Author Archives: iDirect

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at iDirect’s Next-Generation Technology Strategy

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A programmable ASIC chipset is the power inside iDirect’s next-generation DVB-S2X remote portfolio called the iQ Series.

As the satellite industry dramatically shifts into a new era, our future is more important than ever. And the issues our industry faces need entirely new answers.

How do satellite operators advance their business models to monetize the explosion of capacity coming online? How do service providers keep pace with throughput rates, and even race ahead of what end users demand today? How do service providers and operators build out massive networks without the traditional cost model that can make satellite communication a capex- and opex-intensive endeavor?

iDirect has begun to answer these questions with the introduction of our next-generation technology strategy. Two years ago, we embarked a re-design of our ground infrastructure platform to tackle tomorrow’s demands — building on our core product lines so that our customers can meet future opportunities while protecting their investment in iDirect technology.

The Intelligent Path Forward

Our strategy focuses on unleashing the potential of today’s High Throughput Satellites (HTS) as well as interoperating with coming generations of satellites that will feature new architecture designs and flexible payloads.

The cornerstone of this new strategy is our advanced, programmable ASIC chipset, engineered to take full advantage of the DVB-S2X standard and enhanced for iDirect’s highest performing Adaptive TDMA waveform.

The ASIC chipset is the powerful intelligence inside iDirect’s next-generation DVB-S2X remote portfolio called the iQ Series, which is targeted for broadband, enterprise and mobility applications and packaged in desktop, board level and rack-mount form factors.

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Introducing the iQ Desktop remote, the first version in iDirect’s next-generation iQ Series remote portfolio that is engineered for best-in-class DVB-S2X performance.

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Mary Cotton, VT iDirect CEO, to be Inducted into Satellite Hall of Fame

The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) announced today that, on MarchMary-Cotton-sm-240x300 7, it will induct four new members into the prestigious Satellite Hall of Fame, including VT iDirect CEO Mary Cotton.

September 2017 marks Cotton’s 10th anniversary as CEO of iDirect. Cotton has led the company through a decade of tremendous growth, guiding the development of new satellite technologies and steering iDirect toward a leading position in key vertical markets around the world.

The company has a remarkable 57% share of the VSAT hub market and has grown to become the leading enterprise TDMA supplier. Eight of the top ten maritime service providers and the top three names in in-flight broadband have made iDirect their platform of choice. During Cotton’s tenure, iDirect Government, a wholly owned subsidiary of iDirect, grew its presence to become the leading player in the defense and intelligence communities.

Beyond revenue and market share, however, is the human impact of iDirect’s success.  The company’s technology supports communication with ships that carry the world’s trade, and with energy exploration and production that power its economy. Its cellular backhaul technologies connect the unconnected, while portable VSAT terminals coordinate disaster relief and emergency response. Millions of schoolchildren around the world connect to the Internet and access distance education through iDirect VSAT networks. By driving the growth of her business in service to customers, Cotton has contributed directly to the world’s prosperity, understanding and security.

Early on, she told Satellite TODAY that “satellite communications is an unsung part of many networking solutions and the industry tends to think of itself as being marginalized. I look at satellite connectivity as … something that drives business for our partners and customers.” That focus on customer value, innovation, and her ability to “see around corners” has translated into substantial success.

Perhaps the greatest testimony to the company’s innovative spirit came with the advent of HTS technology. Under Cotton’s leadership, iDirect won a major contract to develop Inmarsat’s Global Xpress ground network infrastructure. Through this partnership and others with leading satellite operators, Cotton further secured iDirect’s name as an integral player in satellite. iDirect Velocity® and iDirect Pulse®, focused on unleashing new HTS capacity, were game-changing technologies. Today that innovative drive grows even stronger with transformational iDirect DVB-S2X technology designed to set a new standard for ground infrastructure performance, removing every barrier to growth for partners and customers.

Four Company Founders and Leaders to be Inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame

Society of Satellite Professionals International honors individuals who have led the satellite industry in making a better world

(February 7, 2017 – New York City) – The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) announced today that, on March 7, it will induct four new members into the prestigious Satellite Hall of Fame. They will join the leaders who created, sustained and expanded the industry over the past 60 years, including Dr. Arthur C. Clarke, Dr. Harold Rosen, Rene Anselmo, Takuya Yoshida, David Thompson, Eddy Hartenstein, Romain Bausch, Pradman Kaul, Sidney Topol, John Celli, Giuliano Berretta, Mark Dankberg, Peter Jackson and Jean-Yves Le Gall.    The 2017 honorees are Dr. Walter Scott, Founder and CTO of DigitalGlobe; Mary Cotton, CEO of VT iDirect; James Monroe III, Chairman and CEO of Globalstar; and Thomas Choi, Co-Founder and CEO of Asia Broadcast Satellite.

“The 2017 inductees uphold the proud tradition of the Satellite Hall of Fame,” said SSPI executive director Robert Bell.  “Their business achievements are remarkable in themselves, whether in creating a new sector of the industry or vastly expanding businesses through vision and innovation.  Their careers offer lessons to an industry poised on the edge of revolutionary changes.  Their work also dramatizes the immense contributions of satellite technology to human welfare, economic growth, better government, greater security and deeper understanding of our world.”

The latest members of the Satellite Hall of Fame will be inducted during a ceremony that is the high point of the 2017 Hall of Fame Benefit Dinner on March 7, the opening night of the SATELLITE 2017 convention and exhibition at the Washington Convention Center in Washington DC.  They were selected by SSPI’s Board of Directors under the leadership of Chairman Bryan McGuirk, chief commercial officer of Globecomm, and President Dawn Harms, Vice President of Business Development for Boeing Satellite Systems International.    The SSPI Satellite Hall of Fame was introduced in 1987 to recognize the enormous contributions of the visionaries and pioneers who have made possible the age of satellite communications – individuals who have devoted their careers to the advancement of technology and to helping build the political and commercial foundations of the industry. Read More

Prepare for the Birth of Dynamic VSAT Services

Dynamic Services - Blog Header - 600x179

An army of switchboard operators were once the indispensable force behind the United States telephone network, but this approach was ultimately unsustainable for future growth. Instead, the telecommunication industry embraced automation early in its history as a means to efficiently scale while improving service quality. Electromechanical switching relays proved enormous gains are possible when system-wide automation is employed.

Now the telecommunications industry is hoping network programmability will deliver similar efficiency gains. Communication networks have functioned largely the same since the 90’s, with rows of physical routers managed by teams of people, so they are prime candidates for system improvement. The goal is to reimagine how these networks operate by applying advanced system automation through Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV).

Download Dynamic Services White Paper

Download Dynamic Services White Paper

Although the concepts of SDN and NFV are relatively recent, they arose out of the larger trend toward virtualization. Data centers had discovered that if they “virtualized” software, multiple applications could share space on a single server. This led to the “cloud,” where automation made it possible to form a vast application processing pool shared across many servers. But while all the applications began converging into the cloud, the network itself was still tied to dedicated hardware devices.

People are now rewriting how networks should be architected, using SDN to centralize

routing control and NFV to virtualize network equipment. These concepts envision a world in which networks become embedded within the cloud. The goal is to make networks dynamically reconfigurable, so changes can happen within minutes rather than days or weeks. Essentially, the ability to offer dynamic services to customers. Read More

Technologies of Success

By Nikita Demidenko, Regional Manager, Russia & CIS, Europe

NkitaToday, when economic growth is largely dependent on cutting-edge technologies, and the industry moves on to 4G level, the development of information technologies is among the strategic objectives of each country. High-quality satellite communications is an integral part of the global technological progress. VT iDirect is one of the world leaders in the field of satellite communications. Its solutions represent almost half of the world market in the B2B segment. Specifically, more than 50% of operators in Russia and the CIS are using iDirect satellite communications technology. Join Nikita Demidenko, regional director, as he talks about VT iDirect’s global success and its work in Russia.

VT iDirect is a global giant of satellite communications, one of the largest VSAT manufacturers. What was the prerequisite for this success?

Demidenko: VT iDirect was founded over 20 years ago to implement the development of satellite communications technologies in the corporate market segment. At that period the competition was weak, if not to say it was non-existent. The company grew rapidly, and today iDirect solutions in the satellite industry occupy more than 50% of the market share worldwide in the B2B segment; about 350 organizations are among our partners. Historically iDirect operates in GSM, oil and gas, maritime, aero, and construction segments.

Our solutions allow partners to optimize networks, to differentiate services and to expand business. The range of products under the iDirect brand combines innovative technologies and solutions to support all network requirements for bandwidth, location, satellite frequency, topology and applications. iDirect, in fact, changed the market due to the transformation of business proposals for operators, TCO reduction and improvement of operational efficiency. Read More

MOTIV Selects iDirect to Offer 4G/LTE Service over Satellite

Mobile service provider leverages iDirect’s SatHaul® solution to offer profitable data coverage in cost-sensitive markets

MOTIVHerndon, VA, January 23, 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 MOTIV, a leading mobile service provider, will be extending its investment in the iDirect platform to deliver 4G/LTE data service across Russia’s expansive rural markets, offering profitable data coverage in cost-sensitive markets.

MOTIV is based in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, and currently uses iDirect satellite network infrastructure as a GSM-backhaul solution to provide 2G coverage to nearly 100 remote locations spread over thousands of kilometers. The service expansion will leverage the iDirect SatHaul® solution, the newly launched X7-EC remote and iDirect’s Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS) technology. With a 20% gain in efficiency due to the use of iDirect SatHaul for their data overlay network, the new iDirect-based network will provide coverage as an overlay to MOTIV’s 2G satellite-connected sites, enabling to deliver high-speed, reliable data service in areas that cannot be reached by traditional terrestrial or microwave backhaul.

“We strive to provide our customers the best possible service at the most economical rate,” said Alexey Artemasov, Chief Executive Officer, MOTIV. “The iDirect SatHaul system and iDirect’s full platform features enable MOTIV to create an LTE experience that delivers the reliability and performance our customers expect. iDirect continues to provide us with the right set of tools to better serve the growing rate of mobile demands in the region.” Read More

iDirect Partner Perspective: Axesat

Mauricio Segovia - Axesat CEOMauricio Segovia, CEO, Axesat, sits down with iDirect and offers his perspective on the emerging LatAm market, HTS and what’s next in 2017 for Axesat.

iDirect: Please describe Axesat and its role in the emerging LatAm satellite market.

Segovia: Axesat is a multinational company based in Colombia focused on providing solutions that guarantee the best possible service experience to Latin American companies. We have over thirteen years of experience and over 200 employees committed to understanding our customer’s needs to deliver solutions that truly add value to their businesses. We have offices in Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador and Peru and we also serve the Argentinian, Venezuelan and Central American markets via strategic partners.  We have over 8,000 active satellite links and over 800 clients distributed throughout the region.  Our main goal is to solve the business connectivity needs of companies and telcos in a cost-efficient way.

iDirect: How long have you been an iDirect partner and why did Axesat select its technology?

Segovia: Axesat is constantly looking for the best way to deliver the best solutions to respond to our customer’s needs. Therefore, we continuously look for the best available technologies that allow us to satisfy our customer needs.  In such a process, in 2010, we decided to begin our relationship with iDirect, acquiring the Evolution® platform to complement our existing product portfolio.

iDirect: What verticals do you serve and which services do you offer in your core markets?

Segovia: We have a presence in several verticals.  Not one of the verticals we serve account for more than 10% of our revenues, which together with our geographic reach allows us to weather the storms when a vertical is not doing well.  We have customers in government, oil and gas, energy, mining, infrastructure, retail, banking, and agriculture.  We have developed a complete portfolio of satellite solutions from a deep market understanding of the segments we have a presence in. With our portfolio we offer data, video, voice, backhaul, manage services and trunking solutions to all our core markets. Read More

A Year of Milestones for iDirect and Our Partners

Mary CottonBy Mary Cotton, iDirect Chief Executive Officer

For the past several years in this annual article, I have focused on the emergence of High Throughput Satellites (HTS). I have written about the opportunity for satellite communications to break out from niche technology status to play a larger role in the end-to-end network as global demand for bandwidth explodes.

Well, that opportunity is decidedly here. HTS capacity is filling the skies and opening markets on the ground. As with any type of opportunity, though, meeting demand means raising your game. So in 2016, iDirect made significant progress powering our customers’ innovations and enabling our ground infrastructure platform to capitalize on our industry’s immense opportunities.

Milestones in Delivering Mobility Service

iDirect’s mobility partners made headline news this year as several highly anticipated HTS services built on iDirect became commercially available. Inmarsat GX went live with tremendous success, and Inmarsat immediately realized customer wins across maritime, government, and aviation markets.

In 2016, the first Intelsat EPICNG satellites went into service, making HTS capacity available for commercial shipping vessels and tankers operating in the North Atlantic, as well as for cruise ships and other leisure vessels in the Caribbean. And 2016 saw the successful launch and adoption of Telenor’s THOR 7 satellite, which provides HTS coverage over European shipping lanes.

iDirect supported several more partners in launching and expanding their mobility networks this year. Marlink signed up for capacity with both Inmarsat and Intelsat, making its move into HTS-based services. iDirect partnered with SES to launch their Maritime+ service, which represents its first Ka-band maritime offering. Speedcast expanded their global maritime network on the iDirect platform. And Globecomm launched a high-capacity satellite service for fixed and mobile assets on a global basis.

We are excited to see continued innovation in the mobility market, especially in the antenna industry, where flat panel solutions are opening new opportunities. This year iDirect supported VSAT antenna manufacturer Kymeta in launching a ground-breaking “no dome” antenna for the superyacht market. Kymeta mTenna represents an entirely new class of VSAT technology that can be hand-carried onboard and self-installed on commercial shipping vessels, fishing fleets, and even leisure vessels, creating additional market opportunities. Read More

iDirect’s Next-Generation DVB-S2X Technology Unlocks the Power of the Intelsat EpicNG Platform in Over-the-Air Tests

New iQ Series remote spurs substantial efficiency improvements, approaching 6 bps/Hz  

Herndon, VA, December 13, 2016 – iDirect, a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology and a company of VT Systems, today announced it has completed a successful round of over-the-air tests on the Intelsat 29e satellite leveraging iDirect’s next-generation iQ Series remote. iDirect’s ground infrastructure platform and iQ Series modem technology combined with Intelsat EpicNG satellites yielded a throughput rate of 5.71 bps/Hz – another demonstration of the up to 330% efficiency performance gains on the Intelsat EpicNG platform. This allows iDirect and Intelsat customers to exploit the full capabilities of the DVB-S2X standard so they can more efficiently meet demands for high-speed bandwidth.

The tests were conducted in Intelsat’s teleports from Oct 26-28, 2016 on the Intelsat 29e satellite, running on an iQ remote installed in Atlanta and iDirect’s new Universal Line Card and Hub chassis installed in Mountainside, MD. The successful tests included the operation of DVB-S2X carriers with 64APSK, 128APSK and 256APSK modulation and coding, and roll-off factors of 5%. The user data tests demonstrated substantial efficiency improvements reaching an industry-leading 5.71 bps/Hz in throughput per remote.

Intelsat NOC

“These milestone tests prove how our goals of higher performance, better economics and simplified access can be achieved in operational networks,” said Mike DeMarco, Senior Vice President, Operations, Intelsat. “With iDirect’s iQ remote technology and Intelsat EpicNG capacity, service providers can transition onto our high performance network while leveraging their existing investment in hub infrastructure. This is an important achievement in enabling our customers to expand their businesses into new applications and geographies and realize their future growth objectives.” Read More

Cloud Streaming For Air New Zealand Via Inmarsat’s Global Xpress

From Satnews

inmarsat global xpress air new zealandAir New Zealand has just signed on with Inmarsat for Global Xpress connectivity across the airline’s long- and short-haul fleets.

GX for Aviation  will be deployed by Air New Zealand to deliver a reliable, seamless broadband in-flight Wi-Fi experience across the world. For the first time, GX for Aviation connectivity will be integrated with Air New Zealand’s Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system provided by Panasonic. This was specifically requested by Air New Zealand.

The global nature of the GX network means that Air New Zealand’s ultra-long-haul routes, across the Pacific and on to the United Kingdom are covered, while the ability to layer-in capacity over Air New Zealand’s key regional destination hubs, such as the East Coast of Australia, will ensure that the customer experience will be of consistently high quality. The first GX-equipped aircraft are expected to begin proving flights in the second half of 2017, with services progressively available on Tasman, Pacific and long-haul fleets from the end of next year. It is anticipated that domestic routes will be added to the connected fleet from 2018. Air New Zealand joins a growing fleet of airline customers who have selected GX, including Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Singapore Airlines. Continue>