Q-KON Deploys iDirect Regional Node Solution in Swaziland

From IT News Africa

Q-KON, a service provider and systems integrator, deployed a satellite Regional Node Q-KON Regional Nodesolution to provide primary and backup communication for a financial VSAT network in Swaziland. Q-KON partnered with VT iDirect, a member of Vision Technologies Systems (VT Systems) for the installation – a world first.

Q-KON is a telecommunications system integrator and project house with almost 30 years’ experience in the financial sector in most African countries. With a long history of communications networks in Swaziland, Q-KON was approached by a major bank in Swaziland to provide reliable primary and backup communication for their ATM’s and branches, both in-country and back to its International Headquarters located in South Africa.

The financial sector is one of the most rapidly evolving verticals in Africa. The drive to increase financial inclusion and expanding the customer base relies heavily on a high availability communication network not bounded by geographical constraints. VSAT connectivity remains the ultimate “always on, anywhere” communication medium that can enable self-service banking at ATMs, online banking, reliable POS connectivity, retail banking and voice and telephony needs. Read More

Bentley Walker Drives iDirect DVB-S2X Deployment in the Middle East, and Africa Using Avanti’s HYLAS Fleet.

From Bentley Walker


Bentley Walker, the largest supplier and operator of VSAT Networks outside of North America, announces the launch of their iDirect-based DVB-S2X service in Afghanistan, following highly successful deployments in Iraq and Libya.

Utilising Avanti Communications’ Ka-band satellite capacity, this latest launch provides Bentley Walker’s customers a seamless upgrade path to utilise the iDirect iQ Series family of modems for increased throughputs.  The iQ Desktop modem supports a full range of DVB-S2X MODCODS up to 256APSK with a wide range of FEC rates and Adaptive TDMA, allowing greater bandwidth efficiencies.

Bentley Walker is also adding new functionality including software that allows resellers the flexibility to activate, upgrade, downgrade, change and find location.  Additionally, customers will have more access to multiple performance indicators to help in the management and delivery of more efficient operations.

Bentley Walker’s EMEA coverage is set to significantly increase with the announcement in 2018 that they will commence service roll out across Africa utilising their initial $1m bandwidth commitment on Avanti’s newest High-Throughput Satellite, HYLAS 4 which is due to launch in March 2018 from Kourou, French Guiana.

HYLAS 4 will expand capacity over Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa with 64 active Ka-band fixed beams and 4 steerable beams with Civil, Government and BSS service capabilities.  This will extend Avanti’s coverage to 1.7bn people across 118 countries, and support Bentley Walker’s market expansion into West, Central and South Africa. Read More

Dalkom Somalia Launches iDirect Network to Expand Satellite Connectivity in Somalia

Dalkom Somalia Launches iDirect Network to Expand Satellite Connectivity in SomaliaiDirect platform brings greater bandwidth speed and improves end user experience

Herndon, Va. January 3, 2018 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Dalkom Somalia has installed an iDirect Hub and will leverage iDirect’s series remotes to provide high-speed satellite connectivity in Somalia. The new iDirect network will enable Dalkom Somalia to scale its service more cost-effectively, expand end user data rates up to 38.5 Mbps, and improve Service Level Agreements by reducing service set-up duration. It will also provide back-up connectivity for service restoration in cities as needed.

Dalkom Somalia is one of Somalia’s fast-growing telecom companies offering next-generation solutions for broadband, connectivity, cloud computing, managed services, satellite services, and internet services for businesses, wholesale and consumer segments. Financed by Dalkom Somalia as part of the company’s strategy to provide world class infrastructure to support the Horn and East Africa region’s needs for innovative Telecommunication & Information and Communications Technology solutions, the new iDirect network will serve a wide range of markets, including Government and non-Government Organisations, charities, healthcare, academic institutions, Internet Service Providers, telecommunications operators and financial services.

“Through the iDirect platform, we are opening up areas where no connectivity has existed before,” said Mohamed Ahmed Jama, CEO, Dalkom Somalia. “iDirect’s platform technology enables us to gain critical operations advantages by increasing data performance and efficiency, and shortening service installation. And these are critical requirements to expand our service reach and capabilities.”

“The expansion of connectivity in Africa is a major priority for iDirect,” said David Harrower, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, VT iDirect. “Our partnership with Dalkom Somalia hinges on the provision of efficient, high-speed satellite service, enabling the expansion of businesses, government and non-profit services across the continent. This new network in Somalia will significantly aid local citizens in Somalia.”

Record-breaking 580 Mbps Throughput on Sealink VSAT for MSC Seaside’s Maiden Voyage

From Marlink

Marlink provides temporary VSAT boost with 280Mbps more throughput than existing cruise ship bandwidth record.

marlink logoMarlink has provided more than half a gigabit per second of throughput on its global Sealink VSAT network for MSC Cruises’ stunning new Seaside class cruise ship, at its service launch ceremony in Monfalcone, Italy on 30 November 2017. MSC Seaside will officially be named at a naming ceremony in Miami, Florida, USA on 21st December 2017, where Marlink is scheduled to provide similar throughputs that will also apply for its maiden voyage.

MSC Seaside is the 14th addition to the Swiss-based Company’s state-of-the-art fleet and the second new MSC Cruises ship to come into service this year, the first being MSC Meraviglia, which enjoyed a then record-breaking 300 Mbps service for its maiden voyage in July. Marlink provides connectivity for MSC Cruises’ entire fleet in an optimised, dedicated ‘cloud of bandwidth’, providing the highest availability and redundancy available today on its continuously expanding Sealink network made up of 25 satellites and 32 overlapping beams.

From its home port of Miami, MSC Seaside will deliver luxurious Caribbean itineraries all year round. Guests can expect a truly connected cruise experience on board, through the ‘MSC for Me’ digital innovation program that uses the latest cutting-edge technology to connect holidaymakers seamlessly with the experiences that matter to them, whether at sea or on land. Marlink’s VSAT services are a key enabler, ensuring that guests enjoy fast and reliable access to Social Media platforms where they can share their experiences with friends and family at home. Continue >

Elara Adds iDirect Hub for Enhanced Real-Time Data Streaming

Elara Adds iDirect Hub for Enhanced Real-Time Data Streaming

New hub and teleport location will support high-speed data application for critical enterprise applications

Herndon, VA, December 14, 2017 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology and a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Elara Comunicaciones (Elara), a leading Mexican satellite provider, has equipped a new teleport with an iDirect satellite hub to support high-speed data applications. With the expanded iDirect network, Elara can raise the customer experience for mission-critical applications, delivering enhanced network availability and real-time streaming.

The new hub, located in Querétaro City, will be fully interconnected and redundant to Elara’s existing iDirect hub in Mexico City, through a Layer 2 (L2) fiber link. Live-event streaming applications such as the Metropolitan Opera and the UEFA Champions League, as well as banking and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) connectivity operations will benefit from the enhanced network support. In addition, Elara can now provide enterprise data services, including L2oS (Layer 2 over Satellite) LAN-to-LAN applications, as well as multipath multicast content.

“Elara is the first company in Mexico with two redundant teleports. Our goal is to increase network availability for critical enterprise applications and minimize weather interference,” said Jorge Luis Villarreal, CEO, Elara Comunicaciones. “Our customers are increasing their reliance of satellite communications to support their core operations, and iDirect enables us to deliver the superior standard of service.”

“Adding a new hub presents market growth opportunities for Elara, giving them more flexibility to operate over multiple satellites and harness greater capacity,” said Darren Ludington, Regional Vice President, Americas, VT iDirect. “We are pleased to help Elara strengthen their network within the Latin American region, which has led them to become a premier brand in their markets.”

iDirect Innovation — A Core Strength

Kevin SteenBy Kevin Steen, President and Chief Executive Officer, iDirect

The SATCOM industry’s technology innovation cycle is accelerating at a rapid pace toward lower costs and to offer higher levels of customer satisfaction.

This year alone, breakthrough satellite designs are flooding the skies with ultra-fast bandwidth. Flat-panel antennas that are smaller, faster, and less expensive are spurring critical new applications and opening greater market opportunities — virtualized network infrastructure is enabling operators to support high-volume users over large-scale networks.

iDirect understands that ground infrastructure sits at the heart of these innovations and is the foundation of a satellite network. It also determines, to a large degree, the cost of deploying and growing a business and the ability to serve distinct markets and capture revenue.

The company is driving continued platform innovation to unleash the power of the satellite to a world that demands unlimited connectivity. The result was that 2017 was a milestone year in propelling High Throughput Satellite (HTS) and DVB-S2X toward those efforts.

One critical achievement was to enable satellite operators to bring high throughput capacity to market in the most profitable way possible — through offering a range of wholesale and managed services, depending on the region to be served and the needed applications. In 2017, iDirect became the de facto standard platform for the top three, major satellite operators.

The next pillar in the company’s strategy is to provide customers with a path to DVB-S2X. The higher throughputs and cost savings from HTS are critical for the markets that are experiencing insatiable user demand as well as serving price-sensitive markets. In 2017, iDirect customers launched DVB­S2X networks and unveiled ambitious plans to grow their business with iDirect’s next-generation platform technology.

iDirect Innovation—A Core StrengthWith a look to the future — to the day when VSAT will be a true “plug-and-play” extension of the telecom network fabric — strides had to be taken this year to advance toward that goal. iDirect’s plan demonstrates our support for future technology breakthroughs such as roaming, intelligent satellite payloads and satellite-5G network architecture.

Moving into 2018 and beyond, iDirect is leading the satellite industry toward a transformative architecture that will empower satellite service providers to realize fully dynamic, service-oriented satellite networks. Read More

New Maritime Report – “Navigating New Waters: How to Leverage VSAT Innovation to Meet Growing Customer Needs”

Navigating New Waters White PaperNew maritime VSAT report – Navigating New Waters: How to Leverage VSAT Innovation to Meet Growing Customer Needs

As the growth rate for VSAT-equipped vessels is expected to jump 9.1 percent CAGR by 2026 (NSR), maritime operators are seeking the most value from their connectivity investment to support larger deployments and a growing range of applications.

From commercial shipping vessels sending diagnostic data to shore, to cruise ships connecting floating communities, to yachts streaming TV for passengers, to oil rigs supporting video surveillance, the goal is a fully connected operation.

However, this new vision of the “connected ship” presents a new challenge of managing a global wireless network at sea that serves a much broader suite of applications and end users. When evaluating the right communications solution, maritime operators need to consider their long-term plans for a broad range of applications across their fleet and service territory.

Those maritime operators that can best leverage new technology innovations will be able to navigate their next phase of growth. To learn more on this subject, read iDirect’s new report, Navigating New Waters: How to Leverage VSAT Innovation to Meet Growing Customer Needs, which covers:

  • Bringing HTS capacity onboard in the immediate future, while developing a long-term plan to integrate capacity across all orbits
  • Improving how maritime operators pool bandwidth across their entire fleet and myriad applications
  • How regional companies can adopt inter-provider roaming agreements to economically and quickly expand their service areas
  • Adopting ground-breaking new flat-panel antenna designs and software-defined modems to lower their capital and operating costs

Read our new maritime report here.

SES partners with VT iDirect to deploy iDirect Velocity® platform for GEO High Throughput Satellites

Managed Service solution will be installed at gateways worldwide, providing flexible throughput usage and broader coverage for mobility customers globally

LUXEMBOURG, 5 December 2017 – Customers of SES’s geostationary (GEO) High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services will have greater flexibility and control of their capacity following the deployment of the iDirect Velocity® ground infrastructure, developed by VT iDirect, a global leader in IP based satellite communications, SES announced today.

The iDirect Velocity infrastructure will be deployed across three HTS systems — SES-12, SES-14 and SES-15 — enabling SES Networks to host and provide modular and scalable solutions for its partners and customers, initially for SES Maritime+ services, and then as a multi-application service platform for the fixed and mobility markets.

SES Networks partners with VT iDirect to deploy iDirect Velocity platform for GEO High Throughput Satellites

SES is deploying the iDirect Velocity infrastructure across HTS gateway locations around the globe, allowing SES Networks to offer fully managed end-to-end services, or to delegate control of capacity and other key parameters to customers who, in turn, can do the same for their own customers. The SES Networks Global Services teams across numerous Network Operations Centres (NOCs) and our partners will have unprecedented insight into global bandwidth resources and maximum flexibility for resource allocation.

SES HTS satellites will first leverage iDirect Velocity-based services with leading maritime customers and others using traffic-intensive data applications in the Americas region. Upcoming HTS systems will expand SES Networks’ mobility and other data connectivity services in the Asia-Pacific region, including rapidly growing markets such as India and Indonesia, and will support existing VSAT services in the Americas and the North Atlantic Region. Read More

Inmarsat and Cobham SATCOM Achieve SB-S Milestone on United Airlines 767

From Satnews

Inmarsat and Cobham SATCOM have announced that SB-Safety (SB-S) has enteredcobham169 service evaluation on the first United Airlines Boeing B767 aircraft.

The important milestone was achieved as part of a technology evaluation of Inmarsat’s next generation SB-S flight deck communications platform, which has been installed on United Airlines’ Boeing 767 aircraft with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D SATCOM system. SB-S offers global, high-speed, secure connectivity for the flight deck, enabling powerful and flexible communications in real-time, enhancing airline safety, asset use, security, and operations.

Inmarsat250During the evaluation, United Airlines will deploy their aircraft equipped with SB-S in the highly congested North Atlantic airspace. The company will use the new platform for communications and surveillance with Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) messaging. United Airlines’ evaluation of SB-S is part of the carrier’s ongoing commitment to best-in-class operations, safety and service.

In addition to capabilities of today’s cockpit SATCOM, SB-S introduces new, always on, always secure applications, which are available for United Airlines’ use. These include continual positional awareness for flight tracking, flight data streaming (Black Box in the Cloud) and real-time electronic flight bag applications, such as networked graphical weather. Other benefits of the service include operational efficiency, in the form of more fuel-efficient routes and the ability to transmit vital aircraft performance and positioning data in real time. Continue >

Planning a Satellite 5G Future

By Adam Bennett, Product Marketing Manager, VT iDirect

Planning Satellite 5G - 212x500

The future of telecommunications is bright, with projections for total global IP traffic to rise 24%1 year-after-year and mobile data traffic to accelerate at even faster 47%2 year-after-year. Rapid growth is expected for the foreseeable future because people are insatiable in their desire for connectivity.

Fiber and cellular alone won’t satisfy all the need. Satellites can also play a critical role in enabling a global connectivity. High Throughput GEO and new MEO and LEO constellations are dramatically expanding satellite capacity that can help absorb this growth.

To gain fullest advantage of this opportunity, satellite service providers must undergo a transformation, becoming part of the converged solution in a seamlessly integrated world. Customers expect a blend of connectivity options, seamlessly transitioning between Wi-Fi, cellular, and VSAT coverage as they move from place to place. They want personalized services that are highly adaptable as they change applications. And they don’t want to wait weeks or days to activate services.

This means satellite service providers will need to achieve new levels of agility and partner closely with other access networks. This is no small task, as satellite communication has tended to exist through separate networks relying on manual processes and isolated management structures. At the same time, satellite service providers will need to find ways to incorporate these expanded capabilities while lowering operating costs to make satellite competitive on a broader scale. Read More