Boeing to Pursue Gogo In-flight Connectivity on Commercial Aircraft

From Via Satellite

Gogo has signed a Technical Services Agreement (TSA) with Boeing to assess the company’s technology solutions on Boeing commercial aircraft. The TSA could mark the start of a process for potential future installation on new Boeing aircraft orders.

Gogo is looking to have line-fit evaluations completed in 2015 for its ATG 4 connectivity technology, and testing completed in 2016 for its satellite solutions. The company currently has an agreement with Boeing for line-fit provisions for its ATG 4 on 737NG aircraft.

“As Gogo continues to retrofit aircraft with its various connectivity solutions, it’s crucial to work toward line-fit of these solutions for all new orders so each aircraft comes off the line with Gogo connectivity already installed and ready for service from day one,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.

A Conversation with Jack Waters of XipLink – Part 1 of 3

Josh CohenBy Josh Cohen, Director, Sales Business Development

iDirect’s Director, Sales Business Development, Joshua Cohen, who has been with iDirect for over 13 years, recently sat down with Jack Waters, the President and CEO of partner XipLink to discuss the company’s latest venture with iDirect, the XipLink-X7 Xtreme Bundle Solution.

This is the first in a series of the conversation.

Josh: Thank you for joining us here today Jack. To start with, can you share some brief background history on XipLink – when you were founded and how many on the team?

jack watersJack: In July 2007, XipLink was spun-off from the aerospace company Xiphos Technologies and new capital was invested into the company.

Xiphos focused largely on custom-designed engineering projects at the time, so I guess you could say it was a “project” company rather than a “product” company. One project their team worked on for a customer was the development of SCPS, commonly called “skips” or Space Communications Protocol Specification, acceleration solution. This turned into a separate project, and eventually into its own TCP Acceleration product. At that point, Xiphos decided to spin XipLink off as a separate company, and that’s when I came on board as CEO. We initially started off selling iDirect acceleration software for the SkyCelerator product line, and then over the following few years we have evolved into selling appliances as well. XipLink has about 30 people on our team, split between our head office in Montreal and Africa field personnel worldwide.

Josh: At a high level, could you tell us what XipLink provides and what is your value proposition to the satellite industry and iDirect’s customers in particular? Read More

Frost and Sullivan Cellular Backhaul Report Foresees Greater Use for Satellite

From Via Satellite

The average amount of data used by smartphones is closing in on 2 GB per month, according to a research report by Frost and Sullivan. As more people boost their data use, the consulting company anticipates satellite-based cellular backhaul will play and increasingly vital role.

“The reality is that although perceived connectivity is high due to cellular network evolution in densely populated areas, many more remote locations still have low to no connectivity and subpar service,” the firm said in the study. “However, the opportunity to address this challenge is bright with carriers recognizing the benefits of adopting satellite backhaul technology to reach previously cost- or resource-prohibitive locations with modern cellular technology.”

Sponsored by Hughes, the report is based on Frost and Sullivan’s prediction that 3G technologies will account for the vast majority of Radio Access Network (RAN) deployments. Key cost drivers for cellular backhaul stem mainly from end-user expectations for content, which necessitate an increase in traffic capacity. The merging of cellular and Wi-Fi access networks along with performance monitoring and Service Level Agreement (SLA) guarantees further add to costs. Continue>

Panasonic Delivers An A380 Line-fitted with Broadband In-Flight Connectivity Service to Lufthansa

From SatNews

An A380 line-fitted with broadband in-flight connectivity service from Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has been delivered to Lufthansa.

The A380, was fitted at Airbus with Panasonic’s award-winning Global Communications Services. Over the next 12 months, Panasonic will equip an additional 11 linefit A380s with its global connectivity service.

David Bruner, Vice President of Global Communications Service at Panasonic, says: “For the first time, A380 passengers will be able to experience truly global, full broadband connectivity that’s only available from our Ku-band Global Communications Service. Our unique service lets passengers browse the Internet, access their VPN, and send email at high speeds, giving them a service similar to what they would expect on the ground. Panasonic’s inflight connectivity is supported by a satellite network that covers over 99.6 percent of commercial flights meaning that passengers on this increasingly popular aircraft will benefit from high speed connectivity virtually everywhere they fly.” Continue>

Panasonic Set To Deliver Its eX3 In-Flight Entertainment and Communications Solution to Air Canada

From SatNews

Panasonic Avionics Corporation will deliver its industry-leading eX3 in-flight entertainment and communications solution to Air Canada for 37 wide body aircraft.

Under terms of the agreement, Panasonic will linefit install eX3 on Air Canada’s 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Deliveries commence with the airline’s first 787 aircraft in Spring 2014. Air Canada currently has five Boeing 777-300 aircraft equipped with Panasonic’s eX2 system. With eX3, Air Canada’s passengers will be able to watch more than 600 hours of entertainment on larger, higher definition screens that are up to 18-inches in business class and enjoy higher definition touch screens at every seat featuring an advanced intuitive interface that will be easy and pleasant to navigate.

Additionally, Aerolineas Argentinas, the national airline of Argentina, will revolutionize air travel for its customers as the first Latin American airline to introduce wireless in-flight entertainment, provided by Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) through its eXW wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. Continue>

iDirect Becomes World’s Largest Enterprise VSAT Systems Manufacturer

Market-leading sales for IP satellite hubs, and a quadrupling of terminal shipments since 2004

Herndon, Va., April 8, 2014 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that it has become the world’s largest VSAT systems manufacturer by enterprise hardware sales, garnering a 32% market share, according to the 13th Edition of The VSAT Report, published by market analyst COMSYS. Latest revenue figures included in the report highlight the fact iDirect has grown revenues for ten consecutive years, solidifying its lead in the enterprise VSAT market. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

iDirect continues to maintain the number-one market position in the satellite market for IP hub sales. Its share of terminal shipments has quadrupled from five percent in 2004 to nearly 20% in 2012. Such success helps iDirect solidify its lead in the enterprise and mobility VSAT segment, while building a larger foundation for the future.

The pivotal past year for iDirect was further solidified by the introduction of Velocity as a new product line to complement Evolution. Designed for satellite operators deploying HTS architectures, Velocity also enables service providers and operators to meet the requirement of high-speed mobility specifically in multi-spot beam environments. Evolution continues to be the optimal system for the majority of iDirect’s customer base, designed to meet customer requirements ranging from narrowband to high-bandwidth applications. The two products will be unified under a new common network management system and share a range of remote terminals. Read More

Intelligent Payloads: The Key to Ensuring Greater Return on HTS

DavidBettingerBy Dave Bettinger, CTO

The goal for operators of spot-beam High Throughput Satellite (HTS) is clear: to improve the economics of satellite communications by increasing the supply and efficiency of capacity. However, the very nature of spot-beam architectures introduces a challenge to achieving this goal.

Achieving a high utilization rate

Here’s the issue: Launching a satellite is a 20-year bet on where customer demand will be located and how big that demand will be. With a traditional wide-beam satellite, the geographic target could be set fairly large. There was broad flexibility to allocate bandwidth to where it was needed on the ground as demand changed over time. And satellite operators could commonly maintain a capacity utilization rate of 90%.

Capacity allocation is much less flexible with a spot-beam satellite. Operators need to determine beam how much bandwidth and power is required for each and where each beam should be pointed. Once an operator has designed the beam pattern, it cannot easily be adjusted. As a result, operators lose much of the flexibility to sell out capacity in the ways they are used to with wide-beam satellites. And the risk is much greater that an operator could underestimate or overestimate demand on the ground.

Any cost equation is a factor of both supply and demand. While spot-beam satellites will add abundant new capacity to the sky, selling out that capacity is the key to better economics. The cost of HTS capacity will likely not come down until it matches utilization rates of fixed satellites. If capacity is locked up in the wrong beams, an operator would only be able to monetize a lower portion. And that would keep costs high. Read More

Agencies Discover Satellite Power

From Federal Times

Sometimes forest fires rage inconveniently far from cell towers, leaving responder teams potentially cut off from support. But managers can look to the skies for communications solutions.

“Satellites provide this connectivity option when there are no other options,” said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Lawrence Chambers.

Satellite use is widespread in the military, but other federal entities also rely on space-based signals for mobile communications. All of the agencies involved with emergency management, homeland security, law enforcement, immigrant interdiction and drug patrols have some investment in satellite communications.

Thanks to a number of recent developments, the tools of commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) are becoming increasingly efficient and effective. That could be good news for the federal government, which accounts for 12 percent of the domestic satellite industry, according to research firm IBISWorld. Continue>

SWaPping Comms for Ammo

Dave Davisby Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

At the recent Mobile Deployable Communications Conference in Amsterdam, the main themes were no surprise. The requirements of the defence and security community continue to be very much focused on contingency operations. As a result, adaptability, agility and scalability are the key requirements. In addition, ever tightening budgets across the board continue to bite, but there is still an extant requirement for bandwidth and interoperability.

However, one other constant theme that struck a chord with me was the necessity to drive down the Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) requirements of mobile terminals, particularly those carried on the backs of soldiers. These three key elements of terminal design are often the critical deciding factors in the choice of terminal.

It was pointed out at the conference that the weight carried by soldiers on patrols hasn’t changed that much in the last 40 years, but what has changed significantly is the amount of specialist modern electronic equipment, such as PDAs, cameras, personal radios, blue force tracking kit and tactical and strategic satellite communications (Satcom). Satcom kit was once the preserve of headquarters elements; for use as strategic out of theatre backhauls. Now, these terminals are often extended to the section level for the patrols on the ground and for insertion into patrol bases, operating well away from regular logistic and operational support.

So what used to be carried instead of modern electronics? For every kilogram of electronic kit carried, the modern soldier is sacrificing carrying the key thing that dictates the length of time they can operate: ammunition (and to a certain extent, water). By reducing the SWaP characteristics of equipment, manufacturers are often simply increasing the amount of ammo that can be carried. In a firefight those extra rounds of ammunition can prove vital. Read More

iGT and Glowlink Communications Technology Join Satellite Industry Association

From Satnews

The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) today announced that iDirect Government Technologies (iGT) and Glowlink Communications Technology, Inc. have joined the Association. SIA is a full-service trade association that represents commercial satellite companies as the unified voice of the U.S. satellite industry on policy, regulatory, and legislative issues affecting the satellite business.

“SIA is very pleased to welcome both iDirect and Glowlink as active contributors to our Association,” said Patricia Cooper, SIA’s President. “Both companies bring unique capabilities to add considerable specialized experience and will add to the overall strength of SIA’s technical work and representation of the thriving satellite industry.”

“We firmly believe that united with SIA, we will build on the past to form a strong satellite industry future,” said John Ratigan, iGT President.

“SIA does an effective job of informing, advocating for, and educating industry members and influencers about important satcom industry issues. We commend SIA for its efforts in supporting the satcom industry and its commitment to meet the needs of its members.” iDirect Government Technologies (iGT), a wholly owned subsidiary of VT iDirect, Inc., delivers secure satellite-based voice, video and data applications with anytime and anywhere connectivity in the air, at sea and on land. iGT’s satellite IP solutions are used for critical communications ranging from force protection, logistics, situational awareness, disaster recovery and emergency response with more than 15 years of global satellite communications experience. iGT is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. Continue>