HITT Series Videos

HITT Satellites Mar 5, 2024

March 5, 2024


Introduction to Satellite Types

We’re gonna go ahead and dive in a little bit, talk about satellites, talk about the differences between the types, and what they mean for you and your clients. So, alright. Let’s move on to the next slide there, Chandler.

Alright. So specifically for satellites, we’ve got three different types of satellite constellations. Okay? So we start off the first one is what we call LEO constellations.

Secondly, MEO and then if you had HEO or high earth orbit on your bingo card, unfortunately, you’re incorrect, it’s GEO. So LEO stands for low earth orbit, and, basically, this refers to satellites that are within five hundred to two thousand kilometers of the earth’s surface or less than twelve hundred miles. So one of the big differences with these is they have a very short orbital period, so between ninety and a hundred and twenty minutes. The orbital period basically refers to the time that that satellite takes to do one cycle around the Earth.

So very quickly, ninety to a hundred twenty minutes. Next up, up there you’ve got a MEO or medium Earth orbit, which rotates between thirty two hundred to thirty five thousand kilometers or two thousand to twenty two thousand miles. And they have an orbital period of about, a couple hours to half a day depending on, obviously, that distance. The further away they are, the longer that orbital period.

And then the last type of satellite that we’re gonna talk about is the geo or geosynchronous or geostationary orbit, and this rotates in a very specific band around the Earth. So the cool thing about this is that this band, which is about twenty two thousand just over twenty two thousand miles away from the Earth’s orbit or thirty six thousand kilometers roughly.

It matches the exact rotational speed of the earth itself. So the great thing about this, it’s really cool that anywhere you are on the planet at any given time, that satellite is gonna be in exactly the same place relative to you. So very kinda cool scenario there. It rotates at exactly the same speed.

You can see the two in alignment going there. So obviously, there’s some pretty significant benefits to that from a communication standpoint. So go ahead and flip to the next slide there. As you can see, this gives us a little better representation of what those orbits look like.

Satellite Orbits

LEO is the closest to Earth followed by MEO or medium Earth orbit, and then we’ve got our geostationary or geosynchronous orbits the furthest way out there. So pretty cool stuff. Alright. Let’s move on to the next slide.

So let’s talk a little bit about what makes the satellite work. Okay? So how this whole system starts. So obviously, we need something on the ground to communicate with that satellite, and we call that a terminal.

A terminal is installed at the site be it whether it be a home or a business or a monitoring station of some kind, and it requires line of sight to the sky. So it’s gotta be able that terminal wherever you install it on your home or business has to be able to see the sky to be able to communicate with the satellite. The second part of that, obviously, is our satellite in orbit. So we’ve got the satellite that’s up there, and it can be in any of those constellations, the LEO, the MEO, or the GEO.

And, the ground station that communicates that with that based on line of sight. So the third part that you have to add to that is there what’s called a ground station or a gateway. And these are positioned strategically throughout the coverage area. They’re connected to the Internet. So they are connected to the, so to the just the public Internet in in a network, like any other thing, they go through all the other carriers, and they also have a line of sight to the satellite. So the way it works is a signal gets sent from ground station or remote terminal, whether it be on a boat, a plane, a home, a business, sends it up to the satellite. The satellite then sends that information down to one of the ground stations.

Communication Process

It communicates. It goes out to the Internet, gets the information that’s required back to the ground station, back up to the satellite, and then down to the terminal, which then distributes that information back out to you via a modem or a cable box or whatever whatever device you’ve got set up there. So there’s a lot of stuff that’s going on there, a lot of communication.

And I think when you bring that into the context of the different orbits, you start to see some of the big differences between these different constellations. So let’s go ahead and move on to the next slide.

Considerations for Tech Advisers

And you could talk about the differences between these two. Now I left MEO out of here intentionally because we don’t actually have any MEO providers in the portfolio. I’ll touch on it a little bit in the conversation to talk about some of the benefits of it, but, I’m not really gonna focus on NEO. I’m gonna focus on the LEO or low earth orbit and the GEO constellations that we have.

So, obviously, with LEO orbits, being closest to the earth, that’s gonna give you lower latency. Okay? So the latency on that’s gonna be somewhere between twenty to fifty milliseconds, and, that’s gonna you know, obviously, a lot quicker. When you think about what I talked about as far as how the satellite constellations work, it should be obvious why you’ve got lower latency.

Right? We’ve got a much shorter distance to cover from the terminal to the satellite, which does make a big difference in terms of latency. So, the problem, one of the problems that we have with LEOs or one of the challenges is that because of that quick orbital period, you need a lot more satellites to cover a geographic area. Right?

Remember that orbital period can be anywhere from ninety to, ninety minutes to two hours where it does a complete rotation of the earth. So you need a lot of satellites to cover the, the geographic area, which, of course, can sometimes be problematic as it gives you more points for failure and sometimes the potential for coverage gaps. Now, you know, with all of these things, with every technology, as we know, there’s a trade off. Right?

And so I think the low latency sometimes leads to other advantages for other types of constellations and specifically geo. So the geo constellation has a much higher latency as we as we can obviously, see, right, by the distance it travels. You’re traveling twenty three thousand miles roughly all the way up there. It it’s it’s a you’re gonna have a latency of about seven hundred milliseconds.

Now one of the things that I was always amazed by is you think about it, you go, wait a minute. So I’m going from the terminal to the satellite, satellite to the ground station, out to the Internet, from the ground station back up to the satellite, then from the satellite to back to the terminal. That’s what? Four round trips of twenty three twenty two thousand miles.

It actually blows my mind that the latency is only seven hundred milliseconds. That’s still less than a second about the time that it takes you to blink your eyes, which is amazing when you think about the distance that it’s traveling that it, that it’s that slow.

But, the one big advantage obviously to that is because we’ve got that longer orbital period that we have with geosynchronous satellites, you only have one satellite that can cover a massive geographic area. So I think, you’ll hear from Viasat a little bit about that, but huge advantage there is just the reliability of the coverage and the consistency of that coverage. You’re gonna have a very consistent experience across a large geographic area, whereas you may have some differences with the LEO constellations.

Alright. Let’s go ahead and move on to the next slide there, Chandler.

So, all you REM fans out there will recognize the title of this slide, but one of the other things that we need to consider when we’re looking at, satellites is the frequency that they communicate on. Right? So all forms of wireless communication use wire we use spectrum, use frequency.

That includes our cell phones, pretty much, Wi Fi, everything. And the way you look at this is one hertz on this, this chart here is equal to one cycle. Okay? So the more hertz we have, the higher the frequency. So as we have more cycles, we move up in frequency, and the the advantage of moving up in frequency is that, of course, we can use a lot more data.

So if you look on that bottom chart there, you’ll see c band is something that we’ve talked about in the wireless spectrum for terrestrial, mobility plans and wireless plans. Very excited about that. But the most commonly used bands of spectrum for satellite communication are k a and k u bands of spectrum. So the big difference is there, Mo Ku band is a one way transition, and it’s used primarily by companies like DIRECTV or DISH, where they’re doing a broadcast signal. So essentially, from that satellite, they’re broadcasting out to all those terminals that are on the ground. There is no two way communication, which is why anybody who has DIRECTV knows you usually need a phone line or an Internet connection for, you know, on demand movies and things like that.

Viasat and other geo, providers like HughesNet, etcetera, operate with, in the k a band of spectrum, which does allow that two way conversation, two way transmission between the terminal and the satellite, and is obviously significantly advantageous when you’re talking about, Internet service for businesses.

So let’s go ahead and move on to the next slide.

Client Considerations

So what I think we wanna do here is is bring this down to what all this information I just shared, really what matters to you as a tech adviser when you’re having conversations with your clients. Okay? So a couple of things we want to really focus on is number one, understand your install location. Right?

If you remember at the beginning of the conversation, I talked about line of sight. So do you have power there? Do you have protection from the elements? And do you have line of sight to the satellite?

If not, it’s going to be, you know, fairly problematic no no matter which satellite provider you choose to be able to use that service. The second thing is understanding your applications.

What are your clients going to be using the service for? So if it’s a, application that’s very latency sensitive, then that would play more to the LEO regards. Whereas if it’s an application that requires a consistent, stable connection over that, then you’re probably gonna lean more to the geosynchronous. Now one of the things that we used to run into all the time is we talk about latency.

There’s a difference between what’s ideal and what is needed. Right? There are a lot of applications that will work with a higher latency.

Might not be ideal for that solution, but it will work. Whereas there are certain applications that have to have that low latency to operate, and it’s nonnegotiable. So understanding those differences and diving in there will really help you position this service for your clients and tell them, you know, give them the best recommendation.

So let’s move on to the next slide there.

Expert Discussion on Satellite Technology

So if you’re having some challenges with this, navigating this, we’ve got our team of Telarus engineers that are standing by to help you with this. All of the folks on this team, as always, hugely valuable resource, can help you navigate what’s going on, what are the differences between these types of satellites, and can do that. But right now, we have a couple of experts on the call with us. So I’d like to, open the floor to Tessie Smith from Viasat and Zach Grant from Mattel to talk about STARLINK.

Let’s open the floor here, guys. Welcome to the welcome to the call. Thank you so much for joining us. So, let’s start with, with you, Tess.

What did I get right there? What did I get wrong? Any anything there you’d like to add to what I said?

No. I tell you what, that was a that was a fantastic educational overview. And, you know, I’m looking at this engineering just to step back real quick. You know, that’s a that’s a fantastic group of people.

One of them, I I actually recognize, Steve Lux, who has worked with us in the past, knows our service really well. But, you know, I think you covered it so well that we’re when people come in and wanna use satellite, it’s okay to own who you are. And and I’m I’m glad you you spoke about latency because I think one of the things that Viasat has done really good recently is really own the space, space where we’re winning, you know, and and become really comfortable with that. And the feedback we’ve we’ve received lately is like, hey.

We need higher speeds, and we need lower cost. And recently, that’s what we did. We upgraded our network. We we did have the anomaly that’s out there on on the the the main ViaSat three we launched, but the acquisition of MRsat, we we still have plenty of geostationary satellites.

And with that, it’s afforded us the opportunity to drive down our cost. And, you know, I don’t know if there’s probably the opportunity now, but we’ve slashed our prices in half.

And and that goes into actually a redundancy plan. And, you know, so if if if you need something in in the that respect, hey. We need a backup plan. We need something reliable that we don’t get hit with high usage charges.

You know, being one of the companies out there now that, you know, we we’ve just seen it. You know, redundancy happens. You might have a different alternative, and you get hit with those high usage. We offer a plan that if you’re gonna be down for a long period of time, you can switch to our higher plan or even buy some type of data boost.

But, overall, I think that was a great overview and and love to, you know, kinda dive in deeper on our plans and some of the areas where we win a little bit later.

Absolutely. And and we’ll definitely, get into a little more detail on on where, tech advisers are winning with Viasat. Zach, obviously, Mattel recently added to the port, Starlink, approved suppliers list. Huge huge get for you guys. Starlink’s all over the news. Tell us, tell us give me your thoughts on what I just went over and, where you see some of the big, differences between the LEO and GEO Constellations.

Yeah. First off, you did a a great job, great summary as a, as an SME of satellite. I I learned a little bit. So, good job on that.

I think you covered it really well. And, you know, STARLINK has been a game changer. And, really, I think all of us in the industry, we know the use cases. We know the challenges that we’ve seen, from our customers, whether it’s because they’re extremely remote, they they don’t have the connectivity, the fiber infrastructure hasn’t been, deployed where it needs to be.

And so there’s been a lot of use cases that we in the industry have been, struggling with. This is a game changer because I think, you know, what we’re seeing now is that pivot to say, okay.

We now have the coverage. We now have the technology. How are we going to leverage that? How are we gonna qualify it?

Just like you like you said, what class of of satellite do we require for the applications that we need? And then balance that with with the cost. Right? Not all of our customers have unlimited budgets.

Some of the technologies are somewhat expensive, and so we have to, tune the requirement to, or or the solution to the requirement and really understand what the customer needs so that we can fill that that gap. And so I I think twenty twenty four is a a game changer, and I think we’re all gonna be in a better position with our customers, due to these, these advancements in the technology and the, for me, the low the low orbit satellite’s really exciting because it it fixes a lot of the use cases.

Yeah. I know. For sure. And I think I think one of the things that really becomes obvious, you know, for all of us in this space is none of our technologies exist in a vacuum.

Right? It’s all about how your products or services or the technology you’re talking about enables other technologies. Right? So things like voice, cloud, all of these other applications, you really do need to dive in with your customers and find out, okay, what are we what are we looking at here?

What is the application?

And then what is the best solution based specifically on that? So, Tess, let’s kick it over to you again. Let’s talk a little bit about Viasat, where you guys have been winning, where you guys have been going, you know, how you guys have had success. And actually, just before I do that, one thing I should clarify is before I, for those of you who joined a little late, Viasat is a geo constellation, so they are a geosynchronous or geostationary satellite, and Starlink is a LEO constellation, so low Earth orbit.

And I do apologize if I wasn’t super clear about that, but these are the two kinda big differences that we’re we’re discussing here today. So, Tess, back over to you. So let’s talk a little bit about those plans that you guys have changed, Why you made the changes to your plans? I think you touched on that a little bit, but maybe expand on it.

And then where tech advisers are winning with you guys. Maybe tell a couple of, of success stories that you guys have had lately.

Yeah. Appreciate that. Yeah. We you know, obviously, we we own who we are. We’re geostationary.

And what that really affords us is the the ability to cover ninety six percent of the plant. You know? And and which is which is rare. And what we’ve done is we have increased speeds.

Majority of the US right now, we can get upload speeds anywhere from hundred to a hundred and fifty, hundred and fifty in select areas, and it it’s been great for us. You know? We’re winning in agriculture. People that need really reliable areas where, hey.

We we have to have this. This we’re working. We’re running you know, you can run apps in the background. You know?

You can do email. You know? And we’ll candidly put this out there. If you’re running more than three phones, you know, VoIP phones, Viasat probably is not the solution.

Doesn’t mean you can’t run it on a backup or you have an SD WAN WAN solution where your your traffic shaping and saying, hey. This is the type of traffic we wanna use, in this area. But we’re winning construction, agriculture, retail.

You know, there’s a lot of farms where you know, that you know, they they have to have certain, you know, locations. They have power, but, like, where there’s no way we can get Internet, you know, restaurants, churches, and, you know, there’s a lot of other locations as well. And to touch on the pricing, you the feedback since I’ve been here maybe a year and a half, you know, there’s a few products we needed. We had persistent IPs. We have static IP now. I realize from the industry I came from before I came over here how important that was. And the second comp you know, especially in any type of SD WAN or managed solution situation.

But the feedback we said is like, hey. We would use you as a backup solution, but give us a price that’s competitive and and give us some some wins and then some advantages to that. So we’ve done that. You know, we have a forty nine ninety nine plan that’s got fifty gig. If something goes down and you need to use it past that fifty gig, we’ll let you go to our unlimited plan, which is now one fifty nine.

Free standard installation on all our services, whether it’s our backup or an unlimited plan. And we do prior prioritize voice traffic. Again, if you have, you know, to me, over three phone lines on it, I would I would recommend going with a different solution for your voice.

And we do, you know, unlimited office hours. You know, our our business traffic’s always prioritized.

So, hopefully, that’s kind of a a a good overview there. But if you do use our backup, one thing I’ll fill out there as far as pricing, you can buy a hundred gig from us for sixty bucks. So you don’t have to automatically go up to our our larger plan.

So that that’s, hopefully, a a brief overview, there for you, Graham.

Yeah. No. That’s a and that pricing, you know, as the mobility guy. Right? That’s a that’s a very competitive price with, with what we’re seeing from the wireless carriers as well.

So good stuff. Tess, actually, I’ll kick it over to you, Zach, and then we’ll come back and just let you finish up with a with a couple of wins there, Tess. Zach, where are you guys seeing success? What are some of the things that you guys obviously, big hot topic.

I know we had a a huge influx of, of requests when you guys announced that you brought in, Starlink. Tell us a little bit about that. Tell us about where you guys are having success and how it’s working for you guys.

Yeah. Well, you know, the the first thing is the the company Starlink itself, because it’s Tether two x, the the former Twitter, because you have Elon Musk with, Tesla. There’s a lot of public, information out there. There’s a lot of drive and free marketing.

But when when it comes down to, hey, how does it work, what are my obstacles, there are no real experts from the Starlink team. You can’t call anybody at Starlink, and that’s where, you come in. That’s where we come in, where we’re giving a voice to that technology. We’re being the the subject matter experts and that’s really driving the success because we’re giving that white glove expertise to the customers and we’re folding in satellite technologies so that they can manage it like they do any other technology in their in their technology stack.

So for Mattel, where we’ve seen our success is number one, we’re an automation company. Right? We really focus on on automation. So there’s qualifications.

There is expert consultation in regards to the dish I use in Southern Florida in the hurricane zones is gonna be different than the dish that might receive three feet of snow in the mountains of Colorado where I’m at. Right? So really that that white glove service that I talk about is gonna flow through from the qualifications and saying this is the equipment that you need to the installation.

You know, the, the cables that come with a STARLINK dish, they’re proprietary. They’re actually USB, but there are there are also power over Ethernet, and there’s length restrictions.

So there’s a big difference between installing a STARLINK in a residential home versus a commercial building that might be a high rise in New York or some type of, you know, mall area outside mall area, in a metropolitan area or, you know, like my house in the middle of Colorado on a cattle ranch where this is the only connectivity that I have. So you have the different environments, and the customers receive that white glove consultation to make sure that what they need, is is is met.

Once it’s installed. Yeah. Well, sorry. I was just gonna say, I think one of the cool things about Mattel is that you guys don’t just do satellite.

Right? I mean, ViaSat is a satellite provider. They own and operate, maintain the satellites. Very cool stuff if you ever get a chance to check out their office.

Mattel, you guys do a whole bunch of other solutions. So looking at STARLINK as part of an overall solution, I think is one of the big advantages you have. Like, Starlink as a piece of your overall network, not as a standalone necessarily. Right?

That’s that’s absolutely correct. So when we talk about the qualifications, it’s not just about satellite. It’s understanding what fiber they have today, what are we trying to make resilient, what are we trying to make diversified.

And you know what? A single dish, you can get two hundred megs up, two hundred megs down. It’s very reliable, very stable. But we’ve got customers and use cases that need more bandwidth than that. Well, that means that maybe we can stack the bandwidth with SD WAN. So we’ve we’ve seen those use cases. We have that the, the technology to really help our customers and your customers achieve what they need through all of the technology stack, just not the, you know, not just focusing on on the satellite.

Yeah. No. That’s awesome. And, guys, we only have a couple minutes here quickly. These hit trainings go by real quick. So for those of you on the call, if you want some more information on this, pricing, I see a lot of requests for pricing.

Robert’s in the chat there. I think there’s also representative from Mattel in there answering questions. So, hopefully, we can get those question answered. Pricing is available through the back office. Tesla, do you have the the newest pricing uploaded? Everything’s in there?

It she yes. It should be uploaded. Awesome. And and we’ve simplified it too. So you’re not gonna have five different plans. We have a backup plan, and we have an unlimited plan.

So Awesome. And, Zach, you guys have yours up there as well, I know. Right?

We do. We absolutely do. Yep.

So you guys can reach out to your, your partner team, the partner, partners at telarus dot com. They can get you pricing, get all that together, or you can reach out to your SPDM or or local contact. We can get that or check out the back office. Lots of ways to do it. Real quick, guys. We got two minutes left.

Quick win that you guys have had recently. Tesley, let’s start with you.

Yeah. And it kinda goes along with one one, question right here. We have a health care provider, multilocation, and they reached out to us. They got hit with major high usage.

I think it was for their locations. Robert will know exactly. And got hit with some exorbitant costs from LTE provider that they were using. And we we won we gave them our new pricing, which is one of the the reasons we’ve really driven that pricing forward.

And we won with the the promise that they could either use our data boost, or if they go down, that we automatically can flip them over to our unlimited plan and and not hit those high usage charges. So, you know, I’m really gonna fly that flag for any type of backup or even if you’re needing to send a tertiary solution. It’s a true differentiator.

When you have a terrestrial solution, you know, you don’t have another fiber or cord that can be cut by construction.

And so it was a big win for us. We’re excited to really push this new pricing and give you know, to me, it’s really low hanging fruit for anybody on this call to win in any type of backup solution.

Yeah. And I think, that is one of the things that we do need to highlight is is satellite is a truly redundant and resilient solution from the terrestrial network. I talked about those ground stations. Right?

If an area has an outage, those ground stations go out or there’s a significant issue, traffic can be rerouted to other ground stations. So gives you a true, truly redundant solution. So, Zach, let’s finish out with you. Let’s tell us about a big win you guys have had with with, Starlink recently, with Mattel.

Yeah. I’m gonna give you, two quick ones. One on the commercial side, we have a national trash disposal disposal company. Right?

Many, many landfills fills around the country. They have barges, that they need connectivity. They have trucks, that roam throughout certain regions that need connectivity. We’re able to provide all that connectivity, for them in those gaps so that they can continually connect and really, swap between, you know, five g satellite, go into the landfills where there’s zero fiber connectivity, and then on the barges as they move, be able to be connected at at all times.

So that was a a big win for us, obviously, a continued, project. Another on a federal agency, one that might, investigate, different types of plane crashes, not necessarily happening, where there’s, immediate connectivity, so putting together some kits.

We did a demo for, the FAA where we actually dropped the kit in with the, off of a helicopter into a scenario where the FAA tower was destroyed. There was zero infrastructure. Within under ten minutes, we had full connectivity power, and they were live with their infrastructure. Again, in under ten minutes in a scenario, where a a tower was decimated. So federal agencies, commercial customers, retail, doesn’t matter the the the, you know, what they’re in, what business they’re in. There’s a use case for all of it.

Yeah. That awesome stuff. And, man, I could talk about this, technology forever. I I love it, especially when you start to get into some of the politics of satellite and Leos and how many Leo constellations are coming and what that’s gonna look like.

Really cool stuff. So if anybody wants to take some of those conversations offline, happy to do so. But, Tess and Zach, thank you so much. Hopefully, you guys will hang around for a couple minutes and answer some questions in the chat.

Really appreciate you guys coming on and doing this. Folks, lot more to learn about satellite. Hopefully, this just kind of wetted your appetite a little bit, and you wanna take the next step and, and learn a little more. We’ve got great teams from Mattel and Viasat available to work with you on your opportunity.

So, guys, thank you so much. Appreciate it, and we’ll see you, see you on the road soon.