Category Archives: Technology

L2oS Video Series #8: Extending Radio Area Networks

Cellular 3G and 4G technologies are enabling carriers to bring advanced data access to millions of people across developing countries. As carriers seek to expand coverage beyond urban centers, satellite serves as a cost-effective and rapid method of establishing macro and micro cell sites in remote and rural locations.

iDirect’s Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS) becomes foundational to delivering cellular backhaul, allowing carriers to extend radio area networks all the way to the satellite edge. L2oS enables transparent transport of native 3GPP technologies, so carriers can seamlessly blend satellite networks with established Layer 2 cellular infrastructure. L2oS also supports the iDirect SatHaul™ solution, designed for optimizing cellular traffic for higher reliability for voice and data services.

Stirred, Not Shaken

By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

Global MilSatcom was a real success last week with more people than ever gathering to learn about developments in the MilSatcom world. As predicted, the Airbus evening event on day two was a real highlight and this year the choice of venue was inspired. Just after the release of the latest James Bond Film, Spectre, we went to the London Film Museum and had a reception in the thrilling Bond in Motion exhibition.

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Bond is known for his love of Martinis, shaken, not stirred. But after Global MilSatcom, I felt the other way around – Stirred, not shaken. I’ll explain.

I wasn’t shaken because there wasn’t really anything to be shaken by. One of the main themes was the need for greater collaboration between the defence organisations and the commercial satellite sector. Not a groundbreaking observation really. Partnerships are nothing new to iDirect and we’ve been working hand-in-glove with defence organisations for decades, developing products and platforms that have the defence and security community’s needs at their heart.

With market leading security features, Network Management System (NMS) and Quality of Service (QoS), iDirect have engaged with the defence users to provide a capable platform, which is resilient and affordable. The QoS options allow separation of welfare traffic and operational traffic and allows managers to distinguish between a myriad of levels of priority and allocate valuable resources as needed, guaranteeing the levels of service required. The NMS is the most powerful in the industry, allowing commercial partners and end users varying levels of control and monitoring. And the security with TRANSEC and FIPS-140-2 protection is second to none. With the introduction of the 9000 series remotes, the separate TRANSEC module allows for fast re-certification, meaning defence forces can keep pace with the technological advances and stay abreast of features the commercial sector enjoys, whilst maintaining security and accreditation. Read More

iDirect Evolution®: Amped-up Bandwidth Efficiencies and Performance

From Global VSAT to Oilcomm, from China Satellite to APEX, and from Futurecom to GlobalMilsatcom the consistent theme we are hearing from our partners is the need for continued innovation in bandwidth efficiency and performance. This helps our partners to drive OPEX costs down and to plan for what’s next to come with High Throughput Satellite (HTS).

At iDirect, we are passionate about RF innovations.  As you know, today you can optimize the iDirect platform around RF efficiencies in many ways.

  • Adaptive carriers with ACM and ATDMA to maximize availability and efficiency
  • Reducing roll-off factors to maximize throughput
  • DVB-S2 and TDMA waveform enhancements such as distributed pilots to run your networks optimally

And with new technologies on the horizon, we are continuing to push the limits on efficiency for our Evolution Platform:

  • Offering more efficient MODCODs, such as 32APSK and numerous FEC and block sizes
  • Saturating larger and larger HTS transponders with non-linear pre-distortion
  • Active DVB-S2X developments

RF Efficiencies

HTS is driving the need to capitalize on the higher performance and throughput in the most efficient ways. Thus the reason why we have spent some time looking at the new HTS architectures. Take the transponder size for example, not so long ago, 36 or 72 MHz transponders were so common on satellites that industry consultants used this as a standard unit to measure the growth in capacity available in the market. Now the norm is 100 MHz or higher on the new HTS satellite architectures, going soon on to 500 MHz. Read More

L2oS Video Series #7: Enabling MPLS Extension

Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) has become a foundational backbone to telecommunication providers. It speeds packets through the core network and improves quality of service.

iDirect’s Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS) allows extension of MPLS services all the way to the edge of the satellite network by transport through over-the-air Ethernet links. By using L2oS, service providers can expand their carrier grade networks and more easily deploy managed services to the end user.

Want to learn more? Click on this link!

iDirect to Begin Testing iDirect Velocity™ Ground Infrastructure on Inmarsat-5 F3 Satellite

With iDirect Velocity™ in full operation on Inmarsat-5 F1& F2 satellites, next round of rigorous testing readies Global Xpress for full commercial service

Herndon, Va., October 27, 2015 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that it will begin the final leg of an ambitious rollout program of its iDirect Velocity™ ground infrastructure platform to support Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite fleet. iDirect will start over-the-air testing of iDirect Velocity™ on the Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite. The initiative follows the successful Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) and Over-the-Satellite Acceptance Testing (OSAT) of iDirect Velocity™ on Inmarsat-5 F1 and F2 satellites, as well as Site Acceptance Testing at Inmarsat’s GX earth stations, ready for GX global service introduction.

Inmarsat’s GX service is being introduced as the world’s first seamless, globally available platform for high-speed, Ka-band satellite connectivity services provided through a single operator. GX will be accessible to users worldwide and is targeted at both the mobility and fixed markets.

iDirect is providing Inmarsat with the first deployment of its iDirect Velocity™ platform, including the core features that enable GX’s unique broadband mobility capabilities. Through the iDirect Velocity™ global bandwidth management system, Inmarsat can integrate capacity across multiple spot beams to deliver seamless broadband connectivity and provide tiered service options to its distribution partners. The iDirect Velocity™ platform’s high-speed infrastructure, including the core remote module technology that powers GX terminals, allows Inmarsat to offer broadband connectivity that is up to 100 times faster than Inmarsat’s existing L-band constellations. And iDirect Velocity™ ensures carrier-class redundancy to protect Inmarsat’s worldwide network reliability. Read More

L2oS Video Series #5: Bringing Services to the Edge

Delivering complex services requires fully integrated networks and clear visibility of customer end sites.

iDirect’s Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS) within the Evolution® platform achieves high levels of integration and visibility through transparent transport of protocols. Whether the goal is providing managed services through BGP routing, supporting multi-tenant capabilities with MPLS extension, or backhauling cellular traffic through the Evolved Package Core (EPC) framework, a service provider can rely upon L2oS to carry a wide variety of protocols to the edge of the network.

Don’t Miss a Special Webinar hosted by iDirect and Via Satellite Magazine

iDirect advances are enabling satellites to more easily integrate into global telecommunications. Hear first-hand from Verizon and BT Group on the success they’ve achieved by deploying satellite communication at the heart of their end-to-end networks.

Register now for Breaking Down the Satellite Silo, being held Thursday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. EDT.

Our Evolution to New Performance, Efficiency and Scale

iDirect Evolution® is designed for a broad range of customer requirements, spanning any market, any network whether fixed or mobile. It’s one of the reasons why Evolution is the dominant TDMA hub platform in the market today, holding more than 55% market share.

Our customers continue to leverage the platform in new and innovative ways. Look no further than the great stories that our partners are sharing as part of the #MySatelliteEvolution, campaign.

At iDirect, our goal has always been to ensure that our partners can rely on their investment in Evolution to help them expand into new markets, extend their business and take advantage of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) opportunities in the most profitable way.

As such we are continuing to innovate on the Evolution platform, focusing on three key areas:

  • Remote performance
  • RF efficiencies
  • Scalability

Watch this video to learn about our growth plans:


Read More

L2oS Video Series #3: Advanced Header Compression

People are sometimes wary about deploying any type of Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS) because of concerns over the burden of carrying Ethernet headers. iDirect has solved this problem with the new L2oS features in the Evolution® platform.

Layer 2 classifications and ROHCv2 header compression optimize and efficiently transport Ethernet frames across a satellite link. You can enjoy the benefits of Layer 2 networking without wasting bandwidth.

Want to learn more? Click here.

The New Imperative: Innovations on the Ground Aligning with HTS Opportunities in the Sky

High Throughput Satellite (HTS) advances in throughput are well understood at this point. Now, the demand for innovation shifts back to ground infrastructure. In particular, how will ground infrastructure technology providers advance their platforms to enable satellite operators and service providers to best capture the HTS opportunity?

At iDirect, our goal is to ensure that service providers can leverage their investment in the existing ground infrastructure while taking advantage of HTS opportunities in the most profitable way. However, these new HTS satellite architectures come with a new set of challenges for the ground.

In a brief video, Designing a Ground Infrastructure Platform for HTS, Greg Quiggle, VP of Product Management, identifies the areas of innovation that we are looking to do at iDirect to enable both of our platforms iDirect Velocity™ and iDirect Evolution® to be optimized for HTS. He outlines the areas around scalability on the hub, higher performance on the remote side and scaling and automation on the network management side.

Here are some key considerations that we are looking at in the video:

HTS offers higher throughput rates than traditional broad beam satellites. Enabling these advances on the hub side means that the platform infrastructure must handle higher aggregate symbol rates, deliver more efficient modulation and coding techniques, and saturate larger transponder sizes. The hub infrastructure must be able to manage increasingly more beams, more frequencies, more MHz and ultimately many more carriers on the service providers’ network. The other consideration for the hub side is adaptivity achieved by Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) and Adaptive TDMA to maximize data throughput and optimized traffic in changing weather conditions and satellite link degradations. Read More

L2oS Video Series #2: Simplifying the Network

Building an integrated network to deliver specific customer services can become complicated, especially when satellites are involved.

That’s why iDirect has launched Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS), a new feature set within the iDirect Evolution® platform. It allows service providers to flatten the network and address space, turning the satellite portion of the network into a transparent pathway for your data.

Want to learn more? Click here.