iPSTAR-1 & The Global HotSpot

Posted by Sam Churchill on


iPSTAR-1, the world’s heaviest commercial geosynchronous satellite, has arrived at Arianespace spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, and is undergoing preparations for launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket on July 7th. The 14,341 pounds (6505 kilograms) iPSTAR-1 was built by Space Systems/Loral and will feature spot beams and 2-way internet access for the far East.

Built for Shin Satellite of Thailand, iPSTAR-1 is designed to provide both enterprises and consumers throughout Asia, Australia and New Zealand with various levels of Internet access services, competing with cable modems and digital subscriber lines (DSL).

iPSTAR-1 has a massive total data throughput capacity of over 40 Gbps. The satellite will provide users with data speeds of up to eight Mbps on the forward link and four Mbps on the return link. From its 119.5 degrees East longitude orbital position, iPSTAR-1 will use its seven on-board antennas to create 112 spot and regional beams in the Ku and Ka frequency bands. The satellite will generate 14 kW of electrical power throughout its planned 12-year service life.

Shin Satellite, a turnkey satellite operator, provides C- and Ku-band transponder leasing, teleport and other value-added and engineering services to users in Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.

Shin Satellite owns and operates Thaicom 1A at 120 degrees East, and Thaicom 2 and Thaicom 3, co-located at 78.5 degrees East.

The satellites carry a total of 49 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders offering over 70 channels. Thaicom is the Hotbird for Indochina and India, an emerging platform of choice for transcontinental satellite television broadcasts from Europe to Australia.

The company has spent years researching and developing new technology to make Internet via satellite more efficient, thus reducing costs and improving the service to end-users.

Spot beam satellites enable low-cost satellite communications because they concentrate the signal and allow frequency reuse. Currently, 2-way satellite communnications is slow and expensive. In part, that’s because transponders, which may cost a $1 million/year, can only be shared by 7,000-8,000 users. Spot beams multiply transponder capacity and concentrate signals enabling smaller terminals.

Japan Satellite (JCSAT) has a fleet of nine satellites in eight orbits providing mobile broadband and television services – direct to cell phones. Jsat’s Horizons-1 is the the first Asian satellite operator with a satellite placed over North America. Their payload covers North America and Hawaii. Together with the C-band transponders of JCSAT-2A, it creates a seamless network from the U.S. East Coast to Asia and Oceania.

The TxVision teleport in Hawaii can uplink to two-thirds of the world s population in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Westbound Satellite Circuits from Hawaii:
Long. Ant. Band Satellite Geographies Served
128E 9.3 m C/Ex-C JCSAT-3 South East Asia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan
138E Ku/C APSTAR-5 (pending launch)
146E 9.3 m C/Ex-C AGILA-2 Asia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka
148E 11 m C-Band MEASAT-2 Asia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka
150E 2.4 m Ku-Band JCSAT-1B Hawaii-USA, Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia
154E 11 m C/Ex-C JCSAT-2A Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Japan and South East Asia

Japan’s MBSAT satellite has a 12-meter parabolic antenna with sufficient output power to enable signal reception on the ground by small antennas embedded in mobile gear. The hybrid broadcasting system handles direct reception and includes gap-fillers that enable reception in the shadow of buildings. Both direct reception and signals relayed by gap-fillers use the same 2.6-GHz frequency.

Korea’s biggest mobile phone operator, SK Telecom, launched a videocell satellite in the first half of the year. But the Korean Broadcasting Commission put the brakes on a launch until after next year in consideration of KBS, which is preparing for the terrestrial DMB service.

NSS-7 (above) features 49 C-band and 48 Ku-band 36 MHz-equivalent transponders and 11 high-powered coverage beams capable of broadcasting video, Internet and data traffic throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The satellite is one of the most powerful serving Latin America, enabling the use of antennas ranging in size from 75 centimeters to 1.2 meters.

WildBlue (above), is delivering 2-way internet satellite in the United States via spot beams. WildBlue’s Spotbeams are on Canada’s Anik F2. It literally got off the ground last year. WildBlue began delivering 2-way internet access this month, starting at $50/month. The company is rolling out two-way satellite access in the mid-west, first. It is currently only available in the 48 continental United States.

DirecTV’s Direct 8 launched in May but instead of 2-way internet via spotbeams, DBS broadcasting of local HDTV stations now seems to be their prime interest.

AMERICOM-16 (AMC-16), launched last December, is a hybrid Ku/Ka-band satellite at 97.0 W. The satellite owned by SES GLOBAL (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg). It is anticipated that AMC-16 will deliver AMERICOM2Home for EchoStar DISH Network in the coming months, although little seems to be known about that service.

LyngSat lists more than one hundred geosynch satellites over Asia & the South Pacific. Jonathan’s Space Report has the latest news and World SpaceFlight News has more space links than anyone. Here’s the latest from Vandenburg. Spaceflight Now has a regularly updated listing of planned missions from spaceports around the globe. More satellite information is available at Network Magazine, Lloyd Wood’s Satellite Constellations, The SkyREPORT, LyngSat Satellite Chart, Global VSAT Forum, Boeing Satellite Systems, Loral Skynet, PanAmSat and SES Americom.

Related DailyWireless stories include FCC Approves Big Mobile Sat, The Gibraltar Affair, DirecTV8 Launches, EELV Rocket Program Merges U.S. Cell Sat, Protostar Does the Planet, The Global Grid, Pacific Satellites Fail and Heartland says the World is Round.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, June 10th, 2005 at 12:38 am .

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