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Satellite industry slowly embracing the cloud

14 Oct 2019, 15:09 UTC
Satellite industry slowly embracing the cloud
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler says that satellite operators didn’t jump on the cloud services bandwagon as fast as the rest of the telecommunications industry.
“A few years ago I would say we wouldn’t really think about working with cloud providers, as an industry,” said Spengler, whose company operates around 50 geostationary satellites‚ one of the largest such constellations in the world. “Now, cloud providers want to get to their customers, or get their customers [data to] every location around the world.”
This year, Intelsat, SES, Inmarsat and Viasat all announced partnerships with Microsoft to connect remote customers directly to its Azure cloud network of fiber-linked data centers. Microsoft highlighted farming, mining, shipping and oil and gas drilling as difficult to connect markets that it can reach more effectively using broadband satellites.
“Historically, if you look at the use of cloud within a satellite organization, it was seen as very much an IT network function,” Greg Quiggle, Kratos’ vice president of product management, said Oct. 8 at the Satellite Innovation conference.
Now, satellite operators are partnering with cloud service providers, but not on everything, he said.
“A teleport itself hasn’t really changed much in ...

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