By 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