Making New Tech Deliver What It Promises

Globecomm, now a Speedcast company, is best known as a communications service provider delivering solutions to government, media, maritime and enterprise customers. But under the hood, we’re really a tech company.

Today, the hot topics in technology are the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT), over-the-top (OTT) delivery of television online, and the continuing advance of mobile communications. Globecomm is busy innovating in all these fields, but we do it a bit differently than anyone else. Because the biggest challenge our customers face is not adopting the latest technology – it is getting it to actually work and deliver the value they were promised.

That’s how Globecomm has become an indispensable part of operations for organizations around the world. Our innovations fill the gaps between capability and requirement. They make new tech platforms stable enough to support the business case. And they integrate the digital realm – where so much value lies – with the physical systems that can open it to the world.

Hotspots at Sea

Globecomm has been providing an IoT solution for years to one of the largest shipping companies in the world. Working in partnership with global communications carriers and wireless technology firms, we equip refrigerated containers with temperature sensors and small computers that connect wirelessly with shipboard systems and the enterprise network. The technology gives the shipper a digital record of the temperature inside the containers from beginning to end of the voyage. That can save millions of dollars a year in claims for losses from customers. rig in the ocean

That IoT solution, however, has become a foundation for much more. Today, we provide internet access for passengers and crew, vessel tracking and fuel optimization applications, voice calling and entertainment programming that is “trickled” over satellite links to shipboard servers during non-peak periods. Crew members can then play it on demand to their mobile devices. Our most recent innovation is next-generation cybersecurity with deep packet inspection. This delivers a high level of protection to the entire network – and also makes it possible for customers to filter out non-essential traffic, like Facebook and Microsoft Office updates, to save on bandwidth costs. These innovations take the fixed expense of protecting cargo and add value to make shipboard life more efficient, productive and pleasant.

Learn more about IoT solutions.
Learn more about products and services for maritime.

The Cloud Via Satellite

Globecomm is a Direct Connect partner of Amazon Web Services, the world’s largest provider of cloud-based computing.  Direct Connect partners maintain dedicated high-speed network connections into the AWS cloud and benefit from consistent and secure performance.  The close integration achieved between the companies has delivered two innovations of value.  For AWS, the Globecomm partnership opens up access to the vast amount of the world not connected to the internet.  Our satellite network ties directly into the AWS backbone, and permits data and video content to move into and out of AWS applications and connections to content delivery networks. Amazon Web Services logo

For Globecomm, AWS computing capacity has become an important asset.  An example is our recent porting of Tempo, our unique video distance learning platform, to AWS to take advantage of its capacity and internet connectivity.  AWS also offers thousands of specialized application building-blocks that let us start up new services faster and at a lower initial cost.  The flexibility of AWS gives our company the chance to experiment with new applications and servers without the time and expense of expanding our own data center, which further speeds the pace of innovation.

Learn more about our partnership with AWS.

Filling the Holes in the Cloud

As valuable as cloud services have become, they are not foolproof. For media and entertainment customers, there remains a gap between the complexity of what broadcasters do to turn content into programming and the capabilities of cloud providers. 4

A simple example is content acquisition via satellite or dedicated fiber – non-internet transmission systems that require an expert like Globecomm to connect into the cloud.  Bonded cellular is an increasingly popular way to get contribution content from the field to the broadcast center, but it also requires processing to stabilize and normalize the content before it can be used in cloud applications. The assembly of content into television channels is highly complex – calling on the need for editing, subtitles and graphics, channel branding, regulatory compliance, translation and dubbing.  Cloud providers do not yet offer the end-to-end toolbox to cover all the bases.

A frequent requirement in live broadcasting is to play out content with a delay of several seconds at the same time it is being ingested into the broadcast center.  This is a capability that the cloud cannot provide because of the latency between cloud data centers and the broadcasters, which means that problems cannot be spotted before they go live to air.

To fill these gaps, Globecomm has developed a digital headend platform called Vector, which provides the robust capabilities needed for broadcast origination in a virtual environment.  It is a “cloud before the cloud” that gives content producers what they need to deliver high-quality content to viewers.

Learn more about Vector video delivery solutions.

Taking LTE Mobile Private

This year, the US Federal Communications Commission authorized the use of the CBRS (Citizen Broadband Radio Service) band for use in mobile communications.   With the stroke of a pen, the commission created an opportunity to solve a challenge faced by every company that has vital operations beyond the edges of the network. Silhouette of an offshore oil installation

The opportunity is to use the LTE mobile standard for a private communications network supporting a wellhead, mine or firefighting mission in remote areas.  These operations depend on good data and voice communications as much as a factory in the middle of a city or suburb. LTE provides stable, high-bandwidth connectivity with better coverage than Wi-Fi.  It also connects easily with public mobile networks that run on the same standard.

Private networks are tiny by comparison with public mobile, which means that it costs comparatively more to connect each user or device.  To adapt LTE to private networks, Globecomm is developing low-cost, scaled-down technology at the network core and edge base stations to drive down the cost per user.  We are also expanding the ways in which it can be used.  Many IoT applications at wellheads or mines require only periodic connection to sample temperature or security sensors.  Globecomm is building “smarts” into the edge of the network so that it transmits high-priority voice and data at all times and stores other data to be transmitted off-peak back to headquarters.

It is said that invention is the art of turning money into ideas, while innovation is the art of turning ideas into money.  With each new innovation, Globecomm makes communications services and applications more cost-effective, more stable and robust, and frees customers from struggling with challenges of the latest and greatest in technology so that they can get on with their jobs.

Learn more about enterprise communications solutions.