Category Archives: Market

iDirect Is Part Of Smart Grid Dream Team


In our Smart Grid Dream Team Challenge you had your chance to propose a merger of two companies you think should be joined at the smart grid hip. Our editors pared the nominations to the selection that appears below; the words are those of the person who suggested the match. Check them out and then vote for the union you think could create the ultimate smart grid dream team.

  • GE and Silver Spring Networks — Two companies I see so closely aligned in terms of competency, compatibility, and vision that some may already view the demarcation line between them as being dotted rather than solid leads to my “Dream Team” nomination… GE and Silver Spring Networks. (More about GE smart grid)
  • Ambient and Cisco — Utilities Telecom Council gave Ambient Corp. a Top Smart Grid Award this year and Cisco could take them to new levels with a merger. (More about Cisco smart grid)
  • GE and Infrax Systems — GE should buy Infrax Systems.  They have a team of heavyweights … they have solutions that are recommended by several government agencies and keep upgrading to stay on top.
  • Silver Spring Networks and iDirect — I would suggest that a ROCKING pairing would be Silver Spring Networks and iDirect.  SSN still represents the “smartest guys in the room” approach to smart grid integration; and iDirect has the best next-gen satellite technology… Brains and beauty (a.k.a. ubiquity).  What’s not to like?

GVF – Broadband Maritime Europe 2011

Satellite service providers supporting the maritime connectivity market gathered June 28th & 29th in London for the GVF Broadband Maritime Europe 2011 Conference. The conference was focused on current communications trends within the maritime market and the applications that are driving connectivity. 

iDirect participated in the conference by presenting on two different topics that were relevant to the audience. On the first day of the event Denis Sutherland and Roger Adamson from Stark Moore MacMillan, presented the findings of a market research study that iDirect commissioned to provide insight into the implementation, understanding and usage of VSAT technology within the maritime shipping industry. We have provided a summary of the results in a whitepaper that is posted on the iDirect website. 

On the second day Denis presented an overview of the latest updates and enhancements to SatManage and how this tool provides insights to maritime end customers by enabling service providers to provide real time network reports and information about every vessel in the network through the use of customer portals. SatManage collects and displays detailed data from all VSAT terminals enabling service providers to offer detailed service level agreements to their maritime customers. 

Overall the conference provided a good forum for increased discussion on the future of maritime communications and the increased adoption and requirements for data connectivity on board vessels.

iDirect foresees smart grid role for satellite communications

smartgridSatellites orbiting at least 100 miles above Earth can provide DA, plus substation and AMI backhaul, in rural areas or rugged terrain where fiber does not easily reach, Richard Deasington, director of vertical markets for iDirect, of Herndon, Va, told us… Continue>

Ship Equip with breakthrough contract in Shanghai, China

The opening of the Ship Equip Shanghai Office in 2010 has proved successful with the first contract signed on May 10th with Ningbo HaiZhiXing Ocean Fishery. The contract was signed during a new Technology & Product Conference held in Shanghai by Ship Equip and partner company Beijing Highlander.

The company Ningbo HaiZhiXing Ocean Fishery Co,. Ltd.,  is a Ministry of Agriculture qualified large-scale offshore fishing enterprise who owns 16 professional offshore squid fishing vessels, and has 6 more being built.  HaiZhiXing operates in high seas of the Southeast Pacific (Peru), North Pacific and Southwest Atlantic (Argentina). It is Ship Equip’s first deal in the Chinese market and the SEVSAT system is to be installed on Ningbo HaiZhiXing fishing vessel “HaiZhiXing 805”. Subsequently the system is scheduled to be installed on all their newbuilds. 

“We see the Chinese Market as a huge opportunity” says Mr. Wesley Tham, Managing Director Ship Equip Asia-Pacific. “Our Shanghai office has just been set up when this early contract is signed. I take it as a clear proof that our SEVSAT system is very attractive, and that whether you are in Asia or any other continent the need for communication is equally present” Mr. Tham points out. 
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The Smart Grid – New Tech Seeks Satellite Path

Via Satellite ArticleFrom Via Satellite Magazine

Smart grid initiatives, or efforts to improve existing electric infrastructures through the use of intelligent electrical devices and telecommunications, are accelerating in size and scope. These efforts are taking place around the globe, touching both industrialized and developing nations.

The term ‘smart grid’ is a bit misleading.  Electric grids already are very smart, utilizing distributed control (DCS) and supervisory and control (SCADA) systems to remotely monitor and control electric networks; however, as the national grid in the United States, which is made up of multiple regional grids, changes to meet new demands, even more monitoring and control capabilities are being added.  Continue>

New Maritime VSAT Market Report

VSAT: Present and Future Research ReportiDirect has just released the findings of a major research project focused on VSAT communications in the maritime market. The survey was conducted by a third party consulting firm Stark Moore MacMillan whose background and knowledge of the maritime industry allowed them to undertake this project and provide detailed insights about the current market for satellite communications. 

The research involved interviews with over 60 different maritime shipping companies from all regions of the world. The goal of the research was to understand the potential for VSAT, the knowledge and understanding of the technology, and the drivers and barriers to fitting VSAT. The companies interviewed comprise over 13% of the world’s commercial trading fleet over 1,000GT with a pretty even distribution between those companies that had adopted VSAT and those companies that had not yet fitted the technology. 
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TETRA – An untapped opportunity!

Richard DeasingtonBy Richard Deasington

Most readers will never have heard of it yet many may have had their lives saved by TETRA – Terrestrial Trunked Radio – the two-way radios used by emergency services, transportation organizations, utility companies and similar.  TETRA networks have a similar structure to their better known cousins – GSM networks – and were defined by the same standards body – the European Telecoms Standards Institute (ETSI). 

A key characteristic of TETRA networks is that they usually have to provide very extensive coverage so that police / fire / ambulance / utility services and the like can handle emergency calls at any location in a territory.  As for GSM – satellite can provide an economic and rapid means to deploy coverage in areas far away from telecoms infrastructure – either linking to permanent base stations in rural or remote locations or providing links to their rapid deploy truck mounted base-stations. 

Read our latest case study with Pro-M and HDT in Hungary showing how iDirect’s system enabled them to support first responders dealing with a record-breaking flood in 2010. 

TETRA networks can be found in all continents – more than 400 have been installed in at least 100 countries and many of these are candidates for either permanent remote cell sites and/or cells on wheels connected by satellite.  The one place you won’t find TETRA networks yet is in the US – but following lobbying by the utility industry the FCC have just permitted TETRA operation and so we can expect to see a flurry of new TETRA networks (and opportunities for iDirect network operators!) coming here soon.  Please contact Richard Deasington at iDirect for any help you need in pursuing these opportunities.

Maritime Becoming Prime Time For Satellite Companies

By Mark Holmes – Via Satellite

With demands for bandwidth set to increase, satellite players are vying to supply the crowded maritime sector with more effective communications solutions, as shipping operators look to satellite to boost their performance.

Maritime is one of the most exciting sectors for satellite companies, as shipping companies look to beef up their communications and entertainment capabilities. Improved connectivity is becoming a vital tool for improving overall efficiency and reducing costs as well as retaining an experienced crew, important considerations for shipping operators during tough economic times.
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iDirect and 3G Backhauling

Richard DeasingtonBy Richard Deasington

iDirect is well known as a provider of 2G / GSM cellular backhaul solutions with over 40 networks in operation around the world – including the largest VSAT cell backhaul network that is deployed in China with around 1,200 sites.  However, most new networks deployed now are 3G HSPA networks that offer high-speed data at up to 11 MB downlink speed as well as conventional voice and SMS services – can iDirect satellite infrastructure support this traffic? 

The short answer is ‘yes’!  iDirect worked over the past year with several leading vendors of 3G infrastructure to ensure that it operates efficiently over our D-TDMA networks and also so that we have the best network settings already prepared for implementing these networks.  We have just completed a round of testing with the very latest 3G technology and you can expect to see a public announcement on this in the next month or so.  As a taster we can say that achieving 3G connectivity from native IP- connected 3G Node Bs (base stations) has proved quite straightforward and multi-megabit throughputs can be delivered.  Our combined SCPC Return and TDMA networks can now easily handle this level of traffic using the most appropriate technology depending on the throughput required and the traffic characteristics. 
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CETel & SeaMobile Europe – Acquiring Minds Wish To Know


CETel (Central European Telecom Services), the German Teleport & Satellite Service Provider, acquired SeaMobile Europe, a company of the SeaMobile Inc. and MTN family. The satellite communication provider based in Paris (France) will, in the future, perform under the origin name of Geolink Satellite Services, as an independent entity from CETel Germany. In early April of 2011 the companies reached the respective closing of the transaction of all assets to CETel. Trinity Advisers Limited acted as exclusive financial advisor to SeaMobile, Inc..

Geolink Satellite Services is well-known for its broad product portfolio comprising fix and mobile satellite services based Iridium, Inmarsat and iDirect technology for governmental, corporate and maritime customers. The company has an excellent reputation in the African region, especially in the French speaking markets. Within these regions, Geolink is a key supplier of satellite-based communications services for NGOs, government institutions, oil and gas, mining companies, media, fishing and offshore racing.