Category Archives: Market

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

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.

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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

New, Flexible Satellite Solutions Improve Maritime Efficiency

Exciting times! iDirect is proud to be Intelsat’s technology partner in providing the underlying technology platform on which the IntelsatOne Flex service is built.

From Intelsat, By Mark Rasmussen

intelsat-logo-250With more than a decade of experience providing critical satellite capacity to the global maritime industry, Intelsat is keenly aware of the challenges faced by service providers who deliver satellite connectivity across all the maritime sectors we serve. Those sectors include commercial shipping, cruise, oil and gas, superyacht, fishing and leisure – each of which has its own unique requirements and customer demands. Intelsat’s customers, the satellite service and solution providers, are demanding specialized tools as they work to integrate higher-capacity satellite solutions into their operations. These include tools for seasonal fluctuations in capacity needs, reactive purchasing, the ability to forecast future bandwidth demand for each region, and applications to ensure the highest possible return on any investment in new technology.

The award winning IntelsatOne Flex for Maritime platform provides those tools. It lets service providers integrate capacity from across the Intelsat fleet – including our next-generation EpicNG high-throughput satellites (HTS), the IntelsatOne global ground infrastructure, and the HTS-optimized iDirect Velocity® platform – into a simplified, unified ecosystem.

When designing the IntelsatOne Flex for Maritime platform, our main goal was to enable simple access to Intelsat’s mobility network while allowing our customers to maintain full control over their service differentiation – something that is not possible with other HTS service platforms. Continue>

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.

MEC Ship of the Year: MSC Meraviglia

From Marine Electronics & Communications

Record-breaker Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) Cruises’ new flagship MSC Meraviglia is named as Marine Electronics & Communications’ Ship of the Year. It was the clear winner because of its achievement of breaking the bandwidth-at-sea record in June this year on its maiden voyage.

MSC Meraviglia Uses iDirect 9350 Satellite Routers

Its superior satellite communications systems delivered unprecendented bandwidth to passengers and crew. The largest cruise ship built for a European operator so far was nominated alongside several other passenger ships, tankers, gas carriers and offshore support vessels. These were whittled down to a top five, of which MSC Meraviglia was chosen as the winner because of its record-breaking VSAT systems.

9350

iDirect 9350 Satellite Modem

To achieve bandwidth of up to 300 Mbps, MSC involved service provider Marlink together with Intelsat’s latest high-throughput satellite and a new VT iDirect modem.

MSC Cruises used a stacked series of iDirect 9350 modems that were linked to Marlink’s Sealink VSAT. Marlink worked with Intelsat to provide data connectivity using Ku-band spot beams from an EpicNG satellite. Marlink provides widebeam C-band and Ku-band, plus spot beams, from Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e EpicNG satellites for MSC’s cruise ships.

Continue to MEC Q4 Digital Edition (pg 18-19>

A Time for “Extreme Service” in the Satellite Industry

IsoTropic Networks is a boutique service provider in the VSAT market focused on enterprise, maritime, and oil and gas industries. They face the same challenge as any service provider in an age of rapid industry growth: to deliver higher network performance and compelling new services, while lowering operating costs.

As one of iDirect’s partners, they recently upgraded their entire network infrastructure. Why? The satellite communications industry is growing fast, and iDirect provides future-proof infrastructure to run both Evolution® and iDirect Velocity® networks with advanced capabilities to leverage HTS and DVB-S2X, for the lowest total cost of ownership and highest level of customer service, something very important to IsoTropic Networks.

“We chose iDirect because we want to continue our role as a trusted presence in the satellite industry. This upgrade will provide the infrastructure foundation to launch Isotropic’s next generation of services and prepare us for future customer requirements,” said Hank Zbierski, chief catalyst, IsoTropic Networks.

Watch the video to discover more of IsoTropic’s satellite story.

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

iDirect Shares Vision for Next Phase on In-Flight Connectivity Innovation

A Higher Plane - Boarding the Next Journey for In-Flight Connectivity White Paper

A Higher Plane – Boarding the Next Journey for In-Flight Connectivity White Paper

This week is a critical week for in-flight connectivity. At two major events – SmartPlane in Paris and Connected Aircraft E-enablement in London – experts across the industry will discuss what’s next as airlines look to improve network quality, expand services to new applications and lower their costs.

Today, airlines are demanding greater business value from their onboard networks. So, they’re expanding connectivity beyond just passenger Wi-Fi to transform their entire aircraft operations.

However, this new vision of the “connected aircraft” presents a whole new challenge for airlines and their in-flight service providers. It equates to managing a global wireless network in the sky that serves a much broader suite of applications and end users.

When evaluating the right in-flight communications solution, airlines need to consider their long-term plans for a broad range of applications across their fleet and service territory. And it will involve big changes: rewriting the business case, upgrading technology and running a much more complex network.

Yet, the reward is huge. Those airlines that can best leverage in-flight connectivity will gain a clear business advantage in terms of customer loyalty, crew productivity and company profitability.

The Connected Plane

That’s why iDirect has just issued a paper on the subject: A Higher Plane: Boarding the Next Journey for In-Flight Connectivity, which spells out key innovations to address these challenges:

  • Bringing HTS capacity onboard in the immediate future, while developing a long-term plan to integrate capacity across all orbits.
  • Improving how airlines share bandwidth across their entire fleet and myriad applications
  • How regional airlines can adopt inter-provider roaming agreements to economically and quickly expand their service areas.

Read More

A Higher Plane: Boarding the Next Journey for In-Flight Connectivity

In-Flight Connectivity

Today, airlines want greater business value from their onboard networks. So, they’re expanding connectivity beyond just passenger Wi-Fi to transform their entire aircraft operations. Valour Consultancy estimates that the connected airline could save the aviation industry over $1 billion annually.

However, this new vision of the “connected aircraft” present a whole new challenge for airlines and their in-flight service providers. It equates to managing a global wireless network in the sky that serves a much broader suite of applications and end-users, all of which are vying for contested bandwidth. In this context, it is increasingly difficult to ensure a reliable, consistent service, and manage costs. Read More