Satellite-based Internet services have the advantage of being able to be used in remote, isolated areas without wired or wireless Internet connectivity. As the satellites are 22,300 miles above the Earth, latency is a major problem. While Cisco can't make the signals travel faster than the speed of light to reduce this latency, using on-board routing in the spacecraft improves performance.
Cisco has been testing its Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) technology. Last week the company reported on an upgrade of an IP router aboard Intelsat 14. Cisco completed the industry's first Voice of Internet Protocol (VoIP) call made without the use of any terrestrial infrastructure in routing the call.
"Today's announcement underscores Cisco's commitment to innovation in networking communications," said Steven Boutelle, CEO of Cisco Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) and VP of Cisco Global Government Solutions Group. "IRIS will support the deployment of a truly mobile network that allows users to connect and communicate how, when and where they want, and that continuously adapts to changing needs without depending on a fixed terrestrial infrastructure. This technology has the potential to transform how government agencies and commercial organizations use IP-based network services to accomplish their missions and business objectives."
More information, including a video, is available in the Cisco news release Cisco's Space Router to Transform Satellite Communications: Company Debuts First VoIP Call From Space.
Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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