One of the world’s leading Mobile Network Operators is committed to serving its customers with high speed, ubiquitous coverage. Many popular holiday destinations in markets served by the operator are in locations with poor terrestrial connectivity options. Seasonal increases in population of several hundred percent are not uncommon.
Historically it has been difficult justifying the operational and capital costs of backhaul infrastructure for such seasonal peaks, which can result in a poor user experience. Such varied backhaul requirements needed a robust and flexible solution. The BATS project – funded under the European Union 7th Framework Programme and led by Avanti Communications – addresses the delivery of future broadband services to Europe. The project uses capacity on Avanti’s HYLAS 1 satellite and integrates with BATS prototype technology to provide simultaneous use of terrestrial and satellite broadband connections.
The network architecture comprises three broadband access segments: xDSL, cellular and High Throughput Satellites (HTS). The integrated broadband service is delivered to the end user via a device called an Intelligent User Gateway (IUG), which dynamically routes traffic flows according to the end users’ service needs. This is done through the most appropriate broadband access network.
In recent programme trials, a selection of households in Galicia tested a prototype of the BATS technology. During the six month trial period, the customers involved had free access to satellite internet connectivity and 3G, plus a discount for their current DSL service.