Category Archives: Event

Global Connected Aircraft Summit – In-flight Connectivity Rules the Skies

iDirect at Global Connected Aircraft 2017These days, in-flight connectivity (IFC) rules the skies. This was clearly evident at the three-day Global Connected Aircraft Summit in Arlington, Virginia, last week. Service providers, airlines and content providers alike shared with the audience the rapidly growing relevance of IFC for commercial aero.

The days of discussion and debate about how airlines can make money from IFC are gone. Today IFC is a requirement in order to remain competitive. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Inmarsat, 60% of passengers said that Wi-Fi is a necessity onboard a flight. And if the connectivity is poor? The survey reported 44% of passengers would book a different airline next time.

So what makes the Wi-Fi connectivity good enough — and what other applications need to be managed as part of IFC?

It’s important to look at all the various applications that in-flight connectivity provides beyond passenger entertainment and Wi-Fi.  That includes increasing communication among crew, cockpit and ground maintenance teams to allow for better predictive aircraft management and reduced repair delays. And it also means equipping cabin crews with the latest mobile technology to improve customer care and increase flight attendant safety.

Satellite operators realize that inconsistency in SLAs/ coverage is a major obstacle to adoption, creating challenges in achieving a good return on investment. According to Mark Richman, Director, Product Management Mobility & Energy Services for Intelsat, one way to overcome this inconsistency is through a combination of three factors: ubiquity, density and resiliency/scalability. Intelsat has achieved this through their HTS EpicNG constellation and their plans for HTS 2.0 – the LEO/GEO integration. According to Andrew Ruszkowski, SES, VP Strategic Initiatives Mobility, the answer to ubiquitous coverage lies with the fact that at the moment SES operates the only operational geo/ non-geo constellation with their integration of O3B. Read More

A SQEP in the Right Direction…

Dave DavisBy Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, VT iDirect

Last week saw IET MilSatcom 2017 come to London. It was a fantastic event with big hitters from industry, Ministry of Defence (MoD) and academia joining together to share a vision of the future of MilSatcom in the near and medium term.

It was also the first time the event incorporated a second day with a series of workshops on day 1. The workshops provided an opportunity to discuss threats, countermeasures, management and spectrum issues. The workshops produced some interesting takeaways:

  • There is the potential for over-reliance on MilSatcom
  • There is a lack in training to be able to operate in a denied or degraded environment
  • There is a lack of suitably qualified and experienced personnel (SQEP) in the military
  • Effective management is key

Reliance is a big factor in MilSatcom. Yes, there is a built-in resilience and technology is far more reliable than it once was, but could a modern battlefield commander operate without MilSatcom providing the large data rates required? Training in a degraded environment is key to understanding how the systems operate under stress and what contingencies are there. There is still a requirement for non-Satcom, i.e., HF capability and an ability to fall back where required. Luckily there is a plethora of Satcom available, so if MilSatcom is denied or degraded, having another satellite system available is likely, but data rates will probably be reduced. Read More

The Next Journey for In-Flight Connectivity: Three Key Steps Forward

Global-connected-aircraft-logo

The Global Connected Aircraft Summit takes flight this week in Arlington, VA, and our very own David Harrower, VP of International Sales and Business Development, will speak on “Operations Technology – Future Connected Benefits.” David will join executives from Rockwell Collins and Honeywell on Thursday at 11:15 am to examine 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).

Today, passengers consider IFC a must-have, and it increasingly guides their decision on which airline to fly. Yet passenger connectivity alone cannot justify the business case for bringing VSAT onboard. Moving beyond an exclusive focus on passenger connectivity means 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.

However, this broader scope equates to managing a global wireless network in the sky that serves a much broader suite of sophisticated applications vying for bandwidth, with more aircraft coming online. In this context, it is increasingly difficult to ensure a reliable, consistent service, and manage costs. In his presentation, David will focus on three key requirements to address these challenges as we embark on the next leg of IFC. Read More

Jam Tomorrow And Jam Yesterday – But Never Jam Today?

Dave DavisBy Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, VT iDirect

There is definitely a feel of summer in the air of London. And this week, where better to enjoy the London sun, than the North bank of the river Thames? Savoy Place has been the home of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and its forebears since 1909. The building is steeped in history, with famous names of engineering legends all around you everywhere you turn. If you look closely you’ll notice a discreet plaque on the wall outside; this was also once home of the British Broadcasting Company, before it got too big to be a tenant and had to find its own space to fill. Just looking at the past Presidents in the foyer, some names leap out; Siemens, Swan, Kelvin, Ferranti and Fleming. From the guardian outside, the statue of Michael Faraday, to the modern roof terrace with views to die for, the recent £30M makeover has made IET Savoy Place a flagship building to be proud of.

Savoy Place is host to IET MilSatcom 2017, which is expanded this year to a two-day event. The first day is a series of workshops, aimed at an open forum to discuss threats and countermeasures, digital security and managing MilSatcom. It is hoped that these workshops will provide an interactive platform for all attendees and presenters to learn from each other. I will be leading the threats and countermeasures workshop alongside Sqn Ldr Van Halteren and am really looking forward to it; we’ll be talking about jamming, locating, interception, etc. as you’d expect, but we’re also trying to pull out some of the other “softer” threats that may not be quite so obvious on first inspection.

The second day is a really good blend of presentations from solo presenters, double acts and panel discussions, involving commercial and military experts in the field. We will also learn about a range of sectors within the industry; the defence view, the commercial/sovereign mix, the need for throughput, the balance between the frequencies, the use of Global Xpress and L-Band, building satellites, welfare provision, border security and the future of MilSatcom. All in all it promises to be an outstanding couple of days. Read More

Exploring the Future at CommunicAsia 2017

This year, CommunicAsia was all about the future of connectivity. The world’s leading telecom and tech brands converged in Singapore to explore everything from exploding demand for bandwidth to expanding markets for satellite.

For VT iDirect, the event got off to a strong start with our 2017 iDirect Asia Pacific Partner Event. More than 70 customers packed the house, and the buzz was unmistakable as Kevin Steen, President and CEO, VT iDirect, announced that our new DVB-S2X iQ Desktop remote and Intelligent Gateway entered live testing. Following a series of over-the-air tests with Inmarsat, Intelsat and SES, where we set new records for bandwidth efficiency, our customers are eager to get their hands on our new DVB-S2X technology and achieve their own performance results.

Throughout the show, our booth continued the buzz as hundreds more customers stopped by to check out the iQ Desktop, hear about our new defense product lineup, see firsthand the new Kymeta flat-panel mTenna, and learn about all the innovation iDirect is bringing to the market today.

Mike Liou, Vice President of Product Management, VT iDirect, presented a keynote address at the ST Electronics Technology Seminar 2017 attended by a high-profile crowd of tech and government leaders. Liou revealed the role satellite communications is playing in global telecom and detailed how iDirect is transforming its technology to make satellite smarter, faster, and more efficient – poised to bring new answers to today’s surging connectivity demands.

The future of iDirect and the satellite industry was vividly on display at CommunicAsia. And judging by all the excitement – from partners to tradeshow attendees to business and government leaders – the region is ready for what the future will bring. Please enjoy our video wrap up and thank you to all our partners!

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:

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>