How to select the right telecom partner when building satellite ground infrastructure

· 28 January 2024 · 5 minute read

Telstra boasts a long-standing legacy in the field of satellite communication. With decades of experience in delivering satellite connectivity solutions, we’ve played a significant role in shaping the industry landscape. Our expertise spans a wide range of areas, including satellite ground infrastructure, network integration, and regulatory compliance, among others.

Below are our tips for for selecting the ideal telecom partner to assist in building satellite ground infrastructure. Choosing the right telecom partner is vital, and the selection process requires careful evaluation to ensure that the chosen partner possesses the necessary expertise, resources, and market knowledge.

Tip #1: Assess experience and expertise

An essential factor to consider when choosing a telecom partner is their experience and expertise in satellite communication and infrastructure development. Look for a partner with a proven track record in deploying and maintaining satellite ground infrastructure. Evaluate their understanding of regulatory requirements, technical proficiency in satellite technologies, and their ability to address potential challenges that may arise during the construction process.

Some of those challenges include:

  • Site selection and permitting
  • Technical integration and interference mitigation
  • Construction and installation delays caused by weather or other unforeseen circumstances
  • Security and data protection
  • Maintenance and lifecycle management
  • Environmental considerations
  • Stakeholder coordination
  • Availability of commercial terrestrial connectivity to the site

An experienced partner will bring valuable insights and contribute to the success of the project.

Tip #2: Consider geographic understanding and market knowledge

Select a telecom partner that demonstrates a strong understanding of the geographical regions where you plan to deploy the satellite ground infrastructure. They should possess in-depth knowledge of local market conditions, regulatory frameworks, and spectrum allocation.

This expertise will help streamline the infrastructure deployment process and ensure compliance with regional requirements. Additionally, a telecom partner with an established presence and operating experience in the target markets/region can provide valuable insights into consumer preferences, competitive landscapes, and emerging trends.

Opting for a telecom partner that has knowledge of compliance and regional requirements in multiple target markets can often be a good choice. By working with one vendor or partner, it can speed up the infrastructure deployment process as well as enable satellite operators to scale up operations more quickly as they grow.

Here are some approaches to evaluate their understanding of the market:

  • Investigate whether they have established partnerships or collaborations with local entities
  • Assess their team’s composition to determine if it includes regulatory specialists or legal advisors who can provide insights and guidance

Tip #3: Evaluate financial strength and resources

Building satellite ground infrastructure requires significant financial investment. It is crucial to assess the financial strength of potential telecom partners to ensure they have the necessary resources and capital to support the project. A financially stable partner will be able to provide the required funding, equipment, and personnel to facilitate the timely construction and long-term maintenance of the infrastructure. Consider partners with a proven ability to execute similar projects within budget and on schedule. Speed to market is a crucial factor, so ensure that the partner you choose is aligned with your project timelines and goals.

Tip #4: Identify a partner with a collaborative approach

Effective collaboration between satellite operators and telecom partners is essential for successful infrastructure development. Look for a telecom partner that demonstrates a collaborative approach and a willingness to work closely with your team. Assess their ability to understand your specific needs, align with your business goals, and adapt to changing requirements. Compatibility in terms of organizational culture, vision, and communication style is crucial for a smooth working relationship that fosters effective teamwork. Additionally, consider if there is an opportunity for you and the telco to serve each other’s needs; though not a must-have, this point is a strategic value-add. You may want one partner that can curate across ground infrastructure, sourcing of global satellite provider connectivity into that ground infrastructure and resale to the end customer of the entire solution.

Tip #5: Ensure adequate network integration and scalability

Consider a telecom partner that can seamlessly integrate satellite connectivity with existing terrestrial networks as well as short- and long-term expansion plans that provide you the opportunity to scale as necessary. This integration ensures a unified and scalable network infrastructure, optimizing operational efficiency and enhancing the user experience. Evaluate their capabilities in network planning, traffic management, and the ability to accommodate future growth and technology advancements. A telecom partner with expertise in network integration will enable a seamless transition between satellite and terrestrial systems, providing a resilient and adaptable infrastructure.

Tip #6: Make sure they have a good reputation and references

Research the reputation and reliability of potential telecom partners within the industry. Seek references and testimonials from their existing or previous clients to gauge their performance, responsiveness, and customer satisfaction. A telecom partner with a strong reputation and positive references is more likely to deliver high-quality services and support throughout the infrastructure development process. Look for partners with a proven track record of successful collaborations and a history of delivering on their commitments.

Tip #7: Assess support for regulatory compliance and legal

Satellite communication is subject to regulatory frameworks and licensing requirements. It is crucial to ensure that the chosen telecom partner has a thorough understanding of the legal and regulatory landscape, especially in Asia. They should be capable of navigating the complexities of obtaining permits, licenses, and spectrum rights. A telecom partner with expertise in regulatory compliance can save time and mitigate potential legal hurdles, ensuring that the infrastructure development adheres to all necessary regulations.

Selecting the right telecom partner is critical when building satellite ground infrastructure. The tips provided in this article serve as a guide for evaluating potential partners based on their experience, expertise, market knowledge, financial strength, collaborative approach, network integration capabilities, reputation, and regulatory compliance. By choosing a telecom partner that aligns with your project requirements and objectives, you can ensure a successful partnership that lays a strong foundation for efficient and reliable satellite ground infrastructure.

If you’re currently looking for a telecom company to partner in building ground infrastructure, get in touch with one of our satellite experts. With decades of experience in the global satellite industry and dozens of infrastructure projects completed for a range of satellite needs – including GEO, MEO and LEO for multiple communication bands – we can adequately address all the considerations laid out in this article. 

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