WAVE Makers: SATCOM Industry Group Sets Course to Advance Waveform Virtualization

PISCATAWAY, N.J., March 18, 2024: IEEE-ISTO, an international federation of leading groups and consortia dedicated to the advancement of standardized technologies for the benefit of industry, today announces its newest member program, the WAVE Consortium.

Waveform Architecture for Virtualized Ecosystems (WAVE), created under the auspices of IEEE-ISTO, envisions a future where SATCOM networks are built on agile, scalable, and cost-effective commodity platforms, enabling rapid acceleration of innovation in network services and operations to bring a more competitive and vibrant supplier ecosystem.

Leading companies and organizations in the space industry, including two U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) offices, have come together to form the Waveform Architecture for Virtualized Ecosystems (WAVE) Consortium, a non-profit industry group created to advance waveform virtualization for satellite gateway and terminals. WAVE is formed under the auspices of The IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (ISTO), an international federation of leading industry groups and consortia dedicated to advancing standardized technologies for the benefit of industry. The founding members include Microsoft, SES, Comtech, iDirect, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Reticulate Micro, and The Space Crowd and Airforce Research Lab. Additional membership includes Intelsat and DoD Chief Information Office.

The mission of WAVE is to transform the SATCOM industry towards a fully interoperable ecosystem by using intelligent, open, and virtualized networks and providing standardized architectures and specifications. The newly formed consortium is implementing administrative structures and recruiting additional member companies and organizations interested in standardizing waveform virtualization and becoming active participants in WAVE.

“The SATCOM industry has faced ongoing challenges due to a prolonged migration deadlock,” According to Dr. Juan Deaton, WAVE’s founding executive director and architect from Alignment. “WAVE will offer vendors a migration path forward and network operators performance gains and cost savings through waveform virtualization and heterogeneous computing.”

Anirban Chakraborty, CTO of Comtech Telecommunications, who will serve as WAVE’s inaugural chairman, says, “WAVE is not just improving efficiency or reducing costs; it’s redefining the SATCOM industry. Moving beyond proprietary systems fosters innovation, collaboration, and resilience, adapting swiftly to global needs.”

“Satellite operators are quickly investigating or adopting digitization strategies to unlock network efficiencies and scalability,” Michael Geist, VP of Product Management Government at SES Space and Defense. “WAVE offers to create the standards necessary for industry’s next step toward maximum flexibility in celestial connectivity.”

“It is a very exciting time for Reticulate to become part of WAVE,” commented Mark Steel, EVP of Product and Services for Reticulate Micro and a WAVE board Director. “Throughout my career, I have been involved with multiple platforms that lock customers into proprietary ecosystems with limited interoperability across the global SATCOM arena. We at Reticulate have taken an open standards-based approach, enabling unprecedented levels of integration and interoperability for our products and users, so being part of WAVE and its mission aligns well with our strategy and will allow for a new era in SATCOM innovation.”

The WAVE consortium invites industry-wide engagement to bring the vision of a virtualized and agile SATCOM ecosystem. Network operators, vendors, cloud providers, and non-profit organizations are encouraged to join and contribute.

WAVE will host a meeting for members and interested potential members at Satellite 2024 on March 20, 9:00 AM at Marriott Courtyard, Horne Room, Washington, DC 20001 to discuss plans for 2024 and mission and vision statement of WAVE.

Members’ collective expertise, insights, and dedication are pivotal in setting standards, fostering innovation, opening new market opportunities, and maintaining the SATCOM industry’s leading edge in technological advancements.

Membership and other information is available at the consortium’s website: https://waveconsortium.org.

About ISTO

ISTO provides today’s industry alliances and trade associations with turnkey legal and operational support. Provided by an award-winning staff, ISTO provides a legal infrastructure for incepting organizations and offers best practice operations management, enabling organizational stakeholders to focus on the work at hand. ISTO is the premier trusted partner of the global technology community for the development, adoption, and certification of industry standards and technology solutions that benefit industry. An international federation of member programs, its mission is to facilitate the life cycle of industry standards development through a dedicated staff committed to offering vendor neutrality, quality support and member satisfaction. ISTO Programs span the spectrum of today’s information and communications technologies. For more information, visit ieee-isto.org.

Joni Sterlacci