Leadership in Maritime VSAT, Part Two: The Differentiating Factors

In our last entry as part of the Leadership in Maritime VSAT Series, we spoke with our partners about the key trends that will drive this market forward. Now, the question becomes how maritime companies can best capitalize on these trends by leveraging the right technology platforms and deploying the right applications for their customers.

This week, iDirect poses the question: Which solutions will provide the biggest differentiating factor for customers in maritime?

For Drew Brandy, SVP, maritime market strategy, Inmarsat, some of the most valuable solutions will be tied to the idea of the smart vessel. The company is introducing its fifth generation of satellites, Global Xpress (GX), which are built to dynamically allocate capacity where needed, and offer single topology and a single operator contract. Read More

OmniAccess Joins Panasonic In Developing Extremely High Throughput Satellite Network

From Via Satellite

Maritime communications specialist OmniAccess has entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Panasonic Avionics to participate in the development of the company’s XTS “Extremely High Throughput” satellite network program.

Panasonic has agreements with Intelsat for high throughput capacity on two EpicNG satellites, as well as with Eutelsat for the upcoming Eutelsat 172B. The company is in the process of contracting for XTS high throughput satellites to bring massive amounts of capacity to aeronautical, energy, maritime and mining customers. Through this agreement OmniAccess has secured access to Panasonic’s existing capacity, currently contracted capacity, and the future XTS satellite network, bringing that same capacity and performance to its yachting and cruise ship customers. OmniAccess also foresees extensive cooperation in the areas of entertainment systems and content provisioning.

In a February 2015 interview with Via Satellite, David Bruner VP of global communications at Panasonic Avionics described the company’s “Extreme HTS” strategy as reaching global coverage, then layering additional capacity over highly traversed areas. The company envisions having global HTS coverage by 2017. Continue >

Mobil Satellite Technologies Launches New 10 Mbps x 4 Mbps iDirect Broadband Service In USA

From PR Newswire

Mobil Satellite Technologies, a leading provider of mobile and fixed satellite Internet connectivity services, announced today that it has launched a new high-bandwidth 10 Mbps download X 4 Mbps Ku-Band service for use anywhere in the North America.

This iDirect compatible service offers a great solution for users requiring high-throughput satellite performance while leveraging existing Ku-Band hardware. Ku-Band service operates with longer wavelengths, giving Ku-Band a superior ability to perform through inclement environmental conditions.

The Mobil Satellite Technologies satellite network has been configured to support this new service with 1.2 meter antennas with only an 8 Watt BUC, which are now available in a small, fan-less form factor that no longer require auxiliary power supplies that allows a simple replacement of the existing BUCs on almost any mobile or fixed 1.2 meter VSAT antenna.

Kirk Williams, Director of Sales at Mobil Satellite Technologies, commented: “This new service gives users the ability to upgrade to an extremely robust satellite broadband service while continuing to use their existing Ku-Band equipment. Before this new service, users would have had to buy all new Ka-band satellite hardware to have access to service plans offering these kinds of data speeds.” Continue >

L2oS Video Series #1: Introducing Layer 2 over Satellite

iDirect introduces Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS), dramatically expanding the capability of the Evolution® platform. L2oS offers the option to run transparent links to customer end-points through an efficient Ethernet bridging mode as an alternative to Layer 3 routing.

This means service providers gain flexibility to pass all kinds of protocols and deploy new architectures, even creating hybrid networks that operate in both Layer 2 and Layer 3 modes tailored to customer needs.

Want to learn more? Click here.

Register now for our live webinar, L2oS Advances Interoperability, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 10 a.m. EDT.

iDirect Advances Satellite Network Interoperability with Latest Upgrade to Evolution® Platform

Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS) allows service providers to simplify network deployment and carry IP traffic wherever it needs to go

iDirect L2oS

iDirect announced the release of Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS), a new feature set within the iDirect Evolution® platform, allowing satellite to work more seamlessly with other telecommunications access technologies, providing transparency across the entire network. Service providers are able to use L2oS to simplify deployment of a satellite network and effectively carry IP traffic anywhere it needs to go. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

As service providers experience greater demand to deliver global services, satellite connectivity allows them to reach beyond their traditional area of coverage. L2oS makes it easier to interface satellite technology with terrestrial networking and build unified communication networks. iDirect’s L2oS overcomes proprietary satellite protocols, allowing the satellite connection to emulate a transparent Ethernet link with the freedom to pass any protocols and provide more flexibility in network management. Ultimately, L2oS allows satellite to look and act like all other access technologies. Read More

Leadership In Maritime VSAT, Part One: Advancing The Market

What are the biggest trends driving maritime VSAT today? What does the future look like across the various segments? Such questions will be addressed one-on-one as iDirect sits down with leaders in maritime for the Leadership in Maritime VSAT Series.

Follow along with our interactive discussion in the weeks ahead with leading satellite operators and services providers serving the maritime market. Representatives from Globecomm, Harris CapRock, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Airbus Defense and Space/Marlink, Orange Business Services, RigNet, SpeedCast and Telenor share their thoughts directly with us on such topics as which solutions provide the biggest differentiating factor for customers in maritime, the future strategy for serving this market and the evolving needs of customers in the coming years.

This week, iDirect poses the question: What key trends are advancing the maritime VSAT market today?

According to Malcolm McMaster, president, Globecomm Maritime, it all begins with price as both hardware and bandwidth costs continue to come down making the service more affordable. In addition, satellite operators have been investing heavily in new capacity designed for and promoted to the maritime market, including high throughput services.

As he says, “VSAT is moving from being perceived as an exotic, high-end solution for high-end markets to a more affordable service for the general merchant market.” Read More

Q-KON Upgrades Evolution® Software And Deploys iDirect SatManage® To Manage Financial VSAT Network

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Q-KON, a specialist service provider and systems integrator, has upgraded its iDirect Evolution® network to version 3.3 and deployed the iDirect SatManage® network management solution to manage this network. SatManage will be customized to provide specialized service level agreement (SLA) reporting to one of its major customers in the financial market. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

The Q-KON iDirect network currently consists of 1,500 remote sites and is expected to reach 2,200 before the end of 2015. With SatManage, Q-KON can now actively monitor and manage its entire network gaining deeper visibility into key actions, while providing specialized reporting functionality to user groups in order to better serve business customers. Key factors for choosing SatManage include the ability to provide statistics related to remote site availability, which enables Q-KON to prove network SLA adherence to particular customers.

In addition to leveraging the capabilities of SatManage internally, Q-KON is working with iDirect to develop customized functionality for one of its major customers in the financial market. One such function is the ability to proactively monitor remotes for indications of power outages. In such instances, planned maintenance outages (PMOs) are created automatically by the system. This protects against negative impacts that outages could have to SLAs for the customer. Read More

Harris CapRock Communications Delivering More Than 1.5 Gbps To Maritime Customers With iDirect Evolution® Platform

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of  Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Harris CapRock Communications, a premier provider of managed satellite, wireless and fiber services, is delivering more than 1.5 billion bits per second (1.5 Gbps) of traffic across its base of maritime customers using its iDirect Evolution® network. The service provider is deploying iDirect X7 remotes in order to meet the growing demand for high-speed voice, video and data services from both passengers and crew. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

At any moment, Harris CapRock is leveraging iDirect to service more than 250 cruise and other ships sailing globally carrying in excess of 300,000 guests and crew. It is estimated that an average family uses approximately six devices to stay connected at all times — including aboard cruise ships — accessing social media network, streaming video and more. In addition, ship operators are turning to VSAT to improve operational performance of their fleets, implementing applications to help with equipment monitoring, IT integration, and remote access, among others. Such demand has resulted in Harris CapRock handling more than 1.5 Gbps of traffic to cruise customers over the iDirect Evolution platform.

Harris CapRock utilizes features on the iDirect Evolution platform such as Group QoS in order to prioritize bandwidth allocation across its customer base, ensuring that business and customer application traffic can co-exist in the most efficient manner. Adaptive Code Modulation (ACM) is used in order to make the most efficient use of the satellite bandwidth with changing weather conditions and location of the vessels. As bandwidth demands for cruise ships outpace the performance of its current generation of remotes, Harris CapRock is deploying X7 remotes, which deliver the highest bandwidth per ship achievable, while allowing customers to gain deep visibility into ship and network performance.

“Our customers are in the business of providing exciting vacation experiences and outstanding hospitality services, all with hotel-like service at sea,” said Rob McDermid, Chief Architect – Global Access Technology, Harris CapRock. “iDirect technology provides the flexibility we need to deliver high bandwidth over shared global networks, and its market-leading experience in maritime serves as the foundation that allows us to continually expand our services going forward.” Read More

Share Your iDirect Evolution® Journey


Here’s a question: What’s your satellite evolution? As a satellite service provider, you are making some significant connections around the globe. The type of connections that can be educational and inspiring for millions of people.

We all know that the role of satellite connectivity today can help improve productivity and increase efficiency across many different industries. More and more, we are also hearing stories of satellite playing a significant role improving educational, social and economic conditions around the globe.

With that in mind, we are excited to announce the launch of our new campaign, #MySatelliteEvolution! Meant to help increase the awareness of the capabilities of satellite, #MySatelliteEvolution celebrates the ways in which our partners are making a positive impact for citizens worldwide. Read More

Northgate Investment Offers US, Latin American Expansion Opportunities For Elara

From Via Satellite

Mexican telecommunications company Elara Comunicaciones has recently struck a partnership with private equity firm Northgate Capital that will enable the company’s “aggressive” growth plans over the next five years. In exchange for a control stake in the teleport, Northgate will invest up to $38 million in the company through primary and secondary transactions so as to facilitate Elara’s continued expansion of its satellite-delivered voice and data communications services throughout Mexico, its home market, as well as the U.S. and Latin America.

“Over the last 10 years we have been growing at a very rapid pace. We have, in our first 10 years, grown an estimated 35 to 40 percent compound growth, yearly,” Jorge Villarreal, Elara’s founder and chief executive officer, told Via Satellite. As resources to support this rapid organic growth began to wear thin, in 2013 the company began to analyze the requirements to continue the swift expansion. Elara reached out to investment funds, eventually striking a deal with Northgate for a control stake in late 2014, which was approved by regulators earlier this month.

Northgate will now act as a major financial and corporate arm for Elara, and will take part in strategic decisions for the commercial plans and objectives, as well as with the expansion, growth and organizational initiatives of the operator. “The partnership will allow the company to continue growing with ambitious objectives for the next five years,” Villarreal added. Continue >