Author Archives: iDirect

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

Satellite 2017 Wrap Up

This year’s Satellite show was a major hit. The industry’s clearly buzzing with opportunity. And we were thrilled to meet with so many of our customers around the world 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. And iDirect Government also unveiled their 9-Series Airborne Satellite Remote to enhance their 9-series portfolio.

The week was filled with major announcements and partnerships. We’re already in the midst of over-the-air testing our DVB-S2X technology with leading satellite operators partners like Intelsat and Inmarsat, and we are achieving industry-best performance and efficiency results. Kymeta announced the world’s first truly flat panel antenna that will traditional satellite dishes and integrate with our modem technology. And we showcased the programmable ASIC chip we co-developed with SatixFy that powers our iQ Series remotes and will support and enable future functionality like beam hopping.

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

Cybersecurity Roundtable Highlights Satellite’s Holistic Approach to Managing Threats

From Via Satellite

As the satellite industry faces evolving security threats from nation-states, criminals, and other rogue entities, using the right strategies to manage security is of utmost importance to all stakeholders, from antenna manufacturers to network operators. As a September 2016 report from Chatham House noted, the huge amount of data disseminated through satellites makes it possible for criminals to corrupt accuracy and reliability with a low probability of discovery.

At SATELLITE 2017’s “CyberSecurity Roundtable: Collaborating with Your Satcom Customer” session on Wednesday morning, speakers from Inmarsat Global, Hughes, ViaSat, iDirect, and ITC Global addressed the most pressing concerns surrounding security, and offered timely ideas on how to improve existing practices.

Speakers acknowledged that while no security solution is 100 percent secure, a shared interest in established security principles can help everyone. In turn, collaboration will become especially important in coming years.

“Security, stability, and resiliency are essential at Inmarsat, and I think you see that across the satellite industry,” said Donna Bethea-Murphy, senior vice president of global regulatory at Inmarsat Global. “We see ourselves going into the internet of things; but the more we integrate the more vulnerabilities we see.”

Andy Tomaszewski, vice president of advanced programs at iDirect, said his organization has had to boost its risk-management efforts, and today employs multiple strategies, such as using third-parties to test networks, tasking a rapid-response team with addressing issues the moment they emerge, and enhanced monitoring. iDirect also uses Dark Web Forums to gather information, while relying on law enforcement to guide its actions. Continue >

Teleports Groaning Under the Strain of Proliferating Satellites

From SpaceNews

Wayne-HaubnerIn the past, Wayne Haubner told his team at VT iDirect that future satellite hubs would need to be 10 times as capable as their predecessors at one-tenth the price. That improvement no longer seems adequate.

“I think I need 50 times the performance at one-tenth the cost,” Haubner, VT iDirect senior vice president for engineering and emerging technologies, said March 6 at the Satellite 2017 conference here. “The satellite capabilities are growing so fast that we have to be very aggressive at being able to leverage those capabilities.”

New satellites promise 10 or 100 times the capacity of their predecessors, but teleports can’t grow 10 or 100-fold. In fact, they need to shrink.

Like the evolution of laptop computers, “they need to become smaller, more capable and cost less,” Haubner told SpaceNews.

Companies are investing in advanced technology to adapt to changes in the market, including high throughput satellites in geosynchronous orbit, small satellites in low Earth orbit and planned large constellations of communications and Earth observation satellites.

“Constellations currently under development require significant economic effort in designing and developing the space segment,” said Marco Brancati, Telespazio chief technology officer. Most of the firms building the new constellations are not interested in investing in the associated ground infrastructure, he added. Telespazio is eager to offer the ground segment as a service for those constellations and other operators.

Panelists agreed that far more teleports will be needed. “We are going to go from a handful of teleports around the world to dozens or hundreds,” Haubner said. Continue>

Commercial Availability Announced for the World’s First Truly Flat Satellite Antenna, For Use Across a Broad Range of Markets, Enabling Global, Mobile Connectivity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 6, 2017 – Kymeta announced today, at SATELLITE 2017, that the mTennau7 – the world’s first, electronically scanned satellite antenna that can be used extensively across mobile and fixed platforms will begin commercial trials in May. Kymeta is currently taking commercial reservations for the mTennau7 satellite antenna and KyWay terminal.

kymeta final blog picKymeta mTenna® technology replaces traditional satellite dish technology with light, thin, softwaresteered antennas specifically designed for mobile communications. The satellite industry has been waiting for an electronically steered antenna to bring the massive capacity available via satellite to the mobile communications market. This is the first time a technology with this capability will be available.

The Kymeta mTennau7 ASM and KyWay Terminal will make satellite spectrum viable for mobile communications where it has never been possible before. High-throughput connectivity will now be available to a broad range of markets including maritime, rail, VIP and Civilian Armored Vehicles (CAV), energy and more. The range of uses and markets Kymeta will bring to bear will impact both the satellite and communications industries.

“iDirect has been a leader in the mobile satellite communications market for over two decades and we have been waiting for a technology like this to enable and expand satellite connectivity into new markets,” said David Harrower, Vice President of Business Development, VT iDirect. “At iDirect we are proud to be the first modem partner, working with Kymeta to support their innovative KyWay Terminal with a trusted solution that also supports Kymeta KĀLO™ connectivity services through the IntelsatOne® Flex network.” Read More

The New Normal: Satellite’s Collaborative Answer to Cyber Threats

From Via Satellite

As the cyber threat landscape intensifies for satellite operators and the world at large, Via Satellite examines how the industry is tackling the issue on multiple levels. To stay ahead of the threat, manufacturers, operators and customers all must band together, increase their vigilance and collaborate more closely.

Cybersecurity concerns continue to dominate headlines as one of the most far-reaching cross-industry threats facing an interdependent digital world. With space becoming more contested than ever before, the threat to space-based assets is growing.

Increasingly, operators, satellite manufacturers and the organizations they serve are coming together to fight the threats to their networks from a dizzying array of actors from lone-wolfs to well-funded nation-states.

The stakes are high, considering that much of the world’s critical infrastructure rides over satellites, whether the applications involve defense systems, environmental monitoring, broadcasting, financial services or communications. In the context of this threat, Via Satellite talked to a number of satellite industry experts on how they see cybersecurity preparedness occurring in their markets, and how they define the “new normal” as the industry evolves to counter these threats.

Advisory firm PwC in its annual Global State of Information Security Survey 2016 noted that the number of security incidents across all industries rose by 38 percent in 2015 — the highest-ever increase in the 12 years since the global study was first published.

In October 2016 a prolonged Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack shut down many major websites in the United States and Europe. The type of attack involves hackers flooding a website with traffic so it can’t handle visits from ordinary web users.

These developments underscore an escalating problem for companies globally, including satellite firms. Read More