Category Archives: Related

ST Engineering Wins Contracts Worth $331 Million in Q1 2017

From Via Satellite

Singapore Technologies Engineering announced that its electronics arm, Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Electronics), secured SG$464 million ($331 million) worth of contracts in the first quarter of 2017 for rail electronics and intelligent transportation, satellite and broadband communications, as well as advanced electronics and Information Communications Technologies (ICT) solutions.

Local and overseas customers secured rail electronics and intelligent transportation contracts of about SG$67 million ($47.9 million). These include the supply of the passenger information system to CRRC Qingdao Sifang for 400 of Chicago’s 7000 Series rail cars; delivery of the passenger information display system for a train retrofit, as well as enhancement and system integration services for Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation.

ST Electronics received contracts amounting to SG$79 million ($56.5 million) from government, telecom and enterprise users worldwide for the supply of broadband network, satellite network equipment and earth stations. The company will complete these projects progressively over the next three years. Continue>

Ericsson Exec Examines 5G Timeline and Needs for Bandwidth

From Via Satellite

Satellite operators believe 5G will be a huge opportunity, but for wireless players the opportunity will undoubtedly be even bigger. Ericsson, a major player in the 5G arena, publishes a regular mobility report, which looks at the state of the market. Joakim Sorelius, head of 5G and Radio Access Network (RAN) architecture at Ericsson, told Via Satellite that even he found some of the findings of its latest research “quite astonishing.”

“Firstly, there will be more than half a billion 5G subscriptions by 2022. In only a few years, we expect 5G to take off quite quickly. Twenty-five percent of all subscriptions will be 5G in North America in 2022, representing the highest market penetration in the world. Then you will have Asia-Pacific, with 10 percent of all subscriptions taken out in 2022 expected to be 5G, and especially the northern part of Asia. The whole of Asia will see 10 percent penetration but in the north and northeast, it will be more in the range of the U.S. numbers. That is markets like South Korea, Japan and China,” he added.

When looking at development of broadband, Sorelius says 90 percent of subscriptions will be mobile broadband, which basically means that everyone who has a telephone will have a smartphone. He called this “a very strong foundation” for the wireless industry. Continue>

Intelsat Signs eProcess on Epic for Banking Services in Africa

From Via Satellite

Intelsat announced that eProcess International, an affiliate of pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank Group, has signed an agreement to use the Intelsat Epic platform to expand and strengthen its corporate banking services throughout Africa. The solution incorporates high-throughput Intelsat Epic C-band spot beam capacity available on Intelsat 35e, which is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2017. This capacity complements the existing eProcess network as it is based on wide beam C-band connectivity on Intelsat 903.

EProcess connects head offices and affiliates across 27 countries in Africa, enabling banking transactions and corporate data exchanges through its network. Given the growth in commerce across the African continent, the company sought to enhance its network to address increasing transaction volumes for its customers.

According to Intelsat, eProcess is able to accommodate its growing bandwidth demand across its pan-African network by leveraging the backwards compatibility of Intelsat Epic and the higher efficiency of the spot beams. Continue >

Our Moment

By Kevin Steen, President and CEO, VT iDirect

Kevin-Steen-2017-blogI joined VT iDirect in 2010 because I saw the unique potential for satellite to help connect the world. I knew that satellite technology could solve issues unaddressed by cellular or terrestrial bandwidth. And I understood that with the emergence of High Throughput Satellites (HTS), the satellite industry was at a major transformational moment.

So it was fitting that one of my first roles at VT iDirect was to ensure our infrastructure could unlock the power of these satellites and enable a new cost model for our customers – and I am thrilled to say we are seeing our HTS partners successfully rolling out their services on the VT iDirect platform.

Today, my role has grown to leading the talented VT iDirect organization as President and Chief Executive Officer. As I take on this great responsibility, my sole focus is to ensure our clients have the best technology and services in our industry to grow their businesses and capitalize on the dramatic changes that are happening in the industry.

We are bringing a fresh mindset to key issues that define the satellite industry’s future. We’re advancing the role of satellite technology including how this technology’s role can be expanded in the end-to-end telecom network; identifying new market opportunities for satellite communications, and collaborating across our ecosystem to co-develop industry-leading and industry-changing technology. These are the fundamental themes driving my leadership at VT iDirect.

VT iDirect is incredibly excited to remain on the leading edge of innovation to meet the ever-increasing critical needs of our clients and the satellite industry. Our new DVB-S2X product suite is a case in point, proving how we can reengineer the core elements of ground infrastructure for new levels of performance, scale and agility. I recently shared our plans with Alan Gottlieb in this article for Mobility World. Read More

Kevin Steen Appointed New CEO of VT iDirect

Retiring CEO Mary Cotton to serve on Executive Board

Kevin-Steen-2017-blogHerndon, VA, April 3, 2017 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology and a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that Kevin Steen has been named the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Mary Cotton, as retiring CEO, will serve on VT iDirect’s Board of Directors as CEO Emeritus, advising the company on key strategic initiatives.

Steen has served as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Sales since joining VT iDirect in 2010. As a key member of VT iDirect’s leadership team, he has been responsible for charting the company’s strategic growth across sales, operations and business development. Steen has led a major effort across VT iDirect and its global partner base to advance the role of satellite technology in the end-to-end telecom network; identify new market opportunities for satellite communications, and collaborate with VT iDirect’s ecosystem to co-develop industry-leading technology.

“Kevin has been a key driver of our growth, and he is renowned for his passion for customers. He will bring a fresh mindset to key issues that define the satellite industry’s future with a commitment to broader industry collaboration that is required to drive a new phase of growth,” said retired Gen. John Coburn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, VT Systems. “We are grateful to Mary’s decade of leadership. Her focus on customer value and innovation has translated into substantial success, and we look forward to her continued service as a member of the VT iDirect Board of Directors.” Read More

Cybersecurity Roundtable Highlights Satellite’s Holistic Approach to Managing Threats

From Via Satellite

As the satellite industry faces evolving security threats from nation-states, criminals, and other rogue entities, using the right strategies to manage security is of utmost importance to all stakeholders, from antenna manufacturers to network operators. As a September 2016 report from Chatham House noted, the huge amount of data disseminated through satellites makes it possible for criminals to corrupt accuracy and reliability with a low probability of discovery.

At SATELLITE 2017’s “CyberSecurity Roundtable: Collaborating with Your Satcom Customer” session on Wednesday morning, speakers from Inmarsat Global, Hughes, ViaSat, iDirect, and ITC Global addressed the most pressing concerns surrounding security, and offered timely ideas on how to improve existing practices.

Speakers acknowledged that while no security solution is 100 percent secure, a shared interest in established security principles can help everyone. In turn, collaboration will become especially important in coming years.

“Security, stability, and resiliency are essential at Inmarsat, and I think you see that across the satellite industry,” said Donna Bethea-Murphy, senior vice president of global regulatory at Inmarsat Global. “We see ourselves going into the internet of things; but the more we integrate the more vulnerabilities we see.”

Andy Tomaszewski, vice president of advanced programs at iDirect, said his organization has had to boost its risk-management efforts, and today employs multiple strategies, such as using third-parties to test networks, tasking a rapid-response team with addressing issues the moment they emerge, and enhanced monitoring. iDirect also uses Dark Web Forums to gather information, while relying on law enforcement to guide its actions. Continue >

Teleports Groaning Under the Strain of Proliferating Satellites

From SpaceNews

Wayne-HaubnerIn the past, Wayne Haubner told his team at VT iDirect that future satellite hubs would need to be 10 times as capable as their predecessors at one-tenth the price. That improvement no longer seems adequate.

“I think I need 50 times the performance at one-tenth the cost,” Haubner, VT iDirect senior vice president for engineering and emerging technologies, said March 6 at the Satellite 2017 conference here. “The satellite capabilities are growing so fast that we have to be very aggressive at being able to leverage those capabilities.”

New satellites promise 10 or 100 times the capacity of their predecessors, but teleports can’t grow 10 or 100-fold. In fact, they need to shrink.

Like the evolution of laptop computers, “they need to become smaller, more capable and cost less,” Haubner told SpaceNews.

Companies are investing in advanced technology to adapt to changes in the market, including high throughput satellites in geosynchronous orbit, small satellites in low Earth orbit and planned large constellations of communications and Earth observation satellites.

“Constellations currently under development require significant economic effort in designing and developing the space segment,” said Marco Brancati, Telespazio chief technology officer. Most of the firms building the new constellations are not interested in investing in the associated ground infrastructure, he added. Telespazio is eager to offer the ground segment as a service for those constellations and other operators.

Panelists agreed that far more teleports will be needed. “We are going to go from a handful of teleports around the world to dozens or hundreds,” Haubner said. Continue>

Commercial Availability Announced for the World’s First Truly Flat Satellite Antenna, For Use Across a Broad Range of Markets, Enabling Global, Mobile Connectivity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 6, 2017 – Kymeta announced today, at SATELLITE 2017, that the mTennau7 – the world’s first, electronically scanned satellite antenna that can be used extensively across mobile and fixed platforms will begin commercial trials in May. Kymeta is currently taking commercial reservations for the mTennau7 satellite antenna and KyWay terminal.

kymeta final blog picKymeta mTenna® technology replaces traditional satellite dish technology with light, thin, softwaresteered antennas specifically designed for mobile communications. The satellite industry has been waiting for an electronically steered antenna to bring the massive capacity available via satellite to the mobile communications market. This is the first time a technology with this capability will be available.

The Kymeta mTennau7 ASM and KyWay Terminal will make satellite spectrum viable for mobile communications where it has never been possible before. High-throughput connectivity will now be available to a broad range of markets including maritime, rail, VIP and Civilian Armored Vehicles (CAV), energy and more. The range of uses and markets Kymeta will bring to bear will impact both the satellite and communications industries.

“iDirect has been a leader in the mobile satellite communications market for over two decades and we have been waiting for a technology like this to enable and expand satellite connectivity into new markets,” said David Harrower, Vice President of Business Development, VT iDirect. “At iDirect we are proud to be the first modem partner, working with Kymeta to support their innovative KyWay Terminal with a trusted solution that also supports Kymeta KĀLO™ connectivity services through the IntelsatOne® Flex network.” Read More

The New Normal: Satellite’s Collaborative Answer to Cyber Threats

From Via Satellite

As the cyber threat landscape intensifies for satellite operators and the world at large, Via Satellite examines how the industry is tackling the issue on multiple levels. To stay ahead of the threat, manufacturers, operators and customers all must band together, increase their vigilance and collaborate more closely.

Cybersecurity concerns continue to dominate headlines as one of the most far-reaching cross-industry threats facing an interdependent digital world. With space becoming more contested than ever before, the threat to space-based assets is growing.

Increasingly, operators, satellite manufacturers and the organizations they serve are coming together to fight the threats to their networks from a dizzying array of actors from lone-wolfs to well-funded nation-states.

The stakes are high, considering that much of the world’s critical infrastructure rides over satellites, whether the applications involve defense systems, environmental monitoring, broadcasting, financial services or communications. In the context of this threat, Via Satellite talked to a number of satellite industry experts on how they see cybersecurity preparedness occurring in their markets, and how they define the “new normal” as the industry evolves to counter these threats.

Advisory firm PwC in its annual Global State of Information Security Survey 2016 noted that the number of security incidents across all industries rose by 38 percent in 2015 — the highest-ever increase in the 12 years since the global study was first published.

In October 2016 a prolonged Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack shut down many major websites in the United States and Europe. The type of attack involves hackers flooding a website with traffic so it can’t handle visits from ordinary web users.

These developments underscore an escalating problem for companies globally, including satellite firms. Read More

iDirect is World’s Largest Enterprise VSAT Systems Manufacturer By Revenue and Hub Sales, According to new COMSYS Report

COMSYS applauds iDirect’s advanced DVB-S2X technology, strategy for integrated platform and prioritization of customer investment protection as industry enters new era

comsysHerndon, Va., March 1, 2017 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology and a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that the company remains the largest enterprise VSAT systems vendor by revenue at over 36 per cent, and is the third largest enterprise VSAT systems vendor in the world as measured by shipped units, according to the soon to be released COMSYS VSAT Report, 14th Edition.

The report documents iDirect’s successful efforts to create a common platform with the introduction of Universal Line Cards (ULCs) and interoperable remotes. This development simplifies its customers’ business growth by providing a seamless migration path and maximizing current platform investments.

COMSYS also details how iDirect’s DVB-S2X technology will bring significant gains in performance, network simplicity and product field life to Evolution and Velocity with the ULCs and introduction of the new iQ Series family of remotes.

The iQ series features three remote hardware options – desktop/indoor, rack-mount and board level terminals – with product capabilities and functionality defined by software, which COMSYS notes “brings an operational freedom and flexibility that enables a major competitive advantage to the users of its platforms.” The iQ Series is built on a revolutionary new DVB-S2X ASIC chipset that according to the COMSYS report features “higher level modcods, aggregate throughputs of 500 Mbps (forecast to increase to 1 Gbps in the future) and greater processing capabilities…”

“iDirect has a clear vision of the objectives for its development efforts on both the Evolution and Velocity and aims to provide the highest level of flexibility and investment protection for customers,” says Susan Bull, Senior Consultant, COMSYS. “The company’s management has continued to innovate, develop and deliver its product lines whilst restructuring the company to meet the needs of its vastly larger customer base. iDirect is providing its customers with a smooth and cost-effective transition to take advantage of the latest developments the satellite world has been experiencing.”