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Spring 2014 Member

Your resource for telecoms destined for remote and harsh environments

@OffCommNews

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Welcome It seems that every single VSAT manufacturer is armed with new products to launch this year. But will 2014 be a good one for the satellite market overall? It certainly seems to be going in the right direction regarding a more modern approach. In the last few weeks of 2013, two specialist associations announced campaigns to drive discussions and embrace the people, the business and the opportunities in the remote comms sector. In addition, industry partnerships continue to demonstrate that collaboration is the route to success (see page 8). So where do we go from here? Are we edging towards a sensible position from which to start looking at bringing in a new set of standards? Or is the current world-drive of Internet for All going to embrace the opportunities that our sector can offer and bring satellite into the hands of the masses? We value your insight from the very heart of the remote comms sector. So, why not drop us a line. You can write to us at the email address below. Enjoy this issue. Georgina Elrington Editor@OffCommNews.com

Inside this Issue The Quarterly Pages 4 & 5 Comms News Pages 6 & 7 Diary Dates Page 25

PS: Don’t forget that the Annual Remote Comms Directory will be out early 2014 and will be downloadable from the website. If you aren’t already receiving editorial updates from OffComm News, you can register for them at http://goo.gl/kr3bz

Remote Insight Report: Field Telecoms in Oil & Gas In this quarter’s report we take a look at some of the critical questions facing O&G and their suppliers in the selection and deployment of field telecoms. Page 31

Feature: Satellite Services Respond to Oil & Gas Needs

Energy industry comms requirements on rigs and ships have become more diverse, requiring more bandwidth and higher throughput. Vaughan O’Grady asks if satellite will indeed be able to meet demand, and that every VSAT manufacturer has a new product out in 2014. It’s hotting up out there! Page 16

RealTime Data from the Pit

Thor7 Takes to the Skies

But what does it mean for shipping routes and oil and gas exploration areas? Page 9

Challenging the Discussion

New alliances & associations are challenging our traditional approach to the satellite market. Finally, this hot sector is starting to get the attention it deserves. Read about two new association campaigns launched end 2013. Page 10

Event Review: HTS Roundtable ~ London

Martin Jarrold, GVF, races us through the highlights of the December 2013 roundtable that addressed opportunities and progress in the high throughput satellite market. Page 12

In My Opinion

Gavan Murphy, at Globalstar, shares his view on IoT and M2M in the oil and gas sector. Is a hybrid the new solution? Page 13

Case Study

ABB Wireless Network Improves Efficiency for PotashCorp Mine, White Springs, USA. Page 19

Interview: Under the Hood at Signalhorn Trusted Networks

Meet Robert Kubbernus, CEO, and find out about his plans for the company and what its managed services can do to help process all the way from the platform to the pump. Page 21

Feature: ICT and the Nigerian Oil Industry

Telesperience’s chief strategist, Teresa Cottam, explains how ICT can improve commercial, operational and employee outcomes in the Nigerian oil industry. Page 26

Feature: Intelligence at the Network Edge

A simple idea, and a vital one, but one that results in an increasingly complex communications landscape. Datasat’s Roger Mandeville walks us through how to ensure QoS and simplify the management process. Page 28

OffComm News is a trading name of CTLD Publishing Ltd. Company No. 7774639 Whether online or in print, copyright remains that of CTLD Publishing Ltd. It is prohibited to photocopy, scan, ISSN 2051-9362. Read the digital version online by clicking the current edition image at distribute either hard copies or digital versions on a website, via email or anywhere else without appropriate accreditation i.e. Source: OffComm News magazine. Reprints are available. The publisher is not responsible for the www.OffCommNews.com. Printed by HP, OffComm News is available in print quarterly by endorsement for products, services or opinion offered, nor any subsequent effects relating to accuracy, goodwill, subscription only. subscriptions ©OffComm News ~ Digital Spring 2014 are free. Advertising: George@CTLD.me www.OffCommNews.com 3 substantiations or consequential outcomes relating to news, features or advertisements. Cover image: csp5608104 Editorial & Subscriptions: Editor@OffcommNews.com Tel: 44 (0)203 239 1777


The Quarterly Marketplace Roundup ...New builds... refurbishments... executive appointments... Stay up to date with the market on these pages in every issue...

US$1.1b order from Transocean to build five jackup rigs, options for five more Keppel FELS Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, has secured a repeat order from a subsidiary of Transocean Ltd to build five KFELS Super B Class jackup rigs for US$1.1 billion. The rigs are scheduled to be delivered progressively from 1Q 2016 to 3Q 2017. Transocean has options to build up to another five similar jackup rigs with Keppel FELS.

Prosafe orders two accommodation vessels Prosafe has agreed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with COSCO (Qidong) Offshore Co. Ltd. for the engineering, procurement and construction of two semisubmersible accommodation vessels, with options for four further units. Equipped with 500 beds, the vessels will be the most advanced and flexible units for worldwide operations excluding Norway, and will be ready for operations in 2016. The LoI covers two potential contracts, each in excess of US$200 million. The vessels will be financed through cash flow from operations, existing debt facilities and new debt commitments.

ASC Signal secures major HF antenna order in China ShenTai International Company, one of Asia’s leading providers of HF radio systems, has placed a major contract with ASC Signal Corporation for the design, construction and delivery of its HF antenna infrastructure project. Under the agreement, ASC will provide, among other components, 60 of the company’s Model 3794 for coastal communications systems used by the government in China. ASC’s Model 3794, one of 26 HF antennas in ASC’s product line, provides high-power area coverage transmission, particularly suited to ship-to-shore, ground- to- air and HF broadc ast applications. The broad frequency range permits use of the optimum frequency for any distance, while the radiation patterns are suitable for sky-wave propagation at medium and low ranges, sup ple men te d by gr ou nd - wa ve propagation at short ranges.

Marlink fleet communication services for Neste Oil Marlink is busy installing new VSAT antennas on all eight Neste Oil vessels whilst migrating the fleet to the iDirect platform. Neste Oil, an oil refining and marketing company, has upgraded its network and onboard satellite hardware as part of an extension of VSAT services. Marlink’s customized Sealink VSAT services feature multibearer support and @SEAoptimizer, which is designed to enhance the efficiency of satellite data communications, optimise bandwidth utilisation and enhance the performance of web browsing and file transfers.

Marlink to provide services to Neste Oil vessels

The move to the iDirect shared platform ensures sufficient bandwidth for vessel operations and crew welfare, whilst providing competitive airtime rates and link stability.

Four Neste Oils vessels will have a dual antenna set up onboard, to ensure uninterrupted communication during complex manoeuvres where superstructures on board may block line of sight to the satellite. This approach provides uninterrupted connectivity that can support safety and efficiency during operations where continuous communication with the shore office is required.

©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014

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Who’s Who News in Brief Aquaterra Energy has opened a new office in Stavanger and appointed Arne Harald Egge as sales manager. Transocean Ltd welcomes Lars Sjobring as senior vice president and general counsel. Oil States International Inc has appointed Bradley Dodson to serve as chief executive officer of its accommodations business upon completion of planned spinoff. BP has appointed Richard Herbert as head of exploration. He succeeds Mike Daly who retired at the end of 2013 after a 28 year career at the company. Seadrill has announced that David Sneddon will succeed Robert Hingley-Wilson as senior vic e president and c hie f accounting officer of Seadrill Management Limited. Operating across five continents, Seadrill’s fleet c omprises 69 units including new builds under construction. Børge Brende has resigned as a member of the board of directors, at Statoil ASA, to take up a role as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Nor wegian government. Lundin Petroleum AB has appointed Paul Atkinson as general manager for Malaysia and managing director for its South East Asia business. Rosetta Resources Inc, an independent exploration and produc ti on c om pa ny , h as welcomed Holli C. Ladhani to its Board of Directors. Ensco plc told OffComm News that its Chairman, President and CEO Dan Rabun, has decided to retire after nearly eight years of service. Rabun will continue to serve until a new CEO is found.

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The Quarterly Marketplace Roundup HTS revenues to offset FSS C/Ku losses Concern has been raised throughout the satellite industry that the vast amount of new HTS (High Throughput Satellite) supply coming to market*, will swamp existing C- and Ku-band transponder demand leading to a global drop in C/ Ku pricing and negatively impact revenues for legacy FSS services. Recent research from NSR concurs that some existing C- and Ku-band transponder demand (for applications like backhaul, trunking and VSAT networking) will suffer in the coming years due to the arrival of new HTS systems. There will also be significant transponder price pressure for certain applications and/or satellites if some operators try to compete using classic C/Ku transponders on a pure price basis with the new HTS capacity. NSR also argues, based on data from its Global Assessment of Satellite Supply & Demand 10th Edition’ study, that net/net the migration to HTS services is advantageous to the satellite industry in terms of real revenue gain in the coming ten years. *Forecasted to increase by 1.5Tbps by 2022. Source: NSR

Dangerous locations certified for Class 1 Div 1 wireless monitoring FreeWave Technologies, an industrial grade secure M2M wireless networking company, has just released WaveLine 10i for reliable and secure wireless communications in high-risk, industrial environments such as oil & gas. Class 1 Division 1 certified, it provides high performance wireless I/O networking that is ideal for use for applications in hazardous environments. By integrating wireless I/O into small field networks, medium plant operations, and large SCADA systems, operators can receive wireless sensor measurements, physical control and communications between remote controllers from a single device.

©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014

Hunter Communications enters market as Industry Canada decides on satellite licensing Hunter Communications Inc. has entered the Canadi an sa tellite market, applauding the decision of Industry Canada to create a more level playing field for satellite services between foreign and local satellite operators. The Satmex 5 satellite, which will be supplemented with additional capacity on Satmex 7 in a couple of years, has been positioned to serve North America with an emphasis on northern Canada, where capacity has been scarce and expensive.

Industry’s first 100Mbps VSAT service with TDMA technology OmniAccess S.L., a marine VSAT provider for super yachts and boutique cruiselines, has launched a 100Mbps dedicated VSAT service for customers across the Caribbean and Mediterranean. The upgraded Broadbeam Ultra variant is based on iDirect’s next-generation X7 modem platform and XipLink’s WAN optimisation appliance and is the latest addition to its high throughput Broadbeam VSAT service plans. It has been engineered to meet requirements for bandwidth hungry applications and IPTV streaming.

Large media files to vessels by end 2013 KVH’s IP-MobileCast™ content delivery service is designed to use advanced multicasting and error correction technologies to deliver large multimedia files via the mini-VSAT broadband network to subscribing vessels. It delivers licensed content such as movies, TV programs, news, and sports to vessels where operators must adhere to stringent copyright regulations and provide crew welfare benefits as outlined in the recently implemented MLC-2006 maritime regulations.

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Who’s Who News in Brief Redline Communications’ board of directors will be one short at the next meeting. Due to a nasty sounding back injury, Eric Melka has resigned. He was also CEO of the company but stepped down in the summer of 2013 for the same reason. Anver Anderson has been named chief sales officer at Signalhorn. Additionally, Richard Minter has been named chief operating officer, overseeing the company’s engineering and operations in the global provision of network services and communications solutions. The GSMA has elected Telenor’s President and CEO, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, to serve as GSMA Chairman for the remainder of the current term (to end 2014). The GSMA represents nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators. RigNet, Inc, a global provider of m a n a g e d r e m o t e communications to the oil and gas industry, has elected Mattia Caprioli to its board of directors. The data networking solutions p r o v i de r , B r a n d - R e x , h a s appointed Andrew Black to the position of technical marketing manager at its HQ in Scotland. Norsat International Inc, a communications solu tions provider of transmission of data, audio and video for remote and challenging applications, has promoted Ken Broom to general manager of its Sinclair division. The Board at Qatari marine company, Nakilat, which has the largest LNG shipping fleet in the world, has appointed Eng. Abdullah Fadhalah Al Sulaiti as ma na gi ng d irec tor , wi th Muhammad Ghannam joining him as the office expert.

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Comms news

SuperMajor Oil Company Selects Redline for Field Wireless Networking Provider of wireless broadband for M2M communications, Redline Communications Group Inc’s portfolio of Virtual Fiber™ rugged, wireless broadband network systems has been selected by one of the five largest publicly owned global oil and gas companies, collectively known as the ‘supermajors’, for its oilfield wide area networks. The oil and gas industry has some unique challenges that add complexities to building high-speed networks. These challenges include the terrain, topography and environment of oilfields, which can be found in hot arid deserts, subzero arctic mountains, humid rainforests, and offshore in deep water. Within these fields, equipment must withstand anything nature can throw at it, continuing to operate reliably in sandstorms, hurricanes and blizzards.

Redline equipment thrives in temperatures ranging -40˚F to +167˚F (-40°C to +75°C). Restrictions Operating internationally, the client must also deal with a vast array of regulations governing the use of licensed and unlicensed spectrum, which vary from country to country. As Redline’s equipment is built on its recently announced Universal Wireless Transport™ platform, the same network equipment can be deployed anywhere in the world, operating on the optimal frequency to meet both networking requirements and local government restrictions. The service offers oil & gas customers the range, speed and lowest latency of any other similar wireless system, operating more like fibre optic networks which are too costly and impractical for most oil and gas applications.

©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014

These network attributes mean Redline equipment can be used for a wide range of applications in the oilfield, including the expanding use of M2M in enhanced oil recovery operations, SCADA networks, realtime video surveillance and video collaboration, as well as traditional data and voice communications.

BW Selects KVH mini VSAT Broadband for Fleet Communications BW Group, a leading global maritime organisation in oil and gas transportation and deepwater production, has chosen KVH Industries Inc to provide satellite communications for its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) fleet.

VSAT system very simple and fast to deploy. We managed to deploy 15 vessels in just one quarter. This would be impossible with larger Cband-only domes,” she said.

New Radio Connectivity Family Cornet Technology Inc, a provider of secure/non-secure voice, video, and data communication solutions, has unveiled a new product family, the TVCS InterConnect. Available now, the TVCS InterConnect 120 delivers extensive radio spectrum interoperability with a wide range of cellular, satellite, landline, and VoIP channels, solving incompatibility of legacy systems. The product line enables voice communications and conferencing among the widest variety of communication devices giving diverse emergency management responders or manoeuvre units and special operation forces the ability to exchange information for situation awareness and mission accomplishment.

Image courtesy of BW Maritime Pte Ltd

BW will equip 20 of its vessels with KVH’s dual-mode TracPhone V11-IP onboard satellite communications system and mini-VSAT Broadband service for always-on broadband connectivity. Geraldine Pang, vice president, information technology, BW Maritime said: “The system provides a reliable network and some hardware redundancy as both Cand Ku-band can operate independently. This is important for business continuity.” Up and running in a quarter “Beyond technological considerations, it is important to work with a company that designs, manufactures, and operates both the hardware and network as this reduces communications complexities. The simplicity of a single dome and an extremely compact below decks unit that includes everything makes the KVH

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VoIP and recording facilities Scalable, the TVCS InterConnect 120 can grow from a single radio card that handles 4 radio connections to 12 cards that offer a combined 48 radio connections. Additionally, the unit provides a voice gateway with 64 VoIP connections and 4 T1/E1 connections incorporated into its controller card. Besides the radio cards, the chassis can accept a variety of network interface cards including: FXS, FXO, GSM/CDMA, E&M, and Magneto. Rugged enough to withstand mobile requirements, it also offers an internal recording capability that captures communications and enables replay on demand.

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Comms news

Satcom1 as Distributor for Aviation Market Inmarsat, the provider of mobile satellite communications services, and Honeywell Aerospace confirm that aeronautical satellite communications solution provider, Satcom1, will deliver GX Aviation to VIP, government and business aircraft across the globe. GX Aviation enables business aviation aircraft with exceptional broadband speeds, data rates and bandwidth.

With GX, business aircraft owners and operators will have global, high speed and reliable broadband connectivity through Inmarsat’s wholly owned and operated Ka-band satellites and ground networks. The formal agreement is between Satcom1 and Honeywell, the designated business aviation reseller for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Ka-band connectivity services. Miranda Mills, president of aviation at Inmarsat said: “It’s an exciting time to be a part of the in-flight connectivity market. GX will offer operators the first high-speed, globally available and reliable inflight global connectivity service. The operational and cost benefits to aircraft operators will be significant. With its strong background in aeronautical satellite communications, Satcom1 is the ideal partner to promote the benefits of GX to business aviation operators around the globe.” The combined GX Aviation network and hardware is scheduled to be commercially available in early 2015, providing high speed broadband services with complete global coverage for all aircraft requirements, both in the cockpit and the cabin.

©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014

Iridium Awarded US$400m Defense Contract Iridium Communications Inc. has been awarded a US$400 million, multi-year, fixed-price contract with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to provide satellite airtime services to meet the communications needs of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and its federal partners. This five-year contract renews the provision for delivering Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) airtime. Iridium will provide unlimited global secure and unsecure voice, low and high-speed data, paging and Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS) services for an unlimited number of DoD and other federal government subscribers. Enhanced services will become available with Iridium NEXT, the company's next generation satellite constellation which is scheduled for first launch in early 2015.

Quicker Development & Lower Costs for Satellite Terminal Developers

the maritime, land mobile and aeronautical markets. The VIPturbo module supports circuit switched voice, fax, and GmPRS with standard IP with speeds up to 444 kbps and streaming IP speeds up to 384 kbps. “Thuraya’s partnership with SRT Wireless demonstrates our commitment to collaborating with the industry’s leading developers to innovate the product development process. The VIPturbo Module enables our product developers to considerably shorten their product development process to produce high quality terminals at a lower cost. This will result in end-users having a wider variety of terminals to address their vertical sector needs,” said Randy Roberts, Vice President of Innovation at Thuraya.

AST Acquires Wright Satellite Connections A recent acquisition has reinforced AST’s Pacific footprint, expanding its global reach and ability to service this vast region. The company has increased its shareholding position of Wright Satellite Connections, (WSC) based in Wellington, New Zealand, from 49% to 75%. The integration is part of AST’s long term strategy, reinforcing its leading role in the global MSS industry. WSC provides mobile satellite communications to defence, maritime, civil defence and other organisations for use around the world, with strengths in end to end solutions covering, hardware, airtime connections, and encryption.

Thuraya, a mobile satellite services operator, and SRT Wireless, have made available the Thuraya VIPturbo Module. Developed by SRT Wireless, the VIPturbo Module can serve as the engine for new broadband terminals for the Thuraya satellite network. Manufacturers can integrate modules into new satellite terminals to reduce R&D timelines and manufacturing costs. It is currently being used to develop terminals for

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Image: Joanne Zh Dreamstime.com

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Trio Sign Capacity Deals to Connect Remote Oil & Gas Well Sites

GDS, SES & Stallion ally to meet connectivity demands in the oil and gas sector

With oil and gas exploration and production accelerating across North America, Stallion Oilfield Services, Global Data Services, and global satellite operator SES have signed a set of satellite capacity agreements to deliver high-speed broadband and communications services to remote inland oil and gas drilling operations throughout the United States. The trio of providers is utilizing more than a full transponder of Ku-band capacity aboard SES’ AMC-9 satellite along with GDS’ full scale network infrastructure and Stallion’s broad range of wellsite support services to enable mission critical oil and gas operations across the nation. The satellite-delivered connectivity is enabling a broad range of communications capabilities, from corporate VPN and MPLS solutions to high speed Internet access and real -time wellsite data monitoring. GDS operates an extensive communications network, including its state-of-the-art teleport, data centre, and network operations centre located at GDS’ headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, fully capable of delivering corporate voice, video, and data solutions. SES operates a growing global fleet of 54 satellites, including its AMC-9 spacecraft that has long played an instrumental role in connecting oil and gas operations throughout the Gulf of Mexico and North America. Stallion provides a comprehensive suite of services, from wellsite and road construction to workforce accommodations and communications.

©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014

Our partnership with GDS and Stallion is all about enabling the delivery of internet, voice and real-time data to and from some of the most isolated locations anywhere. John Matlaga, VP Mobility & Enterprise Services, North America, SES

“Global Data Systems customizes network solutions to meet the technical and environmental challenges faced every day in the oil and gas market,” said Chris Vincent, CEO and president of Global Data Systems. “Our alliance with Stallion and SES is aimed at enabling Stallion Oilfield Services and a diverse group of oil and gas companies to innovate and do what they do best without having to think about connectivity in some of the remotest, harshest locations on earth,” noted Vincent. “With the reach and reliability of SES satellites combined with our ground infrastructure and network expertise, we can turn virtually any ambition in the oil and gas field into reality.” “You never know what the next challenge is going to be in our industry. We must have flexibility and reliability in our communications platform, and that’s what Global Data Systems and SES deliver consistently. The partnership allows us to innovate and consistently bring value-added communication products to our customers,” explained Pedro Buhigas, CIO for Stallion.

“This partnership is capable of covering North America and beyond, including remote oil and gas exploration and production sites where connectivity can make all the difference.”

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Image courtesy of Space Systems/Loral

©OffComm News News ~~ Spring Spring 2014 2014 ©OffComm

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Changing the Conversation of Satellite Business

Satellite associations news

The modern satellite business is well and truly off the launch pad. The end of 2013 marked this with the emergence of two new campaigns. Forming new alliances with global industry trade associations, the Society of Satellite Professionals International has launched a campaign to change the conversation about the satellite business. Labelled, the Industr y Me ssage Summit, the objective is to focus on the industry’s striking contributions to human welfare, safety and prosperity around the world, a sentiment shared by all of us here at OffComm News. The alliance of industry associations, including the European Satellite Operators’ Association (Brussels), Global VSAT Forum (London) and Satell ite I nd us try A s soci ation (Washington, DC), will drive the rebuilding of the ‘satellite brand’ in support of the industry’s growth.

Big Goals “This alliance has set a big goal. And that is to refresh the image of one of the wo rld’ s mo st e sse ntial technologies, which has such profound impact at the human level,” said SSPI executive director Robert Bell. “In the long term, the priority is to change how we, as a global industry, view ourselves and collectively determine how to communicate our vitality, economic, and social significance to those who can benefit from it.” The associations believe that this lack of recognition among consumers, business people and government leaders has had tangible and negative impact. Satellite operators battle to maintain their spectrum against a mobile industry which is known to

©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014 Image: Liravega

every person with a phone. As a result, there are missed opportunities to help governments extend broadband coverage and improve education and healthcare.

“From a business perspective, many of the new markets we serve perceive satellite as the last resort for communications. We are not that . But if you do not know about us, or understand our strength, you will look elsewhere,” noted Bell. More information www.sia.org

The European Professional Satellite Association A round table discussion (pictured), during the EUsatcom conference in June 2013 in Amsterda m, between satel lite colleagues highlighted a need for professionalization and networking in the European satellite industry.

Now, half a year later, EUsatcom is establishing itself as the European Professional Satellite Association. The main activities of the new association will focus around satellite content driven events ~ like the yearly conference and the Innovation Awards (Sept 8th) in Amsterdam ~ as well as a series of European Roadshow events. The objectives of the organisation include: Promote all aspects of the satellite industry across Europe with the endorsement of the major players; Stimulate the continued professional development of European satellite professionals through educational and networking initiatives; Actively seek to promote and encourage the entry of young professionals; Organize and support events in Europe to promote the distribution of knowledge of new technologies and practices within the satellite industry; and to create an alliance of satellite professional groups and associations within the arena. Membership is open for individual satellite professionals & satellite companies. www.eusatcom.net

The roundtable discussion that kick-started the European Professional Satellite Association during the EUsatcom conference in June 2013, Amsterdam

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Analysts View: HTS Growth Latest market-size estimates project that global HTS demand will hit 451Gbps in 2018 on a supply of 1.6Tbps. Add the separate, market-vertical constellations, and we could be facing another 67Gbps of global demand on 240Gbps of MEO-HTS* supply by 2018. Patrick French, NSR, explains in more detail. Breadth of Applications “What has changed in the last several years is the breadth of Patrick French, applications and Northern Sky Research services that are now being targeted for HTS and MEOHTS capacity,” proffers Patrick M. French, NSR’s senior analyst and report author.

“However impressive the satellite industry’s rush to develop the HTS market, it is less the Gbps of demand that’s important than the dollars in revenues that these new services are expected to generate.”

Drilling into the details of when and where open HTS architectures vs. closed architectures are more relevant; how coverage issues of HTS payloads impact addressability to different market verticals; and why choice of frequency band for the HTS service may or may not factor into quality of service considerations ~ all have a bearing on making accurate and realistic market demand forecasts. The study forecasts that global HTS and MEO-HTS revenues will hit US$3.3 billion in wholesale capacity terms by 2022. “These are mainly net new revenues that will come from new services and applications addressable by HTS and MEO-HTS capacity rather than cannibalization of existing C/Ku FSS services as some have feared,” stated French.

The research firm asses how different types of HTS capacity are applicable to different market applications. Plus, the reality that not all HTS capacity will be priced the same means that revenue potential very muc h depends on the application as well as the regional market served. “A Mbps of HTS capacity sold for a global mobility service is priced very differently and brings a different value to the end client than a Mbps of HTS capacity used for a consumer broadband internet access service” explained French.

*Medium Earth Orbit

Information for this article extracted from NSR's report: Global Assessment of Satellite Supply and Demand, 10th Edition

Government of the Sultanate of Oman Gives BP the OK The Government of the Sultanate of Oman has signed agreements for developing the region’s Khazzan field, with BP as operator. “The signing is an important step in the Sultanate of Oman’s plans to meet growing demand for energy over the coming decades and to contribute to economic development in Oman,” said his Excellency Dr Mohammed Al Rumhy, minister of oil & gas of the Sultanate of Oman. The Khazzan project represents the first phase in the development of one of the Middle East region’s largest unconventional tight gas accumulations, which has the potential to be a major new source of gas supply for the country.

The

project is the largest new upstream project in the country and a pioneering development in the ©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014

region in unlocking technically challenging tight gas through technology. As well as providing additional energy supply for Oman, the project will generate wider and direct benefits with the development of Omani employees and delivering incountry val ue through the development of the local supply chain. Construction for the work, located in the South of Block 61, will begin in 2014. First gas is expected in late 2017. with a production plateau set for 2018. In total, the project is expected to develop around seven trillion cubic feet of gas, which will require BP to successfully deploy new technologies.

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Currently, BP is preparing for the full field development of Khazzan. Most recently, with the launch of its multiyear technic ians developme nt programme for Omani nationals that will qualify up to 150 technicians, to support the long term operations of the Khazzan project. BP is also investing in Omani capability development for graduates and mid-career staff.

Frost and Sullivan analysts recently informed OffComm News that the unified comms market, in the Middle East, is set to grow from US$370bn to US$680 in the next five years. 11


Event review

High Throughput Satellites

~ The London Roundtable

The two day forum of detailed discussions covering multiple facets of HTS as a game changer for satellite communications technology and services occurred at the Strand Palace Hotel, London, in December 2013. Martin Jarrold, Chief, international programme development at GVF, races us through the highlights. It all began with Chris Baugh, president of Northern Sky Research (NSR) delivering the opening keynote, ‘Defining the Satellite Broadband Market Eco-System: Present & Future Trends in HTS’ In his address, it was noted that the advent of the O3b Networks’ HTS satellite constellation necessitated another definition; that of MEO-HTS, being a medium earth orbit (MEO), low l a t e n c y s a t e ll i t e c o n s t e l l a t io n , comprising satellites that can use any frequency to provision a service and make use of frequency reuse and multiple spot beams to increase throughput and reduce the price per bit delivered. NSR’s analysis of the evolution of the HTS market, which forecasts an aggregate demand* increasing from a level of 62.6 Gpbs back in 2012, to 451.5 Gbps in 2018, and to 918.2 Gbps in 2022. When factoring-in MEO-HTS, total demand could reach 1 Tbps by 2022. By the same year total wholesale HTS & MEO-HTS revenues are expected to exceed US$3.3 billion, though based on capacity pricing being significantly differentiated by application. Baugh’s keynote also covered what he described as ‘Industry Bifurcation’. In the pre-HTS eco-system the C and Ku frequency bands were used for all satellite communications requirements whether for: media/linear TV/OTT in the consumer point-to-multipoint space; broadband access in the consumer point-to-point space; mission critical network control in the professional/point-to-multipoint space; and IP data/backhaul in the professional point-to-point space.

~ With HTS, this has changed to the extent that it may be most focused on the consumer point-to-point space of broadband access; as well as touching on consumer point-to-multipoint and professional point-to-point applications. A satellite operator session followed, featuring Intelsat, Inmarsat Global Xpress, Avanti Communications, O3b Networks, and Telenor. The session provided a comprehensive overview of exactly what HTS operators are providing, or planning and preparing to provide, using C, Ku and Ka band solutions. Speakers from Kymeta, Gilat Satellite Networks, iDirect, Brightday Engineering, Advantech Wireless, and Crystal Solutions examined both the in -orbit and ground angles, taking infrastructure, installation, antenna technology, user expectations, rain fade issues, and device portability to task in an engineering discussion. Contributing to the user verticals session, panellists from: C-COM Satellite Systems, Everard Solutions, Hermes Datacomms, MTN, SIS Live, and Gogo, characterised the needs of broadcast video & satellite news g a t h er in g (S N G ) , ae ro n au t ic a l , maritime, oil & gas, and NGOs as users of critical communications solutions for humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery situations.

~

The second day opened with a joint keynote from the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Norwegian Space Centre. Michèle Le Saux, head of commercial ground segment section, and Alberto Ginesi, head of telecom and ESA TT&C system, addressed: The European Market & Technology Roadmap for HTS, covering market trends, R&D roadmaps, and commercial development examples. Of particular note, regarding connection with capacity vs. revenue growth, it was stressed that the advent of HTS should result in more GHz leased at a lower price; also that datadriven growth should support this trend; and that larger capacity volumes should be required to maintain revenue growth. An OEM session investigated the latest initiatives and developments from leading manufacturers of the terminal and antenna technologies that comprise the foundation of networks that facilitate access to in-orbit HTS assets. Contributing organisations included Kymeta, Comtech EF Data, Gilat Satellite Networks; and, Newtec. To conclude, a ground infrastructure session, with Inmarsat Global Xpress, C -COM Satellite Systems, Cobham SATCOM, Sematron, and SkyWare Technologies. The principal focus was the evolutionary dynamics of products comprising the ‘ground segment’, most particularly the antenna component: antenna technologies; application/market specific antenna design; and, device portability in the COTM/COTP space.

* In respect of such applications as broadband access, backhaul, VSAT, trunking, mobility, government, military, SNG, DTH, and distribution.

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Opinion: Satellite M2M for remote comms

IoT and M2M

The names may change but the role of satellite communications remains the same. M2M is the hot topic in the telecoms industry. Its ability to monitor, track and manage assets and people is now widely recognised. But while M2M is the current darling of the big mobile providers, it has long been bread and butter for leading mobile satellite service providers. Gavan Murphy, director of marketing for EMEA and LatAm at Globalstar explains how users can get the best of both worlds with hybrid solutions.

M2M has already proven to be an effective way to optimise the remote management of oil and gas pipelines and can reduce or eliminate the need to send a crew to an inhospitable location. It is revolutionary for fault localisation, helping engineers more swiftly zero in on a problem that needs to be fixed, rather than expensively hunting what might otherwise be a needle in a haystack. Satellite communications, once perceived as expensive, dependent on equipment (and the weather), and too complex to integrate with customer applications, is increasingly the technology of choice for providers of oil and gas and other energies. Because of their ubiquity and hyperavailability, e ve n in e xtre me environmental conditions, satellitepowered M2M allows organisations to reach beyond terrestrial networks. They effectively bolt on extra coverage, reaching deep into remote and often hostile locations, as well as acting as back -up to mitigate against land and mobile network outages and overloading. Specifically, it’s the fleet of satellites traversing the globe in low earth orbit (LEO) that can deliver the most reliable service. It’s simple physics: with LEO, because the satellites are moving relative to the planet, there are fewer handoffs for calls or transmissions.

©OffComm News ~ Spring 20142014 ©OffComm News ~ Spring

Getting on with the job When a LEO satellite picks up a signal, it ‘hand delivers’ it directly to a gateway. As anyone who comes from a traditional telco background will attest, the fewer handoffs, the more reliably your call or M2M tracking signal will get through. And while geostationary players argue about the effects of weather, smaller LEO satellites are getting on with the job.

But the story is different in areas where mobile network coverage is patchy, or in geographies like North Africa, the Nordics and deep into the Eurasian landmass, where it is often non-existent.

For simplex M2M messaging, we can pr ac tic ally talk about complete transmission success ~ since more than one satellite is in range at every point. With our LEO network for example, at every point of a pipeline’s route, there are three satellites in range, ensuring ample redundancy.

Now we see great possibilities for hybrid solutions that combine LEO satellite with GSM & GPRS

Today’s oil and gas customers, as well as providers of alternative energy solutions and other players needing to communicate with staff remotely and track assets, all can take advantage of reliable, cost-effective LEO satellite services with small, user-friendly, lowpower devices.

The big GSM/ mobile providers have been loudly publicising their achievements and their capabilities in M2M ~ and with good reason. The large blue-chip players are developing M2M services, and forming heavyweight partnerships, with an eye on the virtually endless commercial possibilities and applications in areas with good infrastructure.

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To stay connected from anywhere in these thousands of kilometres of terrain, as well as at sea, satellite communications is needed to complement mobile.

This dual approach takes advantage of low-cost cellular where it is available but ensures redundancy and reliability by complementing it with satellite’s incomparable reach. The key enabler is the chip in the device. If you develop a chip small enough, it can be very cost-effectively integrated in dualfrequency tracking and monitoring devices. Hybrid or satellite-only, the flexibility and usability of devices is critical. M2M devices need to be truly customisable so they can be programmed to ensure the right messages get to the right recipients in the most reliable and understandable way possible. So in our view, M2M is the latest label for what we have been doing for years. And this term may soon be superseded by the newer moniker, the internet of things (IoT). Thus, while the names may change, the role of satellite communications remains the same: A critical component for complete coverage.

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News

Advanced remote support contract for 24/7 remote monitoring and maintenance of jackup rig JB-118 In 2012 Imtech Marine completed the equipment installation on board the newbuild self-elevating platform JB-118. From there, the company started remotely monitoring the jackup rig. Today, the remote support services comprise the VSAT network, the ICT network, PABX central telephone system and the total navigation, communication and entertainment package, including IPTV and satellite television. Because the barges are often working offshore for many weeks at a time it is vital that any problems can be sorted out remotely. This agreement also includes remote ICT system management for when the crew changes and there are requirements for email accounts, file server changes, login passwords etc.

Frank Berends, global manager remote services, said: “Our aim is to eliminate all surprises with remote support, and thus reducing maintenance costs by remote monitoring. Imtech’s GTAC (Global Technical Assistance Centre) provides all the resources for that, including three 24/7 remote control rooms in Rotterdam, Houston and Singapore. Jack-Up Barge has given us the freedom and the trust to get the job done.

the North Sea for a period of four months. Because of this task, Imtech Marine received an expansion order for the network, telephone, entertainment and PA/GA system.

“Since we started to provide remote monitoring and maintenance for the JB-117 one and a half years ago, maintenance attendances to the barge have been reduced substantially.”

Hugo Cramer, technical manager Jack-Up Barge commented: “The JB117 is working on a three year contract on a wind farm in the North Sea. With 24/7 support and remote monitoring, diagnostics and maintenance included, we are able to improve reliability of vital installations and reduce the maintenance costs by avoiding unplanned service calls. Monitoring the condition of the system remotely ensures us of continuity of operation.”

Continuity and crew welfare

“Jack-Up Barge also recognises

Jackup Barge is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Self Elevating Platforms for both the energy and heavy civil construction markets. The first job for the JB-118 is to function as an accommodation platform in

that access to television and the internet is very important for crew welfare. The crews work hard on long shifts and need to be able to relax.”

Damen sets the pace with Walk-to-Work vessels Damen Shipyards has unveiled a completely new Wind Farm Service Vessel (WSV) to support and accommodate turbine maintenance crews at sea and allow them to ‘Walk-to-Work’. After industry-wide consultation, the vessel has been designed from first principles to provide on-site work facilities and accommodation for 45 maintenance personnel plus 15 crew for voyages of up to one month.

“There is a growing trend for wind turbines to be located further from shore,” said Peter Robert, Damen’s business development manager for offshore wind. “At distances greater than 30 nautical miles, maintenance crew transfer from shore within one day becomes both impractical and costly.” The WSV includes a telescopic, motion-compensated gangway enabling each three-man maintenance team to walk quickly and safely between the vessel and the turbine. Designed for the transfer of 12 service personnel, 21 of these purpose-built craft have already been delivered and four more have been sold over the last 25 months. Damen is building more for stock to shorten delivery times.

©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014 Image: Zeli | Dreamstime.com

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Robert said that the new vessel will adhere to the company’s ‘E3’ commitment to deliver vessels that are environmentally friendly, efficient in operation and economically viable. “This vessel has been designed to meet our aims of serving the needs of the planet, the people working and living on it and those of the owner to make a healthy profit,” he says. Special attention has been paid to interiors and onboard service space layout. Public spaces have been mapped for efficient workflows and storage, while 60 single occupancy cabins, a fitness centre as well as internet and movie services to help those working and living at sea.

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Case study

ABB Wireless Network Improves Efficiency for PotashCorp Mine ABB Tropos Wireless Communication Systems deploys an outdoor network for White Springs Agricultural Chemicals Inc’s 100,000 acre mining operation, USA.

The ABB Tropos broadband network will transport telemetry data from mining and process equipment to the facility’s operations centre, enabling PotashCorp White Springs to vastly increase efficiency, equipment uptime and worker safety challenges. PotashCorp is the world’s largest crop nutrient company and plays an integral role in global food production. The White Springs location operates around the clock producing phosphate products for agricultural and industrial uses, employing more than 700 people to operate its phosphate mine and two chemical plants.

©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014

To improve operational efficiency and safety, managers at the White Springs plant needed near realtime access to data from the mining pit. In addition, video in the pit was needed for analysis of the amount of material being mined and to aid operations in the planning of transporting materials from the pit to the processing plant. Also, the ability to monitor real-time video remotely would enable managers to ensure safety protocols were being followed. The ABB Tropos broadband network solved these issues providing mine personnel with the visibility they need for up -to-the minute mine status. M o re o ve r , c r i t ic a l to t h e production flow are early problem detectio n and aler ts for preventative maintenance. Data stored locally and downloaded periodically limited the ability for operations personnel to detect equipment problems. Now, the ABB Tropos Wireless network monitors draglines and other in-pit equipment in realtime, providing telemetry data which is collected and analyzed to recommend scheduled maintenance for the equipment and ensure it is operating within set parameters, minimizing downtime. Travel time has also been reduced since the pit team can remain with the draglines while sending information to operations quickly and reliably, increasing produc tivity and improving safety.

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The Tropos equipment and software provides the cost~ effectiveness, mobility support, and ease of deployment that we require." Equipped with over 20 Tropos mesh routers installed at the mining site, the ABB Tropos wireless network will relay voice and data information with plans to use more nodes to track equipment in the pit. Moreover, due to the robustness and low latenc y of the network ~ operating in a harsh environment including vibration, heat and dust ~ additional video cameras are planned for security and near realtime monitoring of processes. "Efficient and safe operations are paramount to PotashCorp ~ White Springs," said T om Aye r s, president and chief executive officer, Tropos Networks. "Our technology promotes worker safety through real-time video surveillance, remote location reliability and enhanced security. We’re pleased that our robust ABB Tropos network could solve PotashCorp ~ White Springs’ challenges of achieving near-real time operational status throughout their vast mining site."

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The CEO Interview

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Diary Dates

Where Technology & Energy Connect

27 – 28 January 2014

25 – 28 March 2014

SmartFields Summit 2014 Houston, Texas

Offshore Technology Conference ASIA, Kuala Lumpur http://www.otcasia.org/2014/

www.theenergyexchange.co.uk/event/smart-fields-summit-2014

The Energy Exchanges’ Smart Fields Summit will gather the leaders in the world of the digital oilfield so you can understand how to chart your path to smart oil and gas field optimisation and unlock the full value of your assets. As energy companies drill deeper and hunt in more remote regions and difficult deposits, they are banking on IT to boost production. Organisations must build the foundation for the smart oil and gas field now or they will be left unable to integrate new petroleum technologies into their systems and therefore benefit from the value of the smart oil and gas field.

26-27 February 2014 6th Annual SCADA Asia Summit Singapore www.scadasummit.com

The inaugural OTC Asia, organised by 13 sponsoring societies, will bring industry professionals to Asia’s oil and gas hub to meet, share knowledge, and discover cutting-edge technologies. OTC Asia is a must-attend event, offering a peer-selected technical programme which focuses on the full spectrum of offshore technology in drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection.

13 – 14 April 2014 Intelligent Oil Fields Summit Al-Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia http://gkc-group.com/#!portfolioitem/iof/

SCADA Asia will capture recent trends in power transmission, O & G (which is process critical) and other utilities (streamed for the first time) SCADA Asia will be introducing, for the first time, Cyberphysical security in the region and will run a focused workshop on countering black hat threats in securing physical assets. SCADA Asia will feature 12 case studies from different industries/countries.

At present, the digital oil fields concept is helping oil and gas companies drive offshore innovation and optimization along with operational benefits for onshore activities and pipeline management integrity. Improved wireless technologies and data analysis are helping oil producers across the world for efficient oil production. It will focus on sustainable development of digitalization, automation, and monitoring of oil fields in Middle East.

19 – 20 March 2014

28 – 29 April 2014

Oil & Gas Telecommunications London, UK

M2M for Oil & Gas London, UK

www.smi-online.co.uk/energy/uk/ conference/oil-gas-satellite-communications

www.smi-online.co.uk/utility/uk/ conference/M2M-for-the-Oil-and-Gas-Industry

To satisfy the world’s increasing thirst for energy, oil & gas companies must access new hydrocarbon sources wherever they are – in remote and hazardous operating environments. Their success lies in minimising operational risks and leveraging existing assets while boosting effectiveness, reliability and productivity. This requires a transformation in the way operations are managed: one enabled by a dynamic communication network infrastructure. This, the 6th annual SMI conference, focuses on all aspects from initial exploration through to extraction, transport and processes with case studies delivered by senior industry decision makers from global oil & gas companies.

This conference will address how the industry is overcoming the challenges of managing, monitoring and controlling assets and processes through new automation and communication technologies. From hostile regions, remote locations, unmanned environments and coping with disruptive weather conditions, to monitoring well sites, pipeline performance, worksites, field personnel and data collection; the programme will enable stakeholders to further understand current technologies and how new solutions can increase operational efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, enhance safety & centralise control.

Events for quality global networking & real live innovation ©OffComm News ~ Spring 2014

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Opinion

Placing Intelligence at the Network Edge A simple idea ~ and one that's increasingly vital for the business efficiency of all companies involved in the exploration and production of natural resources. The result, however, is an increasingly complex communications landscape with multiple suppliers delivering multiple services across multiple sites. Roger Mandeville, at Datasat Communications, discusses how an organisation can ensure the quality of service it needs while minimising the management overhead involved. There's little doubt that the days of simple SCADA-based monitoring and basic voice and data access at remote sites are a long way behind us. The rate of advances in mine automation are astounding. A team thousands of miles away can now study real time video footage to determine exactly where to drill. Event or alert-based CCTV networks are commonplace to improve both asset and people protection.

a back up for fibre and other connectivity options for remote sites. It can also offer bandwidth sharing across multiple site locations and provide a single point connection for internet, voice and other services.

Last Mile Remains Cumbersome

This only adds to the fact that the variety of options are expanding, as are the number of suppliers there to deliver such solutions for the different requirements of remote sites.

Technology suppliers have, for years, talked about the need to extend the corporate network into the remote site. We are quickly reaching just that situation. In the Oil and Gas sector, the 'Digital Oil Field' may not yet quite be a reality but the capability to deliver rich, real time data for improved operational efficiencies and decision-making is with us today.

Many organisations are now managing a growing portfolio of communications suppliers delivering individual network services. The inherent problem is not only the hidden costs associated with this, but the need to interface a variety of equipment and then manage all the suppliers involved with it.

Yet that doesn't mean we've solved the last mile connectivity challenge on which the remote communications industry has been built. Almost the opposite.

Service failure can be frustrating and costly when trying to establish the cause and whose responsibility it is for resolution. Let's take an example. A mining company has multiple sites. It manages its communications on a site by site basis. As each new site comes online, it selects a range of local suppliers. This may be expedient and cost-effective in the short term but the scenario soon becomes overly complex to manage. (see page 19 for a case study.)

We've developed new technologies to meet our needs. WiFi, WiMax, microwave, and cellular have all joined our old faithful, satellite. Satellite itself has been given a shot in the arm with increased throughput and bandwidth at a reduced cost. Even fibre is getting in on the act. All to support a growing number of intelligent end-point devices at the network edge. Although satellite is regarded as a shrinking market with the increasing installation of fibre, it is still a hugely viable option for providing reliable communications and it is often used as

ŠOffComm News ~ Spring 2014

If we accept that the last mile connection will involve multiple technologies, we're adding more layers of complexity and becoming over-reliant on the skills of local suppliers ~ which are likely to vary greatly site to site. This is a situation that can only ever result in a lack of resilience and increased costs by having to provide secondary >>>

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Remote Insight Report: Field Telecoms Page 31

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Top Teleport Operators 2013

Market Vendor Overview

systems to cover any potential failure in the prime connection. Moreover, the corporate communications strategy of the company cannot be consistently applied across its sites.

Remote communities ~ whether a business entity (a mining site or drilling platform), a village or a farming community all look to have their communications delivered in an effective, reliable and secure way. Once a site is connected the issue becomes one of service distribution and the addition of any site services required by individual users. Datasat Communications became aware of these requirements some time ago and, using its experience of the communications marketplace, has developed product offerings that cover many of the terrestrial requirements ~ such as internet distribution using 802.11 wireless, security and surveillance systems such as high definition camera and camera analytics, video distribution and voice services as well as support for access control & biometrics, and process & production management systems.

The development of these services has been driven by a recognition that an organisation cannot receive all its business, operational, production and workforce infotainment requirements from a single supplier. Instead it needs an ecosystem of complementary communications solutions that provides the capability for a single point of management. This gives the company only one supplier contact - and significantly reduces the day to day network management burden ~ while still retaining control of their network priorities and performance. Datasat Communications has developed close partnerships over the years with other communication companies in order to provide a comprehensive 'single source' communications solution for the natural resources industries. As increased focus is placed on remote management and automation, the need for high performance, reliable and cost-effective communications infrastructure is clear. Selecting a complete solution for a single communications supplier can't reduce the complexity of a modern remote network, but it can deliver real benefit in simplifying its management.

ŠOffComm News ~ Spring 2014

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The Independent Top 20

Ranks teleport operators based on revenue from all sources. Focus on the independent operators at the core of the business, excluding companies whose primary business is ownership and operation of a satellite fleet or terrestrial network. From the smallest to the largest: 1. Harris CapRock (USA) 2. GlobeCast (France) 3. TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (Government Services revenue) (USA) 4. Arqiva Broadcast & Media (UK) 5. Encompass Digital Media (USA) 6. Emerging Markets Communications (USA) 7. Globecomm (USA) 8. RRsat Global Communications (Israel) 9. Spacenet (USA) 10. Du (Emirates Integrated Telecom) (UAE) 11. Signalhorn Trusted Networks (Germany) 12. Essel Shyam Communication (India) 13. NewSat (Australia) 14. SatLink Communications (Israel) 15. CETel (Germany) 16. Axesat (Colombia) 17. CET Teleport (Germany) 18. Jordan Media City (Jordan) 19. NewCom International (USA) 20. STN (Slovenia)

The Global Top 20

Ranked by revenues from all customized communications sources including operators of teleports, satellite fleets and B2B fibre networks. In order from largest to smallest: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Intelsat S.A. (Luxembourg) SES (Luxembourg) Eutelsat (France) Telesat (Canada) Harris CapRock (USA) GlobeCast (France) EchoStar Satellite Services (USA) Arabsat (Saudi Arabia) TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (Government Services revenue) (USA) 10. Arqiva Broadcast & Media (UK) 11. Hispasat (Spain) 12. Encompass Digital Media (USA) 13. AsiaSat (China) 14. Thaicom Public Company Ltd (Thailand) 15. Emerging Markets Communications (USA) 16. SingTel Satellite (Singapore) 17. Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (Norway) 18. Globecomm (Services revenue) (USA) 19. RRsat Global Communications (Israel) 20. Gazprom Space Systems (Russia)

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FR EE D SU IGIT B W h SC AL E an ttp RIP D t : / / U O TIO ITIO we se ffCo goo bs thi m N . N g it s l/ m e t fo k o rm Ne w r3b us o s e a r v in z cre isit pri dit the nt? ca rd

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Connectivity has a direct impact on just about every corporate bottom line. Some business operations are conducted in highly challenging locations where a whole new spectrum of issues ~ and innovations ~ arise. OffComm News is the global magazine dedicated to exploring developments in communications destined for some of the remotest places on earth.

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REMOTE INSIGHT REPORT

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Insight Report

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Insight Report

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And finally...

App improves efficiency and safety for oil & gas workers TIRone, a key supplier to the Canadian oil & gas industry, has launched a mobile app to improve the safety of oil and gas contractors working in isolated and potentially hazardous locations.

the risks faced by workers include grizzly bear attacks.

The Easy ID app enables the efficient and effective monitoring of the whereabouts and safety of staff whilst also ensuring that workers have the correct certifications with which to operate. It is currently used by Unity Exploration in Canada, where

The user can then scan each employee’s ID tag, using the smartphone camera to read the QR code or, on suitably equipped handsets, by reading the NFC tag.

Developed by TIRone’s mobile technology partner Waterstons Ltd, the app allows a site manager or supervisor to quickly and easily ‘check-in’ a team of employees simply by using a smartphone.

upload the new data via a synchronisation process; if the location is out of service range, synchronisation can also be performed at a later date when an internet connection is available.

Once all employees have been scanned, users can

The data collected is readily available to users both onsite and at a head office location as it is stored in the cloud using Microsoft’s SQL Azure.

Use your cell phone like a satellite phone Commercially rolled out in 1995, the MSAT satellite constellation is a reliable and functional communications satellite constellation. The MSAT G2, available in terrestrial (fixed), marine and vehicular configurations, is the radio hardware that operates exclusively on the MSAT network. Assume that you have a fleet of trucks, vehicles or vessels all operating within an area bounded by Alaska to the North, Venezuela to the South, California to Nova Scotia and including all US coastal waters, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Let’s also assume that your fleet does not have sufficient access to either landline or cell phone service, making it a prime candidate for satellite communications. Finally, let’s assume that you’ve elected to link your fleet together by equipping each unit with the MSAT G2 satellite radio. The MSAT network also supports dispatch radio or push-to-talk (PTT) services. Dispatch radio uses the MSAT G2 to provide intercompany voice communications between members of your fleet. Functioning similarly to a VHF radio, but without the geographic limitations and static ridden transmissions, voice transmissions over dispatch radio are crystal clear, often more clear than talking on your cell phone.

Available exclusively on the MSAT satellite constellation, the MSAT G2 satellite radio provides flat rate, unlimited all you can eat intercompany voice communications service for a nominal, monthly charge. Another feature unique to dispatch radio is the ability to choose to communicate privately with just one location at a time. Or, you can select the broadcast mode option and speak with all company locations simultaneously. Add the optional dial -in feature and you can dial into a dispatch radio conversation from any landline or cell phone and enjoy the same flat rate benefits as if you were calling from another MSAT G2. In effect, your cell phone becomes a satellite phone.

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Spring 2014