NBN Sky Muster broadband will be “world leading”, says Ovum report


news Telecoms research firm Ovum has announced that the NBN Sky Muster satellite broadband service will be a “world leader” in its market.

In its new report, Satellite Broadband: A Global Comparison (download here in PDF format), Ovum said the $1.8 billion Sky Muster service will “help bridge the digital divide” by bringing fast broadband access to up to 400,000 Australian premises, including in rural, regional and remote areas.

In researching the report, Ovum said it examined 18 providers of satellite broadband services from a number of countries.

It compared these companies’ performance to retail plans available to Sky Muster customers, looking at a combination of peak data allowance, download speed and affordability (price per GB of data).

“Sky Muster’s excellent technical performance combined with strong retail affordability makes NBN’s satellite broadband service a world leader,” Ovum said in the report.

“NBN’s Sky Muster service will be a major step change for internet access for regional and remote Australians over the alternatives that have been available to date,” it went on.

With value for money considered a “key factor” for Australian end-users, the Ovum report said that the prices charged by retail service providers (RSPs) for the Sky Muster 25/5Mbps and 12/1Mbps services will “offer great options to eligible residents and businesses”.

“Retail plans based on NBN’s satellite broadband service are world leading in terms of both performance and affordability,” Ovum said.

The company also said that retail plans based on the Sky Muster service are “close to the best global pricing on a price per GB basis across the benchmarked operators”. It also lauded the range of “good entry level plans” available.

“The NBN Sky Muster satellite service will make a truly transformational difference to rural and remote Australians as we offer some of the world’s fastest and largest consumer satellite broadband plans to remote and isolated areas of Australia,” said John Simon, Chief Customer Officer at NBN.

“Broadband is essential for modern living,” Simon continued. “People in remote and isolated parts of the country will be better able to run their businesses, learn, stay in touch with friends and family and access new tele-health services online.”

“Australia is a uniquely vast country, making online connections increasingly critical,” he concluded.

The Sky Muster satellite was launched on 1 October 2015 from the Guiana Space Centre in South America, and early broadband customers have already reported that the service received is “outstanding”, according to Activ8me, an official NBN provider.

The service expected to be more widely available in the first half of 2016. Meanwhile, a second satellite will launch in the second half of the year.

Eventually, more than 200,000 premises in regional Australia will gain access to the Internet at speeds up to 10 times faster than ISS satellite services.

Image credit: NBN company


    • This.

      Just remember that taxpayer $$’s paid for this insightful report, commissioned by the NBNCo media dept – released on the same day NBNCo officially announced that the Sat was open for wholesale business.

      It’s so cynical it makes me want to puke.

  1. Sell Aussat in the 1990s, do nbn in the 201xs?

    I am surprised the fed gov didn’t just tender amongst existing and new satellite (GEO to LEO) constellations, given America’s DoD taking over Iridium, etc … Thuraya, Globalstar, Echostar, SES, Eutelsat, OneWeb/ Worldvu, O3B, SpaceX …

    When does nbn LTSS actually become commercially available, sounds like May with at some stage two Ka-band satellites, give or take airlines, for 360K to 400K premises for 12/ 1 up to 25/ 5 Mbps and up to 1[5?]0 GB quota?
    Hope it is unliked capped and quota-ed nbn ISS (an advertised 6/ 1 Mbps).

    (Last time I checked Inmarsat does 50 Mbps, and Winds of Japan has demo-ed 155/ 6 Mbps?)

    An nbn commissioned comparison by Ovum, oh dear.

    The one in the report shown for Austria, Skydsl, seems to be based on Europasat by Inmarsat (and instead of fixed satellite (Ka-band) seems to be heading for mobile satellite (S-band))?

    I also noticed several Tooway over Eutelsat Ka-band or Ku-band posts talking of congestion at peak times, presumably like nbn ISS wholesaled from Aussat and IPstar?

  2. It may well be world leading for satellite, but sadly it still falls a long way short of delivering modern day fixed line equivalent data quotas.
    I don’t consider small entry-level data plans of 35 – 50GB / mnth, (at usable times) , to be very satisfactory long term.
    All this talk of 150GB / mnth is B.S. Retail maximum is 50 – 60GB. Try 60GB for $200!!!
    The rest is off peak data – might be useful for some, but most of us run businesses, use the net etc during daylight hours & early evening FFS!
    It this was considered to be an interim service, then great, we can make do with data restrictions for now, but in a couple of years, then what? Considering the average NBN customer monthly download is already around 120GB / mnth!
    All is not lost though – it could provide a decent service with unlimited data for 5600 remote customers with no contention!
    Or if they launched another 140 or so satellites, they could provide 25Mbps with unlimited data to these 400000 customers with no peak time speed drop. Starting to see the problem here, LOL???

  3. Of course everyone forgets that the Liberals had to bribe the Russians to move their satellite out of it’s orbit to accommodate ours. They refused to do so for a long time – something to do with “shirt fronting Putin”. Estimate are that it cost $280 million to $300 million.

  4. This system will fall incredibly short of the mark. Originally designed to provide bandwidth to 80,000 homes, then it got expanded to 200,000, and now 400,000 homes, with no modifications to the hardware or the spectrum / available aggregate bandwidth.

    Bandwidth usage growth will outpace the ability for these satellites to deliver an appreciable gap-shortening solution long-term (in terms of digital divide).

    Ovum did not do long-term research on this.

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