For buyers and suppliers of telecommunications destined for remote & harsh environments
Where Telecoms & Energy Connect
~ Wireless ~ Are we ready? Deeper challenges and opportunities for mobility
Data centres get up close and personal
Greater than the Opportunities sum of its parts growing in rural connectivity across all markets
Event Review A glimpse of the future of satellite
Get the Lowdown » Growing opportunities in rural connectivity across all markets » Data transfer speeds <16 times faster » O3b Networks launches 1st four satellites into orbit » IoT: the realisation of M2M » Latest supporter joins satellite spectrum campaign » Who might be in the market for a comms solution? » 90 ships move to VSAT » 50% of device generated data traffic will be offloaded to WiFi and small ©OffComm News ~ this Autumn 2013 www.OffCommNews.com cell networks year »»» PLUS The Quarterly, News, Features & much more inside! Autumn 2013
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©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
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Welcome Big data, analytics and streamlining the flow of data is on pretty much everyone’s lips in the Insight Report sector right now. There’s a lot of growth and change coming and it’s critical to get a lead on Data centre planning in order to stay competitive in the market. In this issue, we look at how to get the get up developments most out of your data, how you can hang on to more of it and perhaps most importantly, rsonal pe d an se clo how to put it to work. There are also some long overdue changes surrounding the data centre Page 15 headed your way. Check out this quarter’s Insight Report to see how you might be affected ~ or even benefit. We also consider the impact of HTS on the oil and gas industry, as well as unravel a little more of the ecosystem for M2M in the first of a new, regular column from Martin Jarrold, Chief of international programme development at Global VSAT Forum. As always, if you have any comments, we’d love to hear from you. Georgina Elrington editor@OffCommNews.com @OffCommNews
Inside this Issue
Staying in Touch When it Really Matters
The Quarterly Pages 4 & 5
Africa Mercy experiences a comms blowout ~ How to plan for a ship’s telecoms network Page 24
In My Opinion
Planning for an Emergency
Adonis Violaris at Telaccount Overseas shares his thoughts on bandwidth optimisation for crew applications and connectivity. Page 9
What to look for in a comms recovery package in the event of an offshore emergency Page 26
Growing Opportunities in Rural Connectivity Across All Markets
Grappling with Big Data
O3b’s John Finney hones in on remote regions Page 11
Solid growth opportunities for ‘nearly broadband’ in emerging markets Page 28
Event Review: EUsatcom
Preparing for HTS in the Oil and Gas Sector
A glimpse of the future of satellite from the event floor in Amsterdam in June this year. Page 12
iDirect: “There’s a lot of growth and change coming, and it’s critical to get a lead on planning in order to stay competitive in the market.” Page 30
M2M: Greater Than the Sum of its Parts
Data centre developments get up close & personal Page 15
Norsat shares considerations when contemplating an M2M system on page 31
Are We Ready for Wireless?
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of the Wick Hill Group, explains the challenges and opportunities surrounding mobility, BYOD, multi-Gbps & 4G Page 20
Martin Jarrold explores M2M via satellite, Big Data and the Internet of [remote] Things in the first of his regular features with OffComm News Page 33
Case Study: Eutelsat Connecting engineers in remotest Scotland Page 22
Next edition: Winter 2013 Special distribution at OilComm Whether online or in print, copyright remains that of CTLD Publishing Ltd. It is prohibited to
OffComm News is a trading name of CTLD Publishing Ltd. Company No. 7774639 photocopy, scan, distribute either hard copies or digital versions on a website, via email or anywhere else without prior permission in writing from the publisher or without appropriate ISSN 2051-9362. Read the digital version online by clicking the current edition image at accreditation. Reprints are available. The publisher is not responsible for the endorsement for www.OffCommNews.com. Printed by HP, OffComm News is available in print by subscription products, services or opinion offered, nor any subsequent effects relating to accuracy, goodwill, ©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013 www.OffCommNews.com 3 only. Digital subscriptions are free. Advertising: George@CTLD.me substantiations or consequential outcomes relating to news, features or advertisements. Editorial & Subscriptions: Editor@OffcommNews.com Tel: 44 (0)203 239 1777 Front cover image credit Kheng Ho Toh Back cover image credits Oksun70/ruslanchik
The Quarterly Marketplace Roundup ...New builds... refurbishments... executive appointments... Stay up to date with the market on these pages in every issue...
Smit Lamnalco welcomes new vessels in Gabon SL Gabon and SL Libreville have been contracted for a five year period by Total Gabon. The vessels will support offshore oilfield activities and tanker operations at the terminal of Cap Lopez, Port-Gentil. Smit Lamnalco now operates five vessels for Total Gabon, has a further four vessels under contract for Shell at its Gamba terminal, and manages one vessel for Perenco. http://smitlamnalco.com
Keppel O&M to build semisubmersible worth cUS$800m Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, through its subsidiaries Caspian Rig builders BV (an affiliated company of Keppel FELS) and Caspian Shipyard Company, has secured a contract from Caspian Drilling Company Ltd, a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, to build a semisubmersible drilling rig worth about US$800m. Scheduled for delivery end 2016 the rig will be built to Keppel FELS' proprietary DSSTM 38M design, which has been customised for the Caspian Sea's harsh environment condition. The company also delivered its first KFELS Super A Class jackup rig to Discovery Offshore S.A., which is managed by Hercules Offshore Inc. www.keppelom.com/en
Damen to build Fast Crew supplier Windea Offshore Group has signed a Letter Of Intent with Damen Shipyards Group, for a new Fast Crew Supplier Twin Axe catamaran, destined for the offshore wind industry. Being built at Damen Shipyards Singapore, Windea plans to deploy the vessel end of August 2013 and will mainly use it for transporting technical staff to and from wind turbines. It offers accommodation for a crew of four and 12 passengers. www.damen.com
New build drill ship Kosmos Energy has signed a long term rig agreement with a subsidiary of Atwood Oceanics Inc for the new build drillship Atwood Achiever. Currently under construction in South Korea, the rig is scheduled for completion in June of 2014 and expected to commence drilling operations in the second half of 2014. www.kosmosenergy.com
World’s largest offshore plant in progress and Samsung Heavy Industries enters the jack up market
Photo: Bonga FPSO built by SHI
Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has announced that its Nigerian subsidiary (Samsung Heavy Industries Upstream Nigeria), will build the world's largest (FPSO) offshore plant.
The deal means that SHI has now won a total of eight units of drill ships from Ensco. In fact, the company has now won 59 of the 139 units of drill ships ever ordered worldwide, giving it a market share of 42 percent. The new drill ship will be delivered in the second half of 2015. SHI has also recently advanced into the large jackup rig market, which is emerging as a new growth engine for the shipbuilding industry. It has won an order for two units of large jackup rigs for the North Sea from Statoil (Norway) worth approximately USD $1.3b. www.shi.samsung.co.kr/eng
Four new crew boat builds Dubai based Grandweld Shipyards has secured a contract worth over US$21m from Mexico’s Cotemar, to design and build four 42M Fast Aluminium crew boats. Seating up to 100 offshore personnel, the boats will benefit from luxury seating, accommodation for VIP guests and enhanced comfort for the crew.
Who’s Who News in Brief Aquaterra Energy has appointed sales manager, Martin Bolton, to be responsible for developing new growth for the company’s products and services in the Middle East. SES’s president and CEO, Romain Bausch, will step down from his position at the next AGM of shareholders in April 2014. Karim Michel Sabbagh has been appointed as his successor and will join the company on 1st September 2013 as CEO designate, officially stepping into the position of president and CEO on 3rd April 2014. The boom in oil and gas production, especially within North America, is furthering the need for highly reliable, longrange wireless data comms. In response, Freewave Technologies, a manufacturer of spread spectrum and licensed radios for critical data transmission, has announced the appointment of Dan Steele as oil and gas market manager. Curt Goldman will take the position of key account manager for northern and western US territories. RigNet Inc, global provider of managed remote communications solutions to the oil and gas industry, announced the appointment of Oscar German to the position of vice president, human resources. Boingo Wireless has appointed Terry Jones, founder and former CEO of Travelocity, to the company's board of directors. Jones replaces Marc Geller of Sternhill Partners, who served the board since 2003. Charles Boesenberg has also been reelected as director.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
The Quarterly Marketplace Roundup Seadrill orders two jackups for delivery in 2015 & 2016
BP plans $1B investment, two drilling rigs and 200 jobs in Alaska
Seadrill Limited has entered into two new contracts for the construction of high specification jackup drilling rigs at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Offshore Co Ltd (DSIC Offshore), China. The new builds are scheduled for delivery during the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. Seadrill now has a total eight jackups under construction at DSIC Offshore. Two are scheduled for delivery in 2013, five in 2015 and one in 2016.
Due to changes in the state’s oil tax policy signed into law, by Gov. Sean Parnell, BP is planning $1billion in new investment and two drilling rigs for its Alaska North Slope fields over the next five years. The plans call for an increase in drilling and well-work activity, the upgrading of existing facilities and the addition of up to 200 new jobs in the state.
Datasat signs Almoayed Group as VAR Datasat Technologies, the UK b a s e d w ir e le s s n e t w o r k in g specialists, has added Almoayed Group, a Bahrain based full service IT and telecom solutions provider, to its value added resellers. The Almoayed Group will sell and market the Datasat QuadraFlex range of wireless routers to its customer base in Bahrain and the Middle East. www.datasattechnologies.com www.almoayedgroup.com
US$2.7b Petrobras contract Seadrill Limited and SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad announced that their jointly owned entity, Sapura Navegação Marítima S.A., Brazil has been awarded a contract from Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. to charter and operate three pipe laying support vessels. The contract is for an initial period of eight years and is expected to commence by the second quarter of 2016. Total revenue potential for the contract is expected to be US$2.7billion. The three vessels will be constructed in Holland with IHC Caland to the same specifications as SNM's existing orders with the yard. The total new build cost is expected to be approximately US$800m.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
In addition, BP has secured support from the other working interest owners at Prudhoe Bay to begin evaluating an additional $3billion worth of new development projects. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. will issue a request for proposals this summer for the two additional rigs. The first drilling rig is expected to be in place by 2015 and the second in 2016, increasing BP’s rig fleet in Alaska to nine. www.bp.com
Intelecom Group acquires Intelinet AS Intelinet will be integrated into Intelecom’s oil, gas and shipping division where the company's products will be further developed and marketed under the name of Intelinet TMS (Telecom Management System). Intelecom Group has an extensive track record in the oil and gas sector, and has experienced significant growth in recent years. “We continuously focus on expanding our product and service offerings to meet our customers' needs,” said Lars Petter Eliassen, director of oil, gas and shipping in Intelecom. The company will continue to develop the Intelinet TMS solution in line with market needs. In addition, Intelecom will also focus on drilling rigs, offshore vessels and land-based activities in and around the oil and gas sector. www.intele.com
Who’s Who News in Brief Astrium Services, a provider of satellite enabled telecom solutions, has opened a new office in Rio de Janeiro. It will be headed up by newly appointed sales director and country manager, Fabio Riccetto. “Brazil is a growing offshore and shipbuilding centre so the need for reliable and cost effective communication is high,” said Riccetto. AST has engaged Sandy Johnson, who previously was COO of Satcom Global, to assist in business development and strategy. The board of TeliaSonera has appointed Johan Dennelind as president and CEO. He will take up his new position on 1st September 2013. Per-Arne Blomquist will remain as acting CEO until that date and then return to his role as executive vice president and CFO. Redline Communications Group has appointed Mario Belanger as chief operating officer. Mario Azar has been appointed CEO of solutions business unit in the oil and gas division of Siemens’ energy sector. KVH Industries Inc has welcomed Andrew Bush as its OEM/Leisure Marine sales manager for EMEA. He will be responsible for increasing the company’s market share for its TracVision line of satellite television antenna systems as well as KVH’s TracPhone satellite communications systems and mini-VSAT broadband satellite communications service.
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Stolt Tankers moves fleet of 90 over to VSAT Stolt Tankers has chosen Marlink, an Astrium Services company, to upgrade its entire fleet of deep sea and regional tankers to the Sealink Global Ku-band VSAT service. The contract, signed in April 2013, covers the provision of Sealink to 90 tankers, resulting in significant bandwidth enhancements across the fleet, meeting Stolt’s changing connectivity requirements for operational and crew communication. As the owner of one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated global tanker fleets, Stolt Tankers required a global VSAT service to enable faster, more reliable and predictable cost connectivity and voice communication for its vessels. The company is experiencing huge demand for reliable connectivity with higher bandwidth today but also required a lasting solution. Marlink integrated an MPLS connection to Stolt’s headquarters, to secure reliable end-to-end connectivity and will provide global support for all aspects of the multi-layered network. It’s been designed with the most extensive Ku band VSAT coverage on the market today, MSS backup and a service level agreement. All vessels are scheduled to be online by the end 2014.
Further afield... flexible connectivity ensures communications in the most remote areas International dredging and offshore contractor Van Oord has also chosen Sealink’s customised VSAT to provide data communication services for three offshore rock placement vessels. The five year contract covers Marlink’s provision of end-to-end services and includes facilities for ad-hoc coverage should the vessels be operating in extreme, remote areas. The Sealink service agreement, which provides 24/7 access to expert front line support, is a key component of Marlink’s provision under the contract. Sealink will be installed aboard the Stornes (26,000Te), Nordnes (24,000Te) and Tertnes (9,785Te). The vessels are used for Subsea Rock Installation (SRI). Though deployed in high profile projects such as Ormen Lange in the North Sea, the vessels also operate in extremely remote areas, driving a high requirement for crew welfare and operational communication.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
“With Marlink’s Global Ku band VSAT service, we get the ability to operate using bandwidth-hungry applications, which helps to improve our efficiency, logistics and administration, whilst providing internet and voice calling for crew,” says Mark Martecchini, managing director, shipowning for Stolt Tankers. “We also have flexibility for the future as the services are prepared for possible future migration to new HTS services based on Ka and Ku band.”
Marlink designed a hybrid network solution using global Sealink connectivity featuring automatic beam switching as the primary channel and MSS Services as back-up for Stolt Tankers. XChange, from Astrium Services, acts as the central platform for delivering value-added services for each vessel’s crew connectivity and offers easy administration of user accounts, crew and network access, as well as prepaid services. Connectivity will be delivered through stabilized 1.5m Ku band antennas offering global coverage with dedicated bandwidth of CIR 512 kbps duplex and accommodation for temporary bandwidth provision up to CIR 4096 kbp duplex. The service features multiple carrier support, which provides the ability to switch from the Sealink Ku band VSAT to any of Van Oord’s alternative carriers already installed. As part of the contract Sealink will support VoIP traffic over VLAN and automatic beam switching ensuring seamless communication when moving between different satellites. “Sealink meets Van Oord’s very specific connectivity requirements for these specialised vessels and offers improved possibilities for both crew and operational connectivity,” said Marlink’s Ab Argam, area manager, Benelux. The solution, that provides hardware and services - as well as managing ad-hoc bandwidth and coverage when needed, is vital for Van Oord as it is well known for operating in very remote regions. Although Sealink offers near global coverage, if a particularly remote region is not covered, temporary capacity will be sourced from satellite operator partners to ensure Van Oord’s ability to communicate and operate safely and efficiently.
Averting bottlenecks & streamlining transfer speeds Panasas launches Datarunner™ for full bandwidth content distribution www.panasas.com/ products/datarunner
Panasas Inc, a vendor of high performance parallel storage for technical computing applications and big data workloads, has unveiled Panasas® DataRunner ™, high performance file transfer software designed to overcome the data movement challenges found in today’s distributed scale-out storage environments.
Averting the performance bottlenecks typically associated with multi-site content distribution and large-scale file sharing, DataRunner assures transfer speeds up to 16 times faster than traditional network transfer protocols. It optimizes both Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) performance, accelerating data transfers across all participating Network-Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN) environments. “Until now, transfer protocols have proved inadequate at moving large data sets quickly and reliably between storage infrastructures,” said Barbara Murphy, chief marketing officer at Panasas. “DataRunner assures high-speed, secure data movement while maintaining up to 100 percent bandwidth utilisation regardless of network conditions, file size, distance or latency. This unprecedented level of performance offers huge benefits to organisations, including those in media, manufacturing and life sciences markets that rely on transferring large volumes of data between their data centre locations.”
Video optimisation for individual smartphones
New BOYD advisory service Gartner estimates that half of employers may impose a mandatory BYOD policy by 2017. In response to the growing influx of personal devices in use at work, MOBI Wireless Management (MOBI), a provider of wireless mobility management services for enterprises, has announced a comprehensive BYOD advisory service for companies considering or refining a BYOD program. After a thorough evaluation the company outlines recommendations based on a company's unique needs with suggested roll-out plans. If there is a requirement for a mobile device management (MDM) solution MOBI will provide guidance in the selection, configuration, and implementation of an MDM vendor approach. www.mobiwm.com/byod-advisory-service
Big data telco platform prototype analyses 1 million live messages a second The industry is facing a massive increase in data demand while needing to boost profitability and the personalised experience at the same time. Nokia Siemens Networks has committed to meeting this challenge by helping operators deal with extreme traffic growth, simplify network operations and provide the ultimate, personal, gigabyte experience. Via the six pillars of its Technology Vision 2020 initiative, that have been defined in cooperation with operators globally, it will help to: enable 1000 times more capacity, reduce latency to milliseconds, teach networks to be self-aware, personalise network experience, and flatten total energy consumption. www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com
With mobile video traffic expected to more than double every year until 2015, operators will need a new and effective way to satisfy growing demand for network and service quality. Nokia Siemens Networks is launching a combined video optimisation approach that delivers a high quality experience while reducing radio network loading by up to 25 percent. By combining the capabilities of Flexi Content Optimizer, policy management and new real-time congestion awareness, operators can match video quality to each user's device. Flexi Content Optimizer adjusts video content and re-scales video streaming to match the smartphone screen size. Users enjoy the best quality video that their smartphones and tablets can support, and as less data is transferred there is less pressure on radio network capacity. This translates into more efficient use of network resources, lower transmission costs, and lower network investment.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
Real-time congestion awareness enables a network to react whenever a base station becomes heavily loaded
O3b Networks launches four satellites The global satellite service provider launched its next–generation satellite set into orbit on 25th June 2013 from the Arianespace Soyuz launch vehicle. A few hours later, first contact was made with O3b’s gateway in Hawaii, confirming the satellite industry’s latest operator offering. The company is deploying a new network that combines the reach of satellite with the speed of fibre, bringing high speed, low cost connectivity to billions of people across emerging markets who have never had access to this level of connectivity before. A second group of four satellites will be launched in September, completing the first phase in the constellation ahead of the launch of the company's service later this year. www.o3bnetworks.com
Cooperation framework agreement to provide Asia Pacific with integrated HTS
New rigs part of rejuvenation strategy
Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd, a satellite networking technology services company, and THAICOM Public Company Limited, Asia's leading satellite operator, have announced the signing of a cooperation framework agreement.
Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd, and operator KCA Deutag Drilling Norway AS, have been awarded contracts for the construction and operation of two category J rigs. Valid for an initial period of eight years the deal has been initially valued at USD$900m.
As part of this agreement, the companies will connect customers across the Asia-Pacific region using Gilat's satellite ground equipment in conjunction with THAICOM-4 (IPSTAR) high throughput satellite.
The category J rig intake is part of Statoil's long-term rig category strategy to rejuvenate its rig fleet, secure long-term rig capacity and reduce drilling costs to improve network and communication recovery rates.
This cooperation is another step in THAICOM's Open Access Platform (OAP) strategy, which allows technology equipment vendors to access THAICOM-4 (IPSTAR), a high throughput satellite, providing customers with more choices and flexibility for their requirements.
The license ownership model has been developed in close cooperation with licence partner, Petoro. The rigs will be owned by the Gullfaks and Oseberg licenses, but will be operated by a drilling contractor. Operation start is expected in 2016-2017. www.shi.samsung.co.kr/eng/
Partners bring digital data access 〔...no extra cables required〕 With demand growing for WiFi and internet connectivity, CCTV security footage and anti-piracy solutions in the maritime sector, FDN’s industrial version of Power Line Communication (PLC) technology could be a flexible, cost effective and viable medium. The company helps vessel and shipping owners to exploit digital access using a suite of proprietary, marine certified, industrial grade PLC. This technology makes use of the vessels existing electrical infrastructure as a data highway to deliver a digital network ~ without the need to lay new cables. FDN Marine, part of the FDN Group, has just created partnerships with leaders in the maritime industry: Selex (UK), Jason Electronics (Singapore) and Elcome International (Dubai), with others joining in July 2013 from Spain, Greece and Australia.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
The alliances will help maritime customers realise the potential of PLC, remove the usual cost and associated downtime common with cabled marine installations, and bypass the need for major work to onboard structures requiring watertight/fireproof integrity. The networks are designed to overcome the typical problems encountered within marine vessels and offshore platforms. It also enables vessel operators to reduce costs, and improve passenger and crew welfare, while improving safety, security and communications. Joseph Foo, chairman of Jason Electronics said: “We can now offer our clients a full coverage network for WiFi or CCTV deployment in a matter of hours, with no mess or downtime in ship operations. This has proved extremely popular and our team is already busy installing on a number of container vessels, tankers and offshore support vessels.”
Latest supporter joins GVF spectrum campaign Global VSAT satellite connectivity provider, Emerging Markets Communications (EMC) has committed to join the Satellite Spectrum Initiative (SSI) Campaign, led by Global VSAT Forum (GVF), a non-profit, international association dedicated to representing the interests of the international satellite communications industry. Its satellite spectrum campaign is coordinating efforts worldwide through regional and national associations to leverage presence, expertise and resources.
EMC provides satellite, terrestrial and mobile connectivity solutions to oil and gas companies, NGOs, carriers, international organisations and government entities in the most remote and challenging areas of the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Pacific Islands, Asia, Central and South America. EMC joins the organisation alongside Intelsat, Inmarsat, SES, Telesat, O3b Networks, Star One, Iridium, Hispamar, Satmex, Eutelsat, StarOne, PSSI Global Services and Hughes. www.emc-corp.net www.satellite-spectrum-initiative.com
64% efficiency gains via new standards Key players in the satellite industry are calling for a satellite transmission standard, specifically for professional satellite contribution links, which would extend the existing DVB-S2 standard. According to Newtec, comparisons for the current DVB-S2 standard, against the full implementation of S2 Extensions, activating smaller roll-offs, advanced filtering, 64 APSK and wideband, can bring efficiency gains up to 64 percent for professional applications over satellite.
Adonis Violaris, managing director, Telaccount Overseas Ltd Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement
In My Opinion... Ensuring prioritised traffic Satellite bandwidth will remain a scarce commodity, and there is nowhere this is more apparent than today’s broadband services onboard. Hence the need to ensure that traffic is prioritised and all parties have access. Whether your vessel is using All You Can Eat broadband or VSAT, you will definitely need to manage the services provided onboard either for bandwidth control or bandwidth optimisation. When looking at bandwidth optimisation and crew usage, one
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
has to consider what the capabilities are in terms of service delivery. Therefore, it helps to know or understand what we can do with bandwidth, what we are controlling and what we are trying to manage. For example, 100 Mb can go quite a distance or time when it comes to crew welfare. Whether chatting or texting for 200+ hours, sending one line of text at a time or just browsing for 20 hours. Bandwidth optimisation becomes critical to the successful implementation of an internet café onboard. A smart box or a gateway, like the one of Telaccount or ShipSsat from World-Link
Communications or Smat@Sea from Station 711, will provide compression of up to 70-80 percent on browsing and IP traffic; and up to 85 percent compression for email, local caching, firewall protection, remote access from shore, internet café for crew access to the web, as well as the necessary company policy controls onboard. The Telaccount Gateway is a natural extension of its Intelligent Vessel solution that has been designed for the heavy seas environment and suits new builds as well as retrofitted vessels’ connectivity requirements.
Operators potentially losing out on lost data usage
A report from Juniper Research forecasts that almost 50 percent of data traffic generated by mobile phones, tablets and other 3G/4G connected devices, will be offloaded to WiFi and small cell networks this year. This is equivalent to 10 billion movie downloads or 9,000 petabytes (PB) per year being offloaded from mobile operator networks. The Mobile Data Offload & Onload: WiFi, Small Cell & Carrier-Grade Strategies 2012-2017 report found that while operators were benefiting from m u c h n e e de d r e l i e f o n t h e ir overstretched networks, they were potentially losing financial opportunities on the lost data usage. In response, operators are partnering with existing WiFi networks and launching their own carrier grade WiFi solutions. Additionally, 4G technologies, like LTE, are enabling them to provide new services and next generation
connected devices. Report author Nitin Bhas added: “While a 4G connection need not necessarily mean more data usage, consumers are in fact adapting to faster speeds and more data services, which could lead to more data usage. This increase in user demand for services creates new opportunities within different economic sectors including commerce, energy, health and education, completing a cycle of demand.” The report noted that as operators implement NGH (Next Generation Hotspot) and Hotspot 2.0 specifications, they will be able to provide users with a seamless authentication and access experience similar to that of the cellular network. Other key findings also state that mobile data traffic generated by smartphones, feature-phones and tablets will exceed 90,000 PB by 2017, and that North America and Western Europe will have the highest offload factor throughout the forecast period.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
New thinking New technologies Growing Opportunities in Rural els New business mod Connectivity Across All Markets
Global studies have shown that there is a direct link between broadband penetration and economic growth of a nation. The good news is that we are observing a real explosion of the demand for data communications in every market, says O3b Network’s chief commercial officer, John Finney.
Mobile data demand is projected to grow at a 75 percent+ annual CAGR over the next few years. Beside the trend of data explosion, there is a shift in geographic focus. As many urban markets have reached maturity, with consequentially dropping voice ARPUs, we see the mobile network operators looking for growth elsewhere. In many countries this means that they evaluate opportunities to deploy their networks further into remote areas. In parallel, some Governments require operators to extend to rural areas as part of the licensing process through universal service obligations.
Both the explosion of traffic and the rural expansion create new challenges for operators Costs are rising faster than revenues for mobile data, compared to historically voice-driven networks, which is putting pressure on operator profitability. Additionally, remote areas present unique challenges including large distances, difficult terrain, low population density, low purchase power and low literacy. These facts make the deployment of fibre or microwave often unaffordable and impractical. Ultimately, the returns rarely justify the investments in terrestrial backhaul infrastructure. As a result, we see a lot of operators searching for the winning equation for rural broadband. It does require out-of-the-box thinking using new technologies and new business models. For example, in recent years, site sharing, both passive and active, has enabled operators to reduce overall cell site costs by 30-50 percent. On top of that site aggregation, of small sites with microwave through to a larger satellite backhaul sites, has enabled suppliers to reduce equipment costs significantly. Most importantly, the choice of backhaul technology is having the highest impact. Fibre, microwave, and traditional geostationary (GEO) satellites have proven to be too costly, impractical, unreliable or perform poorly (latency) in remote areas. New medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite connectivity solves a large part of the rural data equation. Bandwidth costs are
significantly unmatched latency is comparable
lower compared to GEO satellites, the reach of satellites remains, while the divided by four making performance to long-haul fibre.
However, in some cases, where ARPUs remain too low for any technology to create a profitable business case, funding through government-backed universal service funds or development finance institutions can incentivise investments in remote connectivity. O3b strongly believes in such partnerships ~ between Governments, DFIs/Aid agencies and operators ~ to make remote connectivity happen in a timely and sustainable fashion.
Low latency is becoming a critical factor in creating an acceptable user experience In the enterprise segment, communications technologies are becoming critical enablers of productivity. First, many companies now rely on massive amounts of data to drive decisions. ‘Big Data’ analyst jobs are the hottest positions in Silicon Valley these days. Second, cloud computing drives the enterprise demand as more and more of this data is being stored in large, secure datacenters located 100s to 1000s of miles away from the headquarters. Consequently, it is critical that communication technologies provide high reliability and data integrity between these sites. Low latency is becoming a critical factor in creating an acceptable user experience, and in some cases it is a requirement for important applications like ERPs to function properly. We see these trends continuing. Indeed, cloud computing and the IoT will further drive the demand, while technologies like 4G and even 5G, showcased recently by Huawei (see pg 29) and other vendors, will support the bandwidth requirements of these applications. We believe we will eventually reach ‘universal’ broadband connectivity in most regions.
CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate ARPU: Average Revenue Per User ©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
A Glimpse of the Future at EUsatcom 2013 EUsatcom 2013 addresses the developments, opportunties and considerarations at the cross roads of satellite communications, IP networking, and video communications. It encourages new ideas about the marketâ€™s future in an informal, yet highly informative, gathering of satellite professionals from multiple countries, companies and disciplines, all connected by the same focus.
The future of satellite communications is extremely bright, according to the sentiments at EUsatcom 2013 this year. Held in Hotel Casa400 in Amsterdam, the event included state of the art satellite solutions for the corporate, maritime and government markets. The thread between all these is that they are all complementary to the IP based terrestrial intranets and extranets that span the globe. Beside the traditional use of satellite for broadcasting capabilities, a new role is emerging for the sector. This role will be significant in connecting people, organisations, companies, and now also machines, to bring the world closer together as costs come down, connectivity speeds up and opportunities emerge for wider audiences.
An open atmosphere and sharing of knowledge is the road to success Satellite professionals at the event recognised that progress will require a different attitude, more cooperation between the different disciplines and a networked organisation to cope with the complexity of the various technological challenges. Delegates speculated at a high level during practical presentations on how to optimise satellite, IP and video connections to improve reliability and drive down cost for the end users to deal with unrelenting demand for global bandwidth and IPbased solutions. Three tracks of presentations dealt with this challenge. Putting more satellite capacity in orbit In the first track dealt with the new generation of satellites, like Intelsats EPIC High Throughput Satellite system or Inmarsat's Global Xpress that will provide a global Ka band service from 2014. Eutelsat Broadband's Tooway system is providing consumer and professional Ka band services all over Europe already and is finding success ~ despite initial industry scepticism. Cont.../
Image credit (top): Rob Van Esch
ÂŠOffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
Optimising connections Delegates learned how to get the most out of their satellite connection using a new generation of satellite amplifiers. Using high tech material like GalliumNitride (GaN), common in the car industry for producing headlights, Advantech Wireless hopes to revolutionise the production of satellite amplifiers, making the offering stronger, smaller, more powerful and cost effective. Optimising video connections is a hot topic for the broadcasting market. Sessions addressed the impact of new IP technology in satellite news gathering with SNG authority, Jonathan Higgings, describing the opportunities and challenges of using IP-SNGs. Simon Pryor, from Newtec, gave an overview of the new UDHDTV and S2-extension standards, and the new video compression standard HEVC that is coming to market soon, offering the same video quality for half the bandwidth that is used currently. For cost conscious satellite users, the consensus is that it’s a win-win as it will cut their cost in half and allow them to move to HDTV or UDHTV in the future ~ for the same costs. Satellite and the Internet of Things (IoT) The third track of presentations lifted a tip of the veil that is covering the, potentially huge, market for satellite based M2M (machine to machine) applications emerging as part of IoT development. The best examples came from the energy industry that is currently working to upgrade networks to the smart grid.
“Satcom professionals, IT and broadcast specialists and many other disciplines have to rely on each other and on an open flow of information in order to cope with the complex challenges we see in the satellite market at the moment. To achieve maximum information exchange, the EUsatcom event was set up in a non-competitve atmosphere,” said H.J. Urlings, the event’s organiser. “The event has evolved as an interesting melting pot of ideas flowing between the delegates, with examples of satellite applications and customer cases this year clearly demonstrating that inevitable partnering and the securing of sector relationships will fuel success.” Trevor Willoughby, senior key account director at Intelsat, said of the event: “Great, timely information came from the presenters on the state of our industry. I look forward to our next meeting at IBC, and hope to grow awareness for this event to expand our audience and get more people interested in the space industry.” He also added that high throughput satellite solutions will be a game-changer for the industry and represents the future in terms of how communications solutions are delivered.
Trevor Willoughby, Intelsat
The EUsatcom Innovation Awards, a follow up event, is scheduled during IBC in Amsterdam in September 2013. See www.eusatcom.net for more information.
Event content was streamed live over the web and a range of social media. View the sessions at EUsatcom.TV
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
Diary Dates & Energy Connect 3 - 6 September 2013
6 - 8 November 2013
SPE Offshore Europe 2013 Aberdeen, UK www.offshore-europe.co.uk
2013 OilComm Conference & Exposition George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX Contact: Adriana Lora, marketing coordinator T: 001 301-354-1783 www.OilComm.com
Over 31,000 visitors are expected to participate in SPE Offshore Europe 2013 – the world’s largest upstream oil and gas exhibition and conference outside North America – taking place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Four days of conference sessions, focusing on the theme ‘The next 50 years’, will bring together senior representatives from international operating companies and contractors, as well as government regulators and politicians. The sold out exhibition halls will showcase the technologies, services and expertise of over 1,500 global organisations, including operators, drilling contractors and oilfield service companies.
Strengthening your connectivity to your drill sites, your assets and your MEDIA professional colleagues. OilComm is PARTNER the only event dedicated to the communications challenges faced in the oil and gas community throughout the lifecycle of the platform no matter where the drill site is located. Join hundreds of IT professionals, CTOs, network engineers and integrators responsible for procuring and implementing communications systems, all under one roof!
17 - 20 September 2013
12 - 13 November 2013
MTB Workboats 2013 Athens, Greece www.coplandevents.com
EIC Connect Energy Manchester Central, UK Contact: Charmaine Atkinson www.eic-connect.co.uk/energy/AboutTheEvent.aspx
Now entering its 4th year, MTB Workboats has grown to become the largest international face-to-face focused networking forum and remains the only event where you can have guaranteed sales appointments with leading workboat owners/operators. With 70+ international vessels owners/operators (responsible for over 2500 workboats) joining MTB Workboats 2013 to have focused meetings with suppliers to help them with their supply chain management, fleet operations and management, new-builds and maintenance programmes; MTB Workboats has become the event of choice for both suppliers and workboat owners/operators worldwide.
EIC Connect Energy is the only event of its kind in the energy industry designed to connect operators and contractors to UK suppliers. Key power operators, distributors and EPC contractors will be presenting their forward work to suppliers, seeking out new products and services from exhibitors and underpinning the all new conference sessions, designed to educate the supply chain on emerging market sectors such as smart grids / demand side management and the transition to a low carbon economy.
NEXT ISSUE ALERT
OffComm News will enjoy bonus distribution at OilComm in Texas in November 2013. Maximise your presence with us ahead of the event by getting in touch with the team ASAP T: +44 203 239 1777 / E: editor@OffCommNews.com
Events for quality global networking & real live innovation ©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
Insight Report Data centre development in the oil and gas sector gets up close and personal
ÂŠOffComm News ~ Autumn 2013 Image: ÂŠMichaelfair
The evolution of smaller, more flexible data centres will bring better levels of service and virtualisation closer to home Big Data
“Oil and gas is the original big data industry” Charles Karren, senior director of oil and gas industry strategy, Oracle
Several different sector data trends have emerged over the last couple of years, namely the deep water offshore, and the unconventional onshore, primarily in the US but also in Australia. The amount of information coming out of these assets has increased exponentially. What makes it interesting is the ability to manage this data back at the operation centres. Most companies now have what are called ROCs (Remote Operations Centres) where they are able to look at data in real-time on an oil rig. While this is probably one of the biggest evolutionary, rather than dramatic, changes ~ being able to manage the data onsite as well as back at the operations centre is an increasing necessity. “One thing we are working very closely on now is to develop mobile solutions that will be able to take application data and manage it remotely on any kind of far-flung asset,” said Charles Karren, Oracle’s senior director of oil and gas industry strategy. To increase its depth of offering, as well as developing mobility applications, Oracle bought multiple companies and integrated asset management for predictive and preventive maintenance ~ a big part of the big data component. “Once you are able to see, use and respond to the different data that’s being collected from multiple assets and different environments, and achieve more real time and interactive visibility of day-to-day operations, the net effect is a reduction in decision lag-time and more efficient operations,” he added.
In terms of big data, the oil and gas industry will evolve to enable more data analytics, from a wide range of sources, from which to develop best practices. Having better well-history, from local activities as well as from other operations elsewhere, can help with collaboration, increase operational efficiency and reduce non-productive time.
Capture, Keep, Use However, as the big data rolls in so does a resource problem for managing it. Many organisations are struggling to find a way to sit back, think and analyse what the data is saying. Some company infrastructures simply can’t handle such volumes of information so it gets thrown out leaving only a limited data set. Some are turning to an engineered system ~ containing both hardware and software components ~ that can not only capture big data, it can hang on to it and use it to make predictive recommendations. Should, for example, a drill bit become stuck in a particular type of rock formation or the drill site collapsing around the tool, all too often operations have to stop until the situation is resolved. Today, there are two choices of approach: Prescriptively, with vibration or fishing antics to shake and lift the tool out; and preventatively, by referencing the risks from prior incidents in similar (although not necessarily local) environments and planning accordingly. These references could be from deep water in the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, offshore in Brazil, West Africa or somewhere else. Previously, what happened and when it happened was never recorded. Now that this data is being kept, operators will be able to analyse and implement risk assessments to make better recommendations for future operational approaches. Cont.../
Picture on previous page: Cold Aisle at MigSolv’s Gatehouse data centre in Norwich
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
Insight Report...continued from previous page...
Partnerships & Standards Partnerships, regarding data handling, are growing too. For example, PPDM (Professional Petroleum Data Management Association) is talking about how to manage well-data (big data), and Energistics is an organisation that helps integrate that data from, for example, a data warehouse. “We at Oracle are big supporters of those because they’re open standard, and the industry ~ the oil and gas companies themselves ~ are part of these innovations. “We do not advocate for proprietary or closed systems; we are very much an open standards company. That helps people, helps the industry, helps these companies to collaborate better and in a more efficient way,” said Karren.
Desperate Need for Real Standards While there are standards associations such as European Data Services Association, Data Centre Alliance (also based in Europe), and ECO (Germany), there is a huge need for an international benchmark developed by an independent body. Currently, the largest is the Uptime Institute’s tiering standard, which is by far the most commonly applied to a data centre. However, there are a number of problems with the current system, namely that people usually self-declare as Tier 3, Tier 3 plus or Tier 3 star. Consider that in the UK, by way of an example, there are only two certified Tier builds ~ yet operators will claim to be Tier 3 or above, which only confuses the issue. “There are various standards and various bodies but the problem is that they are so widely abused that they are becoming irrelevant. There is a desperate need for real standards to come out,” said Alex Rabbetts, managing director at MigSolv, pictured.
Location Matters In the last year or so, particularly with cloud computing, many IT vendors ~ that had pretty much viewed the data centre as merely the physical location where some of their more precious equipment ends up ~ have put in a lot more effort. Companies like OHP, IBM and Cisco have been developing virtualisation and cloud technologies. But, as well as taking a much closer look at data centre aspects, one of the greater issues is with location.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
“We have seen a lot of new locations emerging. We’re doing some work in Iceland as a location at the moment, and perhaps rather more interestingly from our side, we’re also doing some work for Trinidad and Tobago as a new location for data centres,” said BroadGroup’s MD, Steve Wallage, pictured. Typically, data has gone to the big hubs where telecommunications are very strong. For example, in the Western European market around 70 percent of the built out data centre space has been in London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Paris. Even fairly large cities like Madrid or Milan have been marked as much smaller data centre locations. Over the last couple of years other regions have started to be marketed as data centre hubs thanks to two main drivers: Firstly that the internet giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft sought suitable alternatives, settling for ‘middle-ofnowhere’ places in the US. As well as operational benefits, resulting from these diverse and remote locations, state owners also started offering specific incentives for tax and property. That model is now being copied around the world. “More recently we’ve seen places like Iceland and Norway starting to promote themselves as low-cost power locations, as well as potential benefits if you go to certain locations outside the big cities. For example, if you don’t go to Stockholm, but opt to go further north in Sweden, there are a lot of incentives available,” said Wallage.
Connectivity One of the big weaknesses has been the connectivity. If there aren’t decent telecoms or fibre choices, although these new locations have worked hard to develop themselves as data centre honey pots, it has still been necessary to build some new subsea cables. For example the Emerald Express links Ireland and the US, and also goes to Iceland, so suddenly Iceland becomes a lot more viable as a location. Google built in Finland and Facebook in Sweden, and with those investments came new fibre; adding more regions to the list of attractive data centre location choices.
“Increasingly, companies want to keep their data close, not just for security and privacy reasons but also for the decreased cost of getting it in and out of the data centre. They are looking for solutions, ~ and those solutions are very much on a regional basis.” Alex Rabbetts, MigSolv Rabbetts’ company, MigSolv, is a data centre situated in Norwich in the UK. Because of its location, it’s striking a chord with the surrounding oil and gas industry operating just off the northern coast. “A lot of our customers believed that connectivity into somewhere like Norwich was going to give them problems with latency and speed. But of course this is not the case.” He doesn’t think that connectivity is going to be an issue for remote locations such as oil rigs and wind farms either. “At least nothing like it used to be generally with comms. Now you can get very low latency links in to remote locations much easier than you used to be able to, that’s a massive change,” he said. “If customers can’t get fibre into the location they come to us and put in a microwave link. We’re fortunate as we have lots of roof space that we can use for satellite comms.”
Changing Service Based Models A shift is headed towards data centre service based models. Historically once you moved into a data centre it was tough to move out. It required military style planning, down time strategies and risk management to relocate data assets. These days however, data centre customers are demanding a better level of service. While there are other aspects to the data centre SLA (Service Level Agreements), they have traditionally been in place for a data centre manager and even the real estate/facilities management. Today, data centre customer companies are looking to make those SLAs much more meaningful, including IT requirements such as application availability and the impact on the broader business ~ as opposed to just the management of the data centre building. “I think that it is true that data centres are being taken to task, and to a large degree I think it’s about time. I absolutely think that it’s right that data centre operators become more responsible,” said Rabbetts. “The whole shift is all about maintaining a relationship, and getting a better service in a more secure location. Customers are looking for environmental efficiency, they are looking for better service, they are looking for more security, lower comms costs; and all of those things are driving this shift towards choosing a more regional operator.”
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
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©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
The move to wireless raises many challenges...
Are we ready? We are at the beginning of a radical shift in the IT world. Mobility, BYOD, multi Gbps wireless and 4G are creating an unstoppable wave of change, fundamentally altering the working environment and creating some major challenges and opportunities for security and access.
The key beneficiaries will be those who recognise that this is a sea-change and plan accordingly, rather than treat it as an evolutionary change and have to play catch up. Given the repeated historic issues of back-fitting security after deployment, planning and budgeting for security at the beginning are essential for success in this new environment, Ian Kilpatrick, chairman Wick Hill Group, looks at the rapidly growing adoption of wireless and what it means for our future IT networks. Cont..../
ÂŠOffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
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2012 saw a huge growth in the use of wireless, fuelled by factors such as mobility, strong tablet sales, BYOD and the consumer deployment of devices which support the upcoming wireless standards, 802.11ac and 802.11ad. 2013 and beyond will see continuing growth in moving to wireless networks, with many organisations actually replacing their wired networks. This move, which has already collected many early adopters, will create a sea-change in working practises and operational management. The new wireless standard 802.11ac is on track to be ratified in the second half of 2013 and will provide WLAN throughput of at least 1Gbps, first generation, and up to 7Gbps in the future. 802.11ad, with multi Gbps throughput, is likely to be sanctioned in 2014. However, manufacturers are already delivering consumer devices designed to both these standards. Home users are already getting the improved performance and user experience that these standards will deliver and are increasingly bringing these expectations into the office. Currently, for many organisations, wireless is not of the same standard as wired. Most of today’s wireless implementations provide limited, rather than total coverage, cold spots, performance limitations and access limitations. This contrasts unfavourably with the mobile environment increasingly experienced being elsewhere. This situation is not sustainable in the medium term. Mobility is an unstoppable wave. Smartphone and tablet use are soaring; desktop sales are declining below laptop sales; 4G will drive further performance expectations; and organisations need the increased productivity that mobile devices can bring.
Security Security is a significant challenge, raising a number of issues to be addressed such as: network access control, ID management, mobile device management, device remediation, intrusion prevention and management infrastructure. The key to success, in this significantly changed environment, will be deployment pre-planning, risk assessment and determining the policies to apply. The changes in wireless standards provide a key opportunity for strategic planning. Most wireless deployments have been tactical, with more access points added, often unstructured, to meet increasing user demand or deal with cold spots.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
802.11ac will deliver the unfulfilled promise of the previous standard 802.11n, but with a focus on 5GHz rather than 2.4GHz. With 5GHz providing shorter range, but higher throughput, existing access point (AP) based systems will be inadequate for the new requirements. As users increasingly have 5GHz devices, the old 2.4GHz APs will become obsolete. This gives organisations a one time opportunity to plan for a future working environment based on wireless, rather than wired LANs. This is particularly relevant given the challenges that 5GHz and beyond will create for the old AP-based approach to coverage. With 2.4GHz, providing more coverage typically involves adding more APs. However, that has been shown to be increasingly self -limiting because interference between APs reduces coverage, rather than increasing it.
Migration To migrate, will require entirely new APs, new antennas, upgraded or replaced controllers, and new switches or PoE injectors. Similar to 802.11n, there will be multiple versions and phases of 802.11ac, so AP-based organisations will need to budget for ongoing infrastructure upgrading and replacement. This is a tough challenge, since it involves planning for growth driven by staff’s home experience of high throughput access and app usage, and of course 4G. While the much faster and even shorter range (10m) 802.11ad 60GHz standard is likely to deliver high capacity, short-range cordless (back-up to docking station, etc.) to the wireless office, it can’t be ignored in the planning process. Already, we have seen unprecedented pressure for ever faster and more pervasive wireless, and with tablets and smartphones supporting the standard from 2013, this pressure will only grow. An increasingly popular alternative to the AP approach (sometimes characterised as ‘breeding’) is the modular array approach. With this method, an array can hold multiple directionally tuneable APs. Unlike traditional broadcasting, directional focus minimises interference and enables clear control over geo overspill. Additionally, with the array-based approach, the APs can be slot-in cards, so can be easily and inexpensively replaced or upgraded, as traffic usage and capacity evolve.
About the author: Ian Kilpatrick is chairman of international value added distributor Wick Hill Group plc.
Helping engineers stay in touch at remote Scottish construction sites Eutelsat’s broadband satellite business service is helping workers from Ross-Shire Engineering stay in touch while constructing water treatment plants for Scottish Water Solutions II in some of the region’s remotest areas. The engineers use the service for email and accessing systems at head office as well as for VoIP onsite. Installed at five sites so far, including the Shetland Isles and on remote areas of the west coast, by Scottish reseller Internet Anywhere, Eutelsat provides an always -on sate llite servic e delivering speeds of up to 20Mbps downstream and 6Mbps upstream with no need for a telephone line. The equipment comprises of a small satellite dish
and a modem or WiFi router, which connects to the computer. The company first turned to Eutelsat when it found that its engineers were struggling to get a mobile 3G signal for telephone calls or data in and out of some of the remotest Scottish Water Solution II construction sites. “Internet Anywhere recommended the solution and installed the system for us and it just worked without any hassle,” said George Phimister, project manager at Ross-Shire Engineering. “Now we are using it at several sites, even the less remote ones, because the service is so fast to install. Using traditional broadband providers, we had to wait days or even weeks for an internet connection. Today we just make a call, the installer arrives and within an hour or so we are up and running.”
Ross-shire Engineering has an average of 10 workers onsite at any one time, building drinking water treatment plants for Scottish Water. The team is able to connect to the Eutelsat system via the wireless router and then access the office systems via VPN or make VoIP calls. The service uses Eutelsat’s Ka sat high throughput satellite. John Fitzgerald, managing director of Internet Anywhere, said: “The Eutelsat service is ideal for workers and homeowners in remote areas that cannot get access to broadband by traditional methods. We are seeing a wide range of demand for the service in Scotland from the NHS, emergency services and engineering firms through to consumers living in the isles and remote areas of the country.” www.eutelsat.com
Image credit: Pavla Zakova
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
Norsat introduces easy-acquire Ranger terminals Norsat International Inc, a provider of communication solutions that enables the transmission of data, audio and video for remote and challenging applications, has launched the ultra-portable Ranger series of fly-away satellite terminals. Norsat’s Ranger series represents the next generation of microsat terminals, featuring industry leading portability, rapid deployment and Norsat’s new Easy-Acquire user interface that allows users to operate the system with no formal training.
Available in antenna sizes of 45cm and 60cm the Ranger terminals have integrated iDirect modems as well as the ability to support external modems. Both systems are designed for low power consumption and can run off AC/ DC, or rechargeable battery packs with smart, uninterruptable power supply (UPS) capabilities. The Ranger microsats include a webbased GUI (graphical user interface) for remote monitoring of the system. Both Ranger terminals support tool-free activation and assembly takes less than 10 minutes. No tools or instructions are required for satellite acquisition.
Fitting into an overhead luggage compartment compliant case, key features of the Norsat Ranger 45 microsat include: High performance: (Rx: up to 45 Mbps, Tx: up to 4 Mbps); Norsat “EasyAcquire” assistant; light weight portability; WGS certification and multi-band capable (X and Ka bands supported). MIL-STD-810 tested, the Ranger 45 is ruggedized for use in harsh weather with battery power that can support up to 2.75 hours of uninterrupted use. www.norsat.com
Non line-of-sight: World’s fastest wireless broadband in White Space frequencies Redline Communications Group Inc, a provider of wireless broadband solutions for telecom and industrial applications, has unveiled its White Space system, the industry’s fastest wireless broadband solution for the 470698 MHz band. Ideal for M2M applications, this new wireless network system, built on Redline’s recently announced Universal Wireless Transport™ (UWT™) platform, that can deliver data rates of up to 100 Mbps over the longest range with the broadest non-line-of-sight coverage of any currently available white space technologies. Wireless signals transmitted within this spectrum range can travel over long distances, over hills,
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
around buildings and other physical obstacles making it very useful and cost effective for a wide range of WAN applications. Redline’s RDL-3000 sub-700 MHz network technology, which operates in frequencies between 470 and 698 MHz (Sub-700MHz), leverages the non-line-of-sight network attributes of the UHF spectrum, but supercharges the speed and distance of the transmission. It also has military grade security for reliable wireless connections over long distances. “It’s not enough to make wireless products that comply with FCC requirements and go long distances at great speeds – they must also be secure,” said Bojan Subasic, vice president research and development at the company.
“Because they’re used for mission critical operations like oil and gas, or to monitor public infrastructure, Redline’s networks are engineered to fend off attacks such as man-in-the-middle or denial of service, tampering with access to the device or with the enclosure itself.” The network systems are software configured to comply with any country’s regulatory specifications and therefore can be used anywhere in the world. Depending on channel size, terrain, and local regulations, outside of the USA, Canada and the UK, it can operate over distances as great as 20 miles (30 km), and at slower speeds can reach distances up to 35 miles (approximately 60 km). www.rdlcom.com/products-overview
Africa Mercy ship arriving in the port of Sierra Leone
Ship owners should be careful not to be blinded by new and exciting developments in telephony. Often, they aren’t robust enough to withstand the trying conditions onboard.
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
Staying in Touch When it really matters
Losing contact with land is potentially disastrous for a crew of Africa Mercy’s size, as it makes coordination and flagging emergencies extremely difficult. Mercy has a fleet of three ships, which have served in more than 150 ports around the globe, one of which is Africa Mercy, the world’s largest non-governmental hospital vessel. This particular ship sails around the coast of Africa providing aid to communities with its six operating theatres, 78-bed patient ward and accommodation for over 450 volunteer crew members. Since it was deployed in 2007, Africa Mercy has helped hundreds of people. The area the ship has to support is staggering, often requiring the crew to be out at sea for long periods of time, isolated from friends, family and emergency assistance. They need a system to remain in constant contact with: the crew onboard the vast vessel, the support team on land, as well as the ability to conduct satellite calls in an emergency. It can seem like a dizzying array of needs to balance, but developing a ‘must have’ list of requirements before casting off with a new telephone system can make the process a pain-free and often hugely beneficial experience.
An infrastructure which truly does its job will allow a crew to benefit from speedy communications with one another onboard as well as with onshore personnel, placing the system at the centre of a welloiled web of communication.
In practice Mercy Ships, through its work with Toshiba, is a great example of this and has shown that the coveted plain sailing approach to communications is possible. The charity has provided surgical, medical and agricultural support to some of the poore st communities around the world for over 30 years. Its fleet of ships sails crews of volunteer doctors, nurses, water engineers and agriculturalists to areas which are in need of healthcare, training or advice, materials and hands-on assistance. Together they work with the community providing free medical support in the hope of drastically improving their quality of life.
The organisation already had a long standing installation of Toshiba’s traditional telephone system in place, which acted as a communications tool for both those onboard and on land. It was tailored to support up to 300 phones and voicemail to ensure everyone was contactable at any time, wherever they were. This was a robust, physical telephone system which allowed the crew to maintain the technology and monitor its condition themselves from the ship. With no moving parts it coped well with stormy weather. Given the vast size of the ship, it was the cornerstone of their communication onboard. Losing contact with land is potentially disastrous for a crew of Africa Mercy’s size as it makes c oo rdina t io n a nd f la gging emergencies extremely difficult. But after many years of even keel, Africa Mercy suffered a power surge which destroyed the electronic system onboard, including its communications suite. They needed a fix ~ fast. Cont.../
Image: ©Elena Matveichuk
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The key system requirements were reliability, to avoid jeopardising operations onboard, and value for money to ensure the system has the longevity to give the best return on investment. To ensure the Mercy volunteers were not without a telephone system for long, Toshiba’s partner, Working Telecoms, met the ship at its next dock, and immediately replaced the original system with Toshiba’s CIX 670, the company’s latest suite. It gave the team the same level of communication, as well as the continued level of scalability, cost effectiveness and reliability associated with a traditional system.
Quick and easy access to technical support The new system is monitored by the team onboard, as well as remotely via a VPN to Working Telecoms, providing complete maintenance support while the
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
ship is out at sea. This makes the system as easy to configure and maintain as possible and has become a new vital point on their communications checklist. Accessibility should be a permanent fixture on any vessel’s check list when investing in a telephone system. If there are technological issues, support needs to have quick and easy access to the network to investigate and fix the problem. Whether a ship requires a hybrid system, using digital to combine traditional and IP telephony, will also be an important decision to research.
A traditional telephone line combined with IP gives staff more flexibility and cheaper calls, so it may seem like the perfect choice. However, remember that a traditional telephone unit is more robust, making it a stronger product for withstanding temperature fluctuations and stormy seas. To put this into context, you wouldn’t use Google Maps because that’s a cheaper option than proper navigation charts. Ship owners should be careful not to be blinded by new exciting developments in telephony, as these solutions often aren’t as robust, or designed to withstand the trying conditions of a ship.
Planning for an Emergency Managing continuity of the workplace and associated operational risks should be of concern to all businesses regardless of their sector. However, the energy sector may be far more at risk. It is highly regulated industry and uninterrupted communications are paramount, writes Graeme Gordon, CEO of Internet for Business. The energy sector is uniquely positioned in terms of its communication requirements. Offshore operations, maritime integration and onshore offices are all elements within a tightly meshed chain. One link in the chain breaks and the integrity of the whole organisation can be damaged. If a crisis onshore disables communications with ships or rigs, a company may not be able to respond and assist if an incident occurs offshore. This risks lives, and if the media sees danger, combined with chaos onshore, the situation can disintegrate very quickly. Fighting back and regaining trust after such episodes takes many painful years. The energy sector has a unique operational model. Continuous flow of information between offshore and onshore is imperative ~ and not just for health and safety of employees and revenue generation ~ but to fulfil licensing obligations and enable correct taxation. Something as simple as being denied access to your onshore office because a fire or flood has made the premises inaccessible can br e a k t h e c h a in . O f f s h o r e operations can be seriously impacted by a breakdown in communication like this and of course by their very nature disasters are unpredictable. Control of many offshore operations takes place onshore. Take the issue of rate of flow. Flows
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
from the field have to be monitored onshore for health and safety, tax purposes, supply and demand, security of supply and trading rules to name a few reasons. Onshore operatives need to be able to alert their colleagues offshore of any potential problems so that immediate action can be taken to remedy any issues. However, if the onshore link in the chain can’t get to his or her workstation then none of this can happen. It’s imperative that they have a workplace recovery (WPR) plan in place. Having an off site data centre securely storing data is crucial ~ but this secure data storage is only useful if relevant staff have the opportunity to access it and a desk to sit at while they do. Workplace recovery offers all the tools needed to get back to business as usual.
Considerations for a workplace communication recovery package Speed Ask your provider for a documented timetable of just how quickly you can move staff to the work place recovery centre. How quickly do they guarantee to acknowledge your request? Within two hours you should be in a guaranteed position to have staff inducted at the workplace recovery centre, be issued with security passes and have a room and desk allocation. Within a four hour time frame, you should have undergone a full handover and have a signed
checklist ~ ready ‘business as usual’.
Access to Data A workplace recovery plan, providing the desks and hardware required, should never exist in isolation. Ideally you will have a contract with a provider which provides secure off site data storage in their own centre. This gives immediate and full access to everything required to be back up and running in the new location. Add~ons Check what you are actually paying for. Ensure that you know what level of internet access you will have, how secure it is and whether it’s wired or wireless. Find out if your telephone calls will be diverted to one point and how quickly this can be implemented. Testing Any form of emergency plan needs to be tested. You should ensure that a provider builds in at least one testing day annually for you and your team ~ and you should check if you can build in additional testing days if required. Review and Scalability Your workplace recovery partner should offer you a regular review of your requirements. In the space of just a couple of years an organisation’s risk exposure can multiply significantly and what may have started out as a modest requirement for a set level of desks can escalate. Without a regular review you can be over exposed at a time of crisis. Check just how scalable your contract is.
Big Data Big Data is not just multi-terabyte 4D seismic-GIS datasets, but thousands of substations in an electrical transmission network sending a few bytes of data every few minutes.
Don’t forget Kbps in the energy markets Solid growth opportunities for VSAT and MSS deployments
Amidst the bandwidth revolution, it is easy to forget there is an entire class of in-service units within the high end energy satellite communications market that continue to operate in the murky waters of ‘nearly’ broadband. Serving critical SCADA requirements, for oil and gas pipelines, electrical utility transmission and distribution networks, or in remote well-site deployments, these units remain a workhorse of the energy market for satellite communications. As NSR mentions in its Energy Markets via Satellite, 3rd Edition report, oil and gas pipelines and electrical transmission, distribution, and renewable energy installations are solid growth opportunities for both VSAT and MSS deployments, but do not have the multi-megabyte throughput requirements found elsewhere in the energy markets. With over 90,000 in-service units by 2022 in the pipeline sector, and 200,000 In-service units for electrical transmission networks projected by 2022, the vast majority of energy market satellite deployments will operate within these ‘nearly’ broadband environments. Even with monthly ARPU well below $500, the shear number of units will be a sizeable revenue stream for both service and equipment providers.
Driving growth is the need for data; to maximise productivity, and to enable physical security requirements. Big Data is not just multi-terabyte 4D seismic-GIS datasets, but thousands of substations in an electrical transmission network sending a few bytes of data every few minutes, or hundreds of pipeline compressor stations displaying near-real time flow rates or pressure readings. Across the energy industry this ‘small data’ problem is rapidly being solved with ‘big data’ solutions, enabling companies to look deeper into their operations to reduce cost and optimise productivity. Electrical grid reliability initiatives, enabling utilities to pin-point troublesome power lines or transmission substations, involve the frequent polling of these sites, oftentimes in the thousands across a utilities territory, generate a big data problem. Smarter grids, which in their essence is a feed-back loop to grid operators from the remote end-points of the network, are becoming more common-place with aging infrastructure, severe weather events, and energy efficiency programs. Although a vast majority of these deployments will be terrestrial in nature, satellite communications will still play a significant role in disaster-prone areas to enable resilient infrastructure or in developing countries where terrestrial infrastructure is unreliable. Cont.../
Image (top): Martinmark
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Increased remote monitoring and control also maximise remote workforce productivity, critical in an industry that continues to face workforce shortages. For remote pipelines or well-site applications, remote logging of pressure or flow-rates alone can have significant cost savings in terms of manpower. Newer generations of satellite units can go a step further, and directly control remote equipment to optimise operating conditions – increasing total revenues for end-users. In both cases, this optimization is driven by ‘big data’ in ‘small bytes.’ Yet, even in this market signs continue to point towards bigger bytes of data. With the increase in
Critical Infrastructure Protection regulations ~ along with more remote monitoring of equipment resulting in fewer visits by service personnel ~ remote video monitoring will be the driver of bandwidth growth going forward. Intrusion detection for substations or well pumping stations, or checking for environmental hazards like well fluid leaks through high-quality remote video links continue to nudge the throughput requirements higher in even this segment. However, by comparison to offshore exploration and production or mining locations, these will still be a drop in the bandwidth bucket on a site by site basis.
Through research and collaboration, Huawei is helping to drive Europe towards a 5G wireless future In order to sustain the continuous growth of wireless business, and to support the industry’s response to the Big Data challenge, 5G wireless networks will emerge in the market between 2020 & 2030. Over the next decade we will witness a 1,000-times increase in the demand for wireless capacity. A range of exciting new business opportunities to connect billions of ‘things’ wirelessly will emerge and radio access capabilities will ultimately allow every person to access the wireless network at a speed of 10Gbit per second, 100 times faster than the fastest mobile device on the market today. Researchers at Huawei’s 2012 Laboratories are answering the call of 5G. Meanwhile, Huawei is actively participating in and driving broader industry ecosystem collaborations, such as the METIS project. The objective
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of METIS, which stands for mobile and wireless communications enablers for the twenty-twenty information society, and cofunded by the European Commission as an Integrated Project under the Seventh Framework Programme for research and development (FP7), is to lay the foundation of 5G. Huawei is playing the leading role in the Radio Link Technology stream. It recently sponsored a METIS project meeting in Munich, which gathered together more than 140 researchers from industry, carriers and universities to crack the foundational technologies that will enable 5G wireless to come about. Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei Fellow and the head of Huawei Communications Technologies Labs believes that the emergence of 5G wireless networks will accelerate fusion within the ICT industry. “5G wireless will, first of
Bottom Line Enabling remote monitoring and control, these units are punching far above their provisioning by reducing remote site visits, enabling unmanned monitoring and control, and meeting critical infrastructure protection requirements. Generating a ‘big data’ problem for energy companies through lots of little bytes, the murky waters of ‘nearly’ broadband satcom deployments will be a key component for optimisation strategies into the future. For satellite service providers and equipment manufacturers, these VSAT and MSS units will be a core building block of the energy satellite communications marketplace.
all, open the frontiers of a new end user experience. For example, visual communication will become the mainstream, and people will use wireless devices to interact instantly with people remotely, as if they were meeting face-to-face. 5G wireless will also wirelessly connect an enormous number of ‘things’ to the network. “Therefore, in combination with cloud computing and Big Data technologies, we can essentially automate the entire society,” Dr. Tong commented. “There are a lot of innovations that need to be created and a lot of technology challenges need to be overcome to create 5G solutions. At Huawei, our researchers are studying the new radio link technologies and new radio access network architecture. We are also working on prototyping and have conducted field trials on cloud-based radio access networks (so called CloudRAN). We are playing a leading role in 5G wireless technology development”. www.huawei.eu
Preparing for HTS in the offshore oil & gas sector As bandwidth demand increases, oil and gas global service providers are facing pressure from their customers to deliver faster, more efficient networks that provide higher availability and more capacity – especially in the remote waters of the offshore oil and gas market. High throughput satellites (HTS) will enable service providers to meet their customer’s demands. However, before adopting HTS, service providers must understand both the impact HTS will have on the industry and how service providers can prepare their networks for this new type of satellite. iDirect’s Terry Neumann enlightens us.
Cost vs Connectivity HTS impact Firstly, HTS will increase data throughput and lower bandwidth costs per megabyte. This will significantly improve the economics of satellite capacity and the speed of satellite connectivity across the oil and gas industry. End users will be able to use VSAT more broadly across their operations. For example, HTS will address offshore oil and gas companies’ needs for more capacity to support multiple bandwidth-heavy applications, such as voice and data connectivity, video, file transfer, operate remotely operated vehicles (ROV’s), seismic data transmission, live video monitoring and video conferencing, crew training, system automation and cloud computing. To deliver HTS capacity however, maritime service providers will need to integrate their current operations with this new type of satellite.
One way to start preparing is to understand the different satellite architectures and bands that will come with HTS. These include Ka band spot beams, Ku band spot beams, global and regional satellites, as well as both open and closed systems. For end users, they will simply want one network that covers all their vessels, applications and geographies. Since the iDirect platform is built on a universal hub and line card system, service providers can easily integrate capacity from different sources. And they can grow their networks incrementally with demand by adding line cards to the hub chassis. Additionally, satellite ground infrastructure providers are addressing the need for higher throughput rates by building faster remotes. iDirect’s new X7 router is a TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) remote that can reach up to 100 Mbps in combined inbound and outbound throughput. The X7 can be used on oil and gas service vessels, tankers and oil rigs. It is designed to deliver throughput rates that easily meet rising bandwidth requirements, while delivering iDirect’s industry standard quality of service.
“There’s a lot of growth and change coming, and it’s critical to get a lead on planning in order to stay competitive in the market.” Terry Neumann, iDirect
With HTS, service providers need to migrate toward a blended service portfolio, consisting of both HTS and non-HTS networks. Companies will also need to utilise a wide range of specialised remotes and service features to meet distinct end user requirements, that are smaller and more compact and that are integrated into complete terminals. The author, Terry Neumann, is part of the market development team at iDirect. Supporting the maritime market for the past five years he is an evangelist of VSAT connectivity.
Image credit: Oleg Kovalenko
©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
Insight: Norsat International ~ M2M
M2M is more than just a piece of equipment or a particular service. It is a complete system in which the system itself is greater than the sum of its parts. To truly benefit from machine-to-machine (M2M) implementation it is necessary to define what the components of that system will be. Only then can you make your selections and be ready to commit to M2M. The basic design and selection of the components and services in an M2M system is quite a simple task. A variety of hardware platforms, data service plans, and data management software tools can be compared, contrasted and selected against a criteria list with relative ease. Challenges The challenges with M2M systems are determining how to put the components together, identifying the right people to install, integrate and manage the M2M equipment, selecting and managing service vendors, integrating the M2M system into the daily operations of the company and figuring out if the overall costs will result in an attractive ROI.
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Investment Many companies under invest in the time needed to choose, design and implement the M2M system that will solve the problems faced in their particular application. By taking into consideration the components involved, and the result sought, M2M systems can be designed to provide unprecedented access to data, giving operators the power to make intelligent decisions, and ultimately improving operational efficiencies. In the case of oil and gas companies, the results are clear: an intelligently designed M2M system can reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and minimise potentially dangerous monitoring deployments. By taking care to select appropriate system components, or by working with an end-to-end M2M solutions provider, companies looking to implement M2M can achieve similar results. Components An M2M system has many components and can be very complex depending on the needs of the user. However, most
systems can be broken down into five parts: the end equipment that needs to be monitored and/or controlled, a remote Terminal Unit (RTU), a communications network, a data repository, and data access and management. End equipment Sensors are most often the end equipment in an M2M system. For example, an environmental M2M system may include meteorological sensors which measure wind speed, temperature and humidity gauges and water sensors which monitor turbidity or flow meters. An oil field M2M system might include surface and subsurface pressure and temperature gauges as well as H2S and SO2 sensors. A mining operations M2M system could include tailings pond level meters and so on. In general, the end equipment and sensors are predetermined by the application. However, care and due diligence are required to ensure that the right sensors and equipment collect the appropriate data to ensure intelligent operational decisions can be made. Cont.../
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Remote terminal unit (RTU) The RTU of an M2M system could be considered the ‘brains’ at the remote site, and the complexity of RTUs may vary by application. At one end of the spectrum, an RTU may consist of a single integrated unit that includes merely a sensor input and a communications modem to transmit sensor data. More intricate RTUs consist of a variety of components that include a variety of sensor inputs: a logging component to store and forward data, a communications modem, and an onboard processor to pre-process and analyse data. This processor may even have pre-programmed logic control to manipulate end devices, for example, by turning them on or off when certain events happen. A critical, though often overlooked component of the RTU is the local power source. Many RTUs are deployed in remote areas and thus have restricted power budgets. Many systems may only be connected to solar and battery power sources. When designing or selecting the RTU, the biggest challenge is in deciding on how it will interact with its sensors. That is, which sensors need to be alarmed, which alarms are critical, what needs to be controlled, and what actions should be taken when alarms occur. A minor challenge is determining how to connect the
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sensors to the RTU and performing any requisite calibration to these sensors once connected.
Most challenges in this area are internal and addressing these challenges starts with a discussion with the company’s IT department.
Data access and management
The M2M network will be constrained to the location of the end devices. The network may be wired, wireless or a combination of both. The system should therefore be robust enough to handle any type of communication network, which might be satellite, IP Radio, microwave, fibre or cellular.
There are generic, specific, and custom data solutions to manage, display and give users access and management of their collected data. Each solution will have advantages and disadvantages, including usability, setup complexity and cost. But simple data access for end users should remain a key motivator in system design. The simplest access is often through a web-based interface with a URL, login and password. The more complex issue is in data management. The solution must display information in a usable format, and provide alarms and notifications in a manner which is appropriate to the operations of the company.
The challenge for the M2M system owner is ensuring the right communication service is selected. To select the appropriate service, owners must understand their M2M data usage requirements, including bandwidth, volume and latency limits. Data repository Once sensor information is flowing over the network, system owners need to determine if this data will be stored, and for how long. The typical answer is that data should surely be stored and kept as long as is practically possible (or in some cases legally required). As to where should this data be stored; ideally select a secure server that offers redundancy, located in a hardened storage facility.
Norsat International is provider of M2M applications offering complete end-to-end solutions. These technologies provide excellent value in remote locations, where it reduces the expense associated with on-location deployments, flexible data capture, storage and management.
IPv6 for Ocean Wide Bandwidth Requirements M2M via Satellite, Big Data & the Internet of [remote] Things In the first of Martin Jarrold’s regular features he takes an overview of the interface and synergy of machine-to-machine and satellite communications with particular reference to the offshore industries.
The offshore sector illustrates an evolving M2M requirement which includes parallel and legacy SCADA-type data flows, in the oil and gas exploration and production segment, which continue to drive narrowband connectivity demand alongside evolving Big Data driven broadband connectivity demand. For me, such an examination must begin with a nod to immediate future-history, and at least mention of the longer term significance of transitioning to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). With an everincreasing number of devices being connected to the internet (and the consequent need for more IP addresses than the current IPv4 protocol is able to accommodate) using a 128-bit IP address permits more than 7.9×1028 times as many addresses as IPv4. Why begin with this passing mention of IPv6? Well, because it is IPv6 which will bring on the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT), and it is the IoT which will be the ultimate realisation of a future universal M2M environment which will far exceed the
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potential boundaries and limited scope of even the greatest reach of the present day M2M environment. It is the IoT which will create a dynamic network of billions of wireless identifiable ‘things’ communicating with one another, bringing ubiquitous computing, and integrating the digital world with the physical world. More concretely, improved sensor device capabilities will facilitate business logic at the edges of networks as decisionmaking is based on real-time readings from sensors that are used to monitor pretty much anything and everything. M2M is about enabling the flow of data between machines and machines, and ultimately machines and people. Within such a basic framework there are four key components: Data collection; data transmission through a communications network; data assessment; and, responses to information. My focus is transmission ~ and specifically, transmission via satellite.
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All M2M applications require communications between remote devices and the servers that manage the data. For offshore businesses that rely on being connected to equipment all the time (an underlying premise of M2M), no matter whether in port or on the high seas, satellite communications is a part of the mission imperative, though often as one element of a hybrid technology connectivity solution, along with cellular and WiFi.
IPv6: The ultimate realisation of a future, universal M2M environment
Globally, satellite M2M is growing fast, and the aggregated target markets make its potential for the satellite industry very important, albeit still small scale in the overall M2M connectivity market where cellular-only solutions are applicable. Several factors are driving this growth in satellite M2M in the offshore environment, and it is by focusing on the evolution of its unique strengths that satellite has been able to distinguish itself based on technology and solutions perspectives. SCADA-type monitoring, vessel management and maritime security applications have driven the sector’s development up to now, with new opportunities emerging. For example, recent developments in maritime regulation, notably the adoption of stricter regulations over the monitoring of commercial and fishing vessels, and also insurance-driven concerns about the monitoring of perishable cargoes in refrigerated containers, are just a few applications which have pointed again to satellite networking to support M2M. Now, it is with the launch of new generation ‘high throughput satellite’ systems that the satellite industry will continue to provide the ocean-wide bandwidth requirements of increasingly complex and data-rich M2M applications that employ video in solutions that are used, for example, in equipment fault diagnosis and repair protocols aboard oil and gas drilling rigs and vessels.
By Martin Jarrold, Chief, International Programme Development, GVF. GVF’s regular Oil & Gas Communications and Broadband Maritime Communications conferences include regular discussion of M2M subject matter. For more information contact the series organisers: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Image on previous page: Elena Matveichuk
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©OffComm News ~ Autumn 2013
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