Page 1

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem


CONTENTS 3

Welcome to the Ecosystem

5 6

The Future of Media on Satellite

8 9

Coming Up: The Next New Century Workforce Webinar

Reporting from the Heart of Disaster

Catch Up on Better Satellite World Videos

10

Satellite & The Ethics of Finding Aliens

Upcoming Events 6th Annual Mid-Atlantic Chapter Golf Outing, May 8, Reston, VA, USA. Click here for more information. Webinar: The First 100 Days - Turning New Hires into “Keepers�, May 9. Click here for more information. 2017 SSPI Northeast Chapter Golf Outing, June 28, Greenwich, CT, USA. Click here for more information. Learn more about upcoming events at www.SSPI.org

2

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem


Welcome to the Ecosystem By Robert Bell, Executive Director There is an ugly phrase in use by folks who write and talk about satellite. I for one would like to see it die a timely death. The phrase is “satellite is still relevant.” It usually comes at the end of a discussion of the latest disruptive trend, whether it is over-the-top in media, the continued expansion of fiber trunks to developing nations or 5G mobile service. “Still relevant” reeks of nostalgia for a better past, and a resignation to eventual decline. Satellite is still relevant? Satellite runs the modern world, though not enough of our customers and prospects know it. In a world of increasing connectivity, mobility and data-intensity, satellite is more than ever the essential infrastructure of the planet.

Lessons from NAB 2017

At the 2017 NAB Show, I led a panel discussion on “Satellite, CDN and OTT: The New Rules of Content Distribution.” It featured Tim Jackson of GlobeCast and Mike Scotto of Globecomm, two major players in video content contribution and distribution. Their view is that the more things change, they more they stay the same. Just as video did not kill the radio star, so satellite is evolving from being the only way to get video to viewers into the only cost-effective way to get must-see content to a national or international audience. It also has a long future ahead of it as the on-ramp to online and mobile distribution.

Finding New Roles

When 50 million people need to see the same program at the same time, they are not going to be served by 50 million individual video streams across the internet, because it would be completely unaffordable even if technically feasible. The power of satellite to send one stream to millions for the same cost as one-to-one is going The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem

3


to be hard for any other technology to match. On the other hand, as HTS makes satellite more cost-effective at one-to-one service, it creates opportunities for our technology to participate more aggressively in internet content delivery, whether to homes underserved by terrestrial providers

or to things in motion across the face of the Earth. These are but two of the better-known opportunities for satellite in the media sector. As the economics and architecture of satellite undergo major change, others will surface. Market share will be lost in some familiar lines of business and will be gained in businesses that are hard to imagine today. Our business – once operating in its proud silo as the primary distribution path for video – will become an important part of an ecosystem of media contribution and distribution. Being part of an ecosystem does not provide the same bragging rights as being the only game in town. But it has the potential to produce a lot more revenue and profit in coming years. “Still relevant?� As they say in Vegas, bet on it.

4

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem


Coming Up: The Next New Century Workforce Webinar The First 100 Days: Turning New Hires into “Keepers” Last September, SSPI began a New Century Workforce free webinar series that explores talent recruitment and management issues in the satellite industry. Human resource executives and those who manage and assess employees can attend to discuss the changing market, share their expertise with others in the industry, and learn from our guest speakers. The second webinar in the series is coming up on May 9 at 11:00am EST. The first 100 days in a new job have an outsized ability to set expectations and steer an employee’s future. What experiences should make up that 100 days, and what onboarding practices contribute most to creating a productive, engaged employee in years to come? What should companies expect from their new hires at the end of that period? In this webinar, you will hear from two industry speakers: Scott Drach, Vice President of Human Resources for Defense, Space & Security (BDS) at Boeing and Douglas Maxfield, Senior Partner at Korn Ferry. Click here to learn more and register.

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem

5


The Future of Media on Satellite By Arnie Christianson When I was asked to write a piece on the future of media in the satellite industry, I admit I rolled my eyes a bit. My first reaction was that I was expected to expound upon how I thought video was dying as a satellite medium and that data was taking over. See, I’m one of the guys responsible for “the death of satellite video.” My team at CNN were early adopters of satellite IP transport, and that satellite IP transport, over the years, revolutionized satellite media delivery. But the thing is, we’re innocent. We never killed video. Media is not the format you consume, it is the experience delivered. Turning images (or sounds, or phone calls, or weather data) into trillions of ones and zeros doesn’t suddenly make it something other than what it is. It’s all media, and the future of satellite media is the same as the history of satellite media. There is just a hell of a lot more media, and not enough satellites to move it. There probably never will be, and THAT is where the future is. The “good old days” weren’t all that good when you think about it. Satellite as a commodity is not a good thing. Media as data is the future. Twenty years ago the job of satellite was to deliver data (yes, even analog video is data) to huge numbers of people in a broadcast environment. This continues to be a large and stable segment of the business. People want their sports, they want their news, they want their infotainment – and the best way to receive it is still via a downlink dish somewhere, either at a cable head-end or on the roof of somebody’s home. Today, the job of satellite is to deliver data to huge numbers of people in a dynamic – and interactive – environment. These people may be at home, but they are also mobile. They’re in airplanes, on trains, on vessels in the middle of the ocean. They want their YouTube (video) or Facebook (video) or Twitter (video) on their devices. They want an in-home terrestrial experience in areas where there is no home or terrestrial infrastructure. The physics hasn’t changed – behaviors have. Expectations have. And the satellite industry is poised to leverage these expectations. Indeed, we already are. 6

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem


It seems that each week we hear of a new satellite technology being developed, a new frequency segment being leveraged, a new high throughput fleet being launched. This renaissance is touching all areas of the space industry, from design to launch to service. Our machines are better, but our mission is the same: Connect people. Deliver media. Deliver more of it than ever before. The future of satellite media is the history of satellite media writ large. It’s time to stop pining for the good old commoditized days of MHz delivery and open ourselves to those little ones and zeroes. They have saved our industry, and they’ll drive growth that we’ve never seen before. The best thing about the satellite industry is that we’re ALWAYS living in the future. What’s the future of satellite media? You’re living it. Arnie Christianson is Sr. Manager, Program Management, Data Mobility for SES.

ELEVATING INFLIGHT EXPERIENCES SES’s data network combines an extensive ground infrastructure with global widebeam satellite coverage and high-throughput satellites (HTS) to meet the growing demands of the airline industry. Satellites make a better world! Experience the SES advantage on flight paths across land or sea.

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem

7


Reporting from the Heart of Disaster Disasters make news. Whether the catastrophe is an act of nature or humanity, we want to see it with our own eyes and share the experience of the people whose lives are turned upside down. We watch with a horrified fascination that is part curiosity and part compassion. Through the miracle of moving pictures, we are connected to the lives of people we have never met and may be moved to help them. How exactly do disasters become news? That is, how does video coverage get from disaster zones to your television, your computer or your phone? In hurricanes and floods, warfare and terrorism, one of the first things to collapse is communications. Sometimes the networks themselves are damaged – as when the 2011 Japanese tsunami wiped out wired and wireless communications in the Sendai region – and sometimes they are simply overwhelmed by the number of people trying to use them. Some catastrophes take place far from any broadband connection or optical fiber line. Since the 1980s, the solution to bringing news from the worst places in the world has been satellite. It was in 1984 that an entrepreneur named Stanley Hubbard, a TV station owner and member of SSPI’s Hall of Fame, assembled a team to create the world’s first “satellite truck” to deliver live news from the field. That innovation created a global industry, worth an estimated US$1.2 billion today, now referred to as digital newsgathering or DNG. It uses a mix of satellite, cellular telephone, microwave and wired broadband to transmit news from the field to the news center, where it is edited into stories or put live on the air. The equipment rides on trucks or cars, in suitcases or backpacks, and it makes reporters, wherever in the world they may be, into integrated members of the news team. Click here to read the rest of this story and watch a video about how TV news covers natural disasters.

8

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem


Catch Up on Better Satellite World Videos At SATELLITE 2017, SSPI debuted two new videos for the Better Satellite World campaign: The Highway and the Skyway and The Lives We Save. If you haven’t had a chance to see them yet, check them out here!

The Highway and the Skyway

The Lives We Save

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem

9


Satellite & The Ethics of Finding Aliens

By Lou Zacharilla, Director of Development “People ask me, ‘Do you believe in life on other planets?’ And I say, ‘That’s exactly the right way to ask it. “Do I believe? I have no data. But I will not have data unless I look. And I won’t look unless I believe that before having the data that the data could be there, and that it is (therefore) worth looking for it.” Now that’s a scientist and a philosopher. A Guy after my own soul. And he is. Literally. Those are the words of Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit priest and an astronomer who directs the Vatican Observatory. Brother Guy gave the keynote and joined a panel of scientists at a seminary in the New York area last month where he and others probed the boundaries and role of science and ethics. His discussion provoked for me thoughts that we in the satellite industry will need to wrestle with at greater depths, both scientifically and ethically, as our industry continues to become precisely what SSPI’s “Better Satellite World” campaign www. bettersatelliteworld.com has claimed for it since its big bang at Satellite 2016. Satellite is the world’s indispensable technology. What this means is that it functions at every level of human life and, by default, in the world of ethics and moral choice because it is underpinning what occurs in the living rooms in which we sit and live, the food we eat, the jobs we perform and the world to come. Amen. It has done this for many years, of course. And will do more in areas such as the economy, national defense and the search for origins and weird-looking neighbors light years away. As a technology that guides weapons, monitors the climate and ensures compliance with treaties signed by nations often at odds or in confrontation with one another, satellites carry weight. One conclusion drawn at the event was to maintain that there has to be a means of regulating not only spectrum, but human choice. “Just because something is possible, does not mean necessarily that it is good,” said Brother Guy. He echoes a famous phrase from Gandhi, who said simply that “the purpose of life is not to increase its velocity.” Yet velocity is what we have, and increasingly what we seem to cherish and worship. “Better, faster, cheaper” is a mantra not unlike a prayer. It has cut across every organization, public or private. Yet creativity, once thought to be a gift from

10

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem


the “gods,” requires a decidedly non-linear direction to be taken, and often reflection, time and moral input. It is creative that the United Arab Emirates will rely on satellites and IT/space tech to reduce its reliance on petrodollars and to diversify its economy. This will make it a mandate, says UAE Space Agency head, Khalifa Al Romaithi to both engage with the international community and cater to smaller businesses. Less reliance on fossil fuels has other benefits, of course. It is also creative for the New York Center for Space Entrepreneurship to engage with SSPI and others to help it link the state’s robust universities to its anemic Upstate communities and their economies. But this choice to go forward will lead, it is hoped, to a new ecosystem in the once-mighty Empire State. “Creativity,” said Steve Jobs, “is connecting the dots.” Whether those dots are to maximize throughput, a benign act which has a range of benefits, to deciding to use a satellite to identify a slave trade on the high seas, an act which was driven by the Associated Press and its mission to serve the facts for the public interest, connecting dots and data can lead us toward objectives and ends which can be both glorious and demonic. Think North Korea here. They can lead us, but they cannot force us to decide whether or not to act in the interest of humanity. “That is an ethical choice. And science cannot help you there,” said the man who was reveling over the discovery of the exoplanet planet TRAPPIST-1 around a dwarf star. He didn’t think there was life there. (“The star is really quite unstable.”) The event concluded with a memorable remark by a chemistry professor from Bryn Mawr college, who said elegantly, “Science is just another door into the sacred . . . but they are not the same.” So it is that satellite, which has been opening doors of all kinds for generations, seems to be moving toward opening yet another. The Big One. It is time for us to have a discussion about science, satellites and ethics as we continue to launch further into space. This article will also appear in the June 2017 issue of Satellite Executive Briefing.

The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem

11


Meet the Dubai Chapter Start-up Team!

Just in time for the new focus on space and satellite in the region, SSPI is pleased to announce that a start-up team has formed in Dubai, with the intention of launching an SSPI chapter. This has been a long-term aspiration, and new rules governing nonprofits in Dubai has finally made it possible. At the first meeting are Meerza Ramjeed - DU, Tariq Al Dahleh Evotech, Khalid AL Dhabbi - Trio, Rami Al Khatib - Harris Communications, Mohammed Taha Speedcast, Nezar Suleiman - Speedcast, and Ahmed Dar - Speedcast, pictured above from left to right.

Advertising Opportunities are available! As you know, SSPI has transformed its monthly news vehicle, The Orbiter, into a beautiful, pageturning digital magazine you can read from your desktop, tablet or phone, or as a handy print-out to carry with you on travel trips. The Orbiter brings Society news, coverage of the Better Satellite World campaign, and the annual Workforce Study to more than 6,000 members and industry contacts. Advertise With Us We invite companies to advertise in the new Orbiter. Full-page and half-page ads are available Some SSPI sponsorships include one or more ads with the sponsorship – but now you can purchase an ad directly! Download the media kit or email Tamara Bond-Williams for more information.

12

Copyright 2017 by the Society of Satellite Professionals International The Orbiter Welcome to the Ecosystem

Profile for Space & Satellite Professionals International

The Orbiter - Welcome to the Ecosystem  

Satellite runs the modern world, though not enough of our customers and prospects know it. In a world of increasing connectivity, mobility a...

The Orbiter - Welcome to the Ecosystem  

Satellite runs the modern world, though not enough of our customers and prospects know it. In a world of increasing connectivity, mobility a...