Advanced Television

Telesat & Telefónica prove LEO capability

June 5, 2020

Telesat is working with Telefónica on a series of in-orbit broadband and video tests on Telesat’s first-generation Low Earth Orbiting satellite.

The tests, described by the pair as “rigorous”, were designed to explore the performance and feasibility of leveraging LEO satellites for high-end services. Testing demonstrated that Telesat LEO could be a viable option for wireless backhaul and presents a substantial improvement in performance over geostationary orbit (GEO) links, without the use of compression or TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) acceleration techniques that are typically required in 650ms latency GEO environments.

The Telefónica International Wholesale Services (TIWS) tests showed that traffic between the satellite and the ground resulted in quite spectacular low-latency speed and a ‘round trip’ of between 30-60 milliseconds.

The tests included:
HD video streaming, without interruption.
Video conference with teams, demonstrating consistent fluidity of movement and voice transmission with user experience matching terrestrial and cellular connections.
– Remote desktop connection to seamlessly manage a remote computer.
– VPN connection without any delay or outages.
– FTP encrypted file transfers of 2 GB in both directions.
– IPSec tunnel encryption with no reduction in the performance of the link.

“As we plan, design and build our offerings to provide best-in-class connectivity for our customers, we are eager to explore how cutting-edge technologies like Telesat LEO can integrate with our global connectivity infrastructure,” explains Gustavo Arditti, TIWS Satellite Business Unit Director.  “Across every application tested, Telesat LEO delivered an outstanding performance, with significant improvements over what we can achieve via GEO satellites today.”

“The ability to demonstrate fibre-like performance via satellite across a number of applications that perform poorly on GEO satellite backhaul is a testament to the capabilities of our Telesat LEO network,” stated Erwin Hudson, VP/Telesat LEO. “With its high-throughput links, ultra-low latency, and disruptive economics, Telesat LEO offers an unparalleled value proposition to expand the reach of 4G and 5G networks.”

Telesat was planning to launch just 117 LEO satellites into orbit. That plan was expanded to 298 craft and last month announced that it would like FCC permission to dramatically extend that number to an overall 1671 satellites.

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