1. 6 An Supplement
FSS PLUS HTS KEEP SATELLITES PULSATING
2015 has been a year of growth
and change for Foxcom follow-
ing its acquisition by the Global
Invacom Group. From the outset,
we made a strategic decision to
dedicate more R&D resources to
further develop and enhance our
traditional RF-over-Fibre Interfa-
cility Links (IFLs) to maintain and
bolster our position as the supplier
of choice in the industry.
Foxcom earned its outstanding
reputation in the Asia-Pacific region
by focusing on the unique needs of
its broadcast customers, by provid-
ing high-quality signal transmission
with minimal signal loss at reduced
It would be fair to say that,
thanks to Foxcom’s dedication to the
industry over the past two decades,
RF-over-fibre is widely embraced
today as the technology of choice
by major broadcasters and teleport
operators throughout the world.
Gone are the days of convincing
operators about the many benefits
of deploying fibre IFLs. In fact, we
are seeing more and more cases
of RF optical links becoming the de
facto standard in new uplink facili-
ties. In other words, our customers
are deploying Foxcom links from
day one, regardless of the distance
between their antennas and control
Foxcom is proud to be the trend-
setter when offering a complete and
comprehensive range of fibre-optic
IFLs. Our products are designed
from the ground up, based on the
valuable feedback we get from
customers with strong operational
experience. Our customers know
they can always count on Foxcom
to provide the most comprehensive
range of links and accessories with
One of the highlights of 2015
was meeting the challenge to
provide site diversity to Ka-band
teleport operators. We achieved
this by transmitting multiple L-band
signals over single-mode fibre at
a distance of 120km. The solution
included optical amplifiers, DWDM
(dense wavelength division multi-
plexing) multiplexers and switches.
Foxcom’s next-generation Sat-
Light Platinum series was deployed
along with a host of accessories to
meet the stringent needs of our
customers. With a team of dedicat-
ed system engineers and designers,
Foxcom once again demonstrated
its ability to provide an all-inclusive
optical solution delivering unprec-
edented performance under the
most demanding conditions.
Looking forward, we are wit-
nessing an increasing trend in the
satellite industry to deploy long
distance fibre links for Ka-band
earth station site diversity. We are
anticipating these challenges as we
embark on the New Year and are al-
ready developing new and improved
solutions to meet these expected
demands in the market.
Foxcom continues to make the development and
enhancement of its RF-over-Fibre Interfacility
Links (IFLs) a priority, including the company’s
flagship Sat-Light Platinum series.
Jon Matthews, CEO of Foxcom
to deliver for the
‘Push the envelope’
in 2016 and stay on
top of a changing
By Karl K Rossiter
The Asia-Pacific satellite sector is facing a number of
challenges, upheavals, and even game-changers. All
of which add pressures on Capex and Opex, and the need
for new business models.
Right across Asia-Pacific, the traditional wide-
beam Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) is being challenged.
This challenge is being led by the new geostationary
high throughput satellites (HTS), with their multiple,
polarisation/frequency diverse, contiguous, narrow spot
beams with both Ka-band and Ku-band footprints. The
first of these is Global Xpress.
Also in the immediate challenge is the Medium Earth
Orbit (MEO) constellation O3B with its 12 HTS-style MEOs
operating across Asia-Pacific. These provide a lower
latency broadband service for both fixed and mobile
markets. Future years will see other MEO and Low Earth
Orbit (LEO) constellations, including Iridium, enter the
In parallel, ground-segment transmission technology
is progressing the drive for more bits per second per
Hertz. New satellite modems, advanced Adaptive Coding
Modulation (ACM) and Quadrature Amplitude Modulation
(QAM), refined Forward Error Correction (FEC) codes, the
DVB-S2X transmission protocol, automatic uplink power
control, and spectral efficiencies approaching 10bps/1Hz
are all ‘pushing the envelope’, as witnessed by recent
precision DVB-S2X transmissions of 4K/Ultra HD (UHD)
television by SNG across Tokyo using 256 APSK (8bps/Hz).
Because of spectral limitations and licencing
regimes, HTS services across Asia-Pacific are being
provisioned in either Ku-band or Ka-band. The downside
is expensive ground-segment hubs at multiple gateway
sites to counter the complexities and effects of rain fade.
Traditional FSS wide-beam broadcast distribution at
C-band will remain relatively unaffected in the near term.
HTS with its multiple spot beams may be the current
game changer in Asia-Pacific, but the concept is not new.
Thaicom’s IPSTAR was the pioneer, with its use of Ka-
band gateway links, while customers access Ku-band spot
beams. HTS was initially seen as an enabling technology
for delivery of consumer broadband, but HTS can be
applied equally to enterprise and wholesale connectivity
The major operators bringing HTS payloads into
Asia-Pacific over the next two years include Eutelsat 172B
E; SES-12 at 95O
E; Intelsat EPIC 33e at 60O
Inmarsat 5 at 180O
E. The first of these, Inmarsat 5 Global
Xpress, is part of a global network which completed in-
orbit testing at the end of 2015 and came into service on 1
The next few years will see services that benefit from
low latency start to migrate from traditional FSS to the
new MEO and LEO constellations as they become available.
Also, and particularly for consumers, there will be a change
in ground-segment receiving technology, from dish to flat
There are several ground-segment developments worthy
of special mention and watch during 2016:
n The Kymeta software-driven electromagnetic
metamaterials flat-panel tracking antenna negates the need
for an accurately pointed parabolic reflector. It has no moving
parts, it is band-specific to either Ka-band or Ku-band, but
can handle multiple receive and transmit beams.
n The Gilat Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit
(MMIC) electronically steered phased-array antenna is also
band-specific and has automated tracking and channel
locking, and no moving parts.
n i-Direct continues to consolidate its position in the
customer terminal field, while Newtec strengthens its
innovation of high-end multi-service origination equipment.
Increased carriage of HD and particularly 4K/UHD
television across the satellite infrastructure relies on
the HEVC/H.265 codec and algorithm, together with its
accompanying developments and licencing agreements.
H.265 was designed with future screen displays in mind
and can support 10-bit colour, hence its importance in 4K/
UHD transmissions. The end-user quality achieved by both
the H.264 and H.265 codecs is responsible for the growth
in demand for HD video streaming, and the associated data
growth across broadband networks.
Within those broadband networks the trend is to an
on-demand model, where the Internet of Everywhere and
the Internet of Things are pivotal. Broadband growth is
exponential with a customer base wanting, and expecting,
immediacy and a quality service. The smartphone has become
the everyday enabler, combining data, location and payment
into a highly tactile and amazingly visual device, providing the
ears and eyes of new audiences.
The Asia-Pacific satellite sector is fast
becoming an amalgam of converged
telecommunications, IT and IP services. VSAT
has become multifunctional and mainstream,
broadcast is trending on-demand and online.
Mobility has become a key driver and 2016 will see
a new tier of integrated communications.
Evolution in this industry never stops!
Karl K Rossiter is APB’s contributing editor
Right across Asia-Pacific, the traditional wide-
beam Fixed Satellite Service is being challenged.
This challenge is being led by the new
geostationary high throughput satellites.