Category Archives: Event

Maritime VSAT Revolution or Evolution? Back to the Battle of the Bands

By Thomas Bopp, Director, Sales System Engineering, VT iDirect

The maritime satellite communication and shipping industries convened this week in IMG_5078Bergen, Norway for the Digital Ship Conference. Prior to the kickoff of this event was the Marlink VIP Customer Update and Dinner, during which many important discussions unfolded related to advancements in maritime communication and the various ways in which shipping companies can leverage these advancements.

Broadband VSAT has become business-critical for the maritime sector. That being said, the limits of reach, availability and throughput are continuously being pushed further. This ultimately begs the fundamental question for the user:

Will the technological innovations prove disruptive or will they transparently integrate and introduce efficiency gains so that the user experience is enhanced?

This was the topic of my presentation at the Marlink event. In some ways, this particular IMG_5087discussion starts with the debate between bands. Here are a few key takeaways to this debate:

  • Ku-band is now dominating maritime VSAT service delivery with C-band still holding on to its market spot.
  • Ka-band has entered the market with a larger and higher frequency range, and the promise of additional capacity and higher throughput, smaller antennas and the use of more efficient modulation and error codes.
  • Challenges facing Ka-band include the higher susceptibility to rain fade and phase noise and the entry cost of any new technology at the beginning of a product cycle.
  • The satellite industry has responded with well-proven carrier adaptivity, maximizing spectral efficiency and availability, and hub diversity and advanced quality of service (QoS) to protect service-level agreements (SLAs) during fade conditions. Antenna vendors bring to market cost-effective solutions that integrate satellite routers based on the OpenAMIP standard.

The Ka-band vs. Ku-band discussion feels like a déjà vu of the older Ku-band vs. C-band discussion a few years ago. As the dust begins to settle, it becomes clearer that the choice will be less technical and driven more by such factors as market and value. Ultimately, it is safe to say that the frequency ranges will coexist for the foreseeable future. Read More

Come See Us at Satellite 2015

Opportunity is Now ─ at Satellite 2015!

One of the industry’s biggest and most anticipated shows of the year is just a few weeks away. There’s no better place than Satellite 2015 to learn all about the newest VT iDirect developments and innovations direct from the people behind them.

A Full Lineup at Booth #4000 You Won’t Want to Miss!

Demand for satellite communications is going through the roof, and satellite is closer thanSatellite-2014-Pulse-Sign ever to going mainstream. See how iDirect products and technology are enabling satellite operators, network operators and service providers to seize exciting new opportunities now.

And this year we’ll be showcasing every aspect of the iDirect portfolio ─ our exciting growth strategy for Evolution® customers; our new Velocity® product line for HTS Operators launching managed services; a sneak peek at iDirect Pulse®, the next generation management system; and our entire remote portfolio.

Sessions for Your ‘Don’t Miss’ List

This year you’ll hear firsthand from a wide variety of VT iDirect experts on some of today’s hottest topics.  Insights into small cell networks … the latest thinking on the SCPC vs MF-TDMA debate … a look at changing maritime industry dynamics … and more.  Watch for more details soon.

We look forward to seeing you at Booth #4000!


Delivering Additional Bandwidth Efficiencies in Europe

By Thomas Bopp, Systems Engineering Director, EMEA, iDirect

The topic of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) providing additional capacity to areas out of the typical range of coverage remained a hot topic throughout the year. This is true even in some of the largest countries in the world like Russia, which relies on satellite to connect remote locations, many of which can only be reached with this access technology.

The topic was front and center at the Space and Information Technology Conference in Russia this past November. The event was organized by iDirect partner KB ISKRA, a telco provider that recently launched such mobile antenna solutions as its driveway antenna integrating iDirect’s satellite router technology along with OpenAMIP and GLONASS support. GLONASS is the Russian satellite system that provides worldwide geo-location services, which is mandatory for many Russian government and civilian networks.

Coming away from the event, three key trends driving the growth of VSAT in Russia were confirmed to me:

  • Russia has a strong fleet of satellites, but organizations are also using a great deal of international capacity, which is often strained due to currency fluctuations
  • Strong interest in HTS satellite capacity over Russia during the coming years is evident. The trend is for spot beams, but there is a continued need for global beams due to organizational topologies
  • Growing demand exists for broadband-hungry applications across government, defense, oil and gas, cellular backhaul, enterprise, mobility, and the consumer markets

I had the pleasure of participating in this inaugural event, which attracted 80 participants from all areas of the IT world. I took part in both an industry roundtable discussion, as well as hosted a session on maximizing bandwidth efficiency. Read More

Three Challenges Face Satellite and Small Cell

Is 2015 the year that the market for small cells begins to truly take off for satellite? This is TLthe sentiment that could be felt throughout the 7th Annual Small Cells Americas Conference, held earlier this month in Dallas, Texas, setting the stage for bigger things ahead.

The roughly 750 registered attendees to the Small Cells Americas Conference painted a positive outlook for the role of small cells and satellite. This marked the first time that iDirect exhibited at this event, which revolved around the technical development and deployment strategy for femto- and small cell deployments. iDirect met with major North American carrier customers to discuss their use of iDirect with small cells, as well as made contact with new players from such areas as Latin America—demonstrating the growing interest.

At the co-located Small Cell Forum (SCF) Plenary iDirect’s Richard Deasington, in his role as chairman of the SCF Rural Special Interests Group, ensured that satellite is recognized as a key technology to be considered in the upcoming Rural and Remote release being created by the SCF. According to Deasington, in addition to rural the release will also cover a variety of remote applications for small cells—namely mobility. This includes train, plane and maritime mobile applications, temporary and emergency sites as well as remote industrial or military deployments. All of all of these use cases demonstrate potential users of satellite backhaul.

Meeting with many key members of the ecosystem at the event Toni Lee Rudnicki, chief marketing officer with iDirect, key takeaway was the need to break down such barriers in urban small cell as cost availability and security. Perhaps one of the biggest items on the plate for this market, says Rudnicki, is to ensure open standards are in place in order to enable new services. Read More

iDirect at Africacom: Cell Backhaul on the Horizon

By Toni Lee Rudnicki, Chief Marketing Officer, iDirect

As mobile operators continue transforming their network architecture to take advantage ofTL small cells and carrier Wi-Fi, high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity remains well positioned to create new opportunities for providing backhaul in remote and rural locations. This is a trend that is certainly playing out across Africa; a reason why it was no surprise that cell backhaul was the focal point of most discussions at Africacom.

Overall, this year’s Africacom event was bustling with positivity despite many attendees characterizing 2014 as being a bit of a tough year. The optimism that attendees expressed was the fact that they saw many opportunities on the horizon. For example, the enterprise market remains on a steady uptick. Banking and education were two such markets garnering significant attention. But again, every conversation ultimately centered on the topic of cell backhaul.

iDirect hosted a series of small cell demos at the event, all of which turned out very positive results. It was fun to watch as the attendees took the cell phones and walked across the tradeshow floor to experience the demo. Most were pleasantly surprised. In general, HTS and small cells were seen as an opportunity. It is another area in which satellite communications is able to flex its unique muscle in the network.

For iDirect, this further reinforces our acquisition earlier this year of the some of the software assets of Altobridge. Attendees definitely noticed and on more than one occasion I received positive feedback on the move. As we build the Altobridge technology into our satellite platform we will be able to offer cellular customers a cost-efficient and fully integrated solution focused on the needs of backhaul. Read More

OilComm 2014: The Answer to the Increasing Demand for Capacity

By Gloria Kinney, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, iDirect

Unprecedented bandwidth demand within the Oil & Gas industry is driven by the use of video monitoring and real-time data exchange for improved operations, security, and training. While the emergence of high throughput satellite (HTS) will play a prominent role in providing much of that additional capacity, there is a key role for other communications technologies – Wi-Fi, WiMAX, 4G, and fiber – within the larger ecosystem. This hybrid network infrastructure approach was the key theme throughout the OilComm 2014 conference that took place in Houston, TX, Nov. 5-7.


OilComm 2014

Satellite connectivity still remains the primary source for offshore, mobility, and back-up applications particularly in remote locations. The advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) will drastically improve data throughput and capacity at more affordable prices. In addition to HTS, various Oilcomm sessions explored how other terrestrial and wireless communications technologies can complement the existing satellite infrastructure.

The new pre-conference Tech Workshops were designed to facilitate discussions with existing industry challenges such as key considerations for effective mobile application development for the oilfield. Also new this year was the Exhibitor Showcase Theater where companies had 30 minutes to promote the latest in cutting edge technology including subsea optical communication systems, virtual private radio networks, and dynamic wireless microwave networking solutions. Read More

The ARC to Success

Dave DavisDave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe 

The recent Global MilSatcom conference was a roaring success.

For the uninitiated, Global MilSatcom is THE annual catch up on all things military and Satcom. As always, there are generic themes that weave their way through the conference and this year was no exception, with notable mentions going to Comms-on-the-Move (COTM), Aero platforms, the additional requirements for training and welfare, SWaP, and of course UAS.

However, there are constant themes that reappear on an annual basis and this is summed up using the acronym ARC, or Affordability, Resilience and Capability. Some even suggested we should start a drinking game and every time a speaker mentions one of these three, we all sip from a glass of our chosen tipple. If we did do this, I doubt many people would make it to day two of the conference.


Affordability is absolutely key in today’s constrained budgets. I, for one, was surprised to see the figures on the declining percentage of GDP spent on military communications. Don’t get me wrong, a smaller percentage of an increasing amount is still very, very significant, but it’s an indicator of the economic times and even the mighty BRICS still have to be frugal and get the most bang for their buck. Read More

Talia US Launches Mobile Comms Vehicle and Global MPLS Expansion to the Americas at OilComm 2014

From Talia

Oilcomm-2014-Talia-smart-carTalia looks set to turn heads at their exhibition at OilComm 2014, by launching their new Mobile Communications Vehicle, which is sure to take remote communication to the next level.

OilComm, the Oil and Gas Industry’s annual expo, which sees professionals from both Oil and Gas companies come together to view the new technologies and solutions available to them, is running over 3 days in November and is the leading forum for oil and gas industry experts. The conference and expo will host some great keynote speakers and displays of new and improved technology, tailored to making the industry smarter. Talia will therefore be likely to catch the eye of many of the attendees here by showcasing their Mobile Communication vehicle at their exhibition space.

The global communication experts, who have recently set up a regional office in The Woodlands, Texas, headed up by ex Orange America’s Kurt Spindle, have long been providing solutions to those in need of remote comms. Their main service offerings are to those in the Oil and Gas and Construction industries, and have put their expertise to good use by developing this vehicle, which will be enable a satellite connection to be driven to almost any location in the world. Read More

iDirect at AfricaCom 2014: High Potential for High-Speed Broadband

By Toni Lee Rudnicki, Chief Marketing Officer, iDirectTL

Senior decision makers from across the communications industry will be in Cape Town South Africa next week for the annual AfricaCom 2014 conference where talk will certainly be focused around new opportunities for delivering high-speed communications in the region.

Meeting the growing demand for bandwidth is top-of-mind for many in the market. Statistics from NSR project the Middle East and North Africa region to be among the more diverse markets for high throughput satellites (HTS) applications with 50 Gbps of demand by 2023, 16 Gbps of which will be driven by enterprise. In the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, 95% of HTS throughput utilized will be enterprise and broadband access.

At iDirect, we see this growing demand having a positive impact on the enterprise side. Markets like banking and finance, government and cell backhaul are strong areas of focus for iDirect in Africa.

This year at AfricaCom we will be showcasing our solutions that address these key markets in Africa. Both the X1 and X7 remotes will be display at our booth. We will have small-cell demo at the show, demonstrating the role that VSAT plays in the backhaul of terrestrial coverage for remote and rural areas. Cell backhaul remains one of the most significant growth markets on the horizon in Africa. Satellite’s ubiquitous coverage, high reliability, fast installation all combined with new wireless infrastructure capabilities utilizing small cells create a cost-effective solution for connecting remote and rural areas throughout Africa. Read More

Meet the iDirect Team at OilComm

The oil and gas market is undergoing a digital evolution. From the rigs themselves becoming increasingly modern using sophisticated technology, to the level of high-speed applications being used to run all phases of operation, technology continues to play a critical role in this market.

At the center of enabling it all is the use of VSAT. According to NSR, capacity demand for exploration and production will exceed 18.8 Gbps by 2022. Furthermore, 12% of all connected oil and gas sites will utilize High Throughout Satellite (HTS).

This convergence of digital trends and growing demand for capacity will be on full display at OilComm Conference and Exposition, November 5-7 in Houston, Texas. This event has become the annual gathering place for the communications industry serving the oil and gas market.

This year’s agenda is packed with topics to which the use of satellite communications has an underlying role to play. Everything from managing experiences with connected device policy and security implementation, to visualizing incident response solutions, to offshore enterprise communications present challenges that the satellite industry is working hard to address.

oilcom-reception2Once again, iDirect will be hosting a special networking reception at OilComm. Taking place on November 6, this reception will allow exhibitors and attendees to mix and mingle with the entire market in a casual setting.

Our roster of iDirect attendees brings unique expertise to these discussions. I encourage you to meet up with iDirect Senior Sales Executives Scott Glass, Ken Harris, Jeff Hunsucker, and Senior Sales Systems Engineer Mark West. Collectively they bring more than 40 years experience in oil and gas and are willing to engage into conversations that provide keen insights into the technologies and business strategies shaping the oil and gas market.

According to show organizers, the OilComm Conference and Exposition is shaping up to have its largest exhibit floor to date. Overall, the show promises to present solutions for the entire lifecycle of the oil platform. And VSAT has many important roles to play enabling it all.