Do you know where the internet got its name? It is called that because it is a network of networks, all interconnected and exchanging traffic with each other. It introduced the idea that networks could be hybrid: made up of many different kinds of transmission technology owned by multiple companies but acting as a single network thanks to the internet protocol.

Extending the Hybrid Network

Extending hybrid connectivity beyond the edge is hard.  It takes multi-mode terminals that support multiple satellite bands, microwave links and cellular service, and which interconnect seamlessly with local Wi-Fi, LORA and private LTE networks.  It requires a dedicated global array of satellites, teleports, fiber and high-performance cellular base stations, plus the high-capacity peering that connects them with the rest of the world.

But there’s more.  Hybrid connectivity demands intelligence in the network to identify available transmission routes and automatically switch service between them to achieve the best performance at lowest cost.  At the highest levels, using technologies like SD-WAN, it must automatically analyze and manage traffic among routes offering very different kinds of performance, providing customers with predictable quality of service and better utilization of available bandwidth.

The value of networks ultimately lies in the applications that run on them.  They are the engines that improve management, increase business efficiency, reduce costs, enhance margins and contribute to crew welfare.  They run in private data centers, public clouds and “virtual machines” hosted in the network, and the hybrid network of networks needs to include them all.

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Spreading the Technology Revolution

In 2018, for the first time, just over 50 percent of the world’s population, or some 4.8 billion people, lived in households with enough income to be considered at least middle-class. By 2030, that global middle class is expected to reach 5.3 billion.

Most of these newly middle-class people will live in places on the edge of the conventional network or far beyond it.  They will demand food, energy, transportation, information, entertainment and services that will drive expansion in agriculture, trade, energy production and distribution, and much else.  Meeting their demands effectively and sustainably will require massive growth in hybrid connectivity beyond the network’s edge.  The technology revolution making that possible is just getting underway, and Speedcast is proud to lead the charge.

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