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Telecommunications Transmission Systems

Telecommunications Transmission Systems


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Published by Manny Gaballo

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Published by: Manny Gaballo on Sep 01, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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There are three categories of communications satellite:

1.Fixed service

2.Broadcast service

3.Mobile service

The fixed service type is associated with geostationary satellite orbit (GSO)
systems for international and sometimes domestic traffic. Very-small-aperture
terminal (VSAT) systems are fixed services that use 1-m or so diameter anten-
nas, and provide the important platform for two-way data communications.
Broadcast services provide distribution of TV to inexpensive receive-only
terminals using antennas as small as about a half meter (18 in) in diameter.
Mobile services initially used GSO systems for applications such as maritime
or news gathering. The new LEO and MEO systems provide telephony and
limited data to individual pocket phones.
Before embarking on an exploration of this fascinating technology, it is
important to appreciate the market forces driving the current developments,
along with their advantages, limitations, and applications. The need for satel-
lite communications arose foremost from the need for global international
communications, in an era before optical fiber systems existed, when distances
between continents were not easily bridged by other terrestrial systems.
Subsequently it was realized that domestic satellite systems could also be an
attractive option at the national level. Indonesia, a country composed of thou-
sands of islands, springs to mind as an example of cost-effective interconnec-
tion by satellite. There are now more than 50 countries using satellites for
domestic (national) telecommunications.


Terms of Use

The broadcast nature of satellite communications is a unique feature that
will probably prolong its survival even in the presence of intense competition
from optical fiber networks. However, the extent of its future use will depend
on the cost of satellite services. The severe bandwidth limitation of satellite
systems compared to optical fiber systems does not bode well for the long-term
prospects of broadband satellite communications, especially when fiber
becomes extensively installed to the home. However, the satellite communica-
tions fraternity is proving to be remarkably resilient and resourceful. Some of
the innovations presently being implemented promise a new lease on life for
satellite services. Two key areas of interest are:

1.The role satellite systems will play in constructing global mobile networks
or personal communications networks (PCNs) or universal mobile telecom-
munications systems (UMTSs). Low- and medium-earth-orbit (LEO and
MEO) satellite constellations could play a major part if the economics are

2.Digital electronics innovations that improve bandwidth efficiency and also
allow SDH, ATM, and bandwidth-on-demand over satellite.

Unless there is a major breakthrough in reducing the cost per kilogram of
satellite payload, the room for price maneuvering is somewhat limited.
Nevertheless, satellite technology is evolving, and the objective here is to pre-
sent the technical details of present and possible future systems, indicating
how the marketplace has dictated the direction of technology and how new
techniques (both digital and analog) are cost-effectively matched to present-
day telecommunication requirements.

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