The Three [New] A’s in Global MilSatcom

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

The nights are drawing in, the mornings are becoming crisp and there’s a definite autumnal feel to the weather as I walk through the London streets. To me, this always means that Global MilSatcom is once upon us. Global MilSatcom is the premier event in the global MilSatcom community, with updates from around the world, some great speakers, new technologies, and doubtless some technological and commercial announcements from the VSAT industry.

In previous blogs, I’ve talked about the core ARC requirements for MilSatcom: Affordability, Resilience and Capability and these are just as relevant now. The crises management will be a combination of ad hoc and longer-term measures. In many part of the world, governments, NGOs and MoDs will continue to fight to solve the humanitarian problems, and stop terrorism at its root in the conflict areas and in-country. That’s where capability and resiliency come in and become an integral part of the solutions for MoDs. For these operations, government agencies need assets on land, sea and in the air. Longer-term solutions are problem resolution in problematic regions and nations stabilizing again at political, social and economic levels such as education, elections, health care, human rights and economic development. These will go hand-in-hand with installing border security networks and training police and defense agencies to maintain security.

This is where Affordability comes in and I also predict three new A’s as well; Antennas, Aviation and Autonomy – the three subjects which I think will provide some noteworthy advances in the coming year.

Antennas are becoming smaller, more efficient and much more discreet. I expect to see a revolution in the coming years, especially in mobile and aeronautical antenna systems. Aviation is a hot topic and it is still proving to be the next big market for expansion. The recent GX Aviation global tour was a groundbreaking demonstration of the art of the possible. Autonomy is another hot topic and the world of autonomous vehicles is very much in the defence world to stay with the MAST project and the Unmanned Warrior Exercise. Read More

From HQ to My Hometown (#DCtoUK)

By Dave Davis, Sr. Systems Engineer, iDirect Europe

American Football. I’ll hereafter refer to it as “football”. The other kind of football, I call soccer. Let’s not get hung up on the name; if you want a real debate on this, I’m a Rugby fan, so that’s the “Real Football” in my eyes. And then there’s a debate on which code of Rugby…

Dave Davis RedskinsLet’s just leave it there…

I’ve been a Washington Redskins fan since I was a young lad. In the 1980s, football was first aired on Channel 4. It was at the time a new channel, added to the other 3 we had available. Oh how things have changed. It was then that the Redskins caught my eye. The skill and grace of Joe Theismann, the speed and agility of Art Monk, the raw power of “The Diesel”, John Riggins and the metronomic reliability of Mark Moseley’s kicking. All under the watchful eye and the management of the Legend Joe Gibbs. *sigh* Those were goooood days. Since then, it’s been pretty slim pickings to be honest, but I’ve stuck with them through thick and thin. At this point, if I’ve lost any soccer fans, think of supporting Liverpool in the 80’s and then sticking with them ever since. Or Moseley if you’re a Rugby fan…

Wind forward *cough* years and here I am working for a company based just a short metro ride from the FedEx Field, home of the Redskins. I’ve been lucky enough to be over in my HQ when a home game’s scheduled and I’ve been able to get to the FedEx to see them up close and personal. It was an amazing experience and I was fortunate enough to be there when they came back to win from the biggest deficit they’d ever fought back from.

On Sunday 30 October 2016, The Redskins are coming to the UK, Wembley (home of soccer) to play the Cincinnati Bengals. Read More

In The Oil And Gas Recovery, Satellite Will Rise

From Via Satellite

Despite slumps in technology spending, there is light on the horizon. New satellites, fit-for-purpose HTS, and increasing data-intensive trends could see satellite break away from the oil and gas market weakness in the future.

It’s no overstatement: there is seemingly always something going on in the Middle East. oil-rigAnd now, with nuclear-related sanctions lifted from Iran, the region has, perhaps, even more eyes on it. The geopolitical implications of Iran are significant; the country has the potential to redefine the Middle Eastern landscape. Oil rich and with numerous other valuable resources virtually untapped, Iran will likely resuscitate its economy, and the world will feel the wake of this large nation kicking off from the sin-bin pond into the global economy’s flowing river. The first evidence is the shaky price of oil. Iran stepping back from production cuts earlier this year left other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the oil and gas (O&G) market as a whole in even greater turbulence.

While it’s interesting to see what comes out of Iran’s shackles being removed, the satellite industry is left to fretfully question the result of a turbulent O&G market. It’s highly probable that slumping revenues for O&G companies will squash technology investments. What does this mean for satellite growth? And for what duration? According to Judson Jacobs, senior director of upstream exploration and production at IHS energy consulting, many oil companies currently still see satellite as too expensive. This sentiment sours further when considering the pressure that O&G operations are under to cut back spending. Continue >

Regional Market Trends and Headlines: Latin America

Darren LudingtonBy Darren Ludington, Senior Director of Sales, LatAm, iDirect

Recognizing the significant social and economic benefits, governments across the region have taken the lead in extending broadband Internet services for greater accessibility to the entire population. Today, it’s fair to say that satellite is becoming the standard for rural communications across Latin America.

Satellite offers many advantages to the LatAm region, starting with reliable, immediate coverage. Service providers can deliver high-speed, secure connections to any locale, for any application, creating an intelligent path forward for new distance-learning opportunities, business continuity for retailers, and cost effective mobile backhaul. Read on to hear our take on these trends and more, and visit our expert team this week at Futurecom 2016 – we’ll be at Stand F18, starting today!

Market Headlines: 

Government: New Initiatives Advance Educational Opportunities  

As mentioned, substantial investments by local governments across the region have made access to and use of mobile broadband more pervasive. Today we’re beginning to see a greater level of collaboration between local governments and mobile operators, creating promising new mobile broadband initiatives particularly in education and enterprise markets.

african-internet-cafeResidents in remote Bahía Solano, Colombia, rely on VSAT connectivity provided by SkyNet de Colombia to not only gain knowledge about the world, but to educate the world about their community. Young adults from this community upload their own personal videos so that they can share their experiences with the world.

One such example comes from SkyNet de Colombia, one of the fastest growing satellite operators in Latin America serving markets including government, military, enterprise, and disaster and emergency response agencies. SkyNet is involved in an ambitious government-funded initiative called Kioscos Vive Digital. Read More

There’s a lot to talk about at Futurecom

We look forward to spending time with many of our partners at Futurecom 2016, starting October 17.  This event is an ideal opportunity to hear all the latest news from iDirect!

Join iDirect at Stand F18

Whether on land, sea or air – the iDirect platform was designed to meet any and every market requirement. Learn how you can seize new business opportunities across LatAm with leading products and technology such as:

iDirect SatHaul®

iDirect SatHaul empowers mobile operators around the world to cost-effectively connect remote and rural areas with voice and high-speed data.  This solution combines the latest in satellite infrastructure with advanced transmission techniques to offer the most profitable business case for 2G, 3G and 4G over satellite. With satellite increasingly becoming the standard for rural communications across LatAm, this solution is particularly exciting – enabling mobile operators to cost-effectively capitalize on new high throughput capabilities, while providing the best experience for end customers.

End-to-End Perspectives - iDirect

Layer 2 over Satellite (L2oS)

L2oS makes it possible for satellite to work seamlessly with other telecommunications access technologies. In fact, let us recommend some excellent ‘travel reading’ for you this coming weekend. Check out End-to-End Perspectives to learn how L2oS is enabling new levels of flexibility and transparency, opening the door to next-generation satellite service delivery models for leading partners such as Verizon, BT Global Services and Intelsat. Read More

All Apps on Board: All Eyes at Sea

Oil rig operators are constantly under pressure to run operations more efficiently and securely. With leasing rates averaging hundreds of thousands of dollars per day, a single minute of disrupted communications is a hefty loss in profits. The key to success is increasing the visibility and speed of collaboration between the rig and headquarters.

iDirect All Eyes at Sea

Today, VSAT networks provide real-time information exchanges between operations at sea and employees back at headquarters. One rising trend is the integrated use of video in day-to-day operations. Today, oil rigs are equipped to support video applications – whether that’s sending live video feeds from an oil rig or from the ocean floor. Furthermore, they’re equipping exploration vessels, workboats, tankers, offshore support vessels (OSVs), production platforms and remote drilling sites with full access to corporate networks.

Add to this the need to support basic corporate networking, crew welfare and bandwidth-heavy data transfer. And consider that oil and gas networks also support ocean-crossing oil tankers and other mobility applications – and suddenly many of today’s VSAT networks are challenged to carry the load.

Enter the newly launched iDirect 9350 Satellite Router. The 9350 is targeted at high-end commercial mobility markets, and initially features up to 150 Mbps of aggregate throughput Adaptive TDMA performance with a software upgrade path to well over 200 Mbps via support for Adaptive SCPC. Read More

Riding With Globecomm Sat Phones Support For Wounded Vets

From SatNews

globecommBenefiting wounded veterans is the Ride Allegheny charitable bicycle trek that runs from Pittsburgh to Maryland, and to assist with this event two satellite phones have been donated by Globecomm.

The phones will enable ride organizers to contact public safety officials if there is an emergency when the riders are beyond the range of cell phone coverage. Ride Allegheny started on September 29th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with more than 100 riders who will travel more than 300 miles—the ride ended in Gaithersburg, Maryland on October 2nd. Ride Allegheny partnered with Operation Second Chance by providing support to the needs of soldiers and their families to cover the gaps that are not covered by the US Government. Since 2005, the event has raised more $2 million for Operation Second Chance.

Jason Juranek, the Globecomm CEO/CFO, stated that the riders traversed some of the most remote routes in western Pennsylvania and western Maryland and the satellite phone units that were donated helped them stay in touch, no matter where they were located during their journey. Continue>

All Apps on Board: Meeting Sky-High Expectations for Connectivity

Meet Sky-High Expectations - iDirectYou can barely board a flight these days that doesn’t advertise in-flight connectivity. Commercial airlines are investing more in VSAT for in-flight connectivity to compete for the loyalty of more than one billion annual airline passengers, as well as improve operational productivity in the face of constantly rising costs.

Today, expectations for what a VSAT network can deliver are soaring to a higher level. Passengers want to watch streaming video content and live TV without constant buffering. Further, onboard networks are expanding to support cellular service.

In the cockpit, in-flight connectivity serves a growing set of business needs, such as navigational charting, weather-pattern monitoring and mechanical system monitoring. And connectivity helps ground control stay in control, receiving live feeds from the aircraft to monitor fuel and maintenance needs.

Supporting all these applications demands a faster and more efficient network. Thankfully, High Throughput Satellites (HTS) are answering the call. NSR reports that approximately 18,000 aircraft will be powered by capacity from HTS by 2025, accounting for $2.8 billion in revenue. These numbers are in addition to 8,160 Ku-band units, and nearly 90,000 total VSAT-connected aircraft projected for the same timeframe.

With rising pressure on service providers to meet the airlines’ continual demand for increasing network performance, iDirect has introduced its next-generation aero remote, the CX780. Read More

Rising To The Needs Of The LATAM Market: An Elara Focus

From SatMagazine

elaraWhen thinking about connectivity in Latin America (LATAM), the belief is that this region of the world is a complicated market.

On the one hand, satellite connectivity represents a solid business opportunity, given the topography of LATAM countries. There is often difficulty in accessing some of the more remote towns which are far away from Mexico’s urban areas and where terrestrial connectivity is unknown. On the other hand, satellite connectivity as an alternative communications solution is too expensive for many  would-be users.

Nevertheless, since 2004, Elara Comunicaciones has been delivering satellite connectivity and a reliable customer experience for the LATAM market. This has enabled the Mexican company to meet with great success and over a relatively short period of time.

Since 2012, Elara’s teleport has been ranked in the Top Teleport Operators ranking of the World Teleport Association (WTA); the company works with eight satellites that provide and guarantee communication services for clients, with an availability of 99.8 percent. Continue>

iDirect’s Nikita Demidenko at SatComRus 2016 to Discuss the New Economic Realities of Satellite

Nikita DemidenkoIf you’re in Moscow on Oct. 6, stop by the SatComRus 2016 show at the Hotel InterContinental. One of the bigger shows in Russia, it focuses on the region’s development of satellite communications and broadcasting.

iDirect’s Nikita Demidenko*, Sales Director, Russia and CIS, will participate in a panel during session two at 12:30: Industrial Internet: Is the Domestic Satellite Communication Industry Ready for a New Economic Reality?

Mr. Demidenko will cover the Internet of Things and whether satellite has a role in this market or if this is a passing fad.

Not into passing fads, but rather enduring trends, iDirect has already pulled the future into the present with its latest embedded compute remote series, built with extra processing power and memory to run value-added software without impacting performance.

Internet of Things

But where is the market for such services? Is your company ready? Read More