The Internet penetration growth curve is still on the steep side: people require more and more affordable and faster connections to the Internet, independent from where they are. The key characteristics of what is expected from an Internet connection are speed, affordability and reliability.
Through the recently launched European telecommunication satellites that use Ka-band technology, Internet via satellite with high bandwidth and low cost is becoming a reality. On the other side, competition from terrestrial solutions is also increasing through technologies such as WiMax, Hiperlan and LTE. To keep a competitive advantage, satellite based systems have to be able to provide service packages that can be easily understood by the customers, with characteristics that are close and directly comparable to the ones available in terrestrial offers, such as ADSL.
In this sense the Lift Off Project tries to further the innovation of recent satellites, investigating how DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) can be introduced by a Satellite Service Provider. The scope of this innovative “next step” on top of the KA-SAT is to optimize the existing services and to generate innovative market offers for satellite internet connectivity, maximizing the user experience while improving the ratio cost/performances.
The Lift Off project is identifying and implementing a solution based on the Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) of the IP traffic on the KA-SAT network, to enable a “flat” profile offering for applications such as Web browsing and email in a market context (Satellite Broadband) where such offering does not exist nowadays. Objective of the project is to evaluate the behaviour of the end users when operating in the new “flat” commercial proposition and to validate the performance of the system with the proposed solution.
More specifically the activities proposed in the Lift Off project are the following:
- Collect User Requirements which allow the definition of the “User Profile” (UP) for each market segment identified.
- Define Network Performance and Metrics (NPM) able to capture the network behaviour, which will be used as dimensioning tool able to identify the required additional bandwidth to be allocated to each user due to increase of traffic on the network.
- Define User Performance and Metrics (UPM) able to represent the Quality of Experience perceived by the end users; these metrics will be utilized to assess the customer satisfaction as well as to measure the actual performances in case a customer complaints.
- Build a Simulator/Emulator of the KA-SAT network in order to predict network dimensioning and user experience through extensive simulations.
- Design the Pilot System Architecture and integrate all the new elements into the existing Opensky infrastructure.
- Deploy a pilot network and run a pilot with real customers in order to:
- Validate the identified UP, NPM and UPM previously identified under realistic operational conditions.
- Define and validate the way this innovative Internet via Satellite service can be offered to customers.