From a sidebar — The geographical reach of VSAT technology was a prime reason why Bob Evans Farms deployed a 481-site network. The national restaurant chain teamed with Spacenet to link its retail stores and corporate headquarters to an always-on IP VSAT service. And the network was up and running in five weeks. The company looked into frame relay, DSL and ISDN service options, but chose a VSAT network because it was the only technology that could reach all locations and was the most cost-effective.
This article is for members. Please sign up for a membership or login below. Username Password Remember Me Forgot Password
Satellites also provide mobile telephony services. Satellite mobile telephony enables regional to near-global coverage depending on the satellite or constellation, using handsets that communicate directly with a satellite. Mobile satellite telephone service is provided by satellite constellations in LEO, such as Iridium and Globalstar, and by satellites in GEO, such as Inmarsat, Thuraya, and ACeS. These services are provided by satellites primarily using the L-band. Satellites providing mobile phone and data services often are referred to as mobile satellite service (MSS) satellites.
Satellites have provided trunking for long-distance telephone service for decades. Most long-distance traffic is now routed over cable, avoiding the lag and other reductions in quality (such as echo) associated with satellite telephone calls. Areas or countries lacking terrestrial backbone still rely on satellite connectivity to the publicly-switched telephone network. Telephone companies or nations lease C-band or Ku-band transponders on GEO satellites. Telephony, along with broadcast television, discussed above, and data services are common FSS applications.
Data communications services include very small aperture terminal (VSAT) services, Internet backhaul, direct-to-home broadband, and mobile data.
Dedicated and secure communications links are vital to defense agencies around the world. Increasing demand for capacity—particularly secure connectivity using non-commercial frequency bands—has driven the deployment of dedicated military communications satellites. The U.S. military buys a significant portion of its capacity from commercial operators such as Intelsat and SES. However, the United States also relies on military-specific systems such as the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) program, supplying dedicated communications to U.S. and allied military forces around the globe.
Global, dedicated, and secure communications networks are vital to governments, militaries, and agencies around the world. Increased demand for capacity—particularly secure connectivity using non-commercial frequency bands—continued to drive deployment of dedicated military communications satellite systems. The U.S. military bought significant capacity from commercial operators such as Intelsat and SES in 2014. However, the way the military buys the bandwidth has been criticized by commercial satellite communications services as expensive and outdated.