Category Archives: Event

Continued Uplift for Satellite in Commercial Aero

Aero ConnectivitySenior-level executives from leading satellite service providers discussed the future of aeronautical connectivity this past week at Satellite 2015. The panel discussion “In-Flight Connectivity: What Can Providers Offer to the Market?” featured a number of iDirect partners, including Panasonic, Gogo and Inmarsat.

Technology Choices

The consensus was that Air-to-Ground (ATG) is a good technology for planes that are flying over high-density ground routes, due to lower costs involved. The challenge, however, is that spectrum is limited and many airlines don’t want a solution that is only available for planes in a limited range.

More airlines are considering a hybrid solution where a plane can support satellite or ATG. This is due to the fact that they want a consistent solution that can work across their entire fleet and in any location.

Looking forward, a few points to consider:

  • Inmarsat is building an ATG network over Europe and it sees it as a complementary solution to its global strategy.
  • An upcoming spectrum auction in the United States for 500Mhz could be attractive to service providers if the price is right. This spectrum could be used to build a complementary solution as part of a broader portfolio of communications solutions.
  • Future markets where ATG could be a solution include countries with large landmasses, such as China and India, which have many domestic flights on a daily basis.

On-Board Aircrafts

Service providers are engaging with Boeing and Airbus to go through the process of having planes roll off the assembly line with the satellite solution already wired into the plane. This process is expensive and time consuming, but in the long term will be essential for any service provider to have their solutions available when an airline purchases new planes. Read More

iDirect’s Observations from Satellite 2015: VSAT and IoT

Day one the Satellite 2015 Conference was filled with a diverse grouping of presentations covering a bevy of different topics. From market specific content around maritime and cellular backhaul to technical sessions on satellite waveforms and future payload capabilities, many of the thought leaders throughout the satellite industry were on stage sharing their views.

iDirect is in attendance to give you a first-hand perspective of the key topics throughout the conference.

This entry is focused on the Internet of Things

Later in the afternoon of day one, the panel The Internet of Things and Maritime Communications addressed some of the different technologies that are being used onboard maritime vessels and how the “explosion” of connected devices will impact connectivity requirements.

The maritime industry is unique in the fact that the ecosystem has functioned for years trying to do many things with very little amounts of bandwidth. Based on this, many maritime companies have not looked at all the possible ways that a broadband connection can be utilized for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

Some applications, like fuel monitoring and engine management, are already showing the way to enhance M2M usage on these vessels, but overall there is still much opportunity for further development in this market.

iDirect’s Guy Adams joined five other diverse companies from across the industry to address a broad range of topics during this session. Areas covered included the future impacts of LEO satellites, the various options of the different frequencies and the cost of equipment and bandwidth on future growth.

The key takeaway from this session is that maritime vessels are not as far along in their usage of M2M, but that they have great potential to increase operational efficiency by implementing different applications in the future.

From the Floor of Satellite, Day 2

Day two of Satellite 2015 proved as busy as ever. Here’s another Dave Davis video from the floor of Satellite 2015:

iDirect & Ultra GigaSat Discuss the micro VSAT terminal:

iDirect’s Observations from Satellite 2015: TDMA and SCPC

Day one the Satellite 2015 Conference was filled with a diverse grouping of presentations covering a bevy of different topics. From market specific content around maritime and cellular backhaul to technical sessions on satellite waveforms and future payload capabilities, many of the thought leaders throughout the satellite industry were on stage sharing their views.

iDirect is in attendance to give you a first-hand perspective of the key topics throughout the conference.

This entry is focused on TDMA and SPCP.

The Technological Solutions to Solve the SCPC vs. MF-TDMA Debate session could easily have been titled “The battle for the middle”. The four panelists represented various ground infrastructure vendors, one of which was iDirect’s Guy Adams. The key takeaway from this session is that no one still believes that there is a real battle between the extreme edges of TDMA and SCPC, but that the true solution lies in the middle ground between the two extremes.

Adams took a creative approach by going through a series of questions that were really focused on answering what an end customer cares about when looking for a solution. There are three facts that address their needs: they are looking at an appropriate level of service to meet their specific needs, they want to pay a fair price, and they want to get what they paid for. This gave the audience areas to consider when looking at the two different technologies.

The other three presentations from Comtech, Advantech and Newtec were all similar in the fact that they talked about their solution that “solved” the dilemma between TDMA and SCPC.

A key takeaway from this session is the fact that the solutions that offer flexibility to provide shared or dedicated capacity depending on requirements and markets being served are the new normal. The debate between TDMA and SCPC has changed to be a debate about which solution takes the best of both and combines them to offer a better solution in the middle.

From the Floor of Satellite 2015, Day 1

Satellite 2015 is underway and is already proving to be another fantastic and exciting show! If you’re attending Satellite 2015, stop by iDirect’s booth, #4000, to learn more about our products and markets. Check out these videos taken during day one of Satellite 2015.

For those who cannot make the show, take this virtual tour through the iDirect booth:

iDirect’s Dave Davis met up with XipLink’s Andrew Pether and discussed how to use the iDirect and XipLink platforms together to maximize your maritime deployment:

iDirect’s Observations from Satellite 2015: Small Cell and Enterprise

Day one the Satellite 2015 Conference was filled with a diverse grouping of presentations covering a bevy of different topics. From market specific content around maritime and cellular backhaul to technical sessions on satellite waveforms and future payload capabilities, many of the thought leaders throughout the satellite industry were on stage sharing their views.

iDirect is in attendance to give you a first-hand perspective of the key topics throughout the conference.

This entry is focused on small cell and enterprise.

The Small-Cell Civil and Enterprise Applications in Orbit panel addressed the role that small cells are playing in different environments and how satellite is playing a role for backhaul. A number of different use cases for various markets were discussed.

Richard DeasingtonSmall cells and satellite are being used to create small, private networks for emergency response, military or government agencies where the entire functionality of a mobile network is being constructed for a specific function. The largest opportunity for small cells and satellite is still around connecting the unconnected in rural and remote areas. iDirect’s Richard Deasington was on this panel and highlighted the fact that it takes a combination of speed and intelligence to provide a reliable satellite backhaul solution.

Mobile operators need a solution that can deliver high-speed data services while delivering the quality of experience that consumers expect through intelligent bandwidth optimization and management.

Additional topics highlighted the capabilities to deliver total solutions in mobility networks like aeronautical and maritime environments, as well as unique high-end sites like mining sites where small communities are set up in very remote, desolate areas.

Overall the panel was optimistic about the future growth of satellite and the capabilities that were being brought to market for voice and data services.

iDirect’s Partner Elara Comunicaciones Named Among Best Mexican Companies

Leading telecommunications provider honored among best medium-sized businesses based on strong financial performance and management practices

iDirect congratulates customer Elara Comunicaciones, a leading provider of telecommunication and technology services in Mexico and Latin America, for being named to the prestigious list of “Best Mexican Companies: sponsored by Banco Nacional de México, Deloitte and Tecnológico de Monterrey. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

Established in 2010, the Best Mexican Companies initiative recognizes high performing private, medium-sized companies, promoting best practices and standards of the Mexican business community. The judging panel is made up of a specialized team from Deloitte, along with a group of executive and vice president-level individuals from the three sponsor companies. Companies are judged based on such criteria as strong financial performance and management practices.

Elara Comunicaciones installed its first iDirect Hub in 2004. Today the telecommunications provider operates one of the largest iDirect Evolution® networks in Mexico and Latin America, enabling two-way voice, data and video services to over 6,000 remote terminals.

“Since 2010 the ‘Best Mexican Companies’ initiative has been an important program in recognizing the unique leadership of medium-sized businesses throughout Mexico,” said Jorge Villarreal, CEO, Elara Comunicaciones. “We are honored to be named to this prestigious list, and this award speaks volumes to the work being done, both internally and by key partners like iDirect.”

“Elara Comunicaciones has long demonstrated the type of vision and leadership necessary to make it among the best companies in satellite,” said Rob Kilroy, Regional Vice President, Americas, VT iDirect. “Now, such qualities are on display for the entire business world to see, given this unique and prestigious honor. iDirect is very proud to be an enabling partner in helping Elara Comunicaciones enable critical enterprise connections across Mexico and Latin America.”

iDirect’s Observations from Satellite 2015: The Maritime Market

Day one the Satellite 2015 Conference was filled with a diverse grouping of presentations covering a bevy of different topics. From market specific content around maritime and cellular backhaul to technical sessions on satellite waveforms and future payload capabilities, many of the thought leaders throughout the satellite industry were on stage sharing their views.

iDirect is in attendance to give you a first-hand perspective of the key topics throughout the conference.

Our first entry is focused on maritime.

The day started with Simon Bull from Comsys and a host of iDirect partners on stage to talk about the current state of the maritime market. Comsys just released the 4th edition of its maritime report that highlights continued growth in the maritime market.

There are now over 21,000 vessels equipped with VSAT and over 8,000 vessels have been equipped in the past three years. The majority of this growth has been in the commercial shipping segment where adoption of the technology has escalated as costs of hardware have decreased.

Airbus highlighted its growth, adding over 600 ships to its service last year to become the number-one maritime service provider based on revenue. SES and Telenor highlighted their varying HTS strategies to meet regional requirements. The biggest announcement of the session was ITC Global disclosing that Panasonic had acquired them, which now gives a strong aeronautical service provider a presence in the maritime space. Overall it was a positive session showing how maritime continues to be a growing market for VSAT services.

iDirect at Satellite 2015: Four Questions with Denis Sutherland

Denis SutherlandBy Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

With nearly 20 years experience in the telecommunications and network industries, Denis Sutherland is firmly entrenched in the world of global communications, and the role of VSAT.

At the forefront of leadership discussions around HTS, Sutherland will be continuing such discussions at Satellite 2015. We sat down with Sutherland to get his perspective on this year’s show—including what he is anticipating the most from his time in Washington, D.C. at the event.

Q: Tell us about your new role with iDirect as Director of Business Development.

DS: Business Development in iDirect supports our customers with long term and strategic programs, and is very much customer facing. Therefore, this role is exactly where I have wanted to be for a while, taking the lead on discussing a number of exciting HTS programs with our partners. In general, iDirect is seeing a great deal of optimism in the VSAT community, and personally it’s great to be part of that.

On the whole, I would say that the time to act is now. With that in mind, many organizations are looking at how they participate in the HTS programs that are coming online very soon. Companies are dusting off the strategy books and working out their core strengths. That may be providing a gateway to a HTS operator, or for others it could be as a vertical specialist offering multiple VSAT offerings. The key is to have a defined plan, before service launch.

Q: You’ve been at the forefront of the Ka-band vs Ku-band debate for the industry. Talk about the biggest considerations influencing this debate going forward.

DS: This has been a hot topic since Ka-band was first proposed a number of years ago. The more interesting discussions are evolving into ecosystem comparisons, around all aspects of the satellite operators’ approach. Frequency is one, but you also have discussions associated with open or closed business models, terminal integration approach and a number of others.

The question of which satellite operator ecosystem will offer the best solution for you organization will depend on many things, not least being the vertical market that you are addressing. Read More

Great Expectations

Dave DavisDave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

It’s an exciting time to be in an industry that is evolving fast. High Throughput Satellites are leading the charge and with them are coming technological advancements in terminals and hubs, but above all mindsets. Some of these developments are clearly outlined in the recent blog on Raising the VSAT Opportunity by iDirect’s Denis Sutherland.

The defence sector once led the communications world, with many commonplace technologies such as the mobile phone, or the Internet, starting as defence-based programs.

In recent decades, there has been a dramatic switch to the technological drive coming from the commercial world. Technologies like HTS are providing capability far beyond that of current defence assets. As a result, closer communications between the defence requirements teams and commercial industry is needed and a collaborative approach from an early stage is essential.

At February’s Mobile Deployable Communications Conference (MDC)in Prague, the main thrust of the conference was predictively SWaP and ARC.

SWaP, or Size Weight and Power, is at the forefront of the minds in the defence and security community. However, another point well made at MDC was the additional requirement to not burden the warfighter with information overload. Such programs as the UK’s FIST will have to balance situational awareness (SA) with decision fatigue.

DDAVISTo address the challenges of SWaP, the iDirect next-generation manpack board level router, the 950mp, has been designed from the ground up with these three key elements in mind. Compared to our e850mp it’s been made smaller by far, is obviously lighter and is incredibly power efficient. The 950mp will be on the iDirect stand at Satellite 2015, Booth #4000. If you’re there, make sure you come and say “hi” and have a look at the terminal up close.

I am really looking forward to seeing the terminals that will now be possible as a result of the new 950mp. I predict a real step-change from man-portable to a true manpack, bringing capability to the front line that was only possible in vehicle mounted or suitcase sized terminals only a few years ago.

There is also a new rack mounted router, the 9350 and it looks great. OK, I’m biased, but the product development team have certainly done their job well and have produced a router that is highly capable, offers much higher speeds, easy to use, ready for future HTS deployment  and is well adapted to life in a harsh environment. Read More