SES and Microsoft launch Satellite Communications Virtualisation Program

Satellite operator SES has announced an expanded partnership to focus on virtualised communications.

Dubbed the Satellite Communications Virtualisation Program, the new partnership will focus on creating a new fully virtualised satellite communications ground network. This will be achieved through a broader industry ecosystem designed to deliver “everything from software-defined radios and customer edge terminals to new virtual network functions and edge cloud applications”.

The pair said that the programme is designed to address the growing desire for customers looking to space connectivity as a means of extending their access to the cloud. They added that the use of standardised hardware and features programmable and upgradable via software, the programme will serve as an extension of cloud-native networks and reduce costs typically associated with satellite ground networks.

John-Paul Hemingway, Chief Strategy and Product Officer at SES, said: “For some years now, networks in the telco terrestrial world have been leveraging virtualisation and cloud-native architectural templates to maximise flexibility, programmability, automation, delivering true customer value. We are excited to work with Microsoft to spearhead this approach in the satellite communications world. This will promote standardised hardware and additional flexibility to add new services and capabilities at the customer edge via simple software updates – a gamechanger for the industry.”

 Steve Kitay, Senior Director Azure Space at Microsoft, said: “Satellite ground networks are a critical link in delivering global cloud solutions, and one that needs to be reimagined through industry collaboration for tomorrow’s on-demand, software-driven world. As our long partnership with SES shows, we view multi-orbit satellites as a key enabler of extending the power of Azure to our customers anywhere.”

Tags: Microsoft, SES

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