Category Archives: Related

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.”

Intelsat EpicNG To Improve Broadband Services For Europe and Africa

From Satnews

Intelsat S.A. and Quantis Global have signed an agreement to enhance and expand the Quantis network using services provided by Intelsat EpicNG HTS and IntelsatOne Flex services, bringing higher performing broadband services across Europe and North Africa.

Quantis, part of Eurona Wireless Telecom SA (MAB: EWT), will incorporate services from two Intelsat Intelsat EpicNG satellites—Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 37e—and use Intelsat’s managed services offering, IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise, which delivers high-quality, global, enterprise-grade, wholesale Mbps service. The network leverages Intelsat teleports and will serve NGOs, enterprise, embassies, the O&G sector, and maritime customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Intelsat launched the first two satellites in the Intelsat Intelsat EpicNG platform in 2016. Intelsat 29e serves the Americas, and Intelsat 33e began operations over Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia on January 29th. Intelsat 37e is scheduled to begin service in 2018. The flexibility of Intelsat Intelsat EpicNG’s open architecture and backward-compatible design enables service providers like Quantis to seamlessly transition to Intelsat EpicNG and immediately realize efficiency improvements, a signature of this high-throughput platform.

Aquilino Antuña, CEO of Quantis, affirmed that his firm added high-throughput services in order to meet the growing needs of their existing customers, as well as to position the company for new, revenue-generating services that require higher throughput HTS. After reviewing many options, it was clear that Intelsat Intelsat EpicNG and IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise offered the best path to immediately deliver more bandwidth and cost-efficient commercial solutions to Quantis’ blue-chip corporate, NGO and maritime customers. The global footprint of the Intelsat solution also means the company will be able to support their growth strategies in the countries where they currently operate as well as quickly respond to new market opportunities anywhere in the world.” Continue>

Four Company Founders and Leaders to be Inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame

Society of Satellite Professionals International honors individuals who have led the satellite industry in making a better world

(February 7, 2017 – New York City) – The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) announced today that, on March 7, it will induct four new members into the prestigious Satellite Hall of Fame. They will join the leaders who created, sustained and expanded the industry over the past 60 years, including Dr. Arthur C. Clarke, Dr. Harold Rosen, Rene Anselmo, Takuya Yoshida, David Thompson, Eddy Hartenstein, Romain Bausch, Pradman Kaul, Sidney Topol, John Celli, Giuliano Berretta, Mark Dankberg, Peter Jackson and Jean-Yves Le Gall.    The 2017 honorees are Dr. Walter Scott, Founder and CTO of DigitalGlobe; Mary Cotton, CEO of VT iDirect; James Monroe III, Chairman and CEO of Globalstar; and Thomas Choi, Co-Founder and CEO of Asia Broadcast Satellite.

“The 2017 inductees uphold the proud tradition of the Satellite Hall of Fame,” said SSPI executive director Robert Bell.  “Their business achievements are remarkable in themselves, whether in creating a new sector of the industry or vastly expanding businesses through vision and innovation.  Their careers offer lessons to an industry poised on the edge of revolutionary changes.  Their work also dramatizes the immense contributions of satellite technology to human welfare, economic growth, better government, greater security and deeper understanding of our world.”

The latest members of the Satellite Hall of Fame will be inducted during a ceremony that is the high point of the 2017 Hall of Fame Benefit Dinner on March 7, the opening night of the SATELLITE 2017 convention and exhibition at the Washington Convention Center in Washington DC.  They were selected by SSPI’s Board of Directors under the leadership of Chairman Bryan McGuirk, chief commercial officer of Globecomm, and President Dawn Harms, Vice President of Business Development for Boeing Satellite Systems International.    The SSPI Satellite Hall of Fame was introduced in 1987 to recognize the enormous contributions of the visionaries and pioneers who have made possible the age of satellite communications – individuals who have devoted their careers to the advancement of technology and to helping build the political and commercial foundations of the industry. Read More

MOTIV Selects iDirect to Offer 4G/LTE Service over Satellite

Mobile service provider leverages iDirect’s SatHaul® solution to offer profitable data coverage in cost-sensitive markets

MOTIVHerndon, VA, January 23, 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 MOTIV, a leading mobile service provider, will be extending its investment in the iDirect platform to deliver 4G/LTE data service across Russia’s expansive rural markets, offering profitable data coverage in cost-sensitive markets.

MOTIV is based in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city, and currently uses iDirect satellite network infrastructure as a GSM-backhaul solution to provide 2G coverage to nearly 100 remote locations spread over thousands of kilometers. The service expansion will leverage the iDirect SatHaul® solution, the newly launched X7-EC remote and iDirect’s Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS) technology. With a 20% gain in efficiency due to the use of iDirect SatHaul for their data overlay network, the new iDirect-based network will provide coverage as an overlay to MOTIV’s 2G satellite-connected sites, enabling to deliver high-speed, reliable data service in areas that cannot be reached by traditional terrestrial or microwave backhaul.

“We strive to provide our customers the best possible service at the most economical rate,” said Alexey Artemasov, Chief Executive Officer, MOTIV. “The iDirect SatHaul system and iDirect’s full platform features enable MOTIV to create an LTE experience that delivers the reliability and performance our customers expect. iDirect continues to provide us with the right set of tools to better serve the growing rate of mobile demands in the region.” Read More