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Satellites: The Secret Ingredient of 5G Services

Satellites: The Secret Ingredient of
5G Services

While a satellite launch is very cool to watch, the role of the satellite industry in the coming wave of 5G services is often an afterthought. If you think about it for a moment, then it becomes clear that satellite technology is destined to play a major role in this new generation of interconnected ecosystems.

The resources associated with launching a satellite – so I’m told, having never launched one personally – these days are not what they once were. The number of satellites being deployed around the world is rising, and quickly. From an economic perspective, satellites have now become more feasible to launch and operate, and it is evident that the sector has seen great leaps over the last few decades.

It’s exciting to see the trajectory of satellite technology development and its applications for enterprises. Satellites will glue terrestrial communications networks together, covering gaps and serving remote communities. They will also come to form a crucial component of IoT ecosystems, to realize a wealth of IoT use cases for satellites. With the sheer number of connected devices expected to exceed 20 billion by the year 2020[1], satellites will inevitably be required to augment any terrestrial networks.

And yet, we at Sigma Systems know that communications satellite providers are working to get ready when it comes to adapting to a new era of customer expectations. For example, a certain sense of unfamiliarity still exists with the concept of enterprise catalogs (we make a very good one of those), with satellite providers building new products on top of applications that are developed by in-house teams.

The fact is that a new breed of customers, be it traditional communications service providers (CSPs), television broadcasters or government agencies, are demanding more sophisticated products. Satellite providers are aware that a higher level of complexity is on the horizon. From our conversations with key industry players, it’s apparent that satellite providers know that change is the need of the hour, with newer and more sophisticated systems required to compete in a complicated market environment.

At Sigma Systems, we actively work with leading satellite providers such as ViaSat and Inmarsat – a testament to the diverse application of our catalog-driven approach. For Inmarsat, we provide Sigma Catalog, Sigma CPQ (Configure Price Quote) and Sigma Order Management products to support the company’s next-generation satellite services across all customer verticals. At the same time, ViaSat has benefitted from Sigma Catalog and now enjoys a faster time-to-market for its products, promotions and offers.

As we head into another edition of Satellite 2019, the industry’s pre-eminent event for connectivity professionals, aerospace thought leaders, entrepreneurs and executives, it will be truly exciting to get a glimpse of next-generation technologies and applications that could potentially solve both present and future challenges. A major element at play here is customer-centricity and offering solutions tailored to specific needs. Those who can master that will undoubtedly have an edge in the new digital economy.

Stephen Krajewski,
Director of Product Marketing

[1] https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2017-02-07-gartner-says-8-billion-connected-things-will-be-in-use-in-2017-up-31-percent-from-2016