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Global VSAT Implementation and Maintenance

Few companies have greater first-hand knowledge of deployment in the remotest parts of the world

There is no project that is too large or too small or too remote for nwns

NWNS has the underlying engineering skills necessary to provide or check project design for satellite ground stations -, microwave -, CATV -, LAN/WAN – and electrical power infrastructure applications. Our skills and expertise are not just limited to completing large installations, but we can also complete smaller jobs that need simultaneous installations at various locations across the globe.

Preparation

Installation

Maintenance

Cost Picture

Project Implementation preparation

NWNS strongly suggest a site survey visit prior to every new installation or migration of an existing site. Depending on the  specific (local) situation, NWNS can offer the following related services:

    • Quick Line of Sight (LOS) and cable run (IFL) site survey with findings, conclusions and recommendations in an email report.
    • Full / extensive VSAT site survey incl. detailed report and recommendations.
    • Structural survey but only if the situations demands for it.
    • Electrical Power and electrical grounding (earthing) field survey.
    • Professional Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) survey + report.

Location & Line of Sight Survey

A site survey may sound like the last thing on your mind when designing a VSAT network that will serve your client. At NWNS we very well understand and we know that our clients see it as a cost that possibly can be cut easily.

The truth of the matter, however, is that a site survey is quite possibly the most important part of the overall implementation process. Without it, all of the planning that you’ve put into making your network and implementation design the best that it can be will have gone to waste.

Therefore, whether you’re looking at installing a new VSAT or repointing an existing antenna, the first step is to have out our local field team to examine the location and to report back on the to be expected potential delaying hurdles. 

From our years of experience we know that there are always a few issues you want to know about upfront and prior to implementation.

Electrical Survey

The application of power including electrical earthing and lightning protection is a critical and often an overlooked element in network planning and deployment. 

NWNS has the engineering skills needed to ensure that once power, grounding requirements have been defined and designed that such requirements can be implemented to site. Lightning protection however is a slightly more complicated matter, but important and not to underestimate. 

As part of the service offering, NWNS is able to design electrical power systems for both mains requirements and back-up systems. NWNS’s experience in the use of DC/AC, mains, generators, batteries and solar systems allow for suitable deployment in most parts of the world. 

Civil Works

VSATs are often integrated with a building structure and typically NWNS implements VSATs with a non-penetrating (reusable) mount and sufficient ballast.

Depending on its size, position, height and location the total weight of a VSAT can be significant. Occasionally custom designed odd mount constructions are required.

NWNS VSAT engineers are not trained to understand, predict, and calculate the stability, strength and rigidity of built structures for buildings.

Therefore, NWNS cannot take any responsibility for the strength of the total construction (VSAT + building).

Licenses & Permissions

No matter which governments — national , federal, state, or local — have jurisdiction in the particular place you want to have your (VSAT) service established, you can bet that they all have something to say about how, when, and where you can — and can’t — run your VSAT. Not to mention the size of your antenna.

Working your way through the maze of government regulations can certainly be one of the most confusing aspects of doing business, but it is critical for your success in the long run and therefore a business decision to consider seriously. When sufficiently motivated, most government agencies and departments aren’t the slightest bit shy about issuing fines, imposing penalties, and closing down offending businesses. We at NWNS, we’ve seen it all and we strongly discourage operating a VSAT illegally meanwhile very well understanding that we are not a party in the decision making process.

MORE ABOUT VSAT SITE SURVEY

A site survey may sound like the last thing on your mind when designing a VSAT network that will serve your client. At NWNS we very well understand and we know that our clients see it as a cost that possibly can be cut easily.

The truth of the matter, however, is that a site survey is quite possibly the most important part of the overall implementation process. Without it, all of the planning that you’ve put into making your network and implementation design the best that it can be will have gone to waste.

Therefore, whether you’re looking at installing a new VSAT or repointing an existing antenna, the first step is to have out our local field team to examine the location and to report back on the to be expected potential delaying hurdles. 

From our years of experience we know that there are always a few issues you want to know about upfront and prior to implementation.

So what does a site survey include?

A site survey includes taking pictures, examining the materials and area where the VSAT will be installed, and verifying all measurements. Additionally, our techs reexamine all site prerequisites to make sure that your (new) VSAT will fall within set expectations, and determine when or if a zoning permit is needed, as well as securing these permits when necessary and wanted.

Why is a site survey so important?

From what material, to visibility, to accurate measurements, a site survey can help work out any kinks before they happen; during or after installation, it’s almost impossible to fix a majority of these problems that are easily preventable with a site survey.

    • A site survey allows us to make sure that the VSAT we’re hoping to install will actually fit in the space desired and preferred, and that it will actually be possible to install it with current conditions.
    • Additionally, surveys allow you to make any changes to a design that may look good on paper, but might not appear as finished as it could as a final product.
    • Finally, a site survey allows NWNS to give a much more accurate quote. Knowing what is really going to be involved in the process, as well as how easy or hard it will be to work around obstacles, will help NWNS to give an accurate final quote and prevent any unpleasant surprises when the installation comes around.

A site survey is a cost that will prevent you from higher costs

Structural Design & Civil Works 

VSATs are often integrated with a building structure and typically NWNS implements VSATs with a non-penetrating (reusable) mount and sufficient ballast.

Depending on its size, position, height and location the total weight of a VSAT can be significant. Occasionally custom designed odd mount constructions are required.

NWNS VSAT engineers are not trained to understand, predict, and calculate the stability, strength and rigidity of built structures for buildings.

Therefore, NWNS cannot take any responsibility for the strength of the total construction (VSAT + building).

What NWNS can do for its clients:

    • Arranging for structural survey by local certified civil engineer including solution proposal.
    • Arranging for – and managing the implementation of the designed or proposed special mount construction and required civils.
    • Arranging for appropriate ballast delivered to the antenna mount location.
    • Implementation of IFL Cable. Typically 1 power cable, 1 M&C cable and 1 double coax RF cable.
Electrical power survey
Power Stability, Earthing and Lightning Protection

Electrical power, grounding (Earthing) and Lightning protection Survey

The application of power including electrical earthing and lightning protection is a critical and often an overlooked element in network planning and deployment. 

NWNS has the engineering skills needed to ensure that once power, grounding requirements have been defined and designed that such requirements can be implemented to site. Lightning protection however is a slightly more complicated matter, but important and not to underestimate. 

As part of the service offering, NWNS is able to design electrical power systems for both mains requirements and back-up systems. NWNS’s experience in the use of DC/AC, mains, generators, batteries and solar systems allow for suitable deployment in most parts of the world. 

A bit more about Lightning Protection Services

A typical lightning protection system will consist of air terminals (lightning rods) and ground terminals, which are connected together with low resistance conductors.

NWNS however cannot take any responsibility over building lightning protection (including assessment or testing) because of three fundamental reasons:

    1. Lightning protection systems can only be installed and checked by certified installers (by law in most of the countries). Unfortunately, typically NWNS is not certified to install and commission lightning protection systems. Outsourcing on behalf of NWNS is not a desired option since NWNS cannot control the delivered service meets its set specs. This especially will be a serious problem in the event of lightning strike: NWNS will be held responsible for the consequences. This is a risk that cannot be overseen.
    2. Customer often rents office space in a building with many more other users. From what NWNS has experienced over the past years, roofs of such buildings are often heavily populated with all kinds of objects and antennas. It’s NWNS’s opinion that it should not be NWNS who has sole responsibility for building lightning protection.
    3. Since lightning protection is a shared responsibility (see 2 – it prevents the building and all its users from fire), both building ground and lightning protection are typical the responsibility of the building owner. Proper building ground is mandatory at any time. Lightning protection (in one way or another) is always preferred (but mandatory in certain regions) even if no antennas are installed. It’s a false believe that only (VSAT) antennas attract lightning strikes. Any other object (e.g. airco units) with low resistance to electrical ground can be a potential danger too.

But what can NWNS do

    • NWNS can only confirm if lightning protection is available through visible inspection. NWNS cannot confirm if lightning protection works and meets its specification.
    • NWNS can (visual) check if building ground is not directly interconnected with an existing lightning protection system (if any). If this is the case it may cause so called ground loops (currents that flow through multiple paths and develop voltages that can cause damage, noise or serious signal degradation).

Licenses & permissions

No matter which governments — national , federal, state, or local — have jurisdiction in the particular place you want to have your (VSAT) service established, you can bet that they all have something to say about how, when, and where you can — and can’t — run your VSAT. Not to mention the size of your antenna.

Working your way through the maze of government regulations can certainly be one of the most confusing aspects of doing business, but it is critical for your success in the long run and therefore a business decision to consider seriously. When sufficiently motivated, most government agencies and departments aren’t the slightest bit shy about issuing fines, imposing penalties, and closing down offending businesses. We at NWNS, we’ve seen it all and we strongly discourage operating a VSAT illegally meanwhile very well understanding that we are not a party in the decision making process.

Licensing and permits

Most countries regulate the telecoms sector through a licensing regime . But which licenses or permits does your VSAT need? It really depends in which city, county, and state your site is located, the size of the dish, operating frequency, data rate and transmit output power. 

Some of the most common licenses and permits include the following:

Frequency license

Transmit license

Business license / registration

This is the standard permit to operate a business locally, and it is required of most every business, no matter how large or small.

Police permit

Some countries require police clearance or permit. 

Zoning Permission

For some reason, many  town councils and homeowners — particularly ones who live in quiet, residential areas  — don’t much like the idea of having a big satellite dish erected in a specific area or worse, next door. Just the thought of radiation that possibly can be harmful is enough to send many home owners into a fit of concern (and even anger).

Zoning laws are, among other things, the government’s favorite way of trying to keep specific areas free of unwanted objects or activities. And, in general, zoning laws do work. After a citizen makes a complaint, most jurisdictions follow an established procedure to determine if a VSAT operator is breaking the rules or not — taking action only when necessary.

Historical city centres are notorious for their restrictions and often demand a zoning permission before starting building a VSAT of certain size.

Reporting

Visit and Installation Report: NWNS is in the process developing an app that our engineers in the field can use as a Time Sheet, Visit Report and/or Hand-over Report. Until then we propose using our paper standards. Alternatively, we can use client’s owned forms or documents.

 

VSAT implementation COSt Considerations

Contrary to popular belief, building an infrastructure involves many hidden costs, unconsidered or underestimated costs and other unknown parameters that can affect the total cost of the project.

Like any infrastructure setup, the initial cost of a remote VSAT varies from location to location. Costs depend on what will have to be installed (size of the aperture, cable runs, mounting constructions etc.), when the job has to be done and all the other additional requirements. Not to mention the willingness to cooperate and the efficiency of the remote end-customer.

NWNS understands that clients want to experience the comfort of working with a low price that fits all and leaving all risk to NWNS. Unfortunately, this is no longer economically viable despite NWNS’s eagerness to meet client’s wish and requirements.

Therefore, unless agreed differently, NWNS charges are based on a fee schedule for the various services, pursuant to an issued Statement of Work (SoW) and an agreed Bill of Requirements (BoR).

Read more about this sensitive subject or submit a request, just click here.

    • All NWNS service pricing include NWNS’s dedicated project management and meeting client’s specific reporting demands.
    • NWNS’s quoted rates apply to jobs that can be supported by (local) in-country resources. client must understand and acknowledge the pros and cons of this option.
    • If a request cannot be supported by in-country support (either not available, not skilled or because of client’s specific wish) NWNS will quote for alternative solution.
    • Extra days on site and not quoted for are reasonably charged per Engineer or Technician Day Rate as agreed but only if NWNS personnel must stay on site longer than expected and only for reasons which are beyond the control of NWNS.
    • All NWNS charges are typically excluding (travel) expenses and government surcharges such as e.g. VAT if not reclaimable by NWNS.
    • Travel expenses covering up to 50 km from the nearest NWNS Field Service Representative are included in the listed price.
    • Cancellation: First cancellation is at no costs to Customer. Second and onwards are charged at 50% of the quoted Engineer or Technician Day Rate. Non-recoverable travel costs are always charged back.
    • NWNS has identified and described a number of related activities and services which are all promoted and charged individual.