Category Archives: Technology

Satellite 2017 Wrap Up

This year’s Satellite show was a major hit. The industry’s clearly buzzing with opportunity. And we were thrilled to meet with so many of our customers around the world and discuss how we can help them grow. The highlight was talking with customers about our Intelligent Path Forward platform strategy, and how it provides an all-access pass to the performance and efficiency that DVB-S2X offers.

We had our iQ Remote on display so our customers could get a closer look and learn how it can help capture expanding market opportunities. We showcased the Intelligent Gateway appliance, the powerhouse processor that has the hub density required to better manage IT expenses and drive our customers’ large-scale network growth. And iDirect Government also unveiled their 9-Series Airborne Satellite Remote to enhance their 9-series portfolio.

The week was filled with major announcements and partnerships. We’re already in the midst of over-the-air testing our DVB-S2X technology with leading satellite operators partners like Intelsat and Inmarsat, and we are achieving industry-best performance and efficiency results. Kymeta announced the world’s first truly flat panel antenna that will traditional satellite dishes and integrate with our modem technology. And we showcased the programmable ASIC chip we co-developed with SatixFy that powers our iQ Series remotes and will support and enable future functionality like beam hopping.

Thanks to all of you who met with us to talk about the future of our industry and how we can continue to collaborate to advance your business. Please enjoy this video recap and thank you for your continued partnership.

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

Inmarsat and VT iDirect partner on next generation DVB-S2X technology for Global Xpress

Highest throughput rate recorded over the GX network in first round of over-the-air testing

Inmarsat-iDirect-logos23 February 2017: Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communication services, has announced a significant advance in the on-going development of its Global Xpress (GX) high-speed, global, mobile broadband platform.

In conjunction with VT iDirect, Inmarsat’s strategic technology partner for the GX platform, over-the-air tests of iDirect’s next-generation DVB-S2X technology achieved a forward channel throughput rate of 330 Mbps over a live Inmarsat GX satellite in orbit. The successful tests were conducted in January 2017 and leveraged iDirect’s next-generation iQ Series modem.

GX entered global commercial service at the end of 2015 and has already been adopted by major private and public sector organisations across the world as their new standard for seamless, reliable broadband connectivity.

“These tests demonstrate Inmarsat’s commitment to the continuing development of our GX platform, which will be supported by our next generation of satellites, which are already under construction” said Michele Franci, CTO of Inmarsat. “It is important to note that these results were not achieved in laboratory conditions but over a live GX satellite in orbit. We will be able to increase the capabilities of the world’s first, globally available high-speed broadband network and meet the ever escalating bandwidth demands of users.

“Our partnership with iDirect and the deployment of their DVB-S2X technology is key to enhancing the user experience of our GX customers; delivering even greater performance and maximising the commercial and operational benefits of their high-speed broadband connectivity. For example, it is a key enabler for the replacement of expensive airline InFlight-Entertainment systems (IFE) with more capable light-weight, connected streaming solutions that ensure all passengers on even the largest widebody aircraft can access streaming simultaneously.” Read More

Two VT iDirect Cellular Backhaul Experts to Attend Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress is the world’s largest gathering of mobile industry professionals with over 80,000 in attendance and the top technologies showcased. If you find yourself in Barcelona between 27 Feb – 2 March, drop our cellular backhaul experts an email via mobile@idirect.net to arrange a rendezvous.

Richard Deasington and Gerry Collins will be on hand to discuss the iDirect SatHaul® solution, which combines the latest in satellite infrastructure with advanced transmission techniques, including mobile specific optimization of signaling, voice and data content to offer the most profitable business case for 2G, 3G and 4G over satellite.

Satellite has a growing role to play in helping mobile operators meet the challenges they face bringing high speed, reliable services to their subscribers in remote and rural areas. Advanced satellite capabilities combined with LTE technology enables mobile operators to expand their services in an economical way.

If you are attending the show and want to learn more about the iDirect SatHaul solution and how satellite can help grow your business, Richard and Gerry are available to meet with you; simply send an email to mobile@idirect.net to schedule time.

Who our Experts are at MWC
RichardRichard Deasington, Director of Business Development, has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, holding senior level positions in R&D and Engineering working closely on voice, data and transmission network systems. In his role, Richard is responsible for leading iDirect’s engineering and sales efforts for mobile backhaul solutions.

Gerry Collins, Director of Business Development, is responsible for developing iDirect’s Gerrycellular backhaul business strategy. With over 20 years’ experience in the cellular industry, Gerry works on combining the most recent developments in cellular optimization and High Throughput Satellites to bring economic solutions for the delivery of mobile broadband to rural areas globally.

Mobile World Congress
Venue: Fira Gran Via Av. Joan Carles I, 64 08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona
Location: Hall 7 at Stand F61
Hours: 0900-1900
Meet with Mr. Deasington and/or Mr. Collins: mobile@idirect.net

MWC

iDirect’s Denis Sutherland to Appear on Panel at Connectivity Forum 2017

denis-mediumAt the Connectivity Forum 2017 in London on 22 February, Denis Sutherland, Vice President of Business Development at VT iDirect, will serve on the “Mobile Connectivity, the Cloud & the Internet of Things (IoT)” panel.

Sutherland has nearly 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and network industries, and has consistently promoted VSAT’s role in the world of global communications. He posits that VSAT can provide solutions for all mobility needs, and is the best direction to pursue for achieving 100% coverage for planes, ships, trains and cars.

To prove his position, he points to business models that already use IoT applications over satellite connections, like Rolls Royce and its engine outsourcing and health management products. Plus, movements like Big Data and IoT for sensor collection are also providing faster access to data. Cloud computing works with satellite connectivity to provide a central location for the worldwide collection of data. This allows for faster access to data, and therefore more immediate response. By enabling the use of cloud, and remote mobile satellite connectivity, companies can remotely monitor and maintain with the same quality as if they were sitting right next to these “things” right in the factory.

“The opportunity for the telecommunications industry is substantial,” Sutherland says. “Is the satellite industry providing the right kind of connectivity? Are the right business models and relationships in place for all vendors to capitalize on the opportunity?”

Joining him on the panel will be Mike Holdsworth, Product Delivery Specialist at Inmarsat; Jorge Rodriguez Lopez, Product Strategy Manager at Hispasat, and Anna Guegan, Policy Advisory at Access Partnership.

The panel will be moderated by Martin Jarrold, Chief of International Programme Development at GVF.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at iDirect’s Next-Generation Technology Strategy

Marquis photo 1

A programmable ASIC chipset is the power inside iDirect’s next-generation DVB-S2X remote portfolio called the iQ Series.

As the satellite industry dramatically shifts into a new era, our future is more important than ever. And the issues our industry faces need entirely new answers.

How do satellite operators advance their business models to monetize the explosion of capacity coming online? How do service providers keep pace with throughput rates, and even race ahead of what end users demand today? How do service providers and operators build out massive networks without the traditional cost model that can make satellite communication a capex- and opex-intensive endeavor?

iDirect has begun to answer these questions with the introduction of our next-generation technology strategy. Two years ago, we embarked a re-design of our ground infrastructure platform to tackle tomorrow’s demands — building on our core product lines so that our customers can meet future opportunities while protecting their investment in iDirect technology.

The Intelligent Path Forward

Our strategy focuses on unleashing the potential of today’s High Throughput Satellites (HTS) as well as interoperating with coming generations of satellites that will feature new architecture designs and flexible payloads.

The cornerstone of this new strategy is our advanced, programmable ASIC chipset, engineered to take full advantage of the DVB-S2X standard and enhanced for iDirect’s highest performing Adaptive TDMA waveform.

The ASIC chipset is the powerful intelligence inside iDirect’s next-generation DVB-S2X remote portfolio called the iQ Series, which is targeted for broadband, enterprise and mobility applications and packaged in desktop, board level and rack-mount form factors.

marquis photo 2

Introducing the iQ Desktop remote, the first version in iDirect’s next-generation iQ Series remote portfolio that is engineered for best-in-class DVB-S2X performance.

Read More

Mary Cotton, VT iDirect CEO, to be Inducted into Satellite Hall of Fame

The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) announced today that, on MarchMary-Cotton-sm-240x300 7, it will induct four new members into the prestigious Satellite Hall of Fame, including VT iDirect CEO Mary Cotton.

September 2017 marks Cotton’s 10th anniversary as CEO of iDirect. Cotton has led the company through a decade of tremendous growth, guiding the development of new satellite technologies and steering iDirect toward a leading position in key vertical markets around the world.

The company has a remarkable 57% share of the VSAT hub market and has grown to become the leading enterprise TDMA supplier. Eight of the top ten maritime service providers and the top three names in in-flight broadband have made iDirect their platform of choice. During Cotton’s tenure, iDirect Government, a wholly owned subsidiary of iDirect, grew its presence to become the leading player in the defense and intelligence communities.

Beyond revenue and market share, however, is the human impact of iDirect’s success.  The company’s technology supports communication with ships that carry the world’s trade, and with energy exploration and production that power its economy. Its cellular backhaul technologies connect the unconnected, while portable VSAT terminals coordinate disaster relief and emergency response. Millions of schoolchildren around the world connect to the Internet and access distance education through iDirect VSAT networks. By driving the growth of her business in service to customers, Cotton has contributed directly to the world’s prosperity, understanding and security.

Early on, she told Satellite TODAY that “satellite communications is an unsung part of many networking solutions and the industry tends to think of itself as being marginalized. I look at satellite connectivity as … something that drives business for our partners and customers.” That focus on customer value, innovation, and her ability to “see around corners” has translated into substantial success.

Perhaps the greatest testimony to the company’s innovative spirit came with the advent of HTS technology. Under Cotton’s leadership, iDirect won a major contract to develop Inmarsat’s Global Xpress ground network infrastructure. Through this partnership and others with leading satellite operators, Cotton further secured iDirect’s name as an integral player in satellite. iDirect Velocity® and iDirect Pulse®, focused on unleashing new HTS capacity, were game-changing technologies. Today that innovative drive grows even stronger with transformational iDirect DVB-S2X technology designed to set a new standard for ground infrastructure performance, removing every barrier to growth for partners and customers.

Prepare for the Birth of Dynamic VSAT Services

Dynamic Services - Blog Header - 600x179

An army of switchboard operators were once the indispensable force behind the United States telephone network, but this approach was ultimately unsustainable for future growth. Instead, the telecommunication industry embraced automation early in its history as a means to efficiently scale while improving service quality. Electromechanical switching relays proved enormous gains are possible when system-wide automation is employed.

Now the telecommunications industry is hoping network programmability will deliver similar efficiency gains. Communication networks have functioned largely the same since the 90’s, with rows of physical routers managed by teams of people, so they are prime candidates for system improvement. The goal is to reimagine how these networks operate by applying advanced system automation through Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV).

Download Dynamic Services White Paper

Download Dynamic Services White Paper

Although the concepts of SDN and NFV are relatively recent, they arose out of the larger trend toward virtualization. Data centers had discovered that if they “virtualized” software, multiple applications could share space on a single server. This led to the “cloud,” where automation made it possible to form a vast application processing pool shared across many servers. But while all the applications began converging into the cloud, the network itself was still tied to dedicated hardware devices.

People are now rewriting how networks should be architected, using SDN to centralize

routing control and NFV to virtualize network equipment. These concepts envision a world in which networks become embedded within the cloud. The goal is to make networks dynamically reconfigurable, so changes can happen within minutes rather than days or weeks. Essentially, the ability to offer dynamic services to customers. Read More

Technologies of Success

By Nikita Demidenko, Regional Manager, Russia & CIS, Europe

NkitaToday, when economic growth is largely dependent on cutting-edge technologies, and the industry moves on to 4G level, the development of information technologies is among the strategic objectives of each country. High-quality satellite communications is an integral part of the global technological progress. VT iDirect is one of the world leaders in the field of satellite communications. Its solutions represent almost half of the world market in the B2B segment. Specifically, more than 50% of operators in Russia and the CIS are using iDirect satellite communications technology. Join Nikita Demidenko, regional director, as he talks about VT iDirect’s global success and its work in Russia.

VT iDirect is a global giant of satellite communications, one of the largest VSAT manufacturers. What was the prerequisite for this success?

Demidenko: VT iDirect was founded over 20 years ago to implement the development of satellite communications technologies in the corporate market segment. At that period the competition was weak, if not to say it was non-existent. The company grew rapidly, and today iDirect solutions in the satellite industry occupy more than 50% of the market share worldwide in the B2B segment; about 350 organizations are among our partners. Historically iDirect operates in GSM, oil and gas, maritime, aero, and construction segments.

Our solutions allow partners to optimize networks, to differentiate services and to expand business. The range of products under the iDirect brand combines innovative technologies and solutions to support all network requirements for bandwidth, location, satellite frequency, topology and applications. iDirect, in fact, changed the market due to the transformation of business proposals for operators, TCO reduction and improvement of operational efficiency. Read More

A Year of Milestones for iDirect and Our Partners

Mary CottonBy Mary Cotton, iDirect Chief Executive Officer

For the past several years in this annual article, I have focused on the emergence of High Throughput Satellites (HTS). I have written about the opportunity for satellite communications to break out from niche technology status to play a larger role in the end-to-end network as global demand for bandwidth explodes.

Well, that opportunity is decidedly here. HTS capacity is filling the skies and opening markets on the ground. As with any type of opportunity, though, meeting demand means raising your game. So in 2016, iDirect made significant progress powering our customers’ innovations and enabling our ground infrastructure platform to capitalize on our industry’s immense opportunities.

Milestones in Delivering Mobility Service

iDirect’s mobility partners made headline news this year as several highly anticipated HTS services built on iDirect became commercially available. Inmarsat GX went live with tremendous success, and Inmarsat immediately realized customer wins across maritime, government, and aviation markets.

In 2016, the first Intelsat EPICNG satellites went into service, making HTS capacity available for commercial shipping vessels and tankers operating in the North Atlantic, as well as for cruise ships and other leisure vessels in the Caribbean. And 2016 saw the successful launch and adoption of Telenor’s THOR 7 satellite, which provides HTS coverage over European shipping lanes.

iDirect supported several more partners in launching and expanding their mobility networks this year. Marlink signed up for capacity with both Inmarsat and Intelsat, making its move into HTS-based services. iDirect partnered with SES to launch their Maritime+ service, which represents its first Ka-band maritime offering. Speedcast expanded their global maritime network on the iDirect platform. And Globecomm launched a high-capacity satellite service for fixed and mobile assets on a global basis.

We are excited to see continued innovation in the mobility market, especially in the antenna industry, where flat panel solutions are opening new opportunities. This year iDirect supported VSAT antenna manufacturer Kymeta in launching a ground-breaking “no dome” antenna for the superyacht market. Kymeta mTenna represents an entirely new class of VSAT technology that can be hand-carried onboard and self-installed on commercial shipping vessels, fishing fleets, and even leisure vessels, creating additional market opportunities. Read More