European Space Agency

Interoperability of Satellite and Alternative Broadband Access Technologies

Objectives

The principal objective of the proposed work is the evaluation/analysis of emerging and evolving terrestrial broadband last-mile access technologies (Wi-Fi, WiMAX, PLC, and DSL) in order to assess their potential for interoperability with two-way satellite access technology (DVB-RCS) using transparent satellites and a star topology. In this scenario, the emerging terrestrial access technologies are used to provide access to individual broadband subscribers, while the satellite technologies provide the traffic aggregation and backhaul for these subscribers to a satellite hub/gateway and high-capacity Internet peering point.


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An assessment shall be carried out of how the technologies could represent a threat for the satellite position on the broadband access market when they are used on their own. Aspects of interworking between DVB RCS systems and equipment shall be assessed. Legal and regulatory issues assessed. OmniGlobe Networks (www.omniglobenet.com ) will develop a comprehensive set of recommendations for a joint service offering with hybrid network opportunities to deliver satisfactory services.

Challenges

  1. Conduct a survey and analysis of emerging access technologies such as WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) and PLC, and also evolving technologies such as Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g) and the use of DSL remote termination equipment, e.g., DSL Access Multiplexer (DSLAM). Assess technical and commercial aspects.
  2. Carry out an analysis of the applications typical of an advanced set of broadband Internet access services, focusing especially on the characteristics of these applications that are of interest in the context of their usage in a hybrid access network.
  3. Assess how the emerging (WiMAX, PLC) and evolving (Wi-Fi, DSL) access technologies under consideration can best be used in a hybrid network environment with two-way satellite technologies based on DVB-RCS.
  4. Focus on commercial aspects, e.g. the cost of the combined hybrid offering as compared to the reference scenario (DVB-RCS service with one satellite terminal per subscriber) shall also be assessed, Capex, Opex consideration, including pricing projections for five years into the future.
  5. Develop a comprehensive set of our recommendations on which emerging and evolving access technologies are most promising for deployment in a hybrid network with DVB-RCS.

Benefits

Given that an access technology is often best suited to a specific geographical environment, three such environments shall be defined in this study: rural, near-urban and urban. The relevant characteristics of each environment as related to the technologies under consideration shall be specified. For each geographical environment, a set of deployment scenarios shall also be defined, describing at a high level how each emerging/evolving access technology under study could be deployed in conjunction with DVB-RCS satellite service. Each scenario shall be compared against a baseline scenario consisting of DVB-RCS service with one satellite terminal per subscriber.

Provide recommendations on what areas of interoperability shall be addressed in order to offer high-quality services, and what technical changes would be required in the DVB-RCS specifications in order to facilitate support of hybrid operation with the recommended access technologies.

An analysis of the changes that would be required in the DVB-RCS specifications to better support the hybrid technologies (e.g. management and control, support of QoS, security, etc).

Presentation made public for submission to the SatLabs forum.

Features

The result of the interoperability suggested by ESA will be hybrid satellite-terrestrial networks for providing end-to-end commercial broadband access services while spreading the high satellite terminal equipment and bandwidth costs among many subscribers. The net effect will be the reduction of the per-subscriber cost as compared to direct satellite access. The proposed work aims to evaluate the potential for the emerging access technologies to be used on their own, competing with and possibly replacing two-way satellite technologies.

Plan

With market research performed on all four emerging access options (WiMAX (802.16), Wi-Fi (802.11), PLC, and DSL), a state-of-the-art of the technical and commercial aspects of the leading equipment vendors will be developed (Tech Note 1). A review of the current PLC and WiMAX trials and commercial offerings will be developed (Tech Note 2). WP3000 requires market research data two regions under study, in order to assess and develop models for Rural, Near-Urban and Urban conditions and then a baseline definition and comparison of different scenarios supporting the delivery of a set of advanced Internet applications.

 

WP4000 identifies interoperability issues and assesses interworking of the technologies in the hybrid scenarios (e.g. DVB-RCS /WiMAX). The satellite systems considered will include DVB-RCS and SATMODE. A review of the Legal and Regulatory issues will produce an overview of the top issues that must be faced in two global regions for the four access alternatives (e.g. spectrum, electromagnetic interference, competition and monopoly issues).

Work Package 5000 develops business cases for the various Scenarios, (both DVB- RCS and SATMODE) developed from the previous Work Package. The outputs from this activity will generate updated and comprehensive models, including CAPEX and OPEX, over a 5 year forecast, to establish financial information for each of the Scenarios.
The final Work Package offers specific recommendations on satellite specification improvements, where the hybrid scenarios offer a more cost effective solution, or where interoperability issues prevent delivery of advanced broadband services over the systems.

Current status

Technical Notes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 have been completed, TN6 is submitted for approval:

 

  • TN1: Conduct a survey and analysis of emerging access technologies such as WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) and PLC, and also evolving technologies such as Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g) and the use of DSL remote termination equipment, e.g., DSL Access Multiplexer (DSLAM). Assess technical and commercial aspects.

 

  • TN2 has been completed: Carry out an analysis of the applications typical of an advanced set of broadband Internet access services, focusing especially on the characteristics of these applications that are of interest in the context of their usage in a hybrid access network.

 

A Presentation to the Satlabs forum at ESA Telecom, Noordwijk of our work to date was given on Feb 16th, 2007.

 

A Presentation to the CSA at St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada of our work to date was given on April 4th, 2007.

 

Technical Note 3 is completed and approved:

  • Definition of geographical environments for Rural, Near-Urban and Urban regions,
  • Definition the key performance issues related to internet applications,
  • Analysis of a base set of typical and advanced internet applications (e.g. IPTV, Application Sharing, IP Telephony, and Videoconferencing over IP),
  • Definition of a reference DVB-RCS scenario, and augmented scenarios, consisting of DVB-RCS + the 4 alternative 'last-mile' access technologies. Preliminary assessment of how the alternative technologies can be deployed in combination with DVB-RCS.

Technical Note 4 "Access Systems Technical Description" is completed and approved with the following sections completed:

  • end-to-end characterisation of the Reference System (DVB-RCS),
  • DVB-RCS + WiMAX,
  • DVB-RCS + WiFi,
  • DVB-RCS + PLC System,
  • and DVB-RCS+ DSL, including performance analysis, interworking, operational and service aspects.

Technical Note 5 "Legal and Regulatory Aspects" is completed, and approved . TN5 provides a review of the aspects of legal nature relevant to the proposed Reference Scenarios developed in the previous Technical Note 3 including the rules that limit the use of the technologies under study in different countries. A review of the legal and regulatory conditions governing the alternative access technologies of the DVB-RCS as well as the appended scenarios is developed in order to assess the viability of an operator in deploying the hybrid offerings. In each case, unique considerations for deploying the scenarios in any of the three geographic models (urban, near-urban, rural) are to be explored.

Technical Note 6 "Comparative Analysis of the Cost of Service Provision" is completed and submitted for approval with the approval meeting set for January 23, 2008.

Status date

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 09:13