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HX testimonial

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A.Walker
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Nov 22nd, 2007 at 11:35am  
Heres what one of our customers thought of the Bentley Walker HX service =))

I have to say that once the problems with the modem at my house were resolved the performance is amazing, it is the most efficient link I have ever seen over any kind of satellite.
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Maxim Usatov
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Reply #1 - Nov 22nd, 2007 at 1:17pm  
No offense. Has he been throttled yet?
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Reply #2 - Nov 22nd, 2007 at 3:57pm  
Want to explain WHY your prices are 3 times more expensive than American HughesNet customers? Also throw in WHY you don't offer your customers the same speeds as the US?
McD
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Eric Johnston
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Reply #3 - Nov 22nd, 2007 at 6:41pm  
I tried to compose something earlier but I've been busy elsewhere and it has taken me time to write something I hope will be a useful contribution. I don't want any aggravation here, otherwise the whole thread gets deleted.  This forum is censored by me.

First:  Regarding fair share of the system and throttling following high useage.

I think the HX fair use policy, for customers using the network in shared mode, works like this:

Upload:
Full speed for the first 10 - 180 Mbytes uploaded
then reduced speed of 45 - 60 kbit/s until
15 - 297 Mbytes uploaded when speed is reduced to 30 - 45 kbit/s.

Download:
Full speed for the first 40 - 700 Mbytes downloaded
then reduced speed of 128 - 512 kbit/s until
45 - 2200 Mbytes downloaded when speed is reduced to 64 - 256 kbit/s.

Every 8 hours you start again and go back to full speed.

Various normal full speeds, traffic quantities and reduced speeds are associated with each particular tariff, so you get your fair share, corresponding to what you are paying for.

I've tried using this HX system on the minimal tariff with 1 PC, and I had to make quite a deliberate effort to get into the restricted speed mode and even then it only lasted till the next 8 hour boundary. So my testimonial is that it worked fine for me.

Second: Price

I don't know the specifics of either HughesNet in the USA or HX here.

From my experience it costs around $7000 per month to provide 800k up and 200k down service using QPSK 3/4.  Price would be less if the customer used much larger dishes to allow 8-PSK or 16-QAM.  Lower prices are also applicable in certain unpopular beams, frequency bands and satellites, particularly on inclined orbit or end of life satellites.

If you have a shared system you need enough customer payments to cover the cost of providing the service.  If you have too few customers to fill the capacity you go bust.

If you have too many customers whose expectations have been raised too high for the amount they are paying, then you have customer complaints about congestion. There is no getting away from the fact that you only get what you pay for.  You can only share out 800k down/200k up (or any other amount of total capacity) in so many ways - you still need a total of $7000 per month income.  I suspect there are hundreds of iDirect VNO hub operators in this position and I worry about them.

At least the HX technology (8-PSK 8/9 FEC on the outlink and adaptive 4/5, 2/3 and 1/2 FEC on the return links) gives a significant extra margin of efficiency. It is also scalable to very large numbers of customers so should ultimately benefit when the traffic justifies a full transponder carrier able to operate around -1 dB backoff instead of around -3.5 dB in multicarrier mode.

Best regards, Eric.
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Maxim Usatov
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Reply #4 - Nov 22nd, 2007 at 7:42pm  
Thanks for posting the throttling info, Eric.

40 Mb download limit sounds OK for me if I would be one PC and use Internet occasionally - something like home or office environment. (I guess that's the main HX niche.)

As always - you get what you pay for and I completely agree.
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A.Walker
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Reply #5 - Nov 23rd, 2007 at 9:20am  
Currently we have sold over 350 HX systems and customers are more than happy , I have loads of testimonials and above was just one of them =) we are quite transparent with our service packages and quotas........the quotas are more generous and include 3 daily resets and the prices are fair, 40mb download on our very lowest basic package is not daily but x 3 over 24 hour period =120mb .f any of you would like to know more dont hesitate to email me
anthony@bentleywalker.com
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Reply #6 - Nov 23rd, 2007 at 9:28am  
Eric
Sorry wasn’t trying to create any aggravation with my post, but the original post is by Bentley Walker, “praising” their own system, and I was only asking them to respond (if they wish to), to their pricing, and service plans!  I am an individual user (of HughesNet), and the subject of pricing (between Europe and the US, discussed by Greg, USN Retired Forum Moderator and myself) came up recently in a previous thread here:
https://www.satsig.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=direcway;action=display;num=11...

There is clearly a huge price difference between the USA and Europe, and Bentley Walker is one of the main distributors of HughesNet in Europe, and if they come onto an open forum praising their product, can they not elaborate further by answering some pertinent questions? I am just inviting them to comment.
McD
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A.Walker
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Reply #7 - Nov 23rd, 2007 at 11:34am  
Dear MCD

Our prices are available should you wish to email us as I have indicated above, our pricing formulae is very similiar to that of the other official Hughes Europe value added resellers and our own HX system broadly competes with the higher scale Hughes Europe packages.

In the USA there is over 200,000 small VSATs aimed at the mass market with very low end packages , in Europe in order to make the service possible for the Middle East the market is much smaller and the applicable Satellite Bandwidth and investment start up costs are much higher otherwise the service simply would not be viable , you will find the costings we charge are not comparable to the USA but are certainly comparable to our competitors offering a like for like service in the Middle East.

I hope this explains matters but feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss this further

Kind Regards A.E.Walker Bentley Telecom
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Reply #8 - Nov 23rd, 2007 at 12:56pm  
Perhaps I can pour a little oil on troubled waters here. I too have wondered why the non-US providers do not publish their pricing plans on their websites. I suspect that part of the reason may be international currency rates, coupled with inconsistent tax and tarrif loads among nations. Hughes advertises it's basic price structures in North America, the resellers follow suit. Hughes does NOT publish the same outside of America, where resellers also follow suit.

Regarding the higher non-US costs to the consumer; note that Hughes currently leases 65 transponders on 11 satellites in providing service to North America. The operative word is TRANSPONDER. Non-US providers may not typically have a customer base large enough to lease RF bandwidth on that scale. Consider it bulk rate pricing; meaning cheaper per MHz of  RF bandwidth to lease an entire 24 or 36 MHz transponder than it is to lease any segment of that same 24 or 36 MHz. Hughes can generate enough North American customers to populate an entire transponder in a matter of months. I doubt the same can be said of their overseas resellers. Surprising as it may sound, the lower per MHz lease costs may then be passed on as lower rates to the North America customer.

That said, I feel that Hughes itself should lend a helping hand to the overseas resellers. I don't see any technical reason that Hughes couldn't lease a series of transponders providing overlapping EuroAfroAsian coverage. Hughes could then turn right around and sub-lease to resellers in MHz blocks. The savings realized from subdividing a full transponder lease could then be passed on to the customer base. That would TRULY give the Hughes resellers a competitive edge.

Just a SWAG mind you, but at least that's how I see it working.

//greg//
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« Last Edit: Nov 23rd, 2007 at 2:39pm by USN - Retired »  

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pgannon
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Reply #9 - Dec 11th, 2007 at 11:24pm  
A couple points...

First, it's foolish to start posting testimonials in these forums.  Any of us who deliver quality services can post numerous testimonials talking about how wonderful we are.  I received a great compliment from one of my customers today.  Should I post it here?  I don't think it serves any useful purpose. 

Second, if we're going to start posting testimonials then the next step is to start posting rants from customers who left their previous network operator and have nothing but bad things to say about them.  I've signed former BW customers who hated the service, and in all likelihood, I've lost customers who have ranted about our service quality.  We all know that in most or at least many situations, this is because the customer had improper expectations and because they had no real clue of what networking was all about and they didn't understand the impact of P2P, webcams, streaming video, YouTube, etc. on their throughput.  In many cases, of course there are simply too many new, inexperienced, unknowledgeable network operators out there.  I understand that when I see posts from people asking questions their network operator should be addressing. 

In response to the pricing issues - the first question I have is:  Aren't HX and DirecWay/HughesNet fundamentally different platforms?  One would expect different prices based on the technical platform being used.  Similarly a Tachyon, Shiron or LinkStar, (or HX) platform arguably delivers superior services or capabilities compared with generic DirecWay, so the prices will of course be higher.  In turn, iDirect provides more capabilities than most of these systems and similarly justifies higher service prices.  So when discussing price disparity, it's important to first make sure the comparison is between similar platforms.

Next the markets in the US are very different from the rest of the world.  I started out selling DW in the US, and the primary customer was residential or SOHO.  There are limited service options and customers tend to be more affluent and will generally buy the amount of bandwidth they need to service their requirements.

When selling overseas, the markets are very different, particularly in third world countries.  If you list your prices on your web site, Joe Cyber Cafe owner is going to buy the cheapest service he can.   He will buy a 256 x 128 shared circuit and have 50 active PCs and 10 webcams and he will immediately saturate his circuit, oversubscribing your network and creating a service hassle as he whines and complains about the service quality.  It is CRITICAL that you understand the customer's plans for using your bandwidth before you present him with any bandwidth options or prices when you sell into this market.  Otherwise you are doomed to failure in the long run as your network becomes oversaturated and you can't make your break-even point for number of sites to space segment. 

Yeah, FAPs are one mechanism to police bandwidth use, but that model doesn't work for a Cyber Cafe or WISP, and at least in my experience, that's the bulk of the market in the eastern hemisphere.  If Joe's Cafe gets throttled back, his clients go down the street to Sam's Cafe and Joe goes out of business, while complaining bitterly to anyone who will listen that his network operator screwed him. 

I don't think there is as large a market for DW type services in Europe.  This region has a more evenly distributed population and more widespread availability of terrestrial broadband, whereas in the US we still have large areas of sparsely populated rural areas where DW is a good solution for residents and SOHOs; so I'm not sure the economics are there for Hughes to invest in all that transponder space.  When you look at the Middle East, including service people in Iraq, those situations tend to be more like Joe's Cafe as these young men and women don't understand networking any better than Joe does.  They all want webcams and want to upload and download video traffic.  They get the ability to do that at home for $45/mo. over broadband cable or DSL, and they don't understand why it costs so much more over satellite.  So you have to work with them and understand their requirements and educate them, just like the Joe's Cafe manager.

The "real" issue we should all be discussing is the way the satellite providers are all being bought out by financial companies who know nothing about the technology.  Like OPEC, they constrain capacity, attempting to squeeze as much revenue as they can out of limited spacecraft resources.  Over Africa right now, the situation is particularly bleak as capacity is in very short supply - a problem that was exasperated when NSS-8 blew up on the launch pad in January 2007.  The problem is that as they constrain capacity and drive prices up, the economic justification to build out fiber and invest in long distance wireless backhaul services cuts into the long term prospects for satellite services.  That, my friends is an issue we should all be concerned about. 

Pat Gannon
Business Satellite Solutions, LLC

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Reply #10 - Dec 12th, 2007 at 4:58am  
pgannon wrote on Dec 11th, 2007 at 11:24pm:
Aren't HX and DirecWay/HughesNet fundamentally different platforms?
Similar approaching identical Pat. Tech specs on the HN7700S and HX50 look pretty much in lockstep. Even the software versions aren't that far apart.  My HN7000S was shipped earlier this year with v5.3.0.15 (currently updated to v5.6.0.24), and the HX50 is now said to be shipping with v5.3.0.28 (updated upon commissioning I assume).  From what I can see, the major difference is that the HX system includes a dedicated ODU. I believe the reason for that is optimization for use via selected satellites covering selected locations in the mid-east. See
http://www.hns.com/HUGHES/Doc/0/JSREC7E106HKB4SFKPIH7VP063/HX50_H35656_A4_LR_091...

http://www.eeenterprisesinc.com/pdf/HN7700S.pdf

http://www.hnseu.com/files/press/BentleyWalker.2%20HX.Final.UK.pdf

//greg//
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« Last Edit: Dec 12th, 2007 at 6:52pm by USN - Retired »  

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Reply #11 - Dec 12th, 2007 at 5:47pm  
There is a major difference and that is the BW HX 50 Network on Eutelsat W3A and Sesat is at the moment the only Hughes HX DVBS2 ACM technology producing up to 50% more efficiency , current Hughes Europe Networks are not yet DVBS2 although the later 7000 modems are =))
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Reply #12 - Dec 12th, 2007 at 6:59pm  
I'm not looking for arguments here, but I personally wouldn't categorize that difference as major. The DW7x00 series is not forward compatible to DVB-S2. But the HN7x00S series and the HX50 series are backward compatible to DVB-S. So the advantage is temporary, until such time as the HNS/EU gateways gear up to DVB-S2.

And this "50% improved efficiency" is essentially in the form of increased bandwidth availble to the provider. From the customer perspective, the only tangible benefit is the adaptive outroute.

//greg//
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Maxim Usatov
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Reply #13 - Dec 12th, 2007 at 8:22pm  
I'm too a little bit tired of hearing "50% more bandwidth" all around here, all the time whenever I log in. This is, at least, misleading. Topics where this was covered are draining down in advertisement so it's rather difficult for an end user to understand what goes where.
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Reply #14 - Dec 12th, 2007 at 11:02pm  
I've been too busy to put the kind of research into the new Hughes platform that it deserves.  When I look at the tech specs, and brochures I do see some differences. The real key is in the capabilities of the Hub, not the remote modems. 

As I understand it (and please correct me if I am wrong), but the DVB/S2-ACM (i.e. HX) hub is a completely different platform with a different OS than the basic DW/HN platform.  Is that correct? 

I read all the information that BW provided on the new platform, and indeed it appears that Hughes has leveraged a number of features that iDirect pioneered and added them to their new hub.  To the best of my knowledge these features (such as CIR, QoS and jitter control mechanisms) still aren't part of the basic DW/HN platform.  There was a pretty good mix of new features and the new hub did appear to be designed to compete in the enterprise market against iDirect rather than in the residential/SOHO market where DW/HN reigns as champion. 

iDirect's inroute or upload technology still beats out everyone else, the new Group QoS feature is unique and amazing, and the Hughes advantage in DVB-S2/ACM will go away when iDirect ships their new OS.  Further iDirect will leverage the existing iDirect Hubs, while I'm pretty sure (though not positive) that Hughes has a completely different hub for their new platform (along with a hefty price tag). 

So, I think the original discussion centered around why the costs were higher for the "HX" platform, and to the best of my knowledge, there is a legitimate reason for the price disparity. 

I can't help making a plug for iDirect.   If you check out the iDirect forum, you'll see the new post by TDMAMike that indicates iDirect's market leadership is growing at a most impressive rate:  https://www.satsig.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=idirect;action=display;num=119...

I don't see anything in the new "HX" platform that will slow that rate of growth down, particularly once iDirect releases DVB-S2/ACM.

Fun discussion.  Happy holidays, everybody!

Pat



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Reply #15 - Dec 13th, 2007 at 12:29am  
pgannon wrote on Dec 12th, 2007 at 11:02pm:
As I understand it (and please correct me if I am wrong), but the DVB/S2-ACM (i.e. HX) hub is a completely different platform with a different OS than the basic DW/HN platform.  Is that correct? 

Don't think so. DVB-S2 is more than half-way through roll-out here in North America, one transponder at a time (they lease several dozen). The same Hughes NOCs (hubs) are simultaneously operating in both -S and -S2 modes, the difference being essentially in the gateway server.

Take the time to give the two modem PDFs (above) a side by side comparison. Look at this one too while you're at it: http://www.groundcontrol.com/HN7000S.pdf They should illuminate your "CIR, QoS and jitter control mechanisms" conjecture.

The Hughes DVB-S2 rollout is for some reason lagging in Europe. Perhaps it's because the upgrade must be performed on a whole transponder basis. It should follow then that - because they have their own miniNOC now - BW are able to operate -S2 independently from the Hughes network.

//greg//
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« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2007 at 12:28am by USN - Retired »  

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Reply #16 - Dec 13th, 2007 at 10:25am  
Hi all, looking at the previous blogs posted around the new HX technology I would like to post some points addressing issues raised. I would like to quantify from a hub operators and customers perspective.
Some of the hub operators advantages:
The new HX does offer a different OS to the HN (S1) system, there are many features but the core difference is the QoS features both on the outbound and the return channels. There are 3 flavours, best effort, CIR and CBR. This enables hub operators to provide a spread of offerings that will be compatible with shared broadband access, VoIP and video conferencing. On the CBR there is a particularly nice feature that allows allocation of CBR in predefined steps with percentage triggers.
The iDirect group QoS is a very nice feature however HNS has been offering IP QoS on the return channel for many years now and the forward channel QoS can be provided by third party bandwidth allocation devices installed in our network. Further point on the group QoS on any system, 1Mbps of bandwidth is still 1Mbps of bandwidth. The group QoS of any system should be used with care as it can allow high contention mini networks within hub operators networks with no documented grade of service and could damage the reputation of the top level hub operator.
Regarding the comments on a 50% increase in bandwidth, take for example a system 5/6 QPSK with 5Msym of bandwidth available, this provides approximately 8.3Mbps of usable bandwidth to the operator. At present our HX system is running at 8/9 8PSK allowing Bentley Walker to feed to the network 13.3Mbps of bandwidth. Whilst it is true that hub operators could pocket the additional bandwidth by adding more sites on the network, Bentley Walker believe in passing this bandwidth back to the customer in forms of higher quotas and consistent high performance.
Regarding operational and support we find that the HX requires less hub operator input as the option file required in iDirect terminals has caused issues with customers during hub and bandwidth upgrades. In line with most DVB platforms, the HX system allows bandwidth upgrades to be carried out in advance and transparently to the customer thus causing no service interruption.
Further on support, the HX system has a vast range of SNMP reporting features, allowing top level support staff to quickly identify any issues on hub components or remote modems.
Customers advantages:
The HX modem is incredibly easy to install with an auto sensing DHCP port, GUI based configuration, auto software download and Bentley Walkers unique pin based commissioning. This means that customers can install any time any place without need for network operators support.
The modems web based reporting is truly comprehensive and on our version of software 5.6.1.7 a 24 hour self diagnostics report is available to the customer. This gives the customer a full health check on all aspects such as uplink, downlink, LAN, DNS caching, Turbo page performance and many other features on the RF and IP side.
I hope the above highlights in a concise way some of the advantages available to hub operators and end users of the HX system.
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Reply #17 - Dec 13th, 2007 at 2:17pm  
Thanks Mr Walker. Although some of the industry language occasionally borders on nebulous, it seems you've reasonably reinforced the observations I made above. I say that because your explanation appears also to describe the HN7x00S system when operating actively in a DVB-S2/ACM environment. Some of your numbers are understandably smaller, as Hughes is deploying DVB-S2 on a whole-transponder basis over here; typically up to 121Mbps @ 30 to 45 Msps. 

I see however, that the HX50 is using a slightly later software release (v5.6.1.17) versus the HN7000S current v5.6.0.24. Even so, I've followed quite a bit of the HX50 installation guidance offered here - right in my own HN7000S browser-based user interface. That said, I don't really know what current version the HN7700S is using, as it's actually the closer counterpart to the HX50 IDU.

Well separated from the initial price issue then, it seems to me that little more than a self-install capability separates a HX50 system from the HN7700S and the lesser HN7000S.

//greg//
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Reply #18 - Dec 13th, 2007 at 3:30pm  
"iDirect's market leadership"

In what respect?
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Reply #19 - Dec 13th, 2007 at 5:15pm  
I think the recent press release by iDirect refers their impressive sales of quantities of hubs.  Several months ago there were said to be at least 300 hubs existing.  I guess if you install 3 racks of 5-IF hubs and get 15 individuals, each operating as VNO then you can claim to have 15 new VSAT hubs in action.

You need to see things in perspective.  My impression is that iDirect hubs have relatively few customers each, whereas HX, Direcway, Hughesnet, LinkStar, Surfbeam or Gilat hubs may have many thousands of customer sites.

One of the biggest 'investments' in setting up a hub, of any kind, is learning how to operate it well.  This 'skill requirement overhead' is clearly best used at a hub with very many customer sites, so that the cost of the several expert staff needed to run it can be spread over many customers.

Best regards, Eric.
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Reply #20 - Dec 14th, 2007 at 5:56pm  
Several comments on the posts above:

AW:  The new HX does offer a different OS to the HN (S1) system, there are many features but the core difference is the QoS features both on the outbound and the return channels.

PAT:  Thus, there is a basic difference in the two systems and some rationality for higher costs.

AW: There are 3 flavours, best effort, CIR and CBR. This enables hub operators to provide a spread of offerings that will be compatible with shared broadband access, VoIP and video conferencing.

PAT:  Exactly.  It is a new OS.  The HNS web site specifically pointed out no support for VoIP on the basic DW/HN service.  The new “HX” service specifically supports VoIP.  So there is a difference.   iDirect of course has provided CIR since the beginning.  Through jitter-control mechanisms, iDirect has provided constant bit rate (CBR) for a long time – I’m not sure how the HX CBR differs, if at all. I’m also curious whether the “HX” service can offer a combination of these capabilities.  iDirect can deliver services with or without CIR, for example on the same carriers.

AW:  HNS has been offering IP QoS on the return channel for many years now and the forward channel QoS can be provided by third party bandwidth allocation devices installed in our network.

PAT:  If HNS has been offering QoS on the return channel for many years, why does their web site specifically point out lack of support for VoIP?  I’ve never seen any discussion in this or any other forum regarding the ability to set QoS on the return link.  How does a customer request this?  How is it configured?  What exactly do you mean by “QoS”?  QoS stands for “Quality of Service” and generally and usually refers to the ability to prioritize or de-prioritize specific traffic based on user requirements.  Unlike HNS, iDirect integrated QoS into the hub in BOTH directions long ago, and was the first to do so.  It can be argued that network management is more complicated when external devices are used to provide bandwidth management instead of integrated into the hub.  Further, although there are now a couple systems (iDirect, Linkstar, HX, perhaps others) that support some form of QoS, not all network operators will permit customers to request that certain traffic types be controlled by the system.  Others simply don’t have the expertise to do this properly. Keep in mind that the availability of a feature doesn’t mean it is always used, or used properly.

AW:  Further point on the group QoS on any system, 1Mbps of bandwidth is still 1Mbps of bandwidth. The group QoS of any system should be used with care as it can allow high contention mini networks within hub operators networks with no documented grade of service and could damage the reputation of the top level hub operator.

PAT:  Nonsense.  This is FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) raised because HNS does not support this extremely useful and unique feature.  GQoS allows operators to deliver multiple private networks within their commercial or private services without the cost of a VNO (another unique capability pioneered by iDirect).  The amount of bandwidth available to a customer can be mathematically determined on both the upload and download.  The customer pays for the bandwidth they want, based on the contention ratios they desire.  The feature is a bit complex because it has so many capabilities, so the user will be smart to select an experienced and knowledgeable network operator, but the feature itself is a fantastic addition to the capabilities of the iDirect system.  I love it when companies try to downplay features they don’t have, while at the same time they are feverishly working to play “catch-up” back in the Engineering Dept. Name me a “new and unique” feature from HNS. 

AW:  Whilst it is true that hub operators could pocket the additional bandwidth by adding more sites on the network, Bentley Walker believe in passing this bandwidth back to the customer in forms of higher quotas and consistent high performance.

PAT:  Chuckle!  iDirect used to put out this same marketing hype when they owned the most efficient outbound and inbound.  They still have the most efficient inroute.  True, DVB-S2/ACM is more efficient, and HNS currently has an advantage in delivering this before iDirect.  However, the question is – how long will the “additional bandwidth” be delivered to the end customer instead of supporting more remote sites?  Like most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for.  If you’re delivering more bandwidth, you’re going to charge for it – particularly when your competition has the same capabilities.

AW:  Regarding operational and support we find that the HX requires less hub operator input as the option file required in iDirect terminals has caused issues with customers during hub and bandwidth upgrades.

PAT: The options file issue presented itself on older OS versions, when the customer did not leave their modem powered on during scheduled upgrades, in which case the options file needed to be loaded manually.  Now, remotes can be powered down during an upgrade and they will receive the new files when they power up.  You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. 

...continued...
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Reply #21 - Dec 14th, 2007 at 6:05pm  
....continued.....

AW:  In line with most DVB platforms, the HX system allows bandwidth upgrades to be carried out in advance and transparently to the customer thus causing no service interruption. 

PAT:  How about hub OS updates/upgrades?  Assuming the above is true, then I expect the same will apply to iDirect when they release DVB-S2/ACM on their outroute.  Currently it is true on iDirect that if you push a change in outroute frequency to the remote and it is not powered on, it will not be able to come up automatically until a new options file is loaded manually, because it won’t be listening to the right frequency.

AW:  Further on support, the HX system has a vast range of SNMP reporting features, allowing top level support staff to quickly identify any issues on hub components or remote modems.

PAT:  Another “catch-up” feature.  iDirect released an SNMP proxy years ago and updates it with new MIB extensions every release.  I assume that like iDirect, HNS does not run native SNMP (traps, sets, gets) across the VSAT link as this is a very inefficient network management protocol with very high overhead.

AW:  The HX modem is incredibly easy to install with an auto sensing DHCP port, GUI based configuration, auto software download and Bentley Walkers unique pin based commissioning. This means that customers can install any time any place without need for network operators support.

PAT:  Again, playing “catch-up.”  iDirect has had GUI configuration on hub and modem for years and years.  NAT and DHCP have been there practically from the beginning.  I believe iDirect was first with a built-in pointing tool.  Auto software download is nothing new.  As to the ability of customers to install with network operator support – what about cross-pol tests?

AW:  … on our version of software 5.6.1.7 a 24 hour self diagnostics report is available to the customer. This gives the customer a full health check on all aspects such as uplink, downlink, LAN, DNS caching, Turbo page performance and many other features on the RF and IP side.

PAT:  “Catch-up.”  iDirect’s iSite software has provided bi-directional diagnostic performance by total, and by protocol, as well as delivering satellite statistics, errors, etc. for years.  DNS caching has been available on iDirect for years. 

AW:  I hope the above highlights in a concise way some of the advantages available to hub operators and end users of the HX system.

PAT:  Indeed it provides a great job of marketing as you tout “catch up” features new to the HNS system that were mostly pioneered by iDirect years ago.  Very clever, but somewhat misleading.  Nevertheless, this forum provides a great location to discuss these features and educate people, lest they forget who pioneered all these “new” features. 
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Reply #22 - Dec 14th, 2007 at 6:36pm  
Greg:  Thanks Mr Walker. Although some of the industry language occasionally borders on nebulous, it seems you've reasonably reinforced the observations I made above.

PAT:  Funny, I interpreted his remarks differently.  I believe the question at hand had to do with why services cost more overseas than in the US.  From the discussion above, it seems to me that in fact the “HX” system is fundamentally superior and justifies the higher costs.  I’m still trying to understand if moving the original DW/HNS system to DVB-S2/ACM on the outbound is going to in any way improve the features and capabilities of the legacy hardware on the old systems?  I’m not seeing that. Perhaps the newer versions of the 7000 on new inroutes will be able to leverage new features.  There’s no way an old 4000 series is going to run these new features.  Right?


ScooterZ56:  "iDirect's market leadership" In what respect? 

PAT:  Leader in pioneering new features that others are just now adding to their product lines.  Continuing leadership in new features and capabilities such as GroupQoS, Transec/FIPS security, Spread Spectrum and mobility solutions, flexible hub solutions, BGP routing, higher upstream data rates, etc.  Leadership in terms of number of hubs sold.  Leadership in terms of highest percentage gains in new terminal sales to the enterprise market.   

How do YOU define “market leadership?”


Eric:  .  I guess if you install 3 racks of 5-IF hubs and get 15 individuals, each operating as VNO then you can claim to have 15 new VSAT hubs in action.

PAT:  Come on Eric!  The press release refers to physical hubs, not “virtual” hubs. 

Eric:  You need to see things in perspective.  My impression is that iDirect hubs have relatively few customers each, whereas HX, Direcway, Hughesnet, LinkStar, Surfbeam or Gilat hubs may have many thousands of customer sites.

PAT:  Absolutely you have to see things in perspective!  Let’s start with the press release that goes on to say:  “In addition, the report shows that iDirect recorded the fastest growth in enterprise terminals shipped in 2006, increasing by almost 50 percent over 2005 figures and totaling nearly 10 percent of overall market share.”

That’s 2006 figures and 2007 has been another banner year for iDirect.  I wish that the press release discussed revenue instead of product numbers.  Because they offer more features, iDirect’s terminals tend to be priced a bit higher than the competition.  Of far more importance to network operators however, is the amount of service revenue generated.  What’s the typical service cost for a DW/HN service?  $100/mo.?”  How about Linkstar?  Maybe $250/mo.?  My average iDirect-enabled service cost is well over $1000/mo. 

While there may be fewer end customers on iDirect hubs, they are by and large enterprise customers, and therefore larger customers with bigger bandwidth requirements and more diverse IP and business requirements.  The good news is that customers have the option of residential/SOHO class services or enterprise class services.  Those of us who work with iDirect-enabled services prefer higher revenue, higher margin customers.  The really good thing about iDirect is that they essentially created the enterprise market for satellite services, and as we can now see by all the advancements folks like HNS are adding, the importance of this market is being recognized and competition is likely to increase to the mutual benefit of the industry and our customers.

Eric:  One of the biggest 'investments' in setting up a hub, of any kind, is learning how to operate it well.  This 'skill requirement overhead' is clearly best used at a hub with very many customer sites, so that the cost of the several expert staff needed to run it can be spread over many customers.

PAT:  I don't agree.  First of all the size and quality of the expert staff is not driven by the number of customers, but by the amount of revenue generated.  When you have large numbers of unsophisticated customers you end up with tiers of support in which the first tier can barely spell “network” and in which the customer must endure pain and frustration as the “so-called engineer” goes through his script, before he is permitted to speak with someone qualified to help with the problem.  Further, in the enterprise market you are dealing with a much wider span of IP and business requirements compared with a residential class service in which the goal is primarily to deliver browsing services; so engineers tend to get educated much more quickly in a wide range of technical and business issues.  Despite a much smaller client base, I’ll put the support engineers I work with against residential class service engineers, anywhere, anytime, anyplace.  In the enterprise business, to be successful you have to be good in both satellite and IP.  Many network operators unfortunately are lucky to be good in just one of these areas.

Whew.  My fingers are tired.  Happy Holidays.

Pat

Business Satellite Solutions, LLC
www.bsatellite.com

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Reply #23 - Dec 14th, 2007 at 8:08pm  
pgannon wrote on Dec 14th, 2007 at 6:36pm:
I believe the question at hand had to do with why services cost more overseas than in the US.  From the discussion above, it seems to me that in fact the “HX” system is fundamentally superior and justifies the higher costs.  I’m still trying to understand if moving the original DW/HNS system to DVB-S2/ACM on the outbound is going to in any way improve the features and capabilities of the legacy hardware on the old systems?  I’m not seeing that. Perhaps the newer versions of the 7000 on new inroutes will be able to leverage new features.  There’s no way an old 4000 series is going to run these new features.  Right?
Correct. As I said, the DW-series of hardware is not forward compatible to DVB-S2/ACM. That's why Hughes is pulling out the stops to field the HN (and HX) generation. The HN7x000S and presumably the HX50 are not only fully S2 capable, but are backward capable to DVB-S as well. I know - I'm on a transponder that still has to support legacy users. As such, my HN7000S is not (yet) operating in S2/ACM mode. I got the horse, just ain't got nowhere to ride it yet.

It's clear that the technical tet-a-tet has strayed from the original point. That being cost (overseas or not). But narrowing the scope to strictly the HX50, BW clearly sees a  profitable niche market; remote locations, literally bereft of competent installers. Hence, a pricey but capable self-install system. Capable in the sense that multiple users can share the expense. Makes perfect sense to me.

Oh. And when I applied the word nebulous, it was in consideration of how much the lay reader might actually derived from that explanation.

//greg//
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Reply #24 - Dec 16th, 2007 at 9:18pm  
The original point was the testimonial. Wink

I have to agree with Pat that simply posting testimonials here is not really a nice idea. If we'd all start to post that what this forum would turn into? I understand Mr. Walker's original intention to get the sales going ASAP because they probably have costs invested into launching the new HX service. But it is the same with many other operators, isn't it?

During the technical discussions, Mr. Walker has at least clarified where he got those "50% more bandwidth statements". I would appreciate if further advertisements of HX would hold something like "if compared to an older DirecWay system that runs QPSK" so readers could understand. Just running around and yelling it's twice faster (than what?) is at least strange. Kudos to Hughes for implementing DVB-S2 first, but personally I would feel myself safer with a much more efficient iDirect's D-TDMA uplink. Besides, the DVB-S2 implementation is around the corner and the temporary HX advantage clock is already on the downcount.

To summarize, I would also like to point that we are comparing apples and oranges here:

The HX the way BW sells it is designed for small groups of users - homes, small cafes or local networks. It would be enormously expensive to put, say, something like a 100+ PCs network on this service. Those who say it's lightning fast now, wait a little till capacity gets saturated. Now add VoIP or videoconferencing and cost gets exponentially higher due to inefficient uplink - you need to give away more and more precious timeslots to fight with the jitter. iDirect platform has been specifically designed to support streaming traffic that is a must-have in today's world. The round robin on the uplink works perfectly - you have the ability to fill your carrier capacity efficiently to offer a fair price. iDirect's extensive feature set and unique combination of powerful, truly working, not a paper theory, QoS and efficient proprietary uplink technology allows Infiniti to fit almost any connectivity task. With BusinessCom, iDirect's jurisdiction ends approximately at the point when we service large ISPs. I wouldn't sleep well if I'd try to connect even a 100-200 PCs network to HX.
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Reply #25 - Dec 19th, 2007 at 1:20am  
A.Walker wrote on Dec 13th, 2007 at 10:25am:
The modems web based reporting is truly comprehensive and on our version of software 5.6.1.7 a 24 hour self diagnostics report is available to the customer.
Assuming Hughes is as slow to inform VARs on your side of the ocean, they're now pushing v5.6.1.19 on this side

//greg//
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