HISPAMAR, the Brazilian subsidiary of the Spanish satellite-based communications operator HISPASAT, has unveiled its new teleport and satellite control centre in Serviente (Rio de Janeiro). In recent years, the company has developed an ambitious expansion plan, increasing its satellite fleet and activity in Latin America. This growth has made it necessary for the company to acquire a larger teleport to host all the antennas and control equipment needed for the company's operations, as they no longer fit in the old control centre, which has been located in Guaratiba (Rio de Janeiro) since 2003.
Built on more than 30,000 square metres of surface that will allow the teleport to be expanded in the future, the Serviente control centre features seven high-performance antennas, 3.8-metres in diameter. Five of these antennas are dedicated to monitoring the carriers and two are for telemetry and remote operation of the Amazonas satellite fleet. In addition to these new antennas, another two, each 8.1 metres in diameter, have been transferred from Guaratiba, one for the Ku band and another for the C band, along with another 4.8-metre antenna for the Ku BSS band. To prepare the hubs that allow Internet services to be provided via satellite, 22 VSAT (small size) antennas have been transferred from the old teleport while a new 7.3-metre antenna has been installed. In total, the installations feature 33 antennas, together with two broadband platforms for managed services and cutting-edge technological equipment to control the satellite fleet. A team of 62 professionals, mostly engineers and technicians, will operate the complex which boasts full availability, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
With an investment close to 40 million Reals (more than 9 million Euros), HISPAMAR's new centre has been designed with an environmentally sustainable focus. A new rainwater harvesting system has been implemented that collects and reuses the water for cleaning and irrigation, while the complex also plans to install solar panels to generate photovoltaic energy. According to Alexandre Mello, HISPAMAR's technical director, "HISPAMAR's service operations have been completely transferred to Serviente. The migration process has lasted approximately two months and has involved practically all of HISPAMAR's technical team, in addition to other professionals form specialised companies. The operation has been carried out safely and efficiently, while still allowing the company to provide its services". Mello stated that "the new centre is connected to the Arganda del Rey teleport in Spain and to the Guaratiba centre, which will remain operational as a backup centre. That way we offer redundancy and greater security for our clients.”
From Serviente, HISPAMAR will monitor and operate the satellites located in the Brazilian 74º West and 61º West orbital position (where the Amazonas fleet is located). This will make it possible to offer a wide range of telecommunications services, such as broadcasting multimedia content for TV and remote education, hosting corporate networks, providing backhaul for mobile phones and ensuring high-performance connectivity available through the Amazonas 5 satellite, which offers capacity in the Ka HTS band for broadband services in Brazil and the rest of Latin America. For Sérgio Chaves, HISPAMAR Director of Business for South America, "this new control centre answers the growing demand for connectivity services in Latin America, where satellites are an ideal solution given the lack of the required terrestrial infrastructure. The economic and social development of a country depends in large part on its access to the Internet. However, we have many areas in this region close to large urban centres which still have deficient Internet services as well as totally disconnected rural regions, without any access. We will only manage to change this reality and achieve the necessary digital transformation using satellites, as they can be deployed quickly and require less investment than fibre optic systems".
In order to set up the control centre in Serviente HISPAMAR relied on several well known companies: Sertenge, Creative, PRTI, GlobalSystem, apc/schneiderAPCr and Stemac, were the companies in charge of the construction work; while Indra, General Dynamics, EngSat and Master Service, were in charge of supplying and installing the antennas.