Did you know there are three types of coverage satellite beams?

  • by Segmentation Group
  • 06 Sep, 2017

Global beam coverage

Each satellite is equipped with a single global beam that covers up to one-third of the Earth's surface, apart from the poles. Overall, global beam coverage extends from latitudes of −82 to +82 degrees regardless of longitude.

Regional spot beam coverage

Each regional beam covers a fraction of the area covered by a global beam, but collectively all of the regional beams offer virtually the same coverage as the global beams. Use of regional beams allow user terminals (also called mobile earth stations) to operate with significantly smaller antennas. Regional beams were introduced with the satellites. Each satellite provides four to six spot beams; each satellite provides 19 regional beams.

Narrow spot beam coverage

Narrow beams vary in size, tend to be several hundred kilometers across. The narrow beams, while much smaller than the global or regional beams, are far more numerous and hence offer the same global coverage. Narrow spot beams allow yet smaller antennas and much higher data rates.  Each satellite provides around 200 narrow spot beams.  

by Segmentation Group 06 Sep, 2017

The Yellow Pages will stop printing from January 2019 after more than five decades, its owner Yell has announced.

Yell has taken the decision to fully digitise the business, ending the publication’s 51-year run. The first of the 104 final editions will be distributed in Kingston in January 2018, and the last will be sent out a year later in Brighton, where it was first published in 1966.

The company will print 23m copies of the final editions, which Yell hopes will become a souvenir.

Richard Hanscott, CEO of Yell said: ‘‘After 51 years in production Yellow Pages is a household name and we’re proud to say that we still have customers who’ve been with us from the very first Yellow Pages edition in 1966. How many brands can say they’ve had customers with them for over 50 years?”

The publication became famous for its advertisements, including the “JR Hartley” campaign in the 1980s and the “French Polisher”.

It was a vital tool for finding service providers and tradespeople, but the rise of social media and Google have reduced demand for printed directories.

Yell, part of Hibu Group, says it aspires to “help a million businesses be found, chosen and trusted by more customers online by 2020”.

Instead of the Yellow Pages, Yell will offer a free listing to businesses on yell.com.

“Like many businesses, Yell has found that succeeding in digital demands constant change and innovation,” Hanscott continued. “We’re well placed to continue to help local businesses and consumers be successful online, both now and in the future.’’

In recent years, the directory has caused environmental concerns, prompting the launch of the Say No to Phonebooks campaign in 2009, which called for an “opt-in” scheme whereby only those who want these directories left by their door would receive them.

At the time, the Yell Group, then maker of Yellow Pages, maintained it was “among the most sustainable companies in the world,” adding: “Our directories are produced in an environmentally responsible way and are 100% recyclable. In common with other members of the Data Publishers Association, we maintain an opt-out scheme that enables consumers to choose not to receive a directory.”

The Yellow Pages telephone directory came about in 1883 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, when a printer producing a directory ran out of white paper and used yellow instead. The first Yellow Pages publication was formed three years later.

In the UK in 1966, the Post Office first launched the directory, which later became part of British Telecom.

The Business Pages was launched in the mid 1980s when British Telecom was privatised by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government, growing in popularity with a series of funny adverts.

The group launched the first electronic delivery of classified directory information in 1987 alongside Talking Pages.

With the rise of the internet, Yell launched yell.co.uk in 1996, offering transactions on the site a year later.

BT sold the Yellow Pages for £2.1bn in 2001 to private equity companies, subsequently launching a new telephone service and bringing the number of Yellow Pages published to 102.

Article courtesy of The Guardian

by Segmentation Group 06 Sep, 2017

Back on the 30th June 2016, the world's oldest emergency service - 999 - celebrated its 80th birthday.

The service began following a fire at a London doctor's surgery in November 1935 that resulted in the deaths of five women.

After the fire, a committee was set up to look at how telephone operators could identify emergency calls.

At that time, people with a phone at home who were subscribers on an automated exchange would call 0 for the operator to contact emergency services in the same way as they would make a regular call.

It was suggested that an easy-to-remember nationwide number be created for emergencies - the first suggestion was 707 (from the letters SOS on the phone dial). Then they considered 333 but finally settled on 999.

The 999 service began two years later, in 1937, handling more than 1,000 calls during its first week, a number that has grown to around 560,000 calls a week and around 30 million calls a year, according to BT.

Each 999 call triggered flashing red lights and hooters to alert operators in the exchange to give priority to the emergency call. The hooters were apparently so loud that the operators pushed a tennis ball into the horn to reduce the volume until modifications were made.

The service was extended to Glasgow in 1938 but the nationwide roll-out was delayed by the arrival of the Second World War.

Around 62% of emergency calls are made from mobile phones

Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle got the 999 service in 1946, all major towns and cities were covered by 1948 and every telephone exchange in Britain was automated to allow the service by 1976.

Hoaxes and silly calls are now regular subjects of news stories but these were a feature of the service from its very beginning. Even in the first week, of the 1,336 calls, there were 91 "alleged practical jokers".

Today, around 35% of calls do not involve requests for help - most of these are made by children playing with home phones or by people accidentally dialling 999 or the European emergency number 112.

The busiest times are around midnight on Fridays and Saturday, with the service taking around 5,000 calls an hour but the early hours of New Year's Day can see up to 9,000 calls an hour.

Even so, call handlers manage to answer 97% of calls within five seconds.

by Segmentation Group 06 Sep, 2017

Global beam coverage

Each satellite is equipped with a single global beam that covers up to one-third of the Earth's surface, apart from the poles. Overall, global beam coverage extends from latitudes of −82 to +82 degrees regardless of longitude.

Regional spot beam coverage

Each regional beam covers a fraction of the area covered by a global beam, but collectively all of the regional beams offer virtually the same coverage as the global beams. Use of regional beams allow user terminals (also called mobile earth stations) to operate with significantly smaller antennas. Regional beams were introduced with the satellites. Each satellite provides four to six spot beams; each satellite provides 19 regional beams.

Narrow spot beam coverage

Narrow beams vary in size, tend to be several hundred kilometers across. The narrow beams, while much smaller than the global or regional beams, are far more numerous and hence offer the same global coverage. Narrow spot beams allow yet smaller antennas and much higher data rates.  Each satellite provides around 200 narrow spot beams.  

by Segmentation Group 06 Sep, 2017

MAREA—Spanish for "tide"— is a giant underwater cable 6,600 kilometers long and providing up to 160 terabits per second of bandwidth and will be laid by Facebook & Microsoft.

Rather than just leasing bandwidth on undersea cables and terrestrial connections operated by telecoms, the likes of Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are building their own networking infrastructure both on land and across the seas.

The fact that these Internet giants are laying their own cables—at their own expense—shows just how much data these giants must move.

With so much data flowing across their systems, these companies are scrambling to build new infrastructure. The large Internet content providers are looking to build more of their own networks which makes sense. In some ways, this eats into a market once controlled by the big telecoms. So it's going to get interesting, who is the real telecommunications provider?

When you consider that these Internet giants are also using their own dark fiber on land, the upshot is that they are taking control of their own destiny. If they aren't bound to the telecoms, they aren't bound to the prices of the telecoms or to any disputes over net neutrality.

With its Fiber division, Google has even gone so far as to become an Internet service provider itself, laying down faster lines. The move is similar in the data space, where companies get to an economy of scale where it makes sense for them to handle their own traffic.

by Segmentation Group 06 Sep, 2017

A dark fibre or unlit fibre is an unused optical fibre, available for use in fibre-optic communication.

The term dark fibre was originally used when referring to the potential network capacity of telecommunication infrastructure, but now also refers to the increasingly common practice of leasing fibre optic cables from a network service provider, or, generally, to the fibre installations not owned or controlled by traditional carriers. In common vernacular, dark fibre may sometimes still be called "dark" if it has been lit by a fibre lessee and not the cable's owner.

A dark fibre network or simply dark network is a privately operated optical fibre network that is run directly by its operator over dark fibre leased or purchased from another supplier. This is in contrast to purchasing bandwidth or leased line capacity on an existing network. Dark fibre networks may be used for private networking, or as Internet access or infrastructure.

by Segmentation Group 30 Aug, 2017

20-30 years

In twenty years we’ll look back and laugh at how we once had to actually hold our phones to operate them. Going way beyond wearables, a smart contact lens could offer a device-free experience to display messages, web pages, directions and video literally right in front of your eye. A lens with basic computer circuitry is currently being tested, which contains sensors to alert diabetics to dangerous glucose levels. With nanotechnology having the potential to build robots the size of blood cells the prospect of developing computing components small enough to fit on a contact lens is a distinct possibility.

As the memory of clunky, manual mobile handsets fade into a world of invisible communication devices plugged straight into our bodies we will also see highly sophisticated operating systems that we can talk to like another human. Built-in personal assistants are becoming more intuitive knowing what we like, where we’ve been and what we’re doing. If our mobiles can already work out and tell us when to leave work in order to catch our usual train while reminding us to say happy birthday to Brenda on our way and warning us how many calories are in that biscuit before we’ve even eaten it can you imagine what else it’ll be able to do as this intelligence continues to grow? The movie Her does a great job of showing us how operating systems could evolve to a point where we can freely converse with the OS rather than the simple experience we know today. Forget asking if it’s going to rain, you can have full convos about the state of the weather. A computer has already managed to dominate the television game show Jeopardy providing complex human-like answers to questions. Some might find this petrifying but us technophiles can’t wait. Artificial intelligence is coming so get your small talk ready.

by Segmentation Group 30 Aug, 2017

10-15 years

If sci-fi films have taught us anything it’s that holographic floating displays will burst out of our mobile devices in the future. They’re not wrong. A 3D screen materialising in thin air we can prod and manipulate is already in development from start-up Ostendo Technologies. Their ‘Quantum Photonic Imager’ is a Tic-Tac sized projector unit that can beam a high-resolution image into the open like something from Iron Man. In ten-years’ time the technology would be finetuned to a point where we’re fully interactive with the floating screen — we could watch sport play out in front of us, get inside maps and play games in a whole new way. And Tinder sure is going to be interesting ….

Wearable technology is already trying to bridge the necessity to carry a phone and in years going forward we will see the physical handset disappear from pockets altogether. Just as the smartphone managed to evaporate the hardware of things like sat navs, MP3 players, wallets and — to some extent — watches and compact cameras, new smartwatches and smartglasses operated by spoken command will become the primary communications device to make the mobile vanish. If you’re thinking ‘where’s the screen?!’ it could be displayed on glasses lenses or perhaps that pill-sized holographic projector could unfurl it in midair for you. How do you take a selfie would be the next one to answer …

Watch this space for Part 5 www.segmentationgroup.com



by Segmentation Group 30 Aug, 2017

The fabled foldable mobile has been floating around almost as long as the flying car but breakthroughs in material technology — in particular the super thin, super strong and conductive wonder material, Graphene — will make this more than a crazy concept. There are already mobiles on the market that have a slight bend and we’ve seen manufacturers show off flexy displays at gadget shows but within ten years we could see mobiles that change shape to suit our needs and roll up right into our pocket. There wouldn’t be a need for both tablet and mobile, or the decision of what screen size to go for — imagine being able to unravel a screen to different sizes whether you want more space for browsing or less to just make a call. We know mobile makers are keen on this flexible, wrappable, mouldable, unbreakable form factor and research labs like the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University in Canada have already produced a primitive folding handset.

Batteries last about as long as an asthmatic in a sprint race these days but in the hi-tech future we could see our devices run for 20 years on a single charge. A team at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed a titanium dioxide gel that is a dab hand at storing lithium ions in its nanostructure. In non-sciencey words: it’s very efficient at storing its charge. Of course, this Holy Grail of an everlasting battery is being chased after by many so there are other alternative battery technologies being developed. There’s a team in Korea looking to transform the heat generated from our bodies into electricity to power phones; there’s also the idea of piezoelectricity which converts movement into energy so we could walk and charge; and researchers in California have made a tattoo that generates electricity from our own sweat. So it looks like the future phone’s power supply might be something we won’t have to sweat about (literally).

Watch this space for Part 4 www.segmentationgroup.com

by Segmentation Group 30 Aug, 2017

3-5 years

With smartphone screens getting bigger and people spending more time on mobiles than any other device expect to see super-high resolution, cinema-quality displays rock handsets. A far cry from the monochrome, one-line displays of the 90s our eyes will be treated to full 4K screens (that’s four-times the resolution of High Definition) right in the palm of our hand. This visual feast is only just reaching our living rooms today but mobile makers are already eyeing it up for our pocketable gadgets. We doubt mobile sizes will continue to grow at this stage (around five-inches seems to be the Goldilocks zone) but within three years a stunning 4K screen will be de facto.

If you think 4G browsing on your phone is pretty speedy today, just wait a few years and you’ll be blown away. The next-generation wireless mobile network could be quick enough to download a high-def movie in just 30 seconds. This also means it could make storage sizes obsolete as everything from your apps to entertainment could be accessed from the cloud within the blink of an eye. The infrastructure of this technology is being readied for a 2020 release.

The camera will evolve in our smartphones to do far more than your standard selfie. 3D technology using wide-angle lenses and sensors will be able to map your surroundings, meaning you could actually walk around inside your photos. Mobile cameras will understand and process the space around you and then remodel it in a 3D image. You could revisit old birthday party pictures, explore old holiday snaps or take a look around hotels, houses for sale or eBay items in great detail. The technology is currently being tested in projects in both mobile handsets and a larger system called Matterport, who worked on Microsoft’s Kinect sensor.

Watch this space for Part 3 www.segmentationgroup.com

by Segmentation Group 30 Aug, 2017

In 30 years since the first mobile phone went on sale we’ve seen it morph from a bank-breaking, basic brick into a slim super computer that can do anything from entertain to tell us what we should be doing next.

With the next-generation (and several generations after that) of mobile phone innovation already being tinkered with by engineers and scientists in hi-tech labs the future of the device is set to change at warp speed. We look at what our favourite gadget could do in years ahead.

1 - 2 Years

Mobiles were uglier back in the day but at least they could withstand a bashing. Recent years have seen a trade in resilience for beauty but the future will see a turnaround with unbreakable devices. Weatherproof handsets are proving a surprising hit with consumers calling for their precious phones to be made of tougher stuff. Manufacturers look to use the latest materials including scratch and shatter-proof ion-infused glass as well as liquid metal for cases, which is nigh-on indestructible as it bounces back to its original shape after being dented.

Modular mobile phones will hit the market whereby customers can buy a handset made from features they pick and choose to go on it. There’s already a project underway that will allow consumers to decide what their custom handset can do and what it will look like so you can create a phone that perfectly fits your needs. For instance if there’s a phone out there that has a great camera but you don’t need the whizzy other stuff, this modular approach could let you have the best of everything or let you cherry pick the bits that are important to you. Expect to see the pick ‘n’ mix smartphones to shift the goalposts in the not-too-distant future.

Watch this space for Part 2 www.segmentationgroup.com


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