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Based upon recent research results of the Fraunhofer Institute (formerly GMD) SatNET group and supported by GMD4s "Seamless Innovation Policy", a new company for Internet carrier services via satellite has been created in January 2000 to enter a new market: vsatnet.com AG. This new company has developed a basic ADSL-like Internet access service via satellite with brand name: SatXpress. MM content distribution and special Internet caching services.
Piloting "SatXpress", two way high speed asymmetric secure IP-services (Internet access for CATVs, LAN's and local ISPs; Intranet/VPN for distributed companies/organisations; and IP multicast/broadcast services) via satellite using DVB and actual VSAT technology.
Within the framework of this ESA-project AO/1-3650 (Multimedia Satellite Services Pilot Operations) the following tasks (work packages) have to be performed for piloting this new services family. All these activities will contribute to make this new highspeed IP service family SatXpress a sustainable commercial success. While the first three work packages contribute to launching and piloting the baseline service, the work packages four and five are most important with respect to making this new service via satellite a sustainable success. Customisable IPsecurity features and multicast/broadcast properties are the key elements of future success in the market. The whole project has been structured into five work packages.
SatXpress service family First and central product of GMD spin off company vsatnet.com AG is a two way high speed and asymmetric Internet access service via satellite named "SatXpress". In its basic form SatXpress is an Internet access service with a DVB-based shared forward channel of 8 Mbps and FDMA/QPSK/DAMA based reverse channels with 64-256 Kbps. As a business to business service SatXpress bridges the gap between a major Internet node (Point of Presence) and remote IP based networks like CATV-networks, company LANs and regional ISP networks. A second product derived from SatXpress will be a secure VPN or Intranet service with brand name "intra-SatXpress", which is based upon "SatXpress" characteristics and supports company wide Intranets. There is an extremely high demand and considerably higher margins for secure Intranet/VPN services, that can also be used in addition to already existing terrestrial Intranets. The third facet of SatXpress service family will be "SatXpress-multicast" resp. "SatXpress broadcast".This service extension will finally and considerably increase the efficiency of satellite based IP multimedia services. It will work on top of SatXpress Internet access services as a common platform for the distribution of multimedia contents (e.g. specialised IP based TV channels, software and MM content distribution and special Internet caching services).
The Final Review of the satXpress project was held successfully on 8th/9th November 2001. A contract change notice has been placed in order to carry out research in the field of IPsec gateways for highest security requirements. This activity is to be kicked off soon..