Category Archives: Market

Leadership in Maritime VSAT, Part Two: The Differentiating Factors

In our last entry as part of the Leadership in Maritime VSAT Series, we spoke with our partners about the key trends that will drive this market forward. Now, the question becomes how maritime companies can best capitalize on these trends by leveraging the right technology platforms and deploying the right applications for their customers.

This week, iDirect poses the question: Which solutions will provide the biggest differentiating factor for customers in maritime?

For Drew Brandy, SVP, maritime market strategy, Inmarsat, some of the most valuable solutions will be tied to the idea of the smart vessel. The company is introducing its fifth generation of satellites, Global Xpress (GX), which are built to dynamically allocate capacity where needed, and offer single topology and a single operator contract. Read More

Leadership In Maritime VSAT, Part One: Advancing The Market

What are the biggest trends driving maritime VSAT today? What does the future look like across the various segments? Such questions will be addressed one-on-one as iDirect sits down with leaders in maritime for the Leadership in Maritime VSAT Series.

Follow along with our interactive discussion in the weeks ahead with leading satellite operators and services providers serving the maritime market. Representatives from Globecomm, Harris CapRock, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Airbus Defense and Space/Marlink, Orange Business Services, RigNet, SpeedCast and Telenor share their thoughts directly with us on such topics as which solutions provide the biggest differentiating factor for customers in maritime, the future strategy for serving this market and the evolving needs of customers in the coming years.


This week, iDirect poses the question: What key trends are advancing the maritime VSAT market today?

According to Malcolm McMaster, president, Globecomm Maritime, it all begins with price as both hardware and bandwidth costs continue to come down making the service more affordable. In addition, satellite operators have been investing heavily in new capacity designed for and promoted to the maritime market, including high throughput services.

As he says, “VSAT is moving from being perceived as an exotic, high-end solution for high-end markets to a more affordable service for the general merchant market.” Read More

Q-KON Upgrades Evolution® Software And Deploys iDirect SatManage® To Manage Financial VSAT Network

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Q-KON, a specialist service provider and systems integrator, has upgraded its iDirect Evolution® network to version 3.3 and deployed the iDirect SatManage® network management solution to manage this network. SatManage will be customized to provide specialized service level agreement (SLA) reporting to one of its major customers in the financial market. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

The Q-KON iDirect network currently consists of 1,500 remote sites and is expected to reach 2,200 before the end of 2015. With SatManage, Q-KON can now actively monitor and manage its entire network gaining deeper visibility into key actions, while providing specialized reporting functionality to user groups in order to better serve business customers. Key factors for choosing SatManage include the ability to provide statistics related to remote site availability, which enables Q-KON to prove network SLA adherence to particular customers.

In addition to leveraging the capabilities of SatManage internally, Q-KON is working with iDirect to develop customized functionality for one of its major customers in the financial market. One such function is the ability to proactively monitor remotes for indications of power outages. In such instances, planned maintenance outages (PMOs) are created automatically by the system. This protects against negative impacts that outages could have to SLAs for the customer. Read More

Harris CapRock Communications Delivering More Than 1.5 Gbps To Maritime Customers With iDirect Evolution® Platform

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of  Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Harris CapRock Communications, a premier provider of managed satellite, wireless and fiber services, is delivering more than 1.5 billion bits per second (1.5 Gbps) of traffic across its base of maritime customers using its iDirect Evolution® network. The service provider is deploying iDirect X7 remotes in order to meet the growing demand for high-speed voice, video and data services from both passengers and crew. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

At any moment, Harris CapRock is leveraging iDirect to service more than 250 cruise and other ships sailing globally carrying in excess of 300,000 guests and crew. It is estimated that an average family uses approximately six devices to stay connected at all times — including aboard cruise ships — accessing social media network, streaming video and more. In addition, ship operators are turning to VSAT to improve operational performance of their fleets, implementing applications to help with equipment monitoring, IT integration, and remote access, among others. Such demand has resulted in Harris CapRock handling more than 1.5 Gbps of traffic to cruise customers over the iDirect Evolution platform.

Harris CapRock utilizes features on the iDirect Evolution platform such as Group QoS in order to prioritize bandwidth allocation across its customer base, ensuring that business and customer application traffic can co-exist in the most efficient manner. Adaptive Code Modulation (ACM) is used in order to make the most efficient use of the satellite bandwidth with changing weather conditions and location of the vessels. As bandwidth demands for cruise ships outpace the performance of its current generation of remotes, Harris CapRock is deploying X7 remotes, which deliver the highest bandwidth per ship achievable, while allowing customers to gain deep visibility into ship and network performance.

“Our customers are in the business of providing exciting vacation experiences and outstanding hospitality services, all with hotel-like service at sea,” said Rob McDermid, Chief Architect – Global Access Technology, Harris CapRock. “iDirect technology provides the flexibility we need to deliver high bandwidth over shared global networks, and its market-leading experience in maritime serves as the foundation that allows us to continually expand our services going forward.” Read More

Share Your iDirect Evolution® Journey

#MySatelliteEvolution

Here’s a question: What’s your satellite evolution? As a satellite service provider, you are making some significant connections around the globe. The type of connections that can be educational and inspiring for millions of people.

We all know that the role of satellite connectivity today can help improve productivity and increase efficiency across many different industries. More and more, we are also hearing stories of satellite playing a significant role improving educational, social and economic conditions around the globe.

With that in mind, we are excited to announce the launch of our new campaign, #MySatelliteEvolution! Meant to help increase the awareness of the capabilities of satellite, #MySatelliteEvolution celebrates the ways in which our partners are making a positive impact for citizens worldwide. Read More

Managing Bandwidth Across HTS Spot Beams

By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

Nikola-KromerIn his recent blog Denis Sutherland, iDirect’s Director of Business Development, points out the challenge facing Satellite Operators when it comes to having the right amount of satellite capacity available in the right place over the lifetime of the satellite. This is critical to the success of Satellite Operators launching High Throughput Satellites (HTS). And managing that bandwidth across multiple HTS spot beams comes with a set of additional considerations for both Satellite Operators as well as Service Providers. Why is that?

Managing HTS bandwidth across multiple spot beams, compared to a single wide-beam coverage is a challenge. It comes down to being able to maintain Service Level Agreements (SLAs) across the entire customer network by managing the network capacity on multiple spot beams as one single bandwidth pool.

Think also about the difference in operational economics that come with multiple spot beams. Service Providers who are only using a few MHz on each beam would need to equip multiple spot beams with ground infrastructure versus just a single wide beam. That’s why we see more Satellite Operators planning to pre-populate multiple spot beams with hubs and line cards to allow Service Providers to cost-effectively operate regional networks. It is for these reasons that we expect to see more Satellite Operators coming down from space to start offering managed services.

It will have a direct impact on the business models for how Satellite Operators will bring HTS to market. Check out this infographic that describes the HTS business models in more detail.

Thus far, the most common model we have seen play out with HTS is the Satellite Operator as the principle owner and operator of the platform, managing bandwidth on one or more satellites. Depending on the business model, the Satellite Operator sells a Mbps service to Service Providers or end-customers directly. Read More

iDirect Remote Commissioning Solution Helps Axesat Streamline VSAT Installations Across Latin America

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of  Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that satellite service provider Axesat has implemented the iDirect Remote Commissioning Solution to help accelerate the commissioning of its VSAT remotes, enabling it to deploy new services more efficiently and add customers on to the network faster. Axesat’s VSAT service, based on iDirect Evolution, offers connectivity solutions to customers in retail, construction and infrastructure, financial and oil and gas markets across Latin America. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

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Members of the Axesat team align the satellite signal using the iDirect Remote Commissioning Solution from a laptop

Axesat is a multinational company with presence in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Central America.The service provider is targeting Mexico as its base for serving the entire Latin American market. Roughly half of its 12,000 VSATs are installed in this region, where it anticipates new opportunities across such core markets as retail, infrastructure, financial and oil and gas growing the business by 40-50%.

The iDirect Remote Commissioning Solution is based on Integrasys’ Satmotion product and allows Axesat to autonomously point and adjust its antennas, streamlining the overall commissioning of its X1, X3 and X5 remotes. This helps support the anticipated growth for Axesat, allowing it to deploy new services quicker, and get customers up-and-running on the network at an accelerated pace. Read More

iDirect’s Evolution Platform Is Selected By Via Direta To Power Largest Distance-learning Program In Brazil

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Via Direta Telecom, a subsidiary of TV and radio broadcast group Rede Tiradentes de Telecomunicações, has selected the iDirect Evolution® platform to enable the largest, most ambitious distance-learning program ever created in Brazil. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

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Using iDirect technology, Via Direta will be able to deliver lessons from a teacher located in the city of Manaus to roughly 45,000 remote students situated along the rivers of the Amazon basin.

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Limited broadband coverage in Brazil has left roughly 97 million people without access to the Internet.1 Actively exploring a solution, the Amazon State’s Secretary of Education has commissioned Rede Tiradentes to create a distance-learning program that spans Brazil.

The program will use satellite to connect roughly 45,000 students situated across hundreds of municipalities along the rivers of the Amazon basin with teachers located in Manaus, the capital city of the state of Amazonas. Via Direta will operate the hub on behalf of Rede Tiradentes. Read More

iDirect Velocity® Capitalizes On Greater Performance, Scale And Reliability

By Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

Nikola-KromerScale. As Denis Sutherland, iDirect’s Director of Business Development, addressed in his most recent blog, the advent of high throughput satellite (HTS) services is challenging the entire satellite ecosystem with regards to scale.

It is a thread that I’d like to discuss as we look at how the ground infrastructure is evolving to support new HTS architectures.

The Facts:

HTS delivers higher aggregate throughput for the same amount of allocated frequency in orbit. A significant reason for higher throughput is frequency reuse, which is the process of using the same spectrum across multiple sites within a network resulting in a need for the ground infrastructure to enable many more carriers across a wider MHz spectrum.

Hub equipment needs to manage an increasingly diverse and integrated network portfolio that comprises of multiple satellites, frequency bands and market applications. Plus with the larger transponder sizes with HTS it requires massive scaling on the hub and line card systems.

The use of gateway beams changes where infrastructure must be located and how it will be deployed and managed. With an HTS uplink design, an operator can no longer place hubs anywhere under a beam. Instead, the entire hub infrastructure is oftentimes concentrated in fewer gateway beams scaling the network a single satellite or network operator needs to manage to new heights.

HTS throughput levels can also lead to more remotes per network and a larger overall bandwidth pool to manage, which can ultimately drive business growth for satellite operators and increase the operational complexity exponentially.

iDirect-Velocity-Capabilities Read More

Honeywell, Inmarsat And iDirect Reach An Airborne Milestone

From Satnews

Paving the way for a new era of in-flight wireless connectivity similar to what is available at home or in the office, Honeywell Aerospace and Inmarsat have successfully completed the first phase of hardware and satellite network flight tests for GX Aviation broadband services.

Honeywell’s JetWave-branded hardware enables airplanes to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation for GX Aviation global Ka-band in-flight Wi-Fi services. The tests, which included streaming YouTube videos and live radio, online conference calls, downloading files and more, were conducted in the U.K. in June 2015, validating GX Aviation’s ability to deliver high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity while over land and water. The tests demonstrated a successful connection between the JetWave hardware and Inmarsat’s first Global Xpress satellite, I-5 F1, which powers GX Aviation services for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This follows the ground-based high-speed and performance tests completed in March 2015.

The satellite network for GX Aviation is already operational in the Indian Ocean region for government, maritime and enterprise customers using the first Global Xpress satellite. The successful launch of the second satellite in February 2015 means Inmarsat’s Ka-band network also covers the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean region, with the third satellite ready for launch. Continue >