Cybersecurity Roundtable Highlights Satellite’s Holistic Approach to Managing Threats

From Via Satellite

As the satellite industry faces evolving security threats from nation-states, criminals, and other rogue entities, using the right strategies to manage security is of utmost importance to all stakeholders, from antenna manufacturers to network operators. As a September 2016 report from Chatham House noted, the huge amount of data disseminated through satellites makes it possible for criminals to corrupt accuracy and reliability with a low probability of discovery.

At SATELLITE 2017’s “CyberSecurity Roundtable: Collaborating with Your Satcom Customer” session on Wednesday morning, speakers from Inmarsat Global, Hughes, ViaSat, iDirect, and ITC Global addressed the most pressing concerns surrounding security, and offered timely ideas on how to improve existing practices.

Speakers acknowledged that while no security solution is 100 percent secure, a shared interest in established security principles can help everyone. In turn, collaboration will become especially important in coming years.

“Security, stability, and resiliency are essential at Inmarsat, and I think you see that across the satellite industry,” said Donna Bethea-Murphy, senior vice president of global regulatory at Inmarsat Global. “We see ourselves going into the internet of things; but the more we integrate the more vulnerabilities we see.”

Andy Tomaszewski, vice president of advanced programs at iDirect, said his organization has had to boost its risk-management efforts, and today employs multiple strategies, such as using third-parties to test networks, tasking a rapid-response team with addressing issues the moment they emerge, and enhanced monitoring. iDirect also uses Dark Web Forums to gather information, while relying on law enforcement to guide its actions. Continue >

Teleports Groaning Under the Strain of Proliferating Satellites

From SpaceNews

Wayne-HaubnerIn the past, Wayne Haubner told his team at VT iDirect that future satellite hubs would need to be 10 times as capable as their predecessors at one-tenth the price. That improvement no longer seems adequate.

“I think I need 50 times the performance at one-tenth the cost,” Haubner, VT iDirect senior vice president for engineering and emerging technologies, said March 6 at the Satellite 2017 conference here. “The satellite capabilities are growing so fast that we have to be very aggressive at being able to leverage those capabilities.”

New satellites promise 10 or 100 times the capacity of their predecessors, but teleports can’t grow 10 or 100-fold. In fact, they need to shrink.

Like the evolution of laptop computers, “they need to become smaller, more capable and cost less,” Haubner told SpaceNews.

Companies are investing in advanced technology to adapt to changes in the market, including high throughput satellites in geosynchronous orbit, small satellites in low Earth orbit and planned large constellations of communications and Earth observation satellites.

“Constellations currently under development require significant economic effort in designing and developing the space segment,” said Marco Brancati, Telespazio chief technology officer. Most of the firms building the new constellations are not interested in investing in the associated ground infrastructure, he added. Telespazio is eager to offer the ground segment as a service for those constellations and other operators.

Panelists agreed that far more teleports will be needed. “We are going to go from a handful of teleports around the world to dozens or hundreds,” Haubner said. Continue>

Commercial Availability Announced for the World’s First Truly Flat Satellite Antenna, For Use Across a Broad Range of Markets, Enabling Global, Mobile Connectivity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 6, 2017 – Kymeta announced today, at SATELLITE 2017, that the mTennau7 – the world’s first, electronically scanned satellite antenna that can be used extensively across mobile and fixed platforms will begin commercial trials in May. Kymeta is currently taking commercial reservations for the mTennau7 satellite antenna and KyWay terminal.

kymeta final blog picKymeta mTenna® technology replaces traditional satellite dish technology with light, thin, softwaresteered antennas specifically designed for mobile communications. The satellite industry has been waiting for an electronically steered antenna to bring the massive capacity available via satellite to the mobile communications market. This is the first time a technology with this capability will be available.

The Kymeta mTennau7 ASM and KyWay Terminal will make satellite spectrum viable for mobile communications where it has never been possible before. High-throughput connectivity will now be available to a broad range of markets including maritime, rail, VIP and Civilian Armored Vehicles (CAV), energy and more. The range of uses and markets Kymeta will bring to bear will impact both the satellite and communications industries.

“iDirect has been a leader in the mobile satellite communications market for over two decades and we have been waiting for a technology like this to enable and expand satellite connectivity into new markets,” said David Harrower, Vice President of Business Development, VT iDirect. “At iDirect we are proud to be the first modem partner, working with Kymeta to support their innovative KyWay Terminal with a trusted solution that also supports Kymeta KĀLO™ connectivity services through the IntelsatOne® Flex network.” Read More

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

iDirect is World’s Largest Enterprise VSAT Systems Manufacturer By Revenue and Hub Sales, According to new COMSYS Report

COMSYS applauds iDirect’s advanced DVB-S2X technology, strategy for integrated platform and prioritization of customer investment protection as industry enters new era

comsysHerndon, Va., March 1, 2017 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology and a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced that the company remains the largest enterprise VSAT systems vendor by revenue at over 36 per cent, and is the third largest enterprise VSAT systems vendor in the world as measured by shipped units, according to the soon to be released COMSYS VSAT Report, 14th Edition.

The report documents iDirect’s successful efforts to create a common platform with the introduction of Universal Line Cards (ULCs) and interoperable remotes. This development simplifies its customers’ business growth by providing a seamless migration path and maximizing current platform investments.

COMSYS also details how iDirect’s DVB-S2X technology will bring significant gains in performance, network simplicity and product field life to Evolution and Velocity with the ULCs and introduction of the new iQ Series family of remotes.

The iQ series features three remote hardware options – desktop/indoor, rack-mount and board level terminals – with product capabilities and functionality defined by software, which COMSYS notes “brings an operational freedom and flexibility that enables a major competitive advantage to the users of its platforms.” The iQ Series is built on a revolutionary new DVB-S2X ASIC chipset that according to the COMSYS report features “higher level modcods, aggregate throughputs of 500 Mbps (forecast to increase to 1 Gbps in the future) and greater processing capabilities…”

“iDirect has a clear vision of the objectives for its development efforts on both the Evolution and Velocity and aims to provide the highest level of flexibility and investment protection for customers,” says Susan Bull, Senior Consultant, COMSYS. “The company’s management has continued to innovate, develop and deliver its product lines whilst restructuring the company to meet the needs of its vastly larger customer base. iDirect is providing its customers with a smooth and cost-effective transition to take advantage of the latest developments the satellite world has been experiencing.”

See iDirect at Satellite 2017

With a huge breadth and depth of topics and speakers, SATELLITE 2017 is the largest global satellite technology show of the year and iDirect will be front and center (literally! come see us at Stand #901 as soon as you enter the doors).

See iDirect at Satellite 2017 - Booth 901

Make plans to learn about our latest innovations including:

  • Our new line of DVB-S2X remotes – the iQ series – pushes the packets per second performance curve to new levels.
  • The iDirect Intelligent Gateway leverages blade-based compute and virtualization techniques to support the high throughput and processing that DVB-S2X operations demand.
  • A new Universal Line Card (ULC) that supports DVB-S2X networks and operates in our existing Universal Hub chassis.

Presentations

Plan to attend these two sessions with presentations from iDirect technology executives:

  • Wayne Haubner, iDirect’s SVP of Engineering and Emerging Technologies, will participate in the Opening General Session: “CTOs and Tech Leaders, Building from the Ground Up,” on Monday, March 6 at 8:30 a.m. in Room 207.
  • Andy Tomaszewski, iDirect’s Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer, will participate in the GVF CyberSecurity Roundtable: “Collaborating with Your Satcom Customer,” on Wednesday, March 8 at 10 a.m. in Room 201.
  • David Harrower, Regional Vice President, Sales, Europe/Africa/Russia, will participate in the general session “Visions of the Future Satellite Industry: Business Beyond SATELLITE 2017” on Thursday, March 9 at 10:00am in Room 202.

We look forward to seeing everyone at Stand #901!

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

Intelsat EpicNG To Improve Broadband Services For Europe and Africa

From Satnews

Intelsat S.A. and Quantis Global have signed an agreement to enhance and expand the Quantis network using services provided by Intelsat EpicNG HTS and IntelsatOne Flex services, bringing higher performing broadband services across Europe and North Africa.

Quantis, part of Eurona Wireless Telecom SA (MAB: EWT), will incorporate services from two Intelsat Intelsat EpicNG satellites—Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 37e—and use Intelsat’s managed services offering, IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise, which delivers high-quality, global, enterprise-grade, wholesale Mbps service. The network leverages Intelsat teleports and will serve NGOs, enterprise, embassies, the O&G sector, and maritime customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Intelsat launched the first two satellites in the Intelsat Intelsat EpicNG platform in 2016. Intelsat 29e serves the Americas, and Intelsat 33e began operations over Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia on January 29th. Intelsat 37e is scheduled to begin service in 2018. The flexibility of Intelsat Intelsat EpicNG’s open architecture and backward-compatible design enables service providers like Quantis to seamlessly transition to Intelsat EpicNG and immediately realize efficiency improvements, a signature of this high-throughput platform.

Aquilino Antuña, CEO of Quantis, affirmed that his firm added high-throughput services in order to meet the growing needs of their existing customers, as well as to position the company for new, revenue-generating services that require higher throughput HTS. After reviewing many options, it was clear that Intelsat Intelsat EpicNG and IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise offered the best path to immediately deliver more bandwidth and cost-efficient commercial solutions to Quantis’ blue-chip corporate, NGO and maritime customers. The global footprint of the Intelsat solution also means the company will be able to support their growth strategies in the countries where they currently operate as well as quickly respond to new market opportunities anywhere in the world.” Continue>

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.