Talia Announces Interconnection Service to AWS, Azure, Facebook and Google Cloud

Talia has today announced enhancements to its core network, adding interconnects to Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Facebook and Google.

Talia's ongoing commitment to the stability and reliability of its core network means clients can benefit from faster speeds and easier access to online services wherever they may be.

Enno Wattenberg, SVP Technology & Special Products commented, "by improving connectivity with leading cloud providers, we are reducing latency at the core of our network and ensuring clients are only ever 'one-hop' away, anywhere in the world".

Alan Afrasiab, President and CEO of Talia added; "our status as one of the global connectivity providers is further enhanced today with the addition of these interconnects and provides benefits to many of our international customers allowing them to connect to multiple clouds, securely, reliably and seamlessly, allowing access to a global ecosystem of technology partners and applications.

Talia Adds Spot Beam Coverage Across The Levant Region

Talia, a leading communications solutions provider serving the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas, today announced its further collaboration with Arabsat, acquiring an additional Ka-band spot beam with coverage across the Levant region.

The new agreement adds an additional Ka-band spot beam on Arabsat 5C at 20°E to Talia's existing beams in Iraq and Afghanistan and shows the increasing demand for High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) services across the region.

The latest coverage also takes advantage of Talia's interconnectivity at Jordan Media City, allowing further onward connectivity to Talia's global MPLS fibre network and onward to Frankfurt, London, Dubai and Washington.

Further, the Levant spot Ka-band beam provides interconnectivity within the footprint bypassing the hub and allowing point-to-point or point-to-multipoint connections enabling lower transmission costs and smaller antennas.

Talia, who was this year shortlisted for the WTA Independent Teleport Operator of the Year continue to strengthen their varied communication solutions. Alan Afrasiab, President and CEO of Talia stated, "with all the uncertainty in the world at the moment, we have seen sustained and increasing demand for our service to help provide support and resilience to existing networks or extend the reach of a more dispersed workforce. By partnering with a leading operator such as Arabsat, we can deliver our commitment to our clients in the region".

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Talia as a leading teleport, satellite and terrestrial network operator with extensive experience of the Middle East and Africa markets”, says Khalid Balkheyour, President and CEO, Arabsat. “The demand for connectivity in this region has seen a continuous growth and this agreement will further cement our partner's confidence in Arabsat to provide high-quality and reliable services to unconnected communities across the MENA market”, continues Balkheyour.

SpaceX Launch

Later today (9 pm BST 27/5/2020), weather permitting, the first crewed rocket launch from the US in almost a decade will take place from the famous Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the site originally built for the Apollo space program.

This historic launch is the final major test of the SpaceX human spaceflight system, enabling Elon Musk's private company to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station.

Since the Space Shuttle program ended nearly ten years ago, NASA has been unable to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from launches on its soil, instead, spending $86million per astronaut to fly on the Russian, Soyuz spacecraft.

SpaceX state that the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will be the safest, most advanced systems ever built and NASA's Commercial Crew Program is a turning point for America's future in space exploration which will lay the groundwork for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

You can watch the launch on NASA's YouTube channel.

We look forward to watching the launch later today.

Adopting new technology

Over the past week, one thing is clear – video conferencing has experienced a considerable boost in popularity.

Once, a way for corporations to communicate with remote teams or across different locations, it has now been embraced by the masses from families, friends, clubs and social groups.

But how will this affect business going forward? Even in a week of isolation, it's clear that by testing video conferencing in these difficult circumstances, many companies will see the possibilities moving forward. Remote working may become more acceptable and using technology like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype and other similar platforms will see an increase in adoption.

As a company with staff in several countries, we've used these platforms for many years. This past week, we've significantly increased the practice. It's a great way to keep engagement with all our teams, particularly those in the remotest of locations and to keep morale up.

Things we've learnt about video conferencing:

  1. Test your connection, microphone and video before your call starts. At the very least, know how to change the settings to switch between different connected devices, so you don't leave other participants hanging. If you have a headset, these are often preferable as they cut out background noise, and help you focus.
  2. Have a host. Ensure that each meeting is chaired and that individuals are addressed when asked questions, "Susan, what do you think?". Don't just stare at their video feed as they won't know that you are looking at them!
  3. Start with some water-cooler conversation as participants are coming online, just like a real-life meeting!
  4. Try and achieve decent lighting and frame your shot appropriately. Don't sit with a window behind you, but perhaps in front of you lighting your face, webcams can't cope with high contrast lighting very well. If you can, have a neutral background and something that looks good on camera - we don't need to look at your washing hanging up in the background. Try and get your laptop camera (if that's what you are using) at eye level for a more flattering angle. I elevate the back of the laptop on some boxes - also helps with airflow.
  5. Look presentable. Even if it's just a shirt and you are wearing shorts, as long as you don't stand up, no one will guess – it's what newsreaders have been doing for years! I know many chaps have been avoiding shaving, but remember, you are still representing your company.
  6. Mute your microphone when you're not talking. It's quite distracting if you have a dog barking in the background or just the ambient buzz of your computer, you don't want to distract the conversation.
  7. Pick an appropriate time. This is something we've struggled with due to the time zones we work across. From America to the middle east, many meetings are limited to a brief period of availability when everyone is awake and at work. In our case, it's often between 1 pm and 2 pm GMT. Use a tool to show you the time in various locations. https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html
  8. Send out invites with all the details participants need including an agenda. Have a slide deck on hand if needed to help the meeting and share your screen if you need to keep things on track and stick to the allotted time. Just because it's not in a meeting room, doesn't mean it should go on too long.

All in all, Video Conferencing is a great tool and one you should consider embracing too. If you need more information, get in touch with Talia, and we can help you connect your teams - after all, it's what we've been doing for the past 20 years.

Stay safe.

Talia Finalists for WTA Independent Teleport Award

We are delighted to announce that Talia has been selected as a finalist for the 2020 World Teleport Association’s (WTA) Teleport Awards for Excellence.

The 2020 Teleport Awards will be presented on the 10th March at a luncheon ceremony for invited guests at the Satellite 2020 conference taking place in Washington, DC from 8th to 11th March.

Talia has been shortlisted for its significant contribution to providing value-added services to the broadcasting, enterprise, carrier and governments sectors through its innovative commercial communications hub located in Raising, Germany.

The state-of-the-art facility was the first teleport to receive Full Certification from the WTA in 2016. The renewal of the WTA’s Tier 3 certificate in 2019 demonstrates Talia’s high level of competence and the quality of services provided through the teleport.

The teleport is Talia’s primary earth station connecting satellites across the Middle East, Europe and Africa with their advanced terrestrial MPLS network, providing our clients with access to a wide array of frequencies including C, KA and KU bands.

We are honoured to be nominated for the prestigious award of Independent Teleport of the Year, and we would like to thank the association and members and non-members who participated in the nomination process.