This article was originally published on ITWeb Read more at source.
Heroic or grand in scale or character: that is what the word 'epic' means, according to Google's dictionary. EPIC is also the product name for the recently launched Intelsat satellites, which are all part of the latest technology developments in the satellite industry, referred to as high throughput satellites (HTS).
The aim of EPIC, and other high throughput satellites (HTS), is to aggressively drive an increase in possible speeds while at the same time reducing effective service cost. Tests done by the Q-KON engineering team obtained 5x higher uplink speeds (12Mbps) than the previous generation satellites (1.5Mbps) at an expected cost reduction of 50%. This is a possible overall improvement of almost 10x, quite impressive by any standards of today's technology enhancements.
The reason why the satellite industry is investing heavily in opening new technology frontiers is clear when considering that according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, Africa's IP traffic will grow at a rate of 41% – the fastest annual rate in the world – by 2020.
Over the next five years, it is expected that an additional 168 million people will be connected by mobile services across Africa, reaching 725 million unique subscribers by 2020. It is clear that Africa will require any and all types of connectivity that can practically be provided.
With the Intelsat EPIC satellites already in operation over Africa, the obvious question is when these benefits are going to impact on the market, and more particularly, which markets will be addressed by the EPIC and similar satellite services? To provide perspective to these questions, we can briefly discuss some of the driving elements for this business case:
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