Category Archives: Event

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.

VSAT in APAC: An Opportune Landscape for Growth

Two recent events shine the spotlight on VSAT’s continued growth in Asia-Pacific. The region is experiencing an upswing of opportunity, given the launches of multiple satellites, greater demand for high throughput satellites (HTS), and growing opportunities across a number of different markets.

The month of September wrapped up with the annual APSCC Conference & Exhibition, where the theme was appropriately centered on “The New Landscape for Satellite.” APSCC President Yutaka Nagai perhaps said it best when he welcomed attendees with a message that the satellite industry is positioned for an exciting phase of prosperity in Asia Pacific.


For iDirect, the message of HTS in particular was front-and-center at the event, with Tom Cheong, VP & GM, iDirect Asia, participating on an engaging panel discussion titled “HTS and Broadband Satellite Services.”

“Given the coming HTS capacity that will present higher throughput, better mobility support and more persuasive economics for large networks, the Asia Pacific region can expect unprecedented new opportunities for both consumers and enterprise customers,” said Cheong. “Factors like rapid urbanization in major Asian cities, upsurge in air, land and sea travel as well as increasing demand for high-speed mobile connectivity, all speak to this being the right time for HTS to elevate Asia Pacific to the next level.”

This demand is already apparent in the form of communications on the move (COTM) from the defense and homeland security sectors. Multiple coast guard/naval forces, land-based army divisions as well as disaster management agencies in the region have incorporated iDirect technology into their mobile assets.

Likewise, cruise liners and commercial airlines remain the next big wave of mobility for Asia Pacific. iDirect’s strong foundation in the maritime space should propel this market segment forward. Coupled with the government mobility objectives, the outlook for mobility in APAC looks to be well rounded. Read More

Promising Productivity For Inmarsat Presented During MILCOM 2014

From Satnews

Inmarsat, in partnership with its Value Added Resellers, has begun providing wideband communications capability to U.S. government customers through its Global Xpress service carried over the first Inmarsat-5 satellite.

Using 72 fixed beams in commercial Ka-band, along with military Ka-band capacity available on its high-capacity steerable beams, Global Xpress is now supporting aeronautical and land terminal operations in the Indian Ocean Region with high-throughput connectivity. The steerable beams are designed to complement military Ka-band capacity provided by the Wideband Global SATCOM system (WGS) in areas of high demand, while the fixed beams enable consistent and reliable service across nearly all of the visible earth.

Peter Hadinger, president of Inmarsat’s U.S. Government Business Unit, said, ”Our goal throughout the design process was to address many of the U.S. government’s most critical communications needs, and now, Inmarsat is delivering on that objective.”

Global Xpress exceeded expectations during extensive user evaluations and tests. Users indicated that terminals were highly reliable under all operational conditions, providing seamless wideband SATCOM connectivity crucial to their mission requirements. The Inmarsat-5 military Ka-band steerable beam technology efficiently supports very high data rates and very small apertures enabling the satisfaction of previously unmet key mission requirements. Additionally, the iDirect evolution-based Global Service Beam (GSB) performance met or exceeded data throughput available on older Ku-band services using satellite terminals of equal or smaller size. Continue>

European Partner Summit Energizes Region’s Leading Operators and Service Providers

eps audienceiDirect leaders gathered with more than 70 partners this week in London for the much anticipated European Partner Summit. The event was a chance for iDirect to network with its strong base of operators and service providers in the region, listening to their market insights, while sharing iDirect’s plans for product and business development.

Kevin Steen, iDirect’s chief operating officer, led off the event by highlighting vibrant growth numbers in Europe reported by COMSYS.

  • Service revenues grew 3.7% to $7.2 billion (U.S.)
  • Hardware revenues grew 22.3% to $1.06 billion
  • Enterprise shipments grew by 13.8%
  • Enterprise sites in service grew to more than 1.5 million
  • Satellite consumer subscribers passed 2 million this year

Kevin then outlined how iDirect is engineering its platform to support this growth trajectory. This ranges from enabling larger scale, higher throughput networks to advancing satellite to play a major role in driving the end-to-end IP network. Kevin also spoke to iDirect’s strategy to lower the total cost of ownership and remove long-standing barriers to satellite adoption in the broader telecom market – key objectives on the path to mainstream opportunity. Read More

20/20 Vision for Building the “Network 2020 Environment”

Cisco_Watko_Hi_RezEric Watko, Vice President, Technology Initiatives, iDirect

It’s tough to say you have 20/20 vision on anything, much less a goal that is roughly six years down the road. But as we continue to talk about satellite’s role in the converged end-to-end network, some things are coming into clear focus about the path we need to take as an industry to get there.

I’ve been asked to present this week at VSAT 2014 on the topic “Preparing for a Network 2020 Environment.” And as I think about what that environment will look like, and the role that satellite must play, I cannot help but reflect on my past where I saw a similar path towards network convergence play out.

Prior to iDirect, I was a senior engineering development and business manager for Cisco’s space systems group.

During that time, Cisco was a major part of a transformation in the telecommunications industry from dedicated circuits to IP networks to end-to-end services.

I see the satellite industry following a similar path, starting with legacy networks more than 20 years ago, through the development of IP-based satellite communications, pioneered by iDirect. And now satellite communications is poised to join the converged end-to-end network, ready to deliver unique value in terms of global reach, unique applications and market opportunity.

Yet, as we talk about satellite taking that next step on its path, there are definite gaps that need to be filled. One of these gaps exists with regards to network standards, similar to the way in which terrestrial-based technologies like wireless, wireline, DSL, and optical shifted from disparate networks to become one core network. Read More