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The growing need for software-defined satellites

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Illustration of the new OPTUS 11 in orbitIllustration of the new OPTUS 11 in orbitThe satellite market is in transition as technology continues to evolve and opportunities emerge across a range of market verticals. Currently, we see a growing market demand for the ability to supply Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) capacity in select markets and verticals.

At Optus Satellite, we’re proud to be leading the way in this next-generation technology for our customers, as the first operator in the world to utilise the Ku band spectrum for the software-defined VHTS in both broadcast and broadband services with the future launch of the OPTUS 11 satellite.

Satellite usage in Australia and abroad
In recent years we have seen a shift in demand and awareness for satellite technology in Australia and abroad.

For Aussies, there has been the establishment of the Australian Space Agency as well as the emergence of a fledgling space economy. Internationally there is significant hype around the emergence of new satellite formats such as Low Earth Orbit and Nano Satellites from groups such as Space X, Amazon, OneWeb and Myriota.

Plus, we continue to see major traditional operators pursue diversity strategies to evolve traditional revenue streams by looking to new regions and market verticals for growth.

As satellite usage continues to shift and evolve, we see that traditional satellite video delivery is declining globally, and the growth of IP, streaming and over the top applications are increasing.

The use of Very High Throughput Satellites (VHTS) is now an industry pre-requisite for greater capacity and more competitive pricing but there will be a future need to provide customers with flexibility to utilise their capacity independent of their video and IP requirements – and this is where OPTUS 11 will meet that growing demand.

What is software-defined technology and how is it different?
The growing interest and demand in satellite usage has seen the need for technology to evolve – and Optus will be the first satellite operator in Asia Pacific to launch a software-defined satellite that can provide both flexible concurrent broadcast and broadband services via a Very High Throughput Satellite (VHTS) design.

Using a software defined and VHTS spacecraft gives Optus the capability and flexibility to re-configure payloads in-orbit, plus move capacity anywhere within the OPTUS 11 footprint across the Asia Pacific.

No longer do satellites need to be set and forget. By utilising software-defined technology it means that OPTUS 11 can be reconfigured in space. So, if a broadcast customer no longer requires broadcast video delivery, we can turn that capacity into VHTS IP throughput as needed for them, with complete flexibility and ease.

We see this ability to transform broadcast video capacity into broadband IP capacity and vice versa as truly transformational. OPTUS 11 will allow us to provide customers the flexibility to adapt capacity and services to the changing market demand throughout the entire lifespan of the spacecraft, unlike in traditional satellites.

Growth opportunities from software-defined technology
Similar to trends in other connectivity technologies – such as cellular and traditional fixed – there is an insatiable demand for more data from consumers and an ever-increasing demand for connectivity across a range of verticals.

In the future we see growth in high quality and high availability services to mining; regional broadband; maritime; cruise liners; commercial shipping and fishing; 4G and 5G cellular backhaul and content distribution.

We also see an opportunity for further growth in the in-flight connectivity segment and to rebuild on our earlier success before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

As we continue to prepare for the launch of OPTUS 11 in 2023, we truly see a growth trajectory for satellite capacity needs. We know that keeping people and businesses connected is so important no matter where you are, and demand will only continue to rise.

How we can solve your connectivity requirements
We believe the answer to evolving markets is to solve our customers’ problems with an innovative and customer-centric mindset. That’s why we’re investing in this cutting-edge technology to provide significant step change in satellite capacity and flexible coverage solutions.

It’s an exciting time for us to continue bringing some of the world’s latest advancements in space to the Asia Pacific, and to open new opportunities for further development and growth across the region.

If you have connectivity requirements or want to know more about how software-defined satellite technology could benefit your business and end-users, get in touch with us today.

Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Is there anyway to stop the blog entry showing in the recent posts for my account?


Heya @AndS, you should be able to manage your Yes Crowd Subscriptions/Notifications via Your Profile > My Settings.

Super Contributor
Super Contributor

@Ness_YCWhich of the following settings  controls the blog entry notifications?



Super Contributor
Super Contributor

@kemmerothaIf you do not do any checking to see if it is or have used it in the past then it may be better to post nothing until you can help. if you hover over the 'i' in inverse (black background) the a pop info box appears and it will let you know what the option mean's in Optus speak and the one you indicated is NOT what I was asking about.

Respected Contributor
Respected Contributor

@AndS You're wasting your time with @kemmerotha he is just a spammer. Highlight his entire post and you'll find an invisible spam link.

Super Contributor
Super Contributor

@YetAnotherAccThanks, didn't even look...... Got me hook line and sinker on that one.