Smartellite, a new concept of terminals

1st February 2018

Fernado Peñaranda, Head of Innovation, explains one of the most important developments that HISPASAT, with the collaboration of hiSky, is currently working on.

Hispasat is currently in the midst of a process of innovation and transformation that affects all areas of the company. Hispasat’s innovation projects are focused on improving processes, developing new technologies and searching for new business models that facilitate the use of satellite technology and make it possible to open up new vertical markets where the use of the satellite was not possible.

One of the innovation projects that we will work on in 2018 is the development of a new terminal for satellite communications. Hispasat has signed an agreement with the Israeli company hiSky, a leader in affordable satellite-based voice and data communications. The solution consists of a new antenna technology called phased-array, which significantly reduces the size of the satellite terminal and which has electronic orientation. This means that it is a small, lightweight terminal with plug & play technology that facilitates the installation and configuration of the terminal by people with no technical knowledge.

The terminal has a Wi-Fi interface for connection to the user terminal, whether it be a smartphone, a PC or another device for IoT solutions, for example. The project has been initiated with a pilot phase for validating technology in different situations and scenarios of use, which will make it possible to analyse all features and possibilities of this new solution.

The portable hiSky Smartellite terminal uses power from HISPASAT’s high performance satellites on the Ka band to offer communication services with superb features. Upon turning on the device, it uses its built-in antenna with electronic orientation to automatically locate the satellite in milliseconds. The integrated modem is designed for low and moderate speeds and is made up of management tools that are very easy to use. The user communicates directly with their own smartphone and accesses the hiSky network through a secure connection.

It is an innovative solution that opens up new market opportunities for our satellite fleet on the Ka band. This agreement is in line with our strategy to continue to innovate and develop new technologies that simplify access to satellite services. hiSky’s Smartellite terminal and HISPASAT’s Ka-band capacity will enable us to develop new, very promising vertical markets, such as the IoT and connected cars.