Delivering Connectivity to the Unconnected. An Integrasys, Optus and VT iDirect Case in Point

From SatMagazine

By Sivakumar Sandrasegaram, Group Leader, Product Engineering VSAT, Optus Wholesale and Satellite, and Alvaro Sanchez, Sales and Marketing Manager, Integrasys.

Today many countries select satellite for their rural connectivity needs, and for good reason. Satellite brings reliable connectivity with widespread availability, high performance, and lower cost.

For rural communities, connectivity is essential to allow the same opportunities as is available those in urban communities, whether participating in online learning or searching for a new job, to name just a couple of examples.

Connectivity can help lead to a better overall quality of life, as well as allowing families to connect across the miles, to stay current with news and weather alerts and to enjoy more entertainment variety.

As the second largest telecommunications company in Australia, Optus has a mission to connect the unconnected and to enable rural communities access to communications via satellite, with the most reliable availability and fair cost.

Recently, Optus was contracted to supply capacity to one of Integrasys’ wholesale channel partners to enable autonomous migration and rollout of 2,100 sites in rural communities scattered across New Zealand. With the support of iDirect technology, Satmotion Pocket, and Integrasys, all provided the wholesaler the ability to seamlessly and successfully accomplish this task in a short timeframe. In an area as large and diverse as New Zealand, streamlining the deployment of the remotes, from the initial antenna pointing to calibration and commissioning of remotes, is critical. Satmotion made it possible for VSAT installers to autonomously get remotes into the network quickly and cost effectively. Continue>

Intelsat to Complete Their EpicNG Network with Launch of Horizons’ 3e Satellite

From Satnews

The joint venture between Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT, known has Horizons, has signed on with Arianespace to launch the Boeing manufactured Horizons’ 3e satellite.

This launch will occur late in 2018 and will be conducted from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. Horizons 3e will complete Intelsat’s global EpicNG network. The high-throughput satellite’s C- and Ku-band transponders will provide 22 Gbps+ in growth capacity for aeronautical and maritime mobility applications spanning from Asia and the Pacific to North America. Horizons’ 3e is also expected to support further development of specialty networks for governments. The spacecraft will weigh 6,500 kg. at liftoff.

Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël stated this his firm is delighted to be working with both of those companies, who have always placed their trust in Arianespace. Plus, he added that this is a special honor to be able to announce this contract during Arianespace’s annual Japan Week activities in Tokyo. Continue>

A Platform For Opportunity

From Satellite Evolution EMEA

iQ-2017-2-SOCIAL-500We’ve come a long way since we first started launching satellites in the late 1950s. Capabilities have advanced far beyond what anyone could have imagined, and it’s key that we make the most of the technology we have today. Kevin Steen, President and Chief Executive Officer of VT iDirect, explains how satellite capacity can best be harnessed, today and into the future.

The satellite industry is poised for big change. Wave after wave of capacity is transforming the economics of our industry and creating vast market opportunities, and the DVB-S2X standard is driving unprecedented gains in performance and efficiency to meet surging demand for bandwidth coming from every market sector.

How will satellite operators and service providers harness the power of current and future capacity to most efficiently run their networks and capitalize on growth opportunities?

The answer comes down to three priorities. They need to continually keep pace with throughput demands, be vigilantly prepared for the next wave of innovation, and manage scale at the right cost and pace.

Passing the speed test
Winning in today’s satellite market requires a high-performance, ultra-efficient solution. Today, that primiarly means DVB-S2X. As companies like iDirect have released DVB-S2X products, we’re beginning to see the emergence of programmable chip sets that provide horsepower and much of the intelligence inside. Continue>

3 Important Forces Impacting VSAT Providers

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Terrestrial telecommunication is steadily embracing network programmability, with all the major terrestrial carriers incorporating Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) as core strategic efforts to build more agile networks.

The same forces encouraging terrestrial companies to adopt network programmability also apply to satellite service providers. These forces are summarized by the demand for value-added services, the increasing complexity of networks, and increasing operational costs.

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Download Dynamic Services White Paper

#1 – Demand for Value-Added Services

Telecommunications companies consistently rank customer experience management as the highest strategic priority to maintain differentiation over competitors. End users demand customer-centric approaches, so companies able to deliver highly tailored solutions while also reducing time to market not only achieve the best service offering, they gain a true competitive advantage.

In contrast, end users traditionally experience satellite communication as a cumbersome solution with limited options. Until satellite service providers become more agile and improve responsiveness, they will always be relegated to be an access technology of last resort. With an expected doubling of connected devices, the winners of this booming growth will be those companies that can meet emerging market requirements and quickly ramp deployment of services.

#2 – Increasing Network Complexity

Satellite communication has survived global economic slowdowns and the spread of cellular services. This consistent growth is projected to continue and may even accelerate given decreasing service costs and faster data rates. And the demand for value-added services is driving satellite service providers to aim for the same level of sophistication as traditional telecommunication companies.

Every additional site and each new service capability adds burden to the staff. But this burden is not merely linear… the more complex the network, the more exponential the curve. Every additional router, switch, line card, and remote multiplies interconnections to maintain. Enterprise firewalls and intrusion protection devices must be physically installed and configured per business customer. And the sheer number of users on a consumer network overwhelms any but the most streamlined operations. Read More

Who’s Keeping Satellites Safe From Cyberattacks?

From Space News

Vinit Duggal was updating his family’s home wireless network recently when he noticed 39 connected devices, including phones, laptop computers, printers, alarms and a couple of televisions.

Even Duggal, director and chief information security officer for satellite fleet operator Intelsat, was surprised by the number of connections. “I thought, ‘How do I have all these things,’” he said.

That’s just the beginning. In the next few years, the number of connected devices in homes, offices, farms and transportation hubs is expected to skyrocket. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify life by offering a way for people to remotely control appliances and maintain broadband connections while traveling in cars, trains, ships and aircraft.

At the same time, IoT will present enormous challenges for people who offer satellite communications products and services because each connected device from refrigerators to tractors offers hackers a point of entry into the network and a way to target other elements of the network.  Continue>

ST Engineering Wins Contracts Worth $331 Million in Q1 2017

From Via Satellite

Singapore Technologies Engineering announced that its electronics arm, Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Electronics), secured SG$464 million ($331 million) worth of contracts in the first quarter of 2017 for rail electronics and intelligent transportation, satellite and broadband communications, as well as advanced electronics and Information Communications Technologies (ICT) solutions.

Local and overseas customers secured rail electronics and intelligent transportation contracts of about SG$67 million ($47.9 million). These include the supply of the passenger information system to CRRC Qingdao Sifang for 400 of Chicago’s 7000 Series rail cars; delivery of the passenger information display system for a train retrofit, as well as enhancement and system integration services for Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation.

ST Electronics received contracts amounting to SG$79 million ($56.5 million) from government, telecom and enterprise users worldwide for the supply of broadband network, satellite network equipment and earth stations. The company will complete these projects progressively over the next three years. Continue>

Ericsson Exec Examines 5G Timeline and Needs for Bandwidth

From Via Satellite

Satellite operators believe 5G will be a huge opportunity, but for wireless players the opportunity will undoubtedly be even bigger. Ericsson, a major player in the 5G arena, publishes a regular mobility report, which looks at the state of the market. Joakim Sorelius, head of 5G and Radio Access Network (RAN) architecture at Ericsson, told Via Satellite that even he found some of the findings of its latest research “quite astonishing.”

“Firstly, there will be more than half a billion 5G subscriptions by 2022. In only a few years, we expect 5G to take off quite quickly. Twenty-five percent of all subscriptions will be 5G in North America in 2022, representing the highest market penetration in the world. Then you will have Asia-Pacific, with 10 percent of all subscriptions taken out in 2022 expected to be 5G, and especially the northern part of Asia. The whole of Asia will see 10 percent penetration but in the north and northeast, it will be more in the range of the U.S. numbers. That is markets like South Korea, Japan and China,” he added.

When looking at development of broadband, Sorelius says 90 percent of subscriptions will be mobile broadband, which basically means that everyone who has a telephone will have a smartphone. He called this “a very strong foundation” for the wireless industry. Continue>

Intelsat Signs eProcess on Epic for Banking Services in Africa

From Via Satellite

Intelsat announced that eProcess International, an affiliate of pan-African banking conglomerate Ecobank Group, has signed an agreement to use the Intelsat Epic platform to expand and strengthen its corporate banking services throughout Africa. The solution incorporates high-throughput Intelsat Epic C-band spot beam capacity available on Intelsat 35e, which is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2017. This capacity complements the existing eProcess network as it is based on wide beam C-band connectivity on Intelsat 903.

EProcess connects head offices and affiliates across 27 countries in Africa, enabling banking transactions and corporate data exchanges through its network. Given the growth in commerce across the African continent, the company sought to enhance its network to address increasing transaction volumes for its customers.

According to Intelsat, eProcess is able to accommodate its growing bandwidth demand across its pan-African network by leveraging the backwards compatibility of Intelsat Epic and the higher efficiency of the spot beams. Continue >

Our Moment

By Kevin Steen, President and CEO, VT iDirect

Kevin-Steen-2017-blogI joined VT iDirect in 2010 because I saw the unique potential for satellite to help connect the world. I knew that satellite technology could solve issues unaddressed by cellular or terrestrial bandwidth. And I understood that with the emergence of High Throughput Satellites (HTS), the satellite industry was at a major transformational moment.

So it was fitting that one of my first roles at VT iDirect was to ensure our infrastructure could unlock the power of these satellites and enable a new cost model for our customers – and I am thrilled to say we are seeing our HTS partners successfully rolling out their services on the VT iDirect platform.

Today, my role has grown to leading the talented VT iDirect organization as President and Chief Executive Officer. As I take on this great responsibility, my sole focus is to ensure our clients have the best technology and services in our industry to grow their businesses and capitalize on the dramatic changes that are happening in the industry.

We are bringing a fresh mindset to key issues that define the satellite industry’s future. We’re advancing the role of satellite technology including how this technology’s role can be expanded in the end-to-end telecom network; identifying new market opportunities for satellite communications, and collaborating across our ecosystem to co-develop industry-leading and industry-changing technology. These are the fundamental themes driving my leadership at VT iDirect.

VT iDirect is incredibly excited to remain on the leading edge of innovation to meet the ever-increasing critical needs of our clients and the satellite industry. Our new DVB-S2X product suite is a case in point, proving how we can reengineer the core elements of ground infrastructure for new levels of performance, scale and agility. I recently shared our plans with Alan Gottlieb in this article for Mobility World. Read More

Kevin Steen Appointed New CEO of VT iDirect

Retiring CEO Mary Cotton to serve on Executive Board

Kevin-Steen-2017-blogHerndon, VA, April 3, 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 Kevin Steen has been named the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Mary Cotton, as retiring CEO, will serve on VT iDirect’s Board of Directors as CEO Emeritus, advising the company on key strategic initiatives.

Steen has served as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Sales since joining VT iDirect in 2010. As a key member of VT iDirect’s leadership team, he has been responsible for charting the company’s strategic growth across sales, operations and business development. Steen has led a major effort across VT iDirect and its global partner base to advance the role of satellite technology in the end-to-end telecom network; identify new market opportunities for satellite communications, and collaborate with VT iDirect’s ecosystem to co-develop industry-leading technology.

“Kevin has been a key driver of our growth, and he is renowned for his passion for customers. He will bring a fresh mindset to key issues that define the satellite industry’s future with a commitment to broader industry collaboration that is required to drive a new phase of growth,” said retired Gen. John Coburn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, VT Systems. “We are grateful to Mary’s decade of leadership. Her focus on customer value and innovation has translated into substantial success, and we look forward to her continued service as a member of the VT iDirect Board of Directors.” Read More