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This has been the traditional strength of satellite networks. A satellite in the geo synchronous orbit can cover around 33% of the earth’s surface and provide connectivity to any region and location. It can also focus on a particular high density region and multiple satellites can work together to provide global coverage. This is very useful for remote locations (rural areas, ships and coastal regions, hills, etc) where there is limited or no terrestrial connectivity.

A VSAT network can today carry data as well as latency sensitive applications like voice and video as well. That is why the DTH (Cable TV), Internet Radio and other technologies have found applications in real life situations. Even IP based Multi-cast applications like audio and video streaming are possible (example Digital Signage applications).

A VSAT network can provide Internet access in addition to the point to point WAN links. It’s all set to create the next major wave in the consumer broadband industry with the launch of satellites operating in the Ka-Band offering very high throughput, especially in the non-metro regions. ‘Always ON’ broadband Internet services are possible with VSAT networks.

Once the satellite is put into its orbit, the deployment at the customer premises can be done within hours. Its deployment will cover any location as required by customers.

Satellites support encryption of all data transmitted between two sites or multiple sites, which make the creation of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) possible. This is one reason why the VSAT networks could find more acceptance in the corporate and Government / Defense sectors.

VSAT Networks support QoS (Quality of Service) and Layer 2 prioritization policies to be applied across the WAN link which enables real time applications to be deployed across the network.

Mobile access has been another traditional strength of a satellite network. This allows TV stations to broadcast from anywhere, even when they are on the move.

It is possible to allocate/restrict bandwidth based on individual applications. This could be a very useful feature for business communications ensuring critical business applications like ERP a certain dedicated bandwidth across the VSAT networks. Satellite Networks are very reliable (having up-times in the magnitude of 99.5% and above) and have been field tested for many years now. Mission critical applications such as Bank ATMs, Navy and Point of Sale appliances use VSAT.

VSAT networks can be scaled easily and cost effectively to accommodate multiple locations across the globe. In fact, some of the largest customers of VSAT networks have as many as 10,000 sites on a single network!

Though the initial investment of sending the satellite and putting them in the orbit is high, the running cost (end point terminals and on-going subscription) is steadily decreasing from time to time. That is the reason why application such as Direct -To-Home (Cable TV) are broadcasted directly from satellites to homes at a reasonable cost to the subscribers.

VSAT networks are standards based and support IP (Internet Protocol) and its variants through a protocol called IPoS (Internet Protocol over Satellite – TIA 1008). Since the developments are standards based, it enables the creation of a healthy ecosystem of terminal, hub and ancillary equipment and hence new innovations and improvements are faster.

Satellite networks are very reliable (having up-times in the magnitude of 99.5% and above) and have been field-tested for many years now. Mission critical applications such as Bank ATMs, Navy and Point of Sale appliances use VSAT.