DEFINITION of 'Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)'

A very small aperture terminal (VSAT) is a two-way ground station that transmits and receives data from satellites. A VSAT is less than three meters tall and is capable of both narrow and broadband data to satellites in orbit in real-time. The data can then redirected to other remote terminals or hubs around the planet.

BREAKING DOWN 'Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)'

VSAT networks have a number of commercial applications, including enterprise resource management. The use of VSAT to track inventory was one of the many innovations Walmart pioneered in retail to effectively manage its vast inventory in real time and reduce delivery costs between the warehouse and stores. Combined with the hub system of inventory storage, VSAT allowed Walmart to stock its stores more precisely and reduce how many times product had to move between locations before being sold. Other manufacturers use VSAT to relay orders, check production figures real-time as well as other functions that are otherwise handled over a wired network.

In fact, the National Stock Exchange (NSE) of India has one of the largest VSAT networks in the world and offers it as one of its connectivity options. VSAT offered the NSE a way to offer access in areas where wired options are limited. With the exception of the occasional sun outage due to solar radiation distorting signals from the satellite, the VSAT network has held up. As of 2017, the NSE supported 2500 VSAT and 3000 leased lines, making it the largest private wide area network in the country. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of a VSAT Network

VSAT networks have a big advantage when it comes to deployment. Because the ground station is communicating with satellites, there is less infrastructure required to service remote locations. This was one of the reasons Walmart chose VSAT as it started out heavily leveraged to rural America where telecommunications infrastructure was less dense than in the cities. This has made VSAT networks an ideal choice for providing connectivity to remote work sites like exploratory drilling sites that need to relay daily drill logs back to headquarters. VSAT is also independent of local telecommunications networks, making it an ideal system to back up wired systems and reduce business recovery risk. If the wired network goes down, business can still go on using the VSAT network. 

However, VSAT does have limitations. The most obvious is latency, as it takes time for information to reach the dish and the station due to one part of the system being way up in geosynchronous orbit above the earth. So protocols that require a lot of back and forth communication rather than one-way data transfer experience lag. The signal quality can also be affected by the weather and other buildings getting in the way.

 

RELATED TERMS
  1. National Stock Exchange of India ...

    The National Stock Exchange is India's largest financial market ...
  2. Networking

    Networking is a process that fosters the exchange of information ...
  3. Satellite Operation

    A satellite operation is a small office or branch office in a ...
  4. Wire Transfer

    A wire transfer is an electronic transfer of funds across a network ...
  5. Network Effect

    The network effect is a phenomenon whereby a good or service ...
  6. Raiden Network

    Raiden Network will speed up the transfer processing on the Ethereum ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    4 Networking Stocks that You Must Own (AKAM, CSCO)

    Understand how networking stocks fit into the technology sector. Learn about four leading networking companies that investors should own in 2015.
  2. Investing

    JetBlue "Fly-Fi" Finally Takes Off (JBLU, LUV)

    Airlines are waging a wireless war. Count JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) as the latest to join the fray -- the carrier's "Fly Fi" inflight wireless Internet service went live this week on one of the ...
  3. Small Business

    Small Business Owners: Take Advantage of Networking

    What do we really get out of going to networking events? A lot, actually—if you follow up.
  4. Investing

    Analyzing DISH Network's 7% Drop in One Week

    After charging last year, DISH Network stock fell following a bad earnings announcement. Assess the new valuation.
  5. Investing

    5 Stocks For The Broadband Push

    The telecommunications subsector will benefit as nations around the globe continue to focus their attentions towards repairing or building out their infrastructure.
  6. Insights

    Intel and AT&T Launch Platform for IoT (T, INTC)

    Intel and AT&T will both benefit from a more sophisticated digital network, which will realize significant cost savings.
  7. Investing

    Disney And Dish Look To Go "Over The Top" On Cable Providers

    The recent groundbreaking deal between the Walt Disney cable network and the satellite TV provider Dish Network could lead to substantial changes in the way we watch television, and it could ...
  8. Investing

    Why Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Latest Closures Matter Less Than You Think (WMT)

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc closed hundreds of stores in January 2016—a move which should reassure investors, not scare them away.
  9. Insights

    The Hardest Hit by Wal-Mart Store Closures (WMT)

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc's (WMT) store closures affected thousands of people aside from the 16,000 laid-off workers.
  10. Personal Finance

    4 Career Networking Tips That Work

    Find out the who, the how and the why of using networking to move up in your career.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the telecommunications sector?

    The telecommunications sector is comprised of companies that transmit data in words, voice, audio or video across the globe. Read Answer >>
  2. What is the average profit margin for a company in the telecommunications sector?

    Get an overview of the telecommunications sector, and learn the average net profit margins for companies in this highly competitive ... Read Answer >>
  3. What can cause a negative terminal growth rate?

    Learn about the assumptions built into terminal valuations and in what circumstances the applied terminal growth rate might ... Read Answer >>
  4. Can you use a Walmart credit card anywhere? (WMT)

    Learn where you can use a Walmart credit cards, and find out the details and services provided to Walmart credit card account ... Read Answer >>
  5. Does Walmart take international credit cards?

    Learn how to use your international credit cards at Walmart stores and on Walmart's site, and find out how to ensure your ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center