Why ND SATCOM was so successful in 2017?
2017 in a Nutshell
• Extended cooperation with tier one companies like AIRBUS Defence & Space on projects in Europe.
• Framework contracts for integrated logistic support with different European armed forces concluded.
• Teamed with new technology experts in the 3G/LTE domain – in line with ND SATCOM’s cellular network vision – to build deployable network solutions using SKYWAN 5G modem technology for defence, NGOs and enterprises.
• Implemented SKYWAN technology portfolio for Thales and various other companies at a level now dominating ATC network deployments across Africa.
• Award for the delivery of 10 COTM systems for the South African broadcaster SABC.
"Installing Reliability" is ND SATCOM’s mission when it comes to this market vertical. With 99.95% TDMA channel link availability and master node redundancy, SKYWAN networks epitomize reliability.
ND SATCOM is the supplier-of-choice for the Brazilian “System House” Atech, an Embraer subsidiary specializing in critical mission solutions for the defence and public safety, air traffic management and corporate market sectors. In 2017, ND SATCOM provided for Atech a SKYWAN network with fixed and portable sites for building an ATC network for civil and governmental purposes. The Thales group chose SKYWAN 5G to modernize Bolivian ATM telecommunications with a nationwide VSAT Network. For Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) and Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), more ATC networks using SKYWAN are in the roll-out phase in Africa.
In 2017 ND SATCOM continued building and demonstrating solutions for 3G/4G cells with highly reliable connectivity to an MNO’s core network or private enterprise network. For example, one demonstration at Pacific Endeavor (an event by US Command for disaster relief organizations in the Pacific Region) featured rapid deployable LTE cells. Another was hands-on training exercises where Speedcast and General Dynamics used SKYWAN 5G as the satellite link. SKYWAN 5G was chosen because of its TCO savings and easy integration into flyaway terminals of major US manufacturers.
When it comes to the military sector, “Making Missions Possible” is the apt slogan for ND SATCOM. Its reputation for being a reliable long-term partner is underscored not only by serving as a reliable supplier and logistics partner for military ground units but also for investing in the extension and expansion of existing ground infrastructure in the field. New projects and upgrades are benefitting from ND SATCOM’s work ethic and customer-centricity: its teams are on-site, they ascertain and understand the end users’ needs, and they ensure that the products are 100% operational – where and whenever needed.
SKYWAN networks have been or are currently being deployed for: (1) a military project in India, (2) a SKYWAN COTM network for Myanmar, and (3) a network for MoD Oman with fixed, mobile, and maritime solutions based on SKYWAN 5G. ND SATCOM won these large-scale projects after several months of testing and evaluation.
At AFCEA (April 2017), ND SATCOM presented its joint solution with RUAG Defence: RUAG ARANEA is a platform for tactical communication relying on SKYWAN 5G for voice and data transmission via satellite in the most efficient way for vehicles or portable stations.
ND SATCOM´s ground segment expertise is well positioned to the communication need of multinational forces e.g. NATO. Due to upcoming demand for leadership support ND SATCOM was awarded to deliver new systems and upgrade existing solutions for land, air, sea and Special Forces for rapid deployment.
It is a bold, forward-thinking decision when a broadcasting company in a cost-sensitive region like Africa invests in a communication-on-the-move solution for media contribution. Multiple new SNG vehicles are in the pipeline to significantly improve the daily workflow of newspeople in this region. ND SATCOM has orchestrated the world’s first combination of its SOTM-capable VSAT technology SKYWAN, a cost-efficient SOTM antenna, and the satellite capacity-allocation planning tool Media Fleet Manager. This combination is also being rolled out for ND SATCOM’s customer SABC, a broadcasting company in South Africa.
ND SATCOM has realized several SNG projects in 2017. The biggest ones have been rolled out for Hungarian TV operator HDT and the Finish broadcaster YLE.
Many customers took advantage from not only the products and engineering capabilities, but also from ND SATCOM’s RF test chamber.
Near- and Far Field Measurements with High Frequency Range (2 – 100GHz) can be performed.
Also for fix uplink stations ND SATCOM has realized some interesting projects such as for ORS in Austria, Magyar Telekom in Hungary, as well as a big teleport in Middle East.
Based on the space proven technology and the very attractive price, ND SATCOM could increase the HPA sales by 32%. Some new developments have been shown during the IBC exhibition in Amsterdam. The positive feedback from the customers will lead to a further increase of these numbers.
Customer Perspective: 2017 Highlights
In mid-2017, SKYWAN 5G firmware release R1.3 introduced additional QoS mechanisms, node redundancy up to N+M, a doubling of the TDMA channel number for a network bandwidth up to 320Mbps, and an increased DVB-S2 receive data rate for the end user to more than 80Mbps per remote station. For safety critical networks, this release implemented an open interface to external crypto devices for TDMA-layer payload encryption.
After intensive interop tests with 3G and LTE equipment, SKYWAN 5G nodes backhauled cell-to-core and interconnected cells-to-cells out of the box. eNodeB manufacturers experienced new network topology options with SKYWAN 5G – from simple point-to-point backhauling to meshed cell groups where topology limitations are in current eNodeB implementations. As well, LTE component manufacturers identified and are planning feature extensions in future firmware to benefit from OpEx savings and higher user experience in enterprise or closed networks with the use of SKYWAN 5G.
In November, SKYWAN 5G passed initial system tests — on time — for a military ground- segment solution. This is the first step towards more comprehensive field trials. The encryption plug-in card (field-upgradeable and announced for 1H2018) will make this product more secure and even more attractive.
BU Broadcast has developed a new Web interface for our antenna control units (ACU 50x0) which provides the possibility to more easily control the antennas even by tablets or smartphones.
2017 Business Overview
ND SATCOM’s formula for success was offering highly reliable solutions at a reasonable price. Its revenue grew significantly in 2017, due in part to project wins for ATC networks. In Europe, especially in the military sector, the order backlog increased considerably, with major long-term maintenance contracts awarded till 2025.
In the North American market, SKYWAN 5G attracted new customers from the commercial and military (DoD) sectors. SSi Micro, a new Canadian customer, selected SKYWAN 5G to build a VSAT network, a decision likely influenced by both service and technology advantages of local on-site training and SKYWAN 5G’s unique cascading capabilities. DoD customers are currently evaluating SKYWAN 5G’s new bandwidth pooling capabilities and encryption features.
ND SATCOM, with its regional affiliates, increased its business significantly. With an increase of almost 30% in revenue vs. 2016, its global sales team outperformed themselves.
• The business unit “Defence” is partner for the German armed forces satellite ground network supporting with Integrated Logistic Support (ILS). ND SATCOM is prime responsible for full lifetime maintenance of the many mobile ground station elements.
• The business unit “Broadcast” surpassed its target and achieved 120% of last year’s result. The driver for this success was our field proven technology, delivery in time and excellent corporation between our customers and engineering and support team
• Based on the SKYWAN portfolio, the business unit “VSAT” won all projects it sought for ATC networks.
Goals For 2018
• Build on the achievement and momentum of 2017 with the continuing strong growth in all verticals through new business opportunities with the existing customer base and generating new leads.
• Continue to develop and enhance the company´s organization by recruiting and retaining top talents to successfully serve international customers.
• Expand the business into new regions and territories that are fitting to the business model
• Focus on driving forward the SKYWAN 5G product businesses for enterprise and cellular networks with a stronger focus on Africa
• Continue successful partner strategy as a supplier of key components and integrated solutions.