Category Archives: Event

We Need to Keep Moving

Kevin SteenBy Kevin Steen, President and CEO, VT iDirect

This is an excerpt from a recent speech given by Kevin Steen at the 2017 VSAT Congress, an event organized by the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) to bring together industry leaders to discuss upcoming challenges and the innovations that will drive the wider adoption of VSAT.

When you have a single beam, maintaining connectivity for the mobility of ships or planes within that beam is simple. However, modern VSAT networks long ago expanded beyond a single beam. Each step of the way, iDirect has created solutions to keep mobility as seamless as possible.

Demands for Mobility Innovation

First came the need to stitch together multiple beams on the same satellite, so iDirect introduced Fast Beam Switching and switching logic to handle expansion across multiple beams. Then came the need to stitch together multiple satellites, so iDirect introduced Global Bandwidth Management for traffic load balancing.

Now, customers are wanting to combine multiple constellations, such as broad beams from an older satellite with spot beams from a newer satellite, even operating on different frequency bands. And the emergence of MEO and LEO satellites is creating a need to combine and manage connectivity across multiple orbital planes.

Finally, people are seeking to reach past VSAT and integrate with terrestrial 5G for a multi-access network. As you can see, supporting ships, planes or trains has moved far beyond our traditional thoughts about mobility. A new approach is required for bringing together all these differing forms of connectivity on completely separated networks. Read More

Inmarsat; Rocking My World

Dave-Davis-250Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, VT iDirect

Recently I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural Inmarsat World; a combination of two large scale events into one mega-event. The annual Inmarsat Global Partner Conference was combined with the Inmarsat Developer Conference to bring together a wide range of Inmarsat people, manufacturing partners, channel partners, developers, new start-ups and end users. To be in a room with 1,000+ people of that quality was an absolute privilege.

In summary, it was an absolute revelation.

There was the usual content you’d expect from any large-scale show like this. The CEO perspective, the future plans, the market overview, the new technology, the success stories, etc.

There were also some incredible presentations from outside the satellite communications industry, which included some very valuable lessons to learn; one from Jonas Kjellberg, serial entrepreneur and one of the creators of Skype, and another from Jean-Francois Clervoy, Astronaut with 3 space shuttle missions under his belt.

Inmarsat World 2017Both presentations left the audience inspired and with some big questions to ask themselves. As an aside, it was amusing to hear that when Clervoy was on the space shuttle his U.S. counterparts couldn’t get their tongues around his name. Did they learn his name, practicing the phonetics and French intonation? No; they renamed him “Billy-Bob!”

But looking beyond the usual content you’d expect, there were two things that struck me.

Firstly it was the amount of faces I didn’t recognize. I am used to attending industry conferences where you recognize the majority of faces and can probably walk into any bar in town and see someone you know. Here in Portugal’s stunning conference centre, there was a sea of unknowns. By the end of Inmarsat World I’d managed to get around and meet a lot of these people, but even then, I was only scratching the surface. The majority of the unknown faces were from technology partners that are doing some amazing things, using Inmarsat as a medium, but also using the Inmarsat ecosystem as a way of reaching a wider audience. Read More

Register Now: “Unlocking New Satcom Markets and Capabilities with Next-Gen Ground Segment” Webinar

NSR iDirect Webinar November 29th

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 | 10-11 a.m. EST | Cost: Free

To say that the satellite industry is going through a profound transformation is in many instances an understatement. Demand for connectivity is surging, and satellite operators are responding by launching massive amounts of new bandwidth into orbit. By 2025, we’re expected to have 10x the capacity we have today.

While the space segment has attracted most of the innovative focus in recent years, it is vital to recognize that there is no value in the satellite industry without a ground terminal. New opportunities cannot be met without major steps forward in the ground segment.

Join iDirect and NSR for an exclusive analysis of the market opportunities, technology trends and the impact of ground segment on the overall satellite industry.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • What are the trends driving or restraining growth in equipment shipments and revenues for each market vertical and region, and for each type of equipment?
  • What are the technology trends in modems, RF equipment, antennas and baseband systems shaping the industry? How is the emergence of HTS and the growing demand of bandwidth influencing these trends?
  • How is HTS opening new market segments in Broadband and Mobility markets?
  • What is iDirect’s strategy to unlocking these new opportunities?
  • How is iDirect driving innovations on the ground to be in lock-step with these new trends?

Reserve your spot today.

Read More

AfricaCom 2017 Wrap Up

DM Telecommunications at AfricaCom 2017AfricaCom’s big focus this year was on satellite and how satellite technology will enable better access to connectivity for all of Africa. To help raise the visibility for satellite communications to the estimated 13,000+ AfricaCom attendees, iDirect invited Ms. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Deputy Minister of Telecommunications & Postal Services for the Republic of South Africa, to share her views on new programs that are supporting the role of satellite in the mission to connect Africa.

Keynote Address from Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Over 500 delegates gathered to hear Ms. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Deputy Minister of Telecommunications & Postal Services, deliver her keynote address, Visions for Africa: ensuring a connected Africa through satellite communication.

Today, “the challenges of lack of connectivity and low tele-densities particularly in the rural areas of Africa are acute and exacerbate the digital divide,” the Deputy Minister said. “Therefore, policy interventions, an enabling regulatory framework, legislation and collective efforts are needed to build the information society and a knowledge economy in Africa in order to achieve improved socio-economic development and modernized standards of living.”

Satellite communications is key in enabling Africa to overcome these challenges, offering a scalable, quick-to-deploy communications infrastructure to areas where terrestrial alternatives are unavailable, unreliable or simply too expensive. Furthermore, “with the additional satellite capacity and new high throughput capacity coming into the region, price points for bandwidth are more economical and present a mammoth opportunity for providers to deploy services across the region,” Deputy Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said.

“Thank you to iDirect and its business partners who are already serving businesses, financial institutions, and rural communities throughout Africa, to meet their satellite broadband connectivity needs accelerating communication, knowledge and financial growth,” she continued. Read More

See iDirect at AfricaCom 2017 Next Week

Partners will enjoy a VIP Luncheon with a special guest speaker

As the second largest continent based on population, as well as area, Africa is poised for massive adoption of VSAT to accelerate social and economic development, from providing access to education to businesses extending their reach, to providing rural connectivity to those without access to knowledge and resources. As such, the AfricaCom 2017 conference is set to be a buzz of activity and opportunity!

iDirect AfricaCom 2017

With a growing presence and constant commitment to the region we are looking forward to welcoming our business partners at iDirect Stand E45, as well as our iDirect VIP Luncheon on Wednesday, 8 November at 1200. The luncheon will be an extremely special event as we are honored to have South Africa’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Deputy Minister, Ms. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, serving as a guest speaker.

The Deputy Minister will be giving the Keynote speech at 1030 on Wednesday, focusing on the value of ICT and digital connectivity under the theme, “Visions for Africa: Ensuring a Connected Africa through Satellite Communications.” This includes an analysis of the satellite communication policy interventions, regulatory framework, legislation, and collective efforts that are required to build an information society and knowledge economy in Africa.  We are thrilled she will be able to join us for lunch and share her views on potential for satellite connectivity to aid in the vision for a connected Africa.

Register for the iDirect VIP Luncheon

If you haven’t yet registered for our event at the Westin Cape Town on 8 November from 1200-0200, please reserve your seat today.

We look forward to seeing you during the iDirect VIP Luncheon and AfricaCom 2017, where we will be showcasing our new products and technology at Stand E45.

iDirect’s Sef Senhaji to Present at China Satellite 2017

Sef SenjiiJoin iDirect 25-27 October in Beijing for China Satellite 2017 where Sef Senhaji, Senior Director, Business Development Aero Market, will participate in a panel on 26 October at 9:50 a.m.: Operations Technology – Future Connected Benefits.

Mr. Senhaji will discuss the latest developments in the “connected aircraft” trend and how satellite solutions providers are helping airlines meet the challenges and maximize the benefits of in-flight connectivity (IFC).

With IFC a must-have these days for passengers, it heavily influences which airline people will choose to fly. Although passenger connectivity alone cannot justify the business case for bringing VSAT onboard, it does mean re-imagining the in-flight experience and operations from top to bottom. “Fully connected” now means cockpits with electronic flight bags to improve aircraft operations; it means increasing communication between the crew, cockpit and ground maintenance teams to allow for better predictive aircraft management and reduce repair delays; and, it also means equipping cabin crews with the latest mobile technology to improve customer care.

Today’s in-flight connectivity challenge is about meeting rising customer expectations while delivering a broad range of specialized applications. Join Mr. Senhaji at China Satellite 2017 as he discusses the latest developments in satellite communications that are helping airlines enable a truly connected aircraft.

To learn more, read our latest whitepaper: “A Higher Plane: Boarding the Next Journey for In-Flight Connectivity.”

Located in the Nikko New Century Hotel, China Satellite 2017 events will include pre-conference technology workshop, keynote speeches, equipment exhibition, sub-sessions and round-table discussions regarding the most hot topics in satellite industry in China and worldwide.

Join iDirect’s Wayne Haubner at the Satellite Innovation Symposium Conference

Satellite Innovation Symposium ConferenceJoin iDirect’s Wayne Haubner, Senior Vice President of Emerging Technologies, as he discusses the new architecture satellite systems will require to meet future demands at the Satellite Innovation Symposium conference. The session, Digesting Software’s New Role, is on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. PDT.

The system architecture of next-generation satellite networks will differ greatly from today’s systems.

Here’s why: End users are demanding more and more bandwidth for their data-hungry applications, with no sign of slowing down.

Satellite operators and service providers are struggling to meet the needs of this explosive growth in capacity demand, and are also under tremendous pressure to reduce the capital and operating expense of these systems. Additionally, they are required to deliver new services and capabilities to clients at a faster pace.

Satellite systems of the future will have an explosion of spacecraft and teleports. Where today a global network may contain perhaps a couple dozen spacecraft, new LEO constellations will allow global networks to contain hundreds of spacecraft. Operators may create hybrid constellations with spacecraft operating at different orbits, perhaps with different waveforms or capabilities. These constellations will leverage dozens, if not hundreds, of teleports.

The complexity of these new networks, combined with the explosion of devices to the millions or billions, make our traditional network management and monitoring systems obsolete. Read More

Insights for Improving the ROI of VSAT Networks

Denis SutherlandBy Denis Sutherland, Vice President, Business Development, VT iDirect

First, let me congratulate Integrasys for winning the 2017 VSAT Stellar Award for Best Ground Segment Technology.

During the VSAT Global show, I had the pleasure of representing iDirect and joining the World Teleport Association (WTA) and Integrasys on a panel to discuss important considerations on how to cost-effectively deploy and maintain VSAT networks. When thinking about improving the return on investment (ROI) for VSAT networks, the cost of equipment and space segment is just the tip of the iceberg. Operators should consider the more hidden costs of optimizing the installation and commissioning process, which can represent a significant portion of network costs.

These costs can include:

  • Hiring a professional VSAT installer
  • Traveling to a remote location
  • Using a satellite phone for back-channel communications
  • Coordinating with hub support staff
  • Redeploying personnel for any post-install issues

The iDirect Remote Commissioning Solution is based on Satmotion Pocket by Integrasys and it empowers the field technician to autonomously and accurately install a VSAT terminal, thereby saving time and resources. Accuracy is important to maximize the performance and efficiency of the network by minimizing adjacent satellite interference. To learn more, listen to the webinar recording or you can also purchase and download the full report from the WTA website. Read More

Engaging with Others to Make Satellite 5G a Reality

Denis SutherlandBy Denis Sutherland, Vice President of Business Development, VT iDirect

Today, I’m chairing the Satellite Terminal Working Group’s (STWG) special meeting Satellite Communications and their Role in 5G and presenting on the topic of “Bringing 5G to VSAT Terminals.”

The STWG is part of the Innovative UK Knowledge Transfer Network, which seeks to link together business and universities to share ideas and the latest discoveries. We’re holding the meeting at the University of Surrey, located just a bit southwest of London, in their 5G Innovation Centre, a top-rate research centre dedicated to the development of the next generation of mobile and wireless communications.

5G is a perfect topic for the STWG to explore, as it has major implications for satellite communications and cross-industry collaboration will be essential if VSAT is to take advantage of future opportunities in cellular backhaul, connected vehicles, and the Internet of Things. Satellite terminals have to adapt to service new applications, so this will likely require unique form factors, much smaller sizes, and dual cellular/VSAT capabilities.

We want VSAT to be accessible as an extension of 5G networks, to achieve “plug-and-play” functionality and bring coverage to places where traditional terrestrial struggles. This will require adding greater programmability to VSAT networks, incorporating industry standard 5G interfaces to both terminals and hub-side components, and harmonizing the management plane to seamlessly transfer services between VSAT and 5G access points. Read More

Understanding and Improving the ROI of VSAT Networks

Register Now:Understanding and Improving the ROI of VSAT NetworksWebinar

Thursday, September 21, 10:00 a.m. EST, 3:00 p.m. BST

mondays webinar graphic

Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) networks have been providing reliable connectivity around the world and in the most remote locations since the 1980s. The World Teleport Association (WTA) and Integrasys have produced a report, Understanding and Improving the ROI of VSAT Networks, outlining the costly resources involved in deploying and maintaining VSAT networks along with products such as Satmotion Pocket, iDirect’s remote commissioning solution, that help address some of those challenges.

The ultimate goal of the network operator is to provide the highest quality and most efficient service while minimizing costs. According to the survey in the report, for a 50-site VSAT high-performance network, capital expenditure represents 45 percent of the total investment, while operating expenses comprise approximately 55 percent of the cost.

While costs vary depending on the type of network, size, application, and vertical market being served, they can be significantly reduced by simplifying and speeding up the installation process through automation and guidance. Getting a network up and running quickly also results in revenue generation sooner. The more accurate the initial installation is also eliminates the added cost of redeploying trained installers to a remote site as well as any fines for adjacent satellite interference (ASI). Read More