Novelsat sees life beyond DVB-S2

Israeli technology start-up NovelSat has developed a new satellite modulation technology that it says can significantly improve satellite bandwidth over the existing DVB-S2 standard, by up to 78% or over 100% when combined with statistical multiplexing.

NovelSat’s NS3 technology uses a variety of signal processing techniques, applying a mix of techniques that it says have previously been seen to cancel each other out.

David Furstenberg, chairman of NovelSat, said that the company had been testing its technology on six different satellites with tier-one satellite operators since May. “Customers conducted the tests using the same link budgets and fade margins,” he said, based on broadcasters working around a 8-8.5dB signal-to-noise ratio and 8PSK modulation with ¾ FEC. Under these conditions, the NS3 technology gave a 28% capacity boost. With larger dishes and an 18dB signal-to-noise ratio, the improvement went up to 37%.

NovelSat then started to test its technology on wider transponders. According to Furstenberg, existing equipment available on the market does not support the efficient full use of a 72MHz transponder, requiring instead that it effectively be split into two 36MHz transponders. By deploying its own equipment NovelSat was able to combine those into a single carrier and deliver a bandwidth improvement of 62% or (on certain satellites) 78%.

“Finally, when we looked at the impact of our improvements from the service provider’s viewpoint, beyond what we are doing directly and indirectly…we saw tow additional benefits,” said Furstenberg. “For customers using statistical multiplexing, because you now have more channels per carrier, we saw improvements of about 12%.”

Furstenberg said that the company would target the contribution market initially, and saw a strong opportunity ahead of the 2012 London Olympics and the Euro2012 football tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Furstenberg said that NovelSat had held discussions with the DVB to put its technology forward for standardization, and was also developing the technology on an ASIC. NovelSat has currently developed modulator, demodulator and modem platforms to demonstrate NS3.