With no standardized way of specifying a product and no independently verified performance, informed antenna terminal selection is complicated and must be augmented through lengthy and costly trials. Terminal manufacturers are left guessing customer expectations, leading to suboptimal designs and possibly increased costs to end users. In addition, it also leaves the market open to speculative performance claims from aggressive new manufacturers and service providers wanting to establish a share of the business in this growing sector. As an example of the shortcomings, there is a lack of common standards for defining and verifying antenna electrical and dynamic performance (e.g. range of movement and speed). The antenna example clearly highlights shortcomings in how the quality/performance is currently specified and standardised. These shortcomings complicate and make the business interactions (buying/selling) of antennas inherently more costly.
This activity enables European industry to help formulate what eventually will be global reaching standards. Over time, such standards will help create a level playing field whereby competing products can be properly compared, thus protecting the industry from aggressive new entrants pushing products through to the market using a low price/low quality strategy. In a steadily more crowded mobile VSAT world, it will also ensure that unintentional interference is kept under control so that VSAT systems can offer their services optimally, as well as avoiding the need of over-specifying the product and, thus, optimizing product cost competitiveness.
Such standards define to all members of the value chain the expected performance of SOTM terminals, making the design and manufacture process, the verification process, and the final buying/selling process more efficient. The activity better prepares the players in the SOTM market for the future increased demand of satellite mobile products, as well as provide cost benefits and decrease the efforts associated SOTM market transactions.