Author Archives: iDirect

Who’s Keeping Satellites Safe From Cyberattacks?

From Space News

Vinit Duggal was updating his family’s home wireless network recently when he noticed 39 connected devices, including phones, laptop computers, printers, alarms and a couple of televisions.

Even Duggal, director and chief information security officer for satellite fleet operator Intelsat, was surprised by the number of connections. “I thought, ‘How do I have all these things,’” he said.

That’s just the beginning. In the next few years, the number of connected devices in homes, offices, farms and transportation hubs is expected to skyrocket. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify life by offering a way for people to remotely control appliances and maintain broadband connections while traveling in cars, trains, ships and aircraft.

At the same time, IoT will present enormous challenges for people who offer satellite communications products and services because each connected device from refrigerators to tractors offers hackers a point of entry into the network and a way to target other elements of the network.  Continue>

ST Engineering Wins Contracts Worth $331 Million in Q1 2017

From Via Satellite

Singapore Technologies Engineering announced that its electronics arm, Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Electronics), secured SG$464 million ($331 million) worth of contracts in the first quarter of 2017 for rail electronics and intelligent transportation, satellite and broadband communications, as well as advanced electronics and Information Communications Technologies (ICT) solutions.

Local and overseas customers secured rail electronics and intelligent transportation contracts of about SG$67 million ($47.9 million). These include the supply of the passenger information system to CRRC Qingdao Sifang for 400 of Chicago’s 7000 Series rail cars; delivery of the passenger information display system for a train retrofit, as well as enhancement and system integration services for Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation.

ST Electronics received contracts amounting to SG$79 million ($56.5 million) from government, telecom and enterprise users worldwide for the supply of broadband network, satellite network equipment and earth stations. The company will complete these projects progressively over the next three years. Continue>

Ericsson Exec Examines 5G Timeline and Needs for Bandwidth

From Via Satellite

Satellite operators believe 5G will be a huge opportunity, but for wireless players the opportunity will undoubtedly be even bigger. Ericsson, a major player in the 5G arena, publishes a regular mobility report, which looks at the state of the market. Joakim Sorelius, head of 5G and Radio Access Network (RAN) architecture at Ericsson, told Via Satellite that even he found some of the findings of its latest research “quite astonishing.”

“Firstly, there will be more than half a billion 5G subscriptions by 2022. In only a few years, we expect 5G to take off quite quickly. Twenty-five percent of all subscriptions will be 5G in North America in 2022, representing the highest market penetration in the world. Then you will have Asia-Pacific, with 10 percent of all subscriptions taken out in 2022 expected to be 5G, and especially the northern part of Asia. The whole of Asia will see 10 percent penetration but in the north and northeast, it will be more in the range of the U.S. numbers. That is markets like South Korea, Japan and China,” he added.

When looking at development of broadband, Sorelius says 90 percent of subscriptions will be mobile broadband, which basically means that everyone who has a telephone will have a smartphone. He called this “a very strong foundation” for the wireless industry. Continue>

Intelsat Signs eProcess on Epic for Banking Services in Africa

From Via Satellite

Intelsat announced that eProcess International, an affiliate of pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank Group, has signed an agreement to use the Intelsat Epic platform to expand and strengthen its corporate banking services throughout Africa. The solution incorporates high-throughput Intelsat Epic C-band spot beam capacity available on Intelsat 35e, which is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2017. This capacity complements the existing eProcess network as it is based on wide beam C-band connectivity on Intelsat 903.

EProcess connects head offices and affiliates across 27 countries in Africa, enabling banking transactions and corporate data exchanges through its network. Given the growth in commerce across the African continent, the company sought to enhance its network to address increasing transaction volumes for its customers.

According to Intelsat, eProcess is able to accommodate its growing bandwidth demand across its pan-African network by leveraging the backwards compatibility of Intelsat Epic and the higher efficiency of the spot beams. Continue >

Our Moment

By Kevin Steen, President and CEO, VT iDirect

Kevin-Steen-2017-blogI joined VT iDirect in 2010 because I saw the unique potential for satellite to help connect the world. I knew that satellite technology could solve issues unaddressed by cellular or terrestrial bandwidth. And I understood that with the emergence of High Throughput Satellites (HTS), the satellite industry was at a major transformational moment.

So it was fitting that one of my first roles at VT iDirect was to ensure our infrastructure could unlock the power of these satellites and enable a new cost model for our customers – and I am thrilled to say we are seeing our HTS partners successfully rolling out their services on the VT iDirect platform.

Today, my role has grown to leading the talented VT iDirect organization as President and Chief Executive Officer. As I take on this great responsibility, my sole focus is to ensure our clients have the best technology and services in our industry to grow their businesses and capitalize on the dramatic changes that are happening in the industry.

We are bringing a fresh mindset to key issues that define the satellite industry’s future. We’re advancing the role of satellite technology including how this technology’s role can be expanded in the end-to-end telecom network; identifying new market opportunities for satellite communications, and collaborating across our ecosystem to co-develop industry-leading and industry-changing technology. These are the fundamental themes driving my leadership at VT iDirect.

VT iDirect is incredibly excited to remain on the leading edge of innovation to meet the ever-increasing critical needs of our clients and the satellite industry. Our new DVB-S2X product suite is a case in point, proving how we can reengineer the core elements of ground infrastructure for new levels of performance, scale and agility. I recently shared our plans with Alan Gottlieb in this article for Mobility World. Read More

Kevin Steen Appointed New CEO of VT iDirect

Retiring CEO Mary Cotton to serve on Executive Board

Kevin-Steen-2017-blogHerndon, VA, April 3, 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 Kevin Steen has been named the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Mary Cotton, as retiring CEO, will serve on VT iDirect’s Board of Directors as CEO Emeritus, advising the company on key strategic initiatives.

Steen has served as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Sales since joining VT iDirect in 2010. As a key member of VT iDirect’s leadership team, he has been responsible for charting the company’s strategic growth across sales, operations and business development. Steen has led a major effort across VT iDirect and its global partner base to advance the role of satellite technology in the end-to-end telecom network; identify new market opportunities for satellite communications, and collaborate with VT iDirect’s ecosystem to co-develop industry-leading technology.

“Kevin has been a key driver of our growth, and he is renowned for his passion for customers. He will bring a fresh mindset to key issues that define the satellite industry’s future with a commitment to broader industry collaboration that is required to drive a new phase of growth,” said retired Gen. John Coburn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, VT Systems. “We are grateful to Mary’s decade of leadership. Her focus on customer value and innovation has translated into substantial success, and we look forward to her continued service as a member of the VT iDirect Board of Directors.” Read More

CABSAT 2017 Wrap Up

CABSAT 2017 was a success; the industry’s clearly buzzing with opportunity. We were thrilled to meet with our customers and discuss how we can help them grow. The highlight was talking with customers about our Intelligent Path Forward platform strategy, and how it provides an all-access pass to the performance and efficiency that DVB-S2X offers.

We had our iQ Remote on display so our customers could get a closer look and learn how it can help capture expanding market opportunities. We showcased the Intelligent Gateway appliance, the powerhouse processor that has the hub density required to better manage IT expenses and drive our customers’ large-scale network growth.

Thanks to all of you who met with us to talk about the future of satellite and how we can continue to collaborate to advance your business. Please enjoy this video recap and thank you for your continued partnership.

Watch Nikola Kromer’s WTA interview from the floor of CABSAT 2017:

SES Achieves Major Performance and Efficiency Gains Over VT iDirect’s DVB-S2X Technology

Latest OTA test leveraging new iQ Series remote sets another industry milestone with forward channel rate of 5.7 bps/Hz as iDirect enters beta testing phase

SES-iDirect Blog piciDirect  announced another successful over-the-air (OTA) test of its next-generation DVB-S2X technology. The test was conducted with the world-leading satellite operator, SES, over C-Band and achieved 5.7 bps/Hz.

The DVB-S2X forward channel and Adaptive TDMA return channel OTA testing was conducted on the SES-4 satellite and leveraged iDirect’s next-generation iQ Desktop Remote, Universal Line Cards and Intelligent Gateway appliance.

VT iDirect recently announced its next-generation DVB-S2X technology, which is based on a powerful, customized ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) chipset and powers the new iQ Series family of remotes. iDirect’s iQ Series, which will operate in both DVB-S2X and DVB-S2 mode, is targeted for broadband, enterprise, and mobility applications and packaged in desktop, rack-mount, board level and embedded compute form factors that will become available over the course of this year. The family of new remotes are software upgradeable to license added network capabilities and higher throughput levels, thereby reducing the cost of ownership, as well as improving flexibility across a broad array of markets.

“With SES launching three GEO hybrid satellites with wide beams and high throughput capabilities this year, efficient bandwidth management is of utmost importance to our customers. We are pleased to see the bandwidth gains achieved over VT iDirect’s latest technology and will be looking forward to accelerated bandwidths and more efficient data services with the new standard,” said Steven Cooper, Vice President of Product Development and Network Planning, SES. Read More

Avanti Communications, Telkom Kenya and iDirect Launch Community Based Service Across Kenya for Entrepreneurs

From Avanti

Avanti Kenya Case StudyAvanti Communications Group plc, a leading provider of satellite data communications services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), announces the launch of a community based service with Telkom Kenya, a telecommunications solutions provider in Kenya, to provide connectivity for entrepreneurs across Kenya. The government initiative, Constituency Incubation Hubs (CIHs), has been awarded by the Ministry of ICT of Kenya. It will see Telkom Kenya roll-out the service via 1160 CIHs across the country using capacity from Avanti’s HYLAS 2 Ka-band satellite.

The project will focus on enabling young adults and entrepreneurs to develop their ICT skills and applications at a fixed, reliable location which is always accessible. The incubation hub facility will open up new opportunities for users, not only related to developing and growing businesses, but also improving computer skills, which will be applicable in a wide range of employments, bringing users into the digital world and enabling them to address basic working skills required. Continue>

Talia Announces “OnDemand” Business Continuity Service Built on iDirect’s Satellite Platform

High-Speed VSAT network to provide backup for fiber connectivity, targeted at growing Middle East market

Cabsat, Dubai UAE  – 21st March 2017, Talia has introduced a business continuity service that will be built on iDirect’s satellite ground infrastructure platform. Talia OnDemand has been designed for organisations operating in regions where fixed line services can be unreliable or where occasional use, backup, redundancy or disaster recovery solutions are required.

iDirect and Talia at CABSAT 2017

iDirect and Talia at CABSAT 2017

The service will initially focus on the Middle East and African regions, which represents the most promising VSAT growth opportunities in the world. Improved service economics, enabled by High Throughput Satellites, will make satellite connectivity more competitive to alternative solutions and increasingly part of the global end-to-end network.

The Talia OnDemand service is powered by ConnectPlus, the Talia designed and developed, patent pending connectivity solution working in conjunction with the iDirect Satellite Platform. ConnectPlus is a network edge appliance connecting a customer’s network to the Talia OnDemand service.

“Today, uninterrupted Internet connectivity is an essential requirement to the success of organisations,” said Jack Buechler, Vice President, Business Development, Talia. “By building our OnDemand service on the iDirect platform, we are leveraging iDirect’s industry-best technology to deliver the reliable performance our customers require when it comes to running their core operations.” Read More