Here it is the end of March, and another Satellite Show has come and gone. This year’s conference was great! We met with many of our customers, connected with colleagues, and made some new friends. We have not seen the final numbers, but the show seemed to be well attended – the Norsat booth was VERY busy; we had a steady stream of visitors. At times they were even lining up to talk with us! Most of the other exhibitors seemed to be enjoying good traffic as well – the exhibit hall was a hive of activity (especially around happy hour). The sessions were well attended and were filled
with interesting dialogue and discussions. A good time seemed to be had by all.
On the technology front there was a lot of interest in Ka-band uptake; in particular around O3b, Kymeta and WGS, as well as with the availability of new terminals. Comms-on-the-Move discussions focused on multi-band, lower profiles and airborne. As with previous years, there was a great deal of discussion around HTS – whatever your definition.
With all of the positives, one thing that we found lacking was the edgy buzz that comes from truly original and exciting products and ideas (except, of course for Norsat’s very small, light-weight and power efficient ATOM Ka-band BUC!). Don’t get us wrong, there were a lot of new products on offer, but at least for the ground segment it was mainly additions to existing product lines or expansions into existing territories rather than fresh and novel solutions. Perhaps this is a testament to the maturity of the satellite industry – all of the significant problems have been solved as efficiently and effectively as they can be. Or perhaps we are making an unfair comparison to the overall technology industry where new ideas and solutions pop up with dizzying speed. But we believe there is opportunity to bring excitement back to our industry. The theme of Satellite 2016 is “Innovation”. The gauntlet has been thrown down. We look forward to seeing who will take up the challenge, and what new wonders we may see next March!