The aim of the project was to develop a low cost end-to-end solution for satellite based triple-play services. The result is ForsONEway, a turn-key solution for satellite based Internet services. The ForsONEway platform uses existing infrastructure to enable IP communication. Satellites are used for a high speed downlink and different terrestrial media are used for the return traffic.
ForsONEway consists of the following products, all of which have been developed as part of this project:
- Mímir – a performance enhancing proxy with integrated user management,
- Odin – a bleeding edge one-way satellite modem available with a variety of return channels,
- Freya – a hybrid terminal that integrates a satellite modem and a TV receiver, for operators that wants to combine Internet services with TV or IPTV.
The ForsONEway system has created large interest on the market. A number of operators, ranging from small ISPs to the world's largest telcos, have shown interest in the system.
The products developed in the project, and the features and benefits for each product are presented below.
Mímir is a turnkey solution for small Internet over satellite providers. The key features of Mímir are:
- Split Routing. As one-way services use different transmission paths for the incoming and outgoing data it is important to support split routing,
- Protocol Acceleration. The long distance to geostationary satellite has the effect that it takes 250 ms for a signal to travel to the satellite and back to earth. The TCP/IP protocol is not designed for such a long latency and this will effect the possible maximum throughput. Mímir solves this by splitting the communication link, first in the teleport and secondly in the client modem, and using optimized protocols for the jump over the satellite.
- User Management. Mímir lets the operator configure and manage users, end-user terminals, and different types of accounts and services.
- Security. The Mímir server allows secure authentication at login time by employing user of certificates. The certificates are installed in the factory and simplify username and password management.
- Web Cache. To improve latency and minimize traffic on the Internet backbone a web cache stores the most accessed web pages.
- Simple Installation. The Mímir server can typically be installed in a teleport in less than one day with on-site or remote installation support.
Odin is a one-way satellite modem for satellite based Internet services. It can be used to access the Internet in broadband speeds with incoming data from satellite combined with a terrestrial return channel. A variety of integrated return channels are available: GPRS, 3G, PSTN, and Ethernet The Odin can also be equipped with external return channels through a USB port, e.g. via 3G dongles.
Main features of Odin:
- Multicast Reception. The Odin can also be used to receive multicast data from satellite. Data can either be forwarded to an external computer or stored on a connected storage device.
- ACM. The advanced demodulator lets Odin be used in services where DVB-S2/ACM is used to individually control modulation and error coding. This can give a substantial improvement in bandwidth and availability, especially for areas that are highly affected by rain fade. There is also support for the advanced modulations 16APSK and 32APSK, typically only found in professional devices.
- High Throughput. Odin supports very high data rates from satellite. In field tests with operators it has been tested for over 50 Mbit/s in Internet services, and over 70 Mbit/s for multicast reception.
- WLAN. Odin can act as a WLAN access point, allowing several computers to connect wirelessly.
- Easy to Install And Use. Everything that is needed is integrated: the user will only have to connect a computer with an Ethernet cable or wirelessly using WLAN. No drivers or software needs to be installed. The Odin and Freya satellite modems are typically pre-configured with operator specific parameters in factory to simplify installation for the end-user, thus minimizing the need for support. When the satellite dish is correctly aligned the installation is as easy as installing a typical ADSL modem.
- Low Cost. In large volumes the cost of the Odin terminal is in the same region as a high performance ADSL modem.
The Freya hybrid terminal takes the features from an Odin satellite modem and adds all features from a modern TV/PVR receiver. This combination gives TV operators the possibility to add Internet services to their offer – with one single box provided to the end user. The combination of IP and TV functionality does also give room for interesting new services such as IPTV over satellite and push Video on Demand.
Freya integrates all features from Odin and comes with a number of innovative additions.
- Second Tuner. The second tuner allows for simultaneous use of TV and Internet services from different transponders.
- PVR with Integrated Hard Disk. The PVR features lets the user record and playback TV shows. It also includes a media player that can be used for playback of content from the hard disk or a USB connected storage device.
- The hard disk can also be used to store content when the device acts as an endpoint for multicast reception.
- HDTV Support. Freya can playback TV and stored content in HD format, encoded with the standardized h.264 and MPEG2 codecs. Content in full HD – up to 1080p can be displayed.
- IPTV. Freya can receive and playback IPTV from satellite or Ethernet. IPTV channels are presented in the same way as DVB-TV channels in the channel lists, with seamless switching between the different kinds of channels.
The ForsONEway system can quickly, and at a low cost, create an infrastructure for broadband Internet services in areas where no terrestrial broadband infrastructure is available.
With a rapidly increasing number of cellphone users in emerging countries, most people – even in emerging markets – do now have access to a mobile network. This has the effect that there are few people that cannot access an Internet service based on the ForsONEway product.
The project had it’s final review on the 13th April 2012, where it was successfully finalized.