Harnessing the Norse gods to banish “not spots”

An innovative way to access triple-play services via satellite has been developed by Swedish company Forsway with the help of ESA´s ARTES programme.

Called ForsONEway, the service uses a combination of satellites and existing terrestrial infrastructure to enable IP communication.

Satellites are used for a high speed downlink and different terrestrial networks are used for the return traffic. This means that wherever there is access to a mobile, landline or radio network, ForsONEway can be used.

By using the one way approach for satellite access as opposed to the traditional two-way method in remote locations, Forsway has developed a solution that is less expensive and offers lower latency. Two-way systems are limited by the satellite communication latency in both links, while the ForsONEway solution can use a low latency return link, providing a better user experience.

The concept was initially targeted for smaller service providers, giving them a complete low cost system. With this in mind, Forsway, with the help of the ARTES 3-4 element, developed a complete system that provides everything from the necessary uplink server to end-user satellite modems. These products, named after Norse gods, include:

  • Mímir – a performance enhancing proxy with integrated user management that is located at the hub earthstation
  • Odin – a one-way satellite modem available with a variety of return channels. A range of return channels can easily be provided to suit local needs.
  • Freya – a hybrid terminal that includes a TV receiver for operators wanting to combine Internet services with TV or IPTV.

The Odin modem offers a number of features to enhance user experience. It comes pre-configured with operator specific parameters to simplify installation for the end-user, thus minimising the need for support.

Other features of the Odin modem include:

  • Multicast Reception. The Odin can be used to receive multicast data from the satellite. Data can either be forwarded to an external computer or stored on a connected storage device.
  • ACM. The advanced demodulator lets Odin be used in services where DVB-S2/ACM is used to individually control modulation and error coding. This can give a substantial improvement in bandwidth and availability, especially for areas that are highly affected by rain fade. There is also support for the advanced modulations 16APSK and 32APSK, typically only found in professional devices.
  • High Throughput. Odin supports very high data rates from satellite that are now possible with dedicated Ka band internet satellites.
  • WLAN. Odin can act as a WLAN access point, allowing several computers to connect wirelessly.

“Our collaboration with ESA through ARTES 3-4 has enabled both the development and the improvement of ForsONEway,” says Tobias Forsell, Forsway CEO.

Forsway has achieved commercial success and is actively selling the “turnkey” ForsONEway solution. The system has garnered attention from larger operators as well as small operators, triggering a new ARTES activity to add even more features to the system to deal with many thousands of users across multiple satellite transponders.

For more information, see the links in the column to the right.

Published 29 August 2012
Last updated at 29 August 2012 - 14:25