iDirect’s Evolution Platform Is Selected By Via Direta To Power Largest Distance-learning Program In Brazil

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Via Direta Telecom, a subsidiary of TV and radio broadcast group Rede Tiradentes de Telecomunicações, has selected the iDirect Evolution® platform to enable the largest, most ambitious distance-learning program ever created in Brazil. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

PR-1

Using iDirect technology, Via Direta will be able to deliver lessons from a teacher located in the city of Manaus to roughly 45,000 remote students situated along the rivers of the Amazon basin.

PR-2

Limited broadband coverage in Brazil has left roughly 97 million people without access to the Internet.1 Actively exploring a solution, the Amazon State’s Secretary of Education has commissioned Rede Tiradentes to create a distance-learning program that spans Brazil.

The program will use satellite to connect roughly 45,000 students situated across hundreds of municipalities along the rivers of the Amazon basin with teachers located in Manaus, the capital city of the state of Amazonas. Via Direta will operate the hub on behalf of Rede Tiradentes. Read More

Blend It Like Beckham

By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

The recent IET MilSatcom conference was an excellent event, attended by most of the Dave Davisindustry’s key players. It was an outstanding opportunity to hear the perspectives of the UK MOD and several of the industry’s satellite providers, integrators, and partners, chaired by the charismatic Gerard Donelan. What is really good about the IET MilSatcom event is that there are very few sales pitches and plenty of insight, opinion and prediction, with the odd contentious point thrown in to make for good discussions in the breaks. And during those breaks, we had some great networking opportunities. All finished off with a final putting the world to rights session in the nearest local watering hole.

As usual at such conferences it didn’t take long for some common threads to become clear. These were increased data rates, a need for flexibility and the fact that one solution cannot fit all requirements.

It was generally accepted that data requirements are growing at an ever increasing rate. There has been an explosion of applications and devices which are either producing a massive throughput increase, such as ISTAR or a large amount of devices generating burst data, such as sensors…then add Autonomous vehicles, aircraft and maritime platforms…and mobile command platforms…and cell backhaul…and BYOD…and Big Data….

These data requirements are also very hard to predict going forward. It was generally accepted that increases in demand range from 10 to 30 percent annually. The soon to be released 12th edition of the NSR Global Satellite Capacity Supply and Demand report will make for interesting reading. Read More

Velocity Capitalizes On Greater Performance, Scale And Reliability

By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

Nikola-KromerScale. As Denis Sutherland, iDirect’s Director of Business Development, addressed in his most recent blog, the advent of high throughput satellite (HTS) services is challenging the entire satellite ecosystem with regards to scale.

It is a thread that I’d like to discuss as we look at how the ground infrastructure is evolving to support new HTS architectures.

The Facts:

HTS delivers higher aggregate throughput for the same amount of allocated frequency in orbit. A significant reason for higher throughput is frequency reuse, which is the process of using the same spectrum across multiple sites within a network resulting in a need for the ground infrastructure to enable many more carriers across a wider MHz spectrum.

Hub equipment needs to manage an increasingly diverse and integrated network portfolio that comprises of multiple satellites, frequency bands and market applications. Plus with the larger transponder sizes with HTS it requires massive scaling on the hub and line card systems.

The use of gateway beams changes where infrastructure must be located and how it will be deployed and managed. With an HTS uplink design, an operator can no longer place hubs anywhere under a beam. Instead, the entire hub infrastructure is oftentimes concentrated in fewer gateway beams scaling the network a single satellite or network operator needs to manage to new heights.

HTS throughput levels can also lead to more remotes per network and a larger overall bandwidth pool to manage, which can ultimately drive business growth for satellite operators and increase the operational complexity exponentially.

iDirect-Velocity-Capabilities Read More

Honeywell, Inmarsat And iDirect Reach An Airborne Milestone

From Satnews

Paving the way for a new era of in-flight wireless connectivity similar to what is available at home or in the office, Honeywell Aerospace and Inmarsat have successfully completed the first phase of hardware and satellite network flight tests for GX Aviation broadband services.

Honeywell’s JetWave-branded hardware enables airplanes to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation for GX Aviation global Ka-band in-flight Wi-Fi services. The tests, which included streaming YouTube videos and live radio, online conference calls, downloading files and more, were conducted in the U.K. in June 2015, validating GX Aviation’s ability to deliver high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity while over land and water. The tests demonstrated a successful connection between the JetWave hardware and Inmarsat’s first Global Xpress satellite, I-5 F1, which powers GX Aviation services for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This follows the ground-based high-speed and performance tests completed in March 2015.

The satellite network for GX Aviation is already operational in the Indian Ocean region for government, maritime and enterprise customers using the first Global Xpress satellite. The successful launch of the second satellite in February 2015 means Inmarsat’s Ka-band network also covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean region, with the third satellite ready for launch. Continue >

Scaling To New Heights With HTS

By Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

Denis SutherlandStaying in sync with the exciting innovation in space is one of our primary objectives at iDirect. When developing products and solutions, we consider the current and future environments in which they will operate, along with the challenges our operators may face.

Here’s what we are seeing:

High throughput satellite (HTS) services will be delivered through a technology ecosystem where all the elements are being challenged in terms of scale. Satellites are rapidly growing in terms size and capability, thus the ground infrastructure needs to be scalable. Consider the recent announcements from satellite operators SES, Telenor, Telesat, among the examples. Looking in particular at the Intelsat EpicNG platform, it will provide three- to-five times more capacity than Intelsat Broadbeam satellites. The expected throughput is 25-60 Gbps, typically 10 times more than traditional Ku-band GEO satellites.

It’s useful to analyze HTS characteristics that are increasing in scale in greater detail, and the impact it has on VSAT ground infrastructure requirements.

Larger Transponder Sizes
Not so long ago, 36 or 72Mhz transponders were so common on satellites that industry consultants used this as a standard unit to measure the growth in capacity available in the market. Now we are seeing satellites with transponders from 100MHz all the way up to 500MHz!  Satellite operators see gains in terms of the power being used to enable larger amounts of spectrum. This increases the demand on the inbound line cards to support higher symbol rates, and number of carriers. It also drives the need for capabilities to support awider ranges of frequencies. On the outbound, from hub to terminals, it means much larger symbol rate carriers are requested.

Frequency Re-use (Multi Spot)
As we know, HTS delivers higher aggregate throughput for the same amount of allocated frequency in orbit. This frequency re-use is the process of using the same spectrum across multiple beams within a network – resulting in the ground infrastructure needing to enable many more carriers. For every spot beam, an outbound modulator and multiple inbound carriers are needed. To do this, the hub infrastructure must be scalable, in terms of number of carriers enabled as the satellite fills. This increase is much higher than a traditional satellite: if you have 10 times more capacity roughly 10 times more infrastructure is needed to enable it. Read More

In Search Of Killer Apps Of Connected Aircraft

By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

Nikola-KromerThese days, in-flight connectivity (IFC) rules the skies. This idea was clearly evident, and among my key takeaways from attending the Global Connected Aircraft Summit in Chantilly, Virginia, last week. At the event, a ton of great applications and use cases were discussed, all showcasing the rapidly growing relevance of IFC for commercial aero.

Here’s a fact: Every major airline today is either actively deploying or planning to roll out IFC. So what that means is that the differentiating factor is becoming less about the connection and more about what airlines are doing with that connection. And the key question at the conference, of course, was how airlines make money on it. At the conference’s first Airline Roundtable panelists from major airlines were discussing exactly that.

If passengers expect in-flight entertainment to cost little or even come free, the question becomes: How do airlines make a business case around adding connectivity?

It’s important to look at the various applications that in-flight connectivity provides besides entertainment and passenger Wi-Fi. I highlighted some of the main uses for IFC in my previous blog, including crew communication, measurement of key flight data and cockpit applications like Electronic Flight Bags (EFB).

In fact, Andrew Kemmetmueller, Vice President of Operational Applications at GoGo, referenced an excellent white paper that points to the four areas of connected aircraft: In-flight services, flight operations, maintenance and aircraft systems. Let’s examine a few that emerged during the conference as “killer apps”. Read More

Small Cells World Summit 2015: Current and Future Cutting-Edge Trends

iDirect's Terry NeumannBy Terry Neumann, Director of Market Strategy

A team from iDirect just finished up a positive week in London at the Small Cells World Summit. This annual event brings together mobile operators and technology vendors to discuss the latest industry trends in this combination conference and tradeshow.

According to Mobile Experts, the total number of small cells deployed has now passed 11 million units and has experienced 32% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for year-over-year shipment growth. Over 77 mobile operators have deployed some form of small cell in their network to help them address specific business challenges.

A number of presentations at the conference addressed various trends and drivers that will enable connectivity in mobile networks moving forward. Ericsson presented on 5G, highlighting increasing throughput speeds up to 1Gb and reducing latency to enable applications for expanding consumer services like personalized video services, as well as for enabling business-focused connectivity to empower markets like the Internet of Things.

Kevin Kleinsmith

Much discussion also took place about virtualization and how it can impact network deployment. This involves bringing intelligence into the network, finding ways to make the most of capacity and being able to move it to where it is needed. Read More

New SYNTELIX uSAIL® Maritime Service Is Empowered With Hispasat 1E Conduit

From SatNews

SYNTELIX has just launched uSAIL®, a broadband service for the maritime sector.
Based on its own proprietary technological development using a cloud ecosystem on an iDirect® Evolution VSAT platform operated by Hispasat, and with a flexible user-oriented commercial approach, the service is perfectly adapted to the seasonal nature and specific demands of the nautical market. uSAIL offers unlimited, on demand, high-quality connectivity.

Oriented toward the Western European market with Ku-band capacity using the Hispasat 1E satellite, located at the 30 degrees West, the uSAIL® broadband Internet access service connects all types of ships and boats and provides different qualities of service, according to user profiles. These services range from a basic connection for crew to maximum quality connections for IPTV reception—always a la carte and on demand. Also included is an IP telephone service at very affordable rates, combined with specific solutions for crew welfare and maritime streaming, making it a turnkey offer that covers all clients’ needs in this sector.

“The confidence and the effort HISPASAT has put into this project not only make us proud and confident, but also provide a soundness that clients and actors in this sector highly value. There has been a very positive reception,” said SYNTELIX cofounder and CEO, Carlos Derqui.

HISPASAT marketing manager, Ester Fernández, said, “Extending satellite broadband services to the maritime segment of the mobility market is a fundamental goal for the HISPASAT Group”.

Another Glorious Day In The Corps

By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

Dave DavisA good friend of mine is an artist and has a passion for science fiction. He’s produced some incredible artwork based on franchises such as Star Wars, Terminator, Firefly and Alien. A recent piece features the Aliens Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) that takes pride of place over my desk at work. It was while looking at this piece recently that I started to realise that we’re not that far away from this sci-fi vehicle becoming reality.

In the film, an all-connected squad of colonial marines are kept informed of what’s coming their way with a range of sensors and live communications links. The APC then acts as a mobile HQ, linking the marines to their mothership and chain of command. We’re starting to see this now on the modern battlefield, with APCs not only delivering troops, but then acting as ad-hoc mobile command centres.

Reading through the latest AFCEA journal, gives the reader a good sense of how technology now dominates the battlefield. So much of this technology relies on connectivity; much of it is autonomous, but most of it is bandwidth-hungry with sensors, cameras, tracking devices, etc. Soldiers and Marines on the ground are now more connected than ever with sensors and biometric collection devices commonplace. The devices are becoming ever more sophisticated and more autonomous, with a strong trend towards pushing more data back to central command points.

At the forward edge of battle most of this connectivity still uses short-range technology, such as Wave Relay, but it then needs to be collated and relayed back to a central point, normally over satellite. As the number of users increase and the throughput demands become more intensive, there is a drive towards higher throughput satellites. This central point could be an APC, as in the film, but also could be a static VSAT in a Forward Operating Base (FOB), or an aircraft: either manned, or an unmanned aerial system (UAS). Read More

Taking Flight: VSAT And The Connected Aircraft

By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

Nikola-KromerEarlier this week, NSR’s Claude Rousseau authored a great piece for the iDirect blog that sized up the market for satellite-based connections aboard commercial aircrafts over the next decade. He anticipates that this market will reach $3.9 billion by 2024, with roughly $2.1 billion for in-flight connectivity. And as he points out, there is still ‘leg room’ to grow.

On that note, let’s hone in on growth for higher bandwidth applications in particular. Consider the fact that today about 47,500 in-service satcom units in aero are supporting low data rate applications. As high-throughput satellites (HTS) fulfill the demand for higher bandwidth, we can look to a range of uses for VSAT aboard commercial aircraft going forward.

The Connected Aircraft

Today, nearly every major airline is rolling out or planning to deploy in-flight connectivity. For passengers, this means video streaming, voice connections and Wi-Fi. For the airline, it means a range of operational efficiencies, including:

  • Optimizing crew utilization
  • Improving on-time performance and charting
  • Measurement of key data such as speed and fuel consumption

TheConnectedAircraft

More and more, the airline industry is embracing VSAT to support all such capabilities. With VSAT, airlines are able to offer higher data rates, with continual coverage for both domestic and international routes. And the advent of HTS is dramatically improving capacity economics, which addresses the traditional challenge of higher operational expenses based on the cost of satellite bandwidth. Read More