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March 9th, 2020

A Conversation with... Richard Jacklin, Vice President, ViaLite Communications

Richard Jacklin

Richard Jacklin has more than 30 years’ experience in wireless telecommunications, test and measurement and electronics sectors spanning; business development, product management, operational and sales management, board-level position and electronics design.
     He is currently Global Director (VP) of Sales and Business Development for ViaLite Communications, a leading manufacturer of RF over fiber solutions; supplying the satellite communications, broadcast and GNSS / GPS markets.
     Previously he worked for Anite PLC (acquired by Keysight), Samsung, Ericsson and RFI-Global. Richard is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the IET and holds an honors degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Portsmouth.

Good day, Mr. Jacklin... what services and products does your company provide to the commercial and military/agency/government (MAG) market segments and why are they important to these users?

Richard Jacklin (RJ)
ViaLite Communications is a market leader in SATCOM RF over fiber equipment and is used by eight of the top ten teleport operators.
     We help our government and defense clients enhance their data security and operational integrity through the deployment of ViaLite RF over fiber transmission equipment. The use of optical fiber is important as it has advantages like enhanced security against signal interception and protection against lightning and EMP strikes. Coaxial cable, in comparison, can be intercepted without the receiver noticing.
     RF over fiber links are also used in Mil-Aero applications such as telemetry systems and wide bandwidth signal intelligence (SIGINT) monitoring. The use of RF over fiber in these situations also allows equipment to be remotely located on test ranges, away from the control rooms.
     Important ViaLite products in this sector are the L- and S-band, Hyper-wide Dynamic Range (HWDR) and SIGINT links.
     ViaLite‘s L and S-Band fiber optic link is suitable for Mil-Aero applications and data-intensive tasks in the Telemetry market – one ViaLite link covers S-Band (2200-2400 MHz) and L-Band (1435-1535 MHz).
     The L-band HWDR links allow an extra 5 dB of dynamic range for High Throughput Satellites (HTS) transponder bandwidths of 500 MHz, 800 MHz or even 1500 MHz. This allows users to improve intermodulation performance and reduce the minimum signal that can be detected, as well as allowing the interception of the entire frequency spectrum of the product’s band. This is extremely important in SIGINT applications.
     Other supporting products include a range of outdoor enclosures, with nato green options available.

What do you and/or the company believe are the most significant challenges that need to be addressed within the SATCOM and MILSATCOM environs?

ViaLite has been noting an increase in demand for Ka-band solutions in addition to X-band solutions for MILSATCOM. Most customers up convert or down convert from these frequencies to L-band, so traditional L-band RF over fiber links are still the most popular.
     However, it is important to note that certain design and performance requirements may be applied, such as the U.S. Army Strategic Command (ARSTRAT) WGS standards. These can be challenging and require special attention to the performance and selection of the correct RF over fiber products.

Why should a client consider ViaLite as the preferred solutions provider for the company’s range of products?

We are a market leader in SATCOM terminal equipment and specialists in the RF over fiber industry, with more than 25 years of experience.
     We have a 5-year standard warranty on our range of products, which is the longest offered in the marketplace. This demonstrates the excellent build quality and long-term reliability of the company's products.
     As the markets have evolved to require a larger dynamic range, ViaLite has focused on developing products to improve capabilities. Our new HWDR S2 link, for example, now covers 400-2500 MHz with up to 115 dB/Hz2/3 spurious-free dynamic range. This continual development and innovation sets ViaLite apart as a solutions provider in the industry.

What may we expect ViaLite to reveal over the next few months?

In addition to the new HWDR S2 link, ViaLite will be launching the new High Sensitivity Receiver (HSR) this month. It has been designed for high loss environments where there are lots of splices/interconnects or low quality fiber infrastructure.
      Also launching soon are two new 10 MHz Splitters, with an 8-way or 4-way option. These will be also making their debut this month along with a high quality, compact diplexer. These products can be applied in a multitude of applications, typically at teleport sites and operations centers.
     During the remainder of 2020, we have even more developments and launches planned to increase the efficiency of systems and to reduce running costs for the firm's customers.

What new SATCOM products or services are ViaLite finding to be particularly popular with customers as of this writing?

ViaLite’s product development plan is vital to ensure we are creating products that are needed within our customer base. We introduced two new products to the market in 2019 that have quickly become popular as they offer economical solutions within our systems.
     The ODE-MINI is ViaLite’s smallest, most economical and versatile enclosure, expanding our existing enclosure range to include a simple, basic option. We developed the product after seeing market opportunities where much smaller enclosures could be easily applied. The ODE-MINI has already generated a lot of interest at recent shows.
     The System Designer software allows the user to select and 'drag and drop' a variety of components to create their proposed RF over fiber system, and the system performance results are then calculated. The tool simplifies the whole design process and allows customers to visualize and confirm performance characteristics prior to purchase and deployment.

ViaLite's ODE-MINI compact outdoor enclosure.