Category Archives: Technology

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.

L2oS Video Series #1: Introducing Layer 2 over Satellite

iDirect introduces Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS), dramatically expanding the capability of the Evolution® platform. L2oS offers the option to run transparent links to customer end-points through an efficient Ethernet bridging mode as an alternative to Layer 3 routing.

This means service providers gain flexibility to pass all kinds of protocols and deploy new architectures, even creating hybrid networks that operate in both Layer 2 and Layer 3 modes tailored to customer needs.

Want to learn more? Click here.

Register now for our live webinar, L2oS Advances Interoperability, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 10 a.m. EDT.

iDirect Advances Satellite Network Interoperability with Latest Upgrade to Evolution® Platform

Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS) allows service providers to simplify network deployment and carry IP traffic wherever it needs to go

iDirect L2oS

iDirect announced the release of Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS), a new feature set within the iDirect Evolution® platform, allowing satellite to work more seamlessly with other telecommunications access technologies, providing transparency across the entire network. Service providers are able to use L2oS to simplify deployment of a satellite network and effectively carry IP traffic anywhere it needs to go. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

As service providers experience greater demand to deliver global services, satellite connectivity allows them to reach beyond their traditional area of coverage. L2oS makes it easier to interface satellite technology with terrestrial networking and build unified communication networks. iDirect’s L2oS overcomes proprietary satellite protocols, allowing the satellite connection to emulate a transparent Ethernet link with the freedom to pass any protocols and provide more flexibility in network management. Ultimately, L2oS allows satellite to look and act like all other access technologies. Read More

Blend It Like Beckham

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

The recent IET MilSatcom conference was an excellent event, attended by most of the industry’s key players. It was an outstanding opportunity to hear the perspectives of the UK MOD and several of the industry’s satellite providers, integrators, and partners, chaired by the charismatic Gerard Donelan. What is really good about the IET MilSatcom event is that there are very few sales pitches and plenty of insight, opinion and prediction, with the odd contentious point thrown in to make for good discussions in the breaks. And during those breaks, we had some great networking opportunities. All finished off with a final putting the world to rights session in the nearest local watering hole.

As usual at such conferences it didn’t take long for some common threads to become clear. These were increased data rates, a need for flexibility and the fact that one solution cannot fit all requirements.

It was generally accepted that data requirements are growing at an ever increasing rate. There has been an explosion of applications and devices which are either producing a massive throughput increase, such as ISTAR or a large amount of devices generating burst data, such as sensors…then add Autonomous vehicles, aircraft and maritime platforms…and mobile command platforms…and cell backhaul…and BYOD…and Big Data….

These data requirements are also very hard to predict going forward. It was generally accepted that increases in demand range from 10 to 30 percent annually. The soon to be released 12th edition of the NSR Global Satellite Capacity Supply and Demand report will make for interesting reading. Read More

Passenger Demands For Connectivity Extend To Personal Devices

Claude Rousseau, Research Director, NSR

NSR_Claude_HS (2)The growth in the market for in-flight connectivity (IFC) is driven in no small part by passengers boarding aircrafts with their own personal electronics devices (PEDs). Whether they are using them for entertainment, work or to update social media, an increasing number of PEDs require connectivity. All of this is leading to an increased usage of satellite-based communication to and from an aircraft.

NSR’s Aeronautical Satcom Markets, 3rd Edition report found that having access to data and Wi-Fi services in the air is no longer seen as a luxury, but as a necessity for many passengers who use their time onboard to stay connected with those on the ground. This in-turn feeds airlines’ installation on wide-body and narrow-body airplanes of satellite antennas that offer increasingly higher bandwidth to serve a demanding set of passengers.

As a result, the NSR forecast for satellite-based commercial aircraft connectivity is set to grow to $3.9 billion by 2024, of which about $2.1 billion will be for in-flight connectivity, reinforced by a clear trend towards higher bandwidth demand being delivered by high-throughput satellites (HTS). NSR has also noted that many service providers in the IFC market understand this trend and all the major players such as Panasonic, GEE, GoGo and SITA OnAir have HTS capacity deals to meet this rising demand from passengers.

And there is still a lot of ‘leg room’ to grow for satellite-based services aboard aircrafts if we consider that of the more than 100,000 aircrafts that could be outfitted with a satcom solution, only about 47,500 in-service satcom units are deployed but mainly to support low data rate applications. Most of these units are in smaller airplanes and used for voice and basic data communications. Read More

Bringing HTS to Market

Denis SutherlandBy Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

The advent of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) technology means that the VSAT industry is poised to enter a new era of innovation and possibility. Challenges associated with quality, reliability and cost have been addressed, positioning satellite communication for exponential growth and mass adoption.

At the most fundamental level, HTS represents a major advance in satellite architecture design.

Compared with a traditional broad-beam satellite, HTS can be defined by three primary characteristics, as depicted in the diagram below:

iDirect HTS

The use of multiple spot beams changes where infrastructure must be located and how it will be deployed and managed. With an HTS feeder link design, an operator can no longer place hubs anywhere under a beam. Instead, the entire hub infrastructure must be located within a feeder link managed by a single network operator. Read More

iDirect Asia Partners With ST Teleport To Introduce Web-based Monitoring Platform To Maritime Customers

VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that iDirect Asia Pte Ltd partnered with ST Teleport Pte Ltd (ST Teleport), a Singapore-based full-service satellite and fiber communications solutions provider, has launched a unique and advanced vessel-location tracking and network-monitoring platform to help maritime customers achieve greater operational and cost control, and improve customer satisfaction.  iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

Marketed as Nautical, the platform is a proprietary solution built by ST Teleport using iDirect’s award-winning Network Management System, SatManage, which features a comprehensive suite of web-based tools that enable automation, monitoring and integration of hybrid satellite networks and Network Operating Center (NOC)-based applications from single or multiple locations.

As a unique service offering, Nautical is fully customizable and offered as a standalone or “white label” solution to customers. Its interface provides an in-depth view of real-time and historical VSAT performance statistics, “live” tracking of vessels and timely automated generation of detailed network utilization management reports. The platform’s compatibility with popular mobile devices means customers can access vital network information anywhere and anytime. There is no further hardware investment required for customers that are already using iDirect VSAT terminals. Read More

Delivering Profitable Services In Africa Using Satellite

From Communications Africa

In the latest issue of Communications Africa, Richard Deasington, iDirect’s director of market development, provides perspective on the ways in which various technology, regulatory, industry and market developments are positioning satellite to help mobile operators deliver profitable services in Africa like never before.

Technology: The biggest economic change is being lead by the launch of High Throughput Satellites (HTS), coupled with the introduction of low-cost, more power-efficient small cells from the cellular industry. When combined, these developments help bring down the point of entry for smaller-sized communities.

Regulatory: With regards to geo-political and business challenges facing companies that are trying to do business in Africa, Deasington suggests that it is time for regulators to take a new look at landing rights in the continent. Many of the most economical HTS services are provided by satellites that land their traffic in different countries or continents from the originating country and then return it via fibre. While this type of setup raises security flags, it could be time to revisit such scenarios.

Industry: As demand in a data-centric world makes its way to remote parts of Africa, the low-cost smart phone will be a key enabler for the digital revolution. With this in mind, Deasington says that the best option for most new networks will be a leap straight to 4G LTE, rather than 3G. This is further impacted by the fact that the cost of handsets is not as much of a handicap as it was in years past.

The impact that this has on satellite is in the fact that the arrival of higher bandwidth demands, has coincided with deployment of HTS. This means that satellite can deliver an order or magnitude more bandwidth for the same cost as older broad-beam satellites.

Market: Backhaul remains a vibrant opportunity for satellite in Africa. iDirect currently works in nearly every country in Africa, providing, among other markets, connectivity to remote and rural cellular sites. The traffic, which ranges from voice to data, becomes further optimized with the introduction of iDirect Sathaul.

Check out Communications Africa for the complete interview, which also includes a deeper look at iDirect Sathaul and some of the fastest growing markets for satellite in Africa.