Successful tests for Newtec Ka-band modems
By Robert Briel
March 13, 2012 07.19 Europe/London

Satellite specialist Newtec has successfully tested its new high speed Ka-band technology for SES Broadband (previously called Astra2Connect).

The company has shipped well over 100,000 Ku-band Sat3Play terminals for SES Broadband and is now providing the next generation Ka-band terminals for SES Broadband evolution, featuring download speeds beyond 10 Mbps.

The test was completed with next generation Ka-band Sat3Play terminals and related hub infrastructure. The new technology was tested on the Astra 1L Ka-band capacity at 19.2 degrees East.

“We have jointly tested and validated the Sat3Play Ka-band platform from Newtec with the objective of proving operational readiness for a rollout of SES Broadband Ka-band services later this year. The upgrade of existing end user terminals and the next generation Ka-band terminals, featuring speeds beyond 10 Mbps, are part of SES strategy to bring its successful broadband service to the next level. The test was very successful and we are pleased with the performance of the equipment. We look forward to the launch of our Ka-band services,” said Patrick Biewer, managing director, SES Broadband Services.

During testing, Newtec installed a Sat3Play hub at SES Broadband Services’ premises in Luxembourg, provided several Ka-band terminals working on Astra-1L Ka-band frequencies, and also provided the ability to remotely operate the Hub.

Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec, commented: “The testing has been a clear success. We have now completed the tests and look forward to the operational start of the SES Broadband Ka-band services later this year.”

SES Broadband currently offers download speeds up to 10 Mbps and delivers broadband Internet and Voice Over IP (VOIP) services to private households and small businesses. SES will further increase the performance of its service by using additional multiple spot beam Ka-band capacity that will become available onboard its Astra 2F, 2E and 2G spacecraft, with the first spacecraft, Astra 2F, scheduled for launch later in 2012.

Newtec also demonstrated 372 Mbps bidirectional throughput and 313 Mbps unidirectional throughput over a 72 Mhz Intelsat Ku-transponder.

The test started out as a simple exercise that was meant to demonstrate Newtec’s recently released and upcoming technologies, but ended up producing surprising results. During the test, an Intelsat 72 MHz Ku band transponder was saturated using Newtec’s latest modem technology and a mere 4.5 meter antenna.

The 313 Mbps unidirectional throughput result did not include the use of the upcoming modulation and coding DVB-S2 extensions that Newtec’s 200-head engineering team is working on, the company said.

“This extra satellite transmission efficiency enables considerable operational savings. The higher speed levels will help our customers to increase the total amount of services provided within the available satellite bandwidth. Our partners are mainly looking at high-speed IP links, government networks and video contribution links when expressing their need for higher efficiency,” Van Herck said in a statement.