Saturday, April 4, 2015

Strong future for satellite services in Sub-Saharan Africa

According to Euroconsult's newly released report, Prospects for Satellite Communications & Broadcasting in Africa, overall usage for satellite capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa increased 11 percent over 2009-2014 despite the spread of terrestrial fiber networks and the decrease of international trunking. Euroconsult further anticipates an 11 percent growth for capacity leased over the next decade, for a total of close to 200 gigabits per second of traffic flowing over satellite.
"The tripling of TV signals in the last five years, growth in cellular backhaul requirements and the addition of more than 15,000 VSATs for various vertical segments have all contributed to the emergence of new requirements," said Pacome Revillon, CEO of Euroconsult and editor of the report. "The significant addition of satellite capacity supply has resulted in a fill rate decrease and in greater competition and pricing pressure."
Multiple drivers support a strong future increase in the use of satellite communication services, including:

  • Digital TV growth is still only in its early phase; the transition process to digital terrestrial television has just begun. In parallel, satellite pay-TV, despite the signing of close to 10 million subscribers in the last ten years, is only beginning to penetrate the market.
  • Mobile penetration keeps increasing along with universal access requirements, while 3G and potentially 4G expansion will create new new connectivity requirements.
  • A variety of segments, such as oil & gas, banking, mining, and government networks will require more connectivity as operations either diversify or expand geographically.
  • A number of new enterprise hot spot markets are evolving particularly in East and West Africa in addition to the historically strong VSAT markets like South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Kenya and Tanzania. This should contribute to overall market growth across Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Broadband access for consumers and enterprises offers new opportunities on the back of new HTS capacities and services. Also, the usage of HTS capacity for trunking should increase for landlocked countries like DR Congo and South Sudan at least in the short to medium term as fiber availability remains limited and unreliable
For operators, the ability to create new differentiators will be key in a context of large capacity supply, which includes the development of video neighborhoods, of selected service platforms and the co-development of projects with local service providers and end-users. For service and equipment providers, the rollout of more sophisticated and hybrid solutions offered through domestic hubs and a potential consolidation of service providers should contribute to market growth. The emergence of new free-to-air and pay-TV platforms should also shape the future African TV market.

Monday, March 30, 2015

What we know about Air Canada ACA624 crash

On Sunday, Air Canada flight ACA624, an Airbus A320 aircraft, on a scheduled flight from Toronto's LesterB. Pearson International Airport, Ontario, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, collided with terrain approximately 1,100 feet from the threshold of Runway 5, eventually coming to rest about 1,100 feet down the runway. There were 133 passengers and five crew members on board; all of whom exited the aircraft. Twenty-five people were taken to hospital for treatment of injuries.

The initial impact was significant and caused substantial damage to the aircraft. The main landing gear separated and the underside of the aircraft was heavily damaged (fuselage and wings). During this impact, the aircraft collided with a localizer antenna array - part of the instrument landing system - and became airborne again, traveling forward on Runway 5. There is an extensive debris field between the localizer antenna location and the threshold of the runway.

The cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder were recovered from the aircraft and have been sent to the TSB Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa, Ontario.

The investigation is ongoing and the next steps include the following:
  • survey the impact and wreckage site.
  • continue examining and photographing the wreckage.
  • removing the aircraft from the runway to restore normal operations.
  • gather Air Traffic Control voice and data recordings.
  • conduct witness interviews.
  • gather meteorological information.
  • collect operational information from the aircraft.
  • preliminary review of the recorders at the TSB Lab to assist field investigators.
  • determine which wreckage to collect for closer examination.
  • further examination will be at the TSB Lab Communication of safety deficiencies.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Piper plane crashes in Orange, Va.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of a Piper PA-28 in Orange, Va., on Sunday. Orange County fire units are reportedly on the scene of a plane crash "at the airport."

The aircraft, a 1974 Piper PA-28-140 Cherokee, (tail number N32396) impacted terrain near Orange County Airport. The airplane sustained damage and the solo student pilot onboard received fatal injuries.

The plane is registered to William Rushing III of Springfield, Va., according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

Rushing said Sunday that he sold the aircraft to Skyline Aviation Services flight school on March 1, adding that it takes 120 days for the FAA to update its records. [source: Star-Exponent]