Tackling satellite interference with Carrier ID

Uplink antenna

As one of the founding members of the Satellite Interference Reduction Group (IRG), SES has been instrumental in many of the group’s interference mitigation initiatives. One initiative, which has created keen interest and importance in recent months, is Carrier ID (CID).

SES is actively involved in the development, promotion, and introduction of CID, through its leading role in the IRG and SDA organisations. A primary goal has been to make CID easy for uplinkers to implement and operate. To achieve this, satellite operators will develop procedures and systems to support CID on a global scale.

CID is a simple concept – every transmitted carrier will have a unique ID which can be decoded by satellite operators. If a carrier is causing interference, the unique ID will be decoded to identify who is transmitting the interference. A satellite operator will be able to decode the unique ID in the carrier, contact the uplinker causing the RFI (either directly or through the satellite operator that provides services to the uplinker causing the RFI), implement corrective action, and reduce the duration of service interruptions caused by RFI.

Satellite interference is an issue which can affect all satellite users albeit it is often reported that satellite interference only affects a minor number of services.

However for broadcasters and enterprise services alike, any disruption of service is not ideal. With broadcasters vying for eyeballs in the fiercely competitive video landscape and enterprise services seeking to minimize operational downtime, any disruption would impact the quality of service in the short term and increase customer churn in the long term.

The key benefits of CID:

  • Rapid identification of interfering carriers
  • Faster action to resolve interference
  • Improved Quality of Service for our customers by significantly reducing the duration of RFI incidents

At IBC this year, SES was one of the companies lending its support to an informational CID tour hosted by the Satellite Interference Reduction Group. IRG led participants step-by-step through the process of CID, from transmission, through detection, to resolution. SES featured in the resolution part of the tour, where it explained how satellite operators resolve interference when it occurs and the tools that make the process more efficient and effective.

Chris Grogan, SVP Customer Service Delivery at SES, commented: “We are very pleased to be a part of the CID tours organised by IRG. Now that CID technology is readily available, ensuring widespread adoption and swift implementation is critical. This technology enables satellite operators to quickly identify an interference source and facilitate the fast resolution to interference events, thereby improving the integrity of satellite based services and increasing the quality of service for all customers. These tours allow visitors to fully understand the process and prepare for their own implementation of CID, regardless of where they are in our ecosystem.