Category Archives: Technology

HTS Spotlight Series – HTS Profile: Intelsat EpicNG


Intelsat’s Steve Good, Vice President, Network Services

The Intelsat EpicNG platform is an innovative approach to satellite and network architecture utilizing C-, Ku- and Ka-bands, wide beams, spot beams, and frequency reuse technology to provide a host of customer-centric benefits. Designed as a complementary overlay to Intelsat’s largest fixed satellite network, Intelsat EpicNG will be fully integrated with Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet and global IntelsatOne terrestrial network.

Why did Intelsat choose to introduce an HTS platform and where are you in the process?

Intelsat’s approach to High Throughput Satellites is Intelsat EpicNG. We designed our HTS platform in response to an environment where higher throughput and lower cost per bit delivered is required to usher in the next generation of fixed and mobile broadband applications. The Intelsat EpicNG design leverages a mix of spot beams in Ku- and C-band to focus power and bandwidth to geographic areas of highest demand, complemented by wide beams to provide expanded coverage, based upon the user application.

Intelsat EpicNG is fully integrated with our existing traditional fleet to allow customers to leverage their current satellite networking investments and also to choose the spectrum and coverage type that works best for their particular needs. The Intelsat EpicNG satellites complement our existing fleet offering service providers and their end users a complete global solution with the coverage and capacity that they need now and into the future. Continue>

HTS Revenues Easily Offset Any FSS C/Ku Losses

From Talk Satellite

Concern has been raised throughout the satellite industry that the vast amount of new HTS supply coming to market, forecasted by NSR to increase by 1.5 Tbps by 2022, will swamp existing C- and Ku-band transponder demand leading to a global drop in C/Ku pricing and negatively impacting revenues for legacy FSS services.

NSR does not deny, and in fact readily concurs, that some existing C- and Ku-band transponder demand for applications like backhaul, trunking and VSAT networking will suffer in the coming years due to the arrival of new HTS systems. And there will as well be significant transponder price pressure for certain applications and/or satellites if some operators try to compete using classic C/Ku transponders on a pure price basis with the new HTS capacity.

This being said, NSR also argues based on data from its Global Assessment of Satellite Supply & Demand 10th Edition study that, net-net, the migration to HTS services is overall advantageous to the satellite industry in terms of real revenue gains in the coming ten years. The chart below attempts to make an “apples-to-apples” comparison of NSR’s forecasted net revenue gains for C- and Ku-band services – excluding the video distribution and DTH verticals that are the strongest natural fit for classic FSS capacity and benefit the least from the move to HTS – compared to the net wholesale HTS capacity revenue growth – excluding consumer broadband access services, which are effectively a new market segment. Continue>

iDirect and Via Satellite to Present Webinar on HTS

A growing need for connectivity is driving demand for bandwidth across the satellite industry, creating major opportunity for VSAT in the enterprise space. And more opportunity is coming with the arrival of high throughput satellites (HTS).

However, while there is considerable hype surrounding HTS, there is still much to understand about how HTS will fully impact the industry from both a technical and business perspective. To examine this critical development, iDirect’s Chief Technology Officer Dave Bettinger presented a Webinar on HTS, on Thursday December 5th, 2013, hosted by Via Satellite.

During the presentation, Bettinger discussed:

  • How HTS will impact ground infrastructure requirements. Bettinger walked through what to look for in choosing the right infrastructure to ensure the network is able to support multiple frequencies, handle redundancy, support smaller terminals and manage bandwidth across multiple spot beams.
  • Assessing new HTS business models. Bettinger discussed how go-to market strategies will involve managing a blended mixture of business models to support different capital and operational costs. This will enable both service providers and operators to profit from a range of network architectures and business strategies.
  • Creating new value for service providers. With HTS, service providers will focuss les on managing networks and more on service customers. Bettinger reviewed new tools service providers can leverage to create value for their customers.

Read More

Narrowband Systems Growth Forecasted – NSR SCADA/M2M Report

From M2M

Industrial automation benefited greatly by using SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), but increasingly many experts see machine-to-machine (M2M) technology replacing SCADA-based installations for monitoring assets. Although they perform practically the same tasks, M2M is more accessible, making it the preferred choice for organizations of any size. The fourth edition of the NSR SCADA/M2M via Satellite report concludes the market for narrowband systems will be rising until 2022, even though there is a shift into higher bandwidth solutions such as high throughput satellites (HTS).

In 2012, narrowband systems accounted for 87 percent of the global total revenue with $1.1 billion, and the report expects by 2022 it will reach $2 billion with narrowband accounting for 88 percent of the revenue base, which is only an increase of 1 percent over eight years.

The report questions how the industry is evolving, what the emerging vertical markets are, what the future growth potential is and which technology solution will be preferred over time. The report provides readers a better understanding of current and future technologies and solutions affecting the SCADA/M2M market with a comprehensive assessment of vertical applications by giving end users a detailed assessment of what they will need by addressing the impact of push technologies on current platforms and the market dynamics in the future. Continue>


iDirect Wins 2013 Via Satellite Excellence Awards for Technology Company Of The Year And Social Media Company Of The Year

iDirect wins awardiDirect recognized for technology innovation and marketing leadership

Herndon, Va., November 12, 2013 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that it is the recipient of the 2013 Technology Company of the Year and Social Media Company of the Year Excellence Awards hosted by Via Satellite. The 2013 Excellence Awards acknowledges innovative companies, technologies, campaigns and people who have helped shape the success of the global satellite industry. iDirect won awards for its engineering innovations ground infrastructure platform and for its advances in social media and marketing. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

Technology Innovation 

Via Satellite recognized the importance of iDirect’s ambitious effort to expand its platform capabilities for demanding High Throughput Satellite (HTS) requirements, enabling satellite operators and service providers to reach significant new levels of throughput, scale and business performance. The first product to be introduced following the redesign was the X7 remote, built on an entirely new multi-core hardware system the first of iDirect’s next-generation family of remotes. With the X7, service providers can introduce significantly faster services to answer escalating end user demand for high-speed bandwidth. Read More

iDirect’s Regional Vice President Speaks About Latest Software Release & Next-Generation Network Management System

iDirect’s Regional Vice President, Europe, Steve Tunnicliffe recently attended VSAT 2013 in London. Watch the video to hear what he has to say about our latest software release and next-generation network management system. Mr. Tunnicliffe also discusses what opportunities are untapped in the satellite industry and how far technology has come since he started in the business.

Report on FSS Operators Misses Mark

From NSR

A recent Morgan Stanley report issued the end of September 2013 takes on the FSS sector, claiming the industry has entered a “no-growth” cycle and that “HTS will struggle to find a market”. The report goes on to make numerous specific assessments and claims about trends in the FSS industry, and in particular, the report is fairly dismissive about the eventual success of newly emerging HTS platforms, at least in the short- to mid-term.

Overall, NSR feels that the Morgan Stanley report authors have to a large degree misread the current trends in the FSS sector and that they have treated some specific, real issues with too broad a brushstroke in how they impact the entirety of the industry. In the narrowest of terms, the Morgan Stanley report was nominally meant to assess the revenue growth outlook for SES and Eutelsat over the next 3-5 years. And within this very specific context, the report did correctly highlight a number of real issues that will likely have an impact, both positive and negative, on SES’ and Eutelsat’s financial performance through to 2018. Continue>

Preparing for Uncertainty

Dave DavisBy Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

Contingency operations are very much the near future in beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications in the defence and security (D&S) community post-Afghanistan. One thing’s certain in contingency operations and that’s uncertainty.

Contingency operations mean being prepared to operate as an individual sovereign state, a member of a coalition, or working as part of larger Inter-governmental organizations, such as NATO, AU, UN, etc.; not an easy task to prepare for.

Remote terminals in this scenario need to be flexible and have to be capable of deploying anywhere in the world, with high throughput. As a result, they need to be able to work in a variety of satellite networks and sometimes multiple networks in one mission. They may even need to switch between different satellite frequency bands because of operational imperative. For instance, a user may need to use Ku or Ka Band commercial satellites in order to pass very high throughput full motion video (FMV), but then as the tempo of the operation increases and the threats increase, they may need to switch to X-Band for a more robust service, albeit at a lower throughput. The user may then need to switch to a WGS satellite to take part in a coalition mission. In contingency operations, always expect the unexpected.

In a contingency environment, having one common BLOS communications platform reduces cost of training, improves efficiency and ensures effective communications are achieved swiftly and reliably. Read More

Planning for the Unexpected

Dave DavisBy Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

Contingency. You cannot go far in the defence and security (D&S) community without hearing that word these days.

Contingency – an event that may occur but that is not likely or intended; a possibility.

So what does contingency mean for beyond line of sight (BLOS) communications? In a nutshell, expect the unexpected and I’m not talking about the Spanish Inquisition.

Post-Afghanistan, the countries involved have to re-organize and go back to being prepared for anything and everything thrown at them; often from multiple directions simultaneously. There is a need for less dedicated capacity and a far greater demand for flexible requirements, with speed of reaction essential.

Contingency means being prepared to operate as an individual sovereign state, part of a coalition, or part of one of the larger Inter-governmental organizations, such as NATO, AU, UN, etc. Read More

Inmarsat & Honeywell Aerospace Announced Aircell as a GX Aviation Distribution Partner for the Business Aviation Market

The formal GX agreement is between Aircell and Honeywell, the designated business aviation reseller for Inmarsat’s Ka-band connectivity services.

GX Aviation is rapidly gathering momentum and everything is coming into place. The first satellite is scheduled to be available to support a launch as early as December this year. The development of the ground infrastructure is progressing as planned and Honeywell is moving ahead with the airborne terminals,” said Miranda Mills, Inmarsat President, Aviation. “With the addition of Aircell to our list of distribution partners, we have signed up all the major inflight connectivity service providers and we are already having very positive discussions with aircraft owners and operators.”

Using Ka-band technology, GX Aviation will be the first globally available high-speed broadband network. It will offer the unique combination of global coverage from a single operator, consistent higher performance with true broadband speeds, and the network reliability for which Inmarsat is renowned.   John Wade, Aircell’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, said, “Aircell already offers one of the most comprehensive in-flight connectivity portfolios in the industry, and offering GX Aviation service is a very logical addition.”

The first of the Inmarsat-5 satellites, which will comprise the GX constellation, is currently in final preparation for shipment at Boeing’s El Segundo satellite manufacturing facility. The satellite will be traveling to Kazakhstan in the next few weeks. GX Aviation is scheduled to enter service in early 2015.