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How To Select Your Satellite Service

The Art Of Buying An Invisible Product

When you cannot touch, see or feel the product and the product brochure is full of terminology and jargon that you do not understand – then how do you select the best service? How do you know to select the provider best suited to meet your specific needs and then what specific service must you choose for the application you have?

Although this scenario relates to most services it is much more relevant when selecting a niche service such as satellite service. For niche services such as satellite the general understanding of the service is much more limited and the general references also less helpful which all adds up to a buyer’s nightmare made worst by-product reviews completed by auditors not fully understanding the different complexities of satellite technologies.

While we cannot solve the mystery completely, we aim to provide some context and reference to bring more comfort in your next buying decisions for a satellite service.

You DO NOT need to know

Our first view is that you do not need to study technology and be responsible for the product selection. Yes, with Google and all other available sources, you can learn everything you want to know, the question is – do you need to do this. The short answer is NO. As an end-user, your obligation is to know what your needs are and communicate these as best as you can to the Service Provider. It is the Service Provider’s responsibility to translate your needs into product definitions and recommend service options to you.

By stepping away from the technical detail, and not forcing yourself to go through jargon and design topics you might have no interest in – you are actually empowering yourself to have the more important discussion that will support a better selection choice.

You DO need to understand

Knowing and understanding are not the same. While knowing is focussed more on specifications and technology, understanding is more about the user applications, the service delivery, experience record and brand credibility. Understanding comes from considering the constraints, from context and references. Understanding is built through communication, obtaining references and asking questions.

We do believe you need to have a good understanding of satellite services so that you can have the correct context and expectation for your solution and budget. Without this appropriate understanding, there is a material risk that the service will not meet your expectation. Satellite services, as with all other technologies, have certain fundamental advantages and some principle limitations.  These will help to balance expectations and make sure you are satisfied with your choice.

Brief recommendations

Our brief step-by-step recommendations for selecting satellite services are:

User Need

Understand that satellite is an “off-grid” service and perfectly reliable anywhere and everywhere.

Budget and Affordability

Satellite is not your cheapest option, if you do have a lower cost alternative – use it. Satellite is the trusted option at affordable rates (it is also not as expensive as your school pal says it is)

Product Info

Satellite services are very diverse and very flexible. From high capacity point-to-point links, to small packet data for point-of-sale services. Just make sure you select the most suited product for your service, no need to go for “square-peg-in-round-hole” mistakes.

Support Services

Satellite services are niche services operated by a few specialist providers and require years of experience to master. Make sure you are in the hand of an established network operator – and no even the big Telco’s these days are not always operating their networks, they might also just resell the service.

Track Record

Satellite networks are designed on satellite platforms with typically a 15-year life cycle. It is not a technology that can be mastered through an on-line course, make sure that ultimately the 3rd level engineering company has a known and credible track record.

Brand Name and References

You are buying a service which you can’t touch, see or feel.  Although the service is invisible, what is very real is the people. Who are they? How long have they been in business? Can you get in touch with somebody that can sort out a problem if need to? The final decision is a people decision – not a technology one

Conclusion

We do live in a world that is more and more becoming like a technology jargon jungle where users feel lost and finding it increasingly difficult to make the correct decisions. In such cases, it helps to connect to the people and use the age-old proven practice to buy from people who you trust.  Trust is built up over time and through hard work. 

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