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Satellite internet service in Europe

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Star-Trio VSAT 2-way Broadband Satellite Internet terminal for UK installation in Eutelsat W1 coverage

This page describes equipment used in 2004.  Now legacy technology and superceded.

The name DirecWay is superceded by HughesNet.

Star-Trio VSAT 2-WAY Satellite Internet terminals

The Star-Trio terminal is based on Hughes HNS DW4020 equipment and provides high-performance delivery of accelerated IP traffic to small offices/home offices (SOHOs), small/medium enterprises (SMEs) and large businesses alike. Star-Trio provides users with an easy, secure networking solution to connect multiple computers to broadband access via satellite.

The Ku band terminal provides expensive but immediate access to broadband applications such as streaming video, distance learning/training, Internet and intranet/extranet access. 

Satellite is an appropriate solution when cable modem or ADSL telephone service is not possible.  It is also attractive for temporary sites - emergency situations, service demonstrations, large public events and other urgent but important communication requirements in difficult areas.

Broadband applications supported include:

The terminal is a stand-alone, self-contained unit, requiring no external PC to host any software functions. It performs many of the functions of a typical IP router, thereby eliminating the need for a separate external router.

Router functions performed by the unit include IP routing using RIPV1, RIPV2 or static IP addresses, DHCP Server (assignment of IP addresses on the local LAN), Network Address Translation (NAT), and Firewall using filters.

Key features include:

The terminal provides broadband access to multiple users connected to the same satellite terminal and supports two-way connectivity between the remote units and the World Wide Web. Adding new remote units is a simple task with this scalable solution. As a business grows, terminals can be quickly installed at new locations.

Corporate intranets can be extended to remote locations without raising concerns about security. The network incorporates multiple security mechanisms, conditional access and encryption to ensure the privacy of all your information

Star Trio equipment details

The outdoor equipment comprises the antenna with a 1 watt transmitter and low noise receiver mounted on the front. There will be three cables, transmit and receive coaxial cables and a safety earth cable.

The indoor unit is in three parts, receiver, transmitter and gateway router.

The outdoor equipment comprises the antenna with a 1 watt transmitter and low noise receiver mounted on the front.  The diameter of the dish will vary according to location, but will typically be 75 to 1.2m diameter. 

Transmitter power is 0.5 watt or 1 watt.  A 1 watt transmitter in standard.  Safety distance is 50cm.

Indicative prices for UK only as of 2004:

StarTrio equipment, 74cm antenna, 1 watt transmitter
1700 + Install 350 + vat

Monthly service: Shared 128kbits up / 512kbit/s down 750/quarter + vat

Your expectation regarding grade of service:

A shared 128k up / 512k down satellite link gives a customer experience for web browsing comparable with a 64k dedicated terrestrial connection. File downloading is comparable with a 128k dedicated terrestrial connection. Off-peak time performance will be better.

The dish is a more sturdy and more accurately made version of the typical Satellite television dish.  The dish must be pointed to 0.1 deg accuracy and the polarisation adjusted to 0.25 deg accuracy to avoid interference to other satellite communications services.

There are three cables from the outdoor equipment to the indoor equipment: transmit and receive coaxial cables and a safety earth cable.  The transmit and receive cables use 75 ohm impedance coaxial cable and F type connectors.  The cable has foam insulation (not air spaced) to exclude moisture. Low DC resistance is important.

Indoor equipment dimensions: 16.5 cm wide x 14.6 cm x 22.3 cm deep.

Power supply 90 - 254 volts AC universal power supply.

Frequencies 10.95-12.75 GHz receive, 14-14.5 GHz transmit

Receive bit rates: 4.6 to 48 Mbit/s QPSK FEC concatonated Reed Soloman 188/204 plus Viterbi 7/8, 5/6, 3/4, 2/3 or 1/2.   Actual receive bit rates will be set by the monthly service tariff.

Transmit bit rates:  64, 128, 256kbit/s OQPSK FEC=1/2 rate Viterbi.  Actual operating bit rate will be set by the monthly service tariff.  If the dish size and transmitter power are sufficient there is the possibility of upgrade to higher transmit bit rate without hardware change.

4 RJ45 Ethernet ports, auto switching 10 BaseT/100BaseT

Connecting the customer's PCs

At the back of the gateway router are four RJ45 ethernet sockets ready for connection directly to four PCs.

To set up each PC:
Do Start, Control panel, Network, and then set, using the site specific details provided, for example:
IP Address
Subnet mask
Two DNS addresses will additionally be provided to enable internet working.

Subject to traffic load, many more than four PCs may be connected, using customer purchased ethernet hubs or switches.

Eutelsat W1 satellite set up data:
Satellite: 10 deg east longitude
Frequency: 11524.0 MHz  (L-band IF = 15240 x 100kHz)
Outlink bit rate: 30,000,000 symbols/sec
Outlink, downlink polarisation: Vertical
Outlink filter rolloff: 20
For dish pointing add +3.5deg to polarisation setting, since Eutelsat W1 polarisation is tilted 3.5 deg clockwise.

Page - Started 20 Jan 2004
Amended 12 May 2015