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Satellite Communication for Enterprise Re-defined

By Arti Loftus February 08, 2019

As every industry continues to be transformed by data, the biggest concern for many IT teams is how to tackle the growth of it all. The biggest challenges are, the growing volume of data, the variety of data, and the increasing speed of data requirements.

Digital transformation is causing many companies to rethink their strategy for capturing, accessing, and transforming the data including using various technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as the development of how they can most effectively retain the data over longer periods of time. Data is now getting faster, we’re seeing a rapid need for speed in edge data centers in order to speed up the mining for real-time analytics but there is much more that can still be done.

This need has enabled companies like Washington-based, LeoSat Enterprises; who are within the satellite communications space, to step up to the challenge with their core belief being that fast, reliable and ubiquitous data connectivity is required to enable business growth worldwide.

LeoSat Enterprises we’re showcasing their latest solutions in satellite communications at last week’s IoT Evolution Expo held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and had much to say about their pioneering approach to big data, speed, and reliability.

Their plan is to launch a constellation of up to 108 low-earth-orbit communications satellites to provide the fastest, most secure, and the widest coverage international and intercontinental carrier-class, data network in the world. And with that, to implement point-to-point data connections to and from anywhere on the planet without needing any terrestrial touchpoints.

The LeoSat team is presently working alongside Thales Alenia Space on a low-earth-orbit constellation of 78 initial communication satellites with the idea to expand to 108. The constellation will provide high-speed, low-latency, and highly secure communications and bandwidth for business operations in telecoms, energy, maritime, government, and international business markets, set to launch in early 2020.

“We’re not trying to provide Internet services to the world, we are really focussing on the high-end enterprise, corporate extension. And that is something that has been very different to even traditional geo-satellites. We’re really designed from the ground up to be the most efficient, carrier-class network.” Says, Michael Abad-Santos, SVP Americas, LeoSat Enterprises.

Once traditionally endeavored by governments which have the finance to send monitoring and tracking equipment into Earths’ orbit, the satellite space is undergoing a boom in investment from within the private sector, with new satellite constellations on the horizon such as OneWeb which is gaining the most attention nowadays. Elon Musk and SpaceX, and TeleSat. Development in technology and private funding is helping to drive down the cost, improve reliability, and increasing launch frequencies, when combined, making it much easier for these kinds of projects to take flight.

Leveraging the latest developments in satellite communications technology to develop and launch a new low-earth-orbit satellite constellation that will provide the first commercially available, business grade, extremely high-speed and secure international/intercontinental data service worldwide is an ambitious goal for any company but LeoSat’s sights are set and the development of an optical backbone in space using lasers to interconnect satellites to deliver a faster than fiber, ultra-secure and highly reliable global data network is well underway.

LeoSat Enterprises, Michael Abad-Santos, SVP Americas explained what differentiates their company to others that are trying to deliver Internet services to underserved areas across the globe. “What really differentiates LeoSat is our core focus and our core mission. OneWeb, SpaceX, etc. are all trying to deliver Internet services to areas that do not have access to affordable or reliable Internet communications. Our goal has always been to satisfy the enterprise and the market.”

“We’re trying to provide services to corporate customers in fields such as oil & gas, banking, and even new niches including high-frequency trading, or electronic gaming that require really high-end service, low-latency, and high security.” Abad-Santos goes on to say.

Satellites are able to provide truly global coverage, ubiquity, and quick deployment. Fiber provides high-throughput, low latency, and a growth path. LeoSats’ positioning between MPLS/VPN and traditional satellite and fiber markets, means that they are able to provide this unique offering.

With a large number of low-earth-orbit communications satellites within their constellation, LeoSat would be the first company to have all their High Throughput Satellites (HTS) interconnected through laser links creating a backbone in space which is approximately 1.5 times faster than traditional fiber networks with no need for any terrestrial touchpoints. This gives LeoSat the ability to provide infrastructure instantly from anywhere to anywhere that is fast, secure, and reliable.

LeoSat offers a unique data communications solution with these key features:

  • Very high speed, low latency, highly secure and encrypted data connections worldwide.
  • Absolute security as the data traveling across the network never needs to go through a gateway or traditional fiber.
  • The fastest intercontinental network in the world.
  • The most secure non-military data network in the world.
  • A system completely that is driven by customer requirements.
  • A fully meshed and routed network in the satellites which provide p2p connections worldwide.

LeoSat Enterprises was founded by two people outside of the satellite industry - Cliff Anders, Chairman and Phil Marlar, COO who were executives of the oilfield services company Schlumberger with many years of working in the energy and maritime industry. They recognized that the business world is becoming increasingly data-driven, cloud-based, and international that existing satellite technology was no longer sufficient. The company was established to deliver a viable satellite solution for enterprise data.

“Cliff is the real person behind this, he was responsible for all of Schlumberger IT infrastructure because it had such a distributed IT organization, a large part of his job was working with satellite communications and putting satellite communications in remote parts of the world. He just couldn’t get it to work the way he wanted it to, so as most things are when you’re kind of an innovator, you find something that doesn’t work and you try to fix it. He came up with an idea on how to optimize satellite networks to work with large global IT infrastructure and that was really the reasoning and the branch-out for what LeoSat is.” Explains, Abad-Santos.

“I actually joined the team at the end of 2015 because I had seen some fresh releases from LeoSat, in terms of what they were building and my background was more of as a satellite guy, and focus on government and military implementations. So, as soon as I saw the architecture that they were building, I immediately saw the applicability to government markets. That’s what drew me to the company.” He continues.

While LeoSat is receiving a lot of interest from many sectors which continues to grow as new use cases are discovered. LeoSat provides new opportunities for the telecom, enterprise, maritime, financial and government sectors by merging satellite and networking technologies. They have signed their first customer in the financial sector with many potential customers in mobile and government satellite services.

“We’re currently in the process of our financing round so we’re still raising money but I would say from a commercial perspective I couldn’t be more pleased, we have already received more than a $1billion dollars in customer commitments for capacity. We’re still several years away from launch so the commercial interest and the commercial uptake on the business have been great. One of our first customers’ that signed up with us is a high-frequency trader - not the type of company that you would necessarily think of as a traditional satellite use case. We have signed up several partners that are in various market segments, oil & gas, oil exploration, banking & finance, standard maritime, cruise ship services and that type of thing. I would say that I am very pleased with the mix of customers that we would like to bring on board.” Says, Abad-Santos.

Satellites for data communication is becoming a huge talking point given the technology that we have today, particularly when businesses demand secure and reliable communications and operate from remote locations. LeoSat aims to provide a network which will in many cases provide higher performance for large data volumes for enterprises with low latency, with added security and reliability than is available on a terrestrial fiber network route between two locations because, as their tag line states, ‘light travels faster through space than through fiber’.


Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Special Correspondent

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