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Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. Message Board

  • smkcstr smkcstr May 2, 2012 2:34 PM Flag

    Is Gilat reinventing itself?

    All signs in the sky and on earth point in this direction.
    It is not the first time that Gilat went thru transformation. Original Gilat’s target was a rural telephony market via satellite, then came the end user rural internet provider (each user with its own VSAT); and now the target is the network itself.
    So how the future Gilat’s network may look like? It will comprise of high bandwidth, high performance, and high complexity satellite pipes between complex hubs and G3/G4 cellular/ WiFi gateways, (i.e. the end user terminal will be the same computer or smart phone he is using today).
    The high performance pipes require high power transmitters (not few watts anymore, but hundreds of watts), well collimated antennas, and a lot of sophistication (multiple protocols, multiple priorities, variable bandwidth, enhanced error correction, caching, etc). Additionally, in order to drastically reduce the latency, the multiple satellite, LEO network (as championed by O3B) has to be utilized, which means that the antennas must follow the satellite path in the sky and perform a handover from one satellite to another at predetermine points.
    This is really a completely different ballgame than the game in VSAT market till now. And by virtue of its acquisitions and internal focus Gilat is clearly moving in this direction. IMHO

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    • There was an interview in SpaceNews with Erez Antebi, CEO, Gilat.
      Here are few interesting points:
      On military Satcom:
      "The last major change in the way military command and control was conducted on the field of battle was with the invention of wireless radio — the first time commanders could talk, and ask where you are, what do you see. That’s roughly 80 or 100 years ago. Not much has changed since then.
      Now, you connect everybody to an IP network. You can know where turrets are placed, where they are pointed and how much ammunition they have. Voice is no longer the main avenue of communications. That is a huge shift, and much, much more efficient.
      ...Combine that with the fact that most of these units are mobile, and that most deployments are in places where you cannot build terrestrial infrastructure before you come, and you understand there is no real alternative long term to a massive deployment of satellite communications. It starts, and already has started, with special forces, and with UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles]. But over the next 10, 20 years it is going to disseminate down to the lowest tactical level. That’s a massive deployment."
      On Gilat addressing this opportunity:
      "The two major acquisitions that we have made, RaySat and Wavestream, give us technology that is focused on a solution for these issues. Along with that we have the leading technologies in this field at this point in time. The flat antennas that RaySat manufacturers are way ahead of the competition in terms of performance, maturity and their ability to be deployed. We’ve deployed thousands of antennas in the field by now. The unique Wavestream technology means we can build a high-power, solid-state unit in a form factor that is smaller than anybody else can build today. Both of these are major building blocks in our effort to conquer this market."

      Well, maybe these acquisitions (still discounted by investors) will pay off. Again, the opportunity for sure is there. IMHO

    • There is a very interesting paper by Dan Freyer in the Satellite Market & Research (satellitemarkets.con) titled : "Next Generation Systems: Now’s the Time"
      Here are some more interesting excerpts (Part 1):

      “Los Angeles, Calif., November 9, 2012-- Next generation high throughput satellites (HTS) and Ka-Band systems in production and coming into service are bringing massive increases in bandwidth to orbit. Over twenty new HTS and Ka-band satellites are in construction, each carrying from 10 to 100 times the capacity of today’s conventional C– and Ku-Band systems.These next-gen and Ka-Band systems could dramatically alter the industry’s landscape. How will they impact satellite markets in the next two years, and what industry players stand to gain from their success?

      “Game-Changers” Coming Fast Everywhere

      Bandwidth increases will be dramatic. Roger Rusch, President of industry consultants TelAstra, Inc. estimates that the HTS satellites in construction will have a combined throughput of over 800 Gbps so their addition could more than triplethe global bandwidth in space capacity in the next two years.

      There is bound to be strong downward pressure on satellite bandwidth pricing for many applications and in markets where HTS systems play. “The throughput of the ViaSat-1 and Echostar XVII satellites is staggering by present standards,” says Rusch, noting that just these two satellites launched this year alone more than double North American capa-city.

      …Technology Disruption – the MEO Threat

      In addition to potential bandwidth supply shocks, new technical architectures could disrupt existing markets. For example, O3b Networks could challenge even next-gen GEO-based services in maritime, wireless trunking, and other markets in the developing world.

      …Because of its low latency, O3b can support satellite backhaul of broadband mobile handset IP traffic for carriers that want to introduce 4G type services to un-fibered locations — applications not feasible using GEO-based backhauls due to the high latency.

      O3b’s eight-satellite constellation of spacecraft will orbit at 8.062 km Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), and the company projects a service start in Q3 of 2013. SES Global is among the investors.

      If O3B’s advertised advantages attract a big share of users away from GEO in the next several years, then we can expect “me-to” MEO projects from other operators. O3b’s satellite supplier, Astrium could also be well positioned to help other MEO ventures if the program delivers on its promise. For all its advantages, 03b poses no threat to consumer and SOHO VSAT markets. Its dual motorized terminals is projected to cost as much as US$ 30,000 at the low end. In addition, service coverage is focused to within +/- 45° north and south latitudes of the globe.

      • 1 Reply to smkcstr
      • More excerpts (Part 2):
        Ground Systems and Terminals

        HTS require extensive new RF ground infrastructure, especially for the consumer Ka-band systems, and networks providing consumer/SOHO grade solutions. These can drive very large-scale network infrastructure and terminal contracts, not to mention hundreds of thousands of terminals demanded over time. A recent example is ViaSat’s US$ 240 mil. ground system for NBN Co. in Australia. Hughes nabbed a US$ 27 mil. contract with YahSat. In September, Gilat received an order from one of Europe's largest satellite broadband ISPs in support of SES Broadband Services' (SBBS) Ka-band consumer service rollout.

        Leading VSAT players like ViaSat, Hughes, iDirect, Gilat stand to gain ground as demand for higher capacity broadband terminals comes with next-gen satellite deployments. According to Doron Elinav, VP of Strategic Accounts for Gilat Satellite Networks, the large equipment vendors stand to gain, but shakeouts may occur: “There is a lot of long term R&D required for these systems and a lot of investment, so the larger players will have a long term advantage in this market. There will be fewer VSAT players,” he predicts.

        But the opportunities are not just in consumer broadband networking. Earlier this year, Inmarsat tapped iDirect to design, manufacture, and install its Global Xpress™ ground infrastructure platform and provide core modules for terminals that Inmarsat will deploy in the maritime, aeronautical and other markets “We are providing the complete ground system, with teleport dishes and building the terminals to go to market. They launch the satellite the middle of next year and we will be in middleof testing in 2013, with the goal of in-service by 2014,” said iDirect’s Bettinger.

        …For its part, O3b selected ViaSat to build its gateways, and its high-speed (800Mbps) links. But for user terminals, it has approved packages from ViaSat (high speed modems), Comtech (mid speed), and Gilat(lower speed) along with GD Satcom tracking 1.8 and 2.4 antennas, Sea Tel maritime antennas, and various sized Ka-Band HPAs from a mix of suppliers including CPI, Comtech Xicom, and new Japan Radio Corporation. 03b is not selling terminals itself. “Opportunities for others to supply medium and low cost terminals exists so long as they meet O3b’s specifications, and we’d love to have other sources available for our customers” says O3b’s Steven Blumenthal.

        Not Something To Ignore

        The next few years are going to be exciting and challenging times for the satellite industry as Ka-Band and high throughput satellite services create major new opportunities. Markets are global and opportunities abound to serve ever-increasing demands for broadband IP services from consumers, businesses and governments around the world. Companies that fail to position and respond effectively to the changing industry conditions — from cost, to competition, to changing distribution models — could see major strategic opportunities pass them by.

    • Today's announcement (Gilat Receives First Ka-Band VSAT Order From One Of Europe’s Largest Satellite Broadband ISPs As Part Of SES Broadband Services’ Consumer Rollout) clearly marks a beginning of a new era for Gilat. New technology, new challenges, new markets.
      What is really interesting that any startup with such products and prospects would be valued at hundreds millions, while Gilat's valuation is only 120 M, Are you kidding me?

    • In an interview with Defence IQ this week Gilat's VP Tamir explained why the military satellite communications market is so coveted by the communications industry and what technological revolutions will drive the sector over the next decade...
      Please look it up. It's interesting and tells a lot where Gilat is heading.

      • 2 Replies to smkcstr
      • Pls look at this link in Gilat's News and Events website: August, 2012 | Aviation Week.
        Very interesting. Please note that UAVs are manufactured in large quantities.Reliable, out of site communication is a must. And the equipment must be very light. Anybody who will be successful in this business will do great (far and beyond the $120M valuation).

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