Objectives of the service
The Lift Off project is identifying and implementing a solution based on the Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) of the IP traffic on the KA-SAT network, to enable a “flat” profile offering for applications such as Web browsing and email in a market context (Satellite Broadband) where such offering does not exist nowadays. Objective of the project is to evaluate the behaviour of the end users when operating in the new “flat” commercial proposition and to validate the performance of the system with the proposed solution.
More specifically the activities proposed in the Lift Off project are the following:
- Collect User Requirements which allows the definition of the “User Profile” (UP) for each market segment identified
- Define Network Performance and Metrics (NPM) able to capture the network behaviour, which will be used as dimensioning tool able to identify the required additional bandwidth to be allocated to each user due to increase of traffic on the network
- Define User Performance and Metrics (UPM) able to represent the Quality of Experience perceived by the end users; these metrics will be utilized to assess the customer satisfaction as well as to measure the actual performances in case a customer complaints
- Build a Simulator/Emulator of the KA-SAT network in order to predict network dimensioning and user experience through extensive simulations
- Design the Pilot System Architecture and integrate all the new elements into the existing Opensky infrastructure
- Deploy a pilot network and run a pilot with real customers in order to:
- Validate the identified UP, NPM and UPM previously identified under realistic operational conditions
- Define and validate the way this innovative Internet via Satellite service can be offered to customers
The project is now concluded. All the equipments are up and running and the Pilot phase has been completed involving more than 260 users. The project is now fully commercial and is surpassing the 1000 customers goal; the simulator is fully tested and it is becoming an important asset to forecast the impact of the future products release.
It was discovered that the service aimed at the consumer market offering a monthly flat-rate isn't viable. This is not a technical problem, but rather a problem of costs and user perception. The flat service is perceived as “all you can eat” and that is incompatible with the economics of satellite-based services. However, with careful positioning and communication other pricing models are viable, such as consumer solutions for flexible usage (e.g. fixed day rates for second homes) or a business-oriented offerings with higher fixed or metered rates.