Category Archives: Product

Up To The Task Of Providing Greater Resiliency In HTS

Nikola-KromerBy Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

The need for greater resiliency to your High Throughput Satellite (HTS) network is apparent: Just ask Denis Sutherland, who pointed to five reasons in his last blog.

As he outlined, HTS satellite architectures oftentimes drive a higher concentration of hub equipment at the central gateway site. Higher throughputs on HTS drive larger scale and service complexities resulting in massive networks with thousands of remotes managed by fewer gateways. Scaling many more networks and customers from fewer gateway locations introduces a greater need for network resiliency, and more specifically, teleport and gateway reliability.

Protecting the network from service degradation, service interruptions or even catastrophic events is key to ensuring a very high availability and reliability of the HTS network. And since quite a few HTS constellation leverage Ka-Band, where its frequency has a higher susceptibility to rain fade compared to Ku-band and C-band, maintaining consistent network availability under all weather conditions requires special features.

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The Reliability of the Network and its Components
At iDirect, we have designed our platform to have built-in high availability on all aspects of the hub infrastructure ranging from superior line card availability and hub component redundancy, to rain diversity and all the way to complete gateway redundancy. Read More

5 Reasons HTS Networks Need To Be More Resilient

By Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

It has always been critical to ensure that satellite communications infrastructure remain online, and operational. High Throughput Satellites (HTS) introduce many reasons for redundancy and resiliency—five reasons, to be exact. Let’s take a look.

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1)      Gateway Architecture

One of the critical factors that impact satellite operators and service providers is the architecture of a high throughput satellite. Centrally located hub infrastructure accessing a gateway beam, a feeder link, leads to an increased amount of traffic generated from a single teleport, which equates to greater risk of network failure or service impact from uplink degradation. This is particularly relevant in the case of Ka-band, as its frequency has a higher susceptibility to rain fade compared to Ku-band and C-band. Since Ka-band frequencies are particularly prone to rain fade, a network must also leverage adaptive modulation techniques, such as Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) and Adaptive TDMA, to achieve the maximum data throughput and optimized traffic in changing weather conditions.

In many cases satellite operators that are managing the teleport will make provision for service degradation such as for weather so severe that ACM can’t protect the link, or for a failure in the teleport. This will also drive operators to consider smarter gateway diversity, ensuring that failure in one gateway, will be backed up in a different location. This is the case with Telenor’s Thor 7, as explained here, which has two uplinks in Norway to achieve carrier-grade availability.

2)      Scale of Networks

In a previous blog I considered how HTS networks will increase in scale. There will be additional network infrastructure with HTS, due to increased numbers of beams, more terminals, and higher data rates. As the networks grows the need for reliable network infrastructure increases. Read More

Mobil Satellite Technologies Offers Win-Win When On The Go-Go: RV-ers Enjoy Self Provisioning Insta-Sat Service

From Satnews

This innovative system gives RV owners access to broadband anywhere in the USA, even in places where cellular doesn’t work…

Mobil Satellite Technologies is proud to announce that after over a year of development and testing that the new RVDataSat840 automatic satellite antenna system and  Insta-Sat on-demand consumer broadband satellite Internet service are both now available.

The RV DataSat840 is a fully automatic satellite antenna system that includes a one-touch controller, .84 meter dish for increased signal strength, iDirect Evolution X5 satellite modem and 6 Watt transmitter. This system has all of the professional-grade components of a Government or Commercial system, but is engineered as a consumer platform. The Insta-Sat broadband service was designed by Mobil Satellite Technologies specifically to support the new RV DataSat840 automatic satellite antenna system. This innovative system gives RV owners access to broadband anywhere in the USA, even in places where cellular doesn’t work.

The Insta-Sat broadband service delivers up to 4 Mbps of data for lightning fast downloads, and has no monthly fee, no contract, and no term commitments.The Insta-Sat service is self-provisioning through a web portal, the user simply pushes a button to deploy the antenna, opens a browser and selects a service plan, enters their account information and the service activates itself automatically. The antenna can connect to the web portal any time that the antenna is deployed, whether there is a current service plan in place or not. Continue >

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

New SYNTELIX uSAIL® Maritime Service Is Empowered With Hispasat 1E Conduit

From SatNews

SYNTELIX has just launched uSAIL®, a broadband service for the maritime sector.
Based on its own proprietary technological development using a cloud ecosystem on an iDirect® Evolution VSAT platform operated by Hispasat, and with a flexible user-oriented commercial approach, the service is perfectly adapted to the seasonal nature and specific demands of the nautical market. uSAIL offers unlimited, on demand, high-quality connectivity.

Oriented toward the Western European market with Ku-band capacity using the Hispasat 1E satellite, located at the 30 degrees West, the uSAIL® broadband Internet access service connects all types of ships and boats and provides different qualities of service, according to user profiles. These services range from a basic connection for crew to maximum quality connections for IPTV reception—always a la carte and on demand. Also included is an IP telephone service at very affordable rates, combined with specific solutions for crew welfare and maritime streaming, making it a turnkey offer that covers all clients’ needs in this sector.

“The confidence and the effort HISPASAT has put into this project not only make us proud and confident, but also provide a soundness that clients and actors in this sector highly value. There has been a very positive reception,” said SYNTELIX cofounder and CEO, Carlos Derqui.

HISPASAT marketing manager, Ester Fernández, said, “Extending satellite broadband services to the maritime segment of the mobility market is a fundamental goal for the HISPASAT Group”.

iDirect Velocity® Powers IntelsatOne® Flex

Today, Intelsat announced the launch of IntelsatOne Flex, a customizable, high-performance managed service that leverages Intelsat’s new Epic fleet of spot-beam satellites along with its existing global Ku-Band fleet.

IntelsatOne Flex offers service providers improved performance and coverage without the cost and complexities that come with managing hardware across multiple spot beams, required to incorporate HTS into their existing network infrastructure.

Service providers can easily and cost-effectively launch services across the maritime, aero and government verticals, offering their customers greater accessibility and improved economics through the use of smaller antennas.

The Intelsat offering will allow service providers to maintain control over their network by allowing them to continue to manage the customization, contention and prioritization of sub networks and end-user terminals with tiered Committed Information Rate (CIR) plans.

Powered by Velocity

IntelsatOne Flex uses iDirect Velocity®, a ground infrastructure platform designed for AllDiagramslarge-scale global HTS networks, which has been fully optimized for Intelsat EpicNG to provide scalability, performance and higher throughput.

Intelsat will use Velocity’s unique global bandwidth management feature to streamline and simplify the management of capacity across the entire Intelsat fleet of satellites, ensuring connectivity across multiple spot-beams. Velocity features very fast beam switching powering Intelsat’s Mobility flexibility. Read More

iDirect Asia Partners With ST Teleport To Introduce Web-based Monitoring Platform To Maritime Customers

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that iDirect Asia Pte Ltd partnered with ST Teleport Pte Ltd (ST Teleport), a Singapore-based full-service satellite and fiber communications solutions provider, has launched a unique and advanced vessel-location tracking and network-monitoring platform to help maritime customers achieve greater operational and cost control, and improve customer satisfaction.  iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

Marketed as Nautical, the platform is a proprietary solution built by ST Teleport using iDirect’s award-winning Network Management System, SatManage, which features a comprehensive suite of web-based tools that enable automation, monitoring and integration of hybrid satellite networks and Network Operating Center (NOC)-based applications from single or multiple locations.

As a unique service offering, Nautical is fully customizable and offered as a standalone or “white label” solution to customers. Its interface provides an in-depth view of real-time and historical VSAT performance statistics, “live” tracking of vessels and timely automated generation of detailed network utilization management reports. The platform’s compatibility with popular mobile devices means customers can access vital network information anywhere and anytime. There is no further hardware investment required for customers that are already using iDirect VSAT terminals. Read More

Delivering Profitable Services In Africa Using Satellite

From Communications Africa

In the latest issue of Communications Africa, Richard Deasington, iDirect’s director of market development, provides perspective on the ways in which various technology, regulatory, industry and market developments are positioning satellite to help mobile operators deliver profitable services in Africa like never before.

Technology: The biggest economic change is being lead by the launch of High Throughput Satellites (HTS), coupled with the introduction of low-cost, more power-efficient small cells from the cellular industry. When combined, these developments help bring down the point of entry for smaller-sized communities.

Regulatory: With regards to geo-political and business challenges facing companies that are trying to do business in Africa, Deasington suggests that it is time for regulators to take a new look at landing rights in the continent. Many of the most economical HTS services are provided by satellites that land their traffic in different countries or continents from the originating country and then return it via fibre. While this type of setup raises security flags, it could be time to revisit such scenarios.

Industry: As demand in a data-centric world makes its way to remote parts of Africa, the low-cost smart phone will be a key enabler for the digital revolution. With this in mind, Deasington says that the best option for most new networks will be a leap straight to 4G LTE, rather than 3G. This is further impacted by the fact that the cost of handsets is not as much of a handicap as it was in years past.

The impact that this has on satellite is in the fact that the arrival of higher bandwidth demands, has coincided with deployment of HTS. This means that satellite can deliver an order or magnitude more bandwidth for the same cost as older broad-beam satellites.

Market: Backhaul remains a vibrant opportunity for satellite in Africa. iDirect currently works in nearly every country in Africa, providing, among other markets, connectivity to remote and rural cellular sites. The traffic, which ranges from voice to data, becomes further optimized with the introduction of iDirect Sathaul.

Check out Communications Africa for the complete interview, which also includes a deeper look at iDirect Sathaul and some of the fastest growing markets for satellite in Africa.

Bordering on Bad Behaviour

By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect EuropeDave Davis

At the recent Counter Terror Expo (CT Expo) in London there was a lot of focus on the physical side of security, like barriers, fences, etc.; this is to be expected. Let’s face it, barriers and fences are the first things most people think of when they are trying to control access to an area.

The area that is being secured could be anything from a small perimeter of tens of metres, such as a forward operating base, all the way up to a national border spanning hundreds, maybe thousands, of kilometres.

There are obvious limitations to fences. They can be easily breached if they span across uninhabited areas. Quite often, by the time you realise they’ve been breached, the trespasser is long gone. The traditional solution to this problem is to have lookout points, or watchtowers, posted at regular intervals. These dramatically increase costs. Another solution is to have regular patrols up and down the fence. Patrols are cheaper, but less effective and over time it can be easy to avoid these patrols as they can become predictable. Any amateur that’s watched any movie that involves getting into or out of an area through some sort of fence knows to wait until the patrol has passed so they have the maximum time to breach the fence and make an escape before the breach is discovered.

One of the technologies on display at the CT Expo was a type of electronic watchtower. By installing remote sensing technology, movement or some other trigger can be used to start the transmission of live video or data to a central control point, and quick reaction forces can be used to intercept any potential intruders. These systems require the use of some form of backhaul technology to link these remote sensors to the central point, and because of the remote nature, satellite technology is the obvious solution. Read More