgraded independently.

Open platforms allow service providers to build services that are optimised in terms of performance, coverage, cost and quality of service for the particular needs of their customers. An open HTS platform gives service providers unprecedented choice, control and consistent levels of service at a much lower total cost of ownership.

In an open-architecture environment, service providers can build and scale their services as part of a well-executed digital strategy:

• No lock in. Remain independent from technology and satellite vendors.

• Backward compatibility. Choose modem technology that best suits applications and is best adapted to their business.

• Leverage current customer install base. Take advantage of C- and Ku-band HTS to continue to grow their market with premier spectrum.

• Use preferred teleports. Locate desired hubs and uplink from any beam in any band.

• Efficiently deliver more throughput to the user. Increase throughput with higher performance at the same capital expenditures (CAPEX) investments.

• Continue to innovate. Keep pace with technology improvements and capitalise on the ability to configure their own service packages.

The result is a modular system that can integrate new technologies as they become available, without requiring a complete overhaul. Modularity is critical in environments where:

• Installation costs are high
• Technological evolution is rapid and constant
• The provider needs to be agile and incorporate new innovations

Not sure how to choose an HTS provider? Check out these key considerations.

(Article supplied by our contributor Intelsat)