Via our iDirect Evolution platform, we can provide high speed VSAT broadband capabilities anywhere, and in any environment.

VSAT technology adoption in Maritime sector

The migration of vessels to VSAT technology has seen exponential growth over the past five years. According to newly published Comsys Maritime VSAT Report, more than 20,000 vessels are currently online using VSAT which is expected to increase to 51,000 vessels in 2018.

  • The early and highest adopter of VSAT technology is the Oil and Gas segment. Downtime on a rig comes at an exorbitant cost, so the value proposition for VSAT has never been in question. And today, 100% of the world’s oil rigs are running VSAT networks.
  • Passenger Vessels is another segment that has relied on VSAT for many years and now demands continually higher data rates. It’s commonly stated that today vessels are floating communities, a dense concentration of thousands of people who want to stay connected at the same level they’ve come to expect on land.
  • In the commercial shipping segment, about 10,000 of the 100,000 vessels are currently using VSAT – mainly tankers and container ships. In this segment we see a fast uptake of VSAT services because of replacement of the very expensive and volume based Fleetbroadband services. The monthly flatfee and uncapped VSAT service not only brings costs down, but also offers more bandwidth for Crew Internet and allows shipping companies to benefit from applications such as electronic charting and weather, remote IT services and electronic port and customs documentation.

iDirect Evolution platform

The Castor selected iDirect’s Evolution® TDMA platform has revolutionized maritime VSAT communication as it allows us to cost-effectively share bandwidth across multiple vessels, while prioritizing each ship’s dynamic requirements without compromising quality and reliability. Today, more than 50% of all Maritime VSAT remotes deployed on vessels are running iDirect technology. iDirect Evolution will continue to advance in performance, bandwidth efficiencies and network scalability.

Maritime VSAT antenna agnostic

Direct’s platform works well with the majority of the stabilized antenna systems. However, when implementing Automatic Beam Switching (ABS) the antenna needs to have additional features in order to ensure that the iDirect modem is able to control the antenna for automatic re-pointing. The antenna system, more specifically the antenna control unit (ACU), must work well with iDirect’s interfaces such as hardware flow control and GPS input in order to communicate with the iDirect modem over the local on-board LAN. In order to standardize the communication between the ship’s LAN router and the antenna’s ACU, iDirect has developed an open-source standard called OpenAMIP that several antenna manufacturers are integrating as part of their antenna system. All ACU’s that have adopted the OpenAMIP standard are guaranteed to work with iDirect’s Automatic Beam Switching feature.

Single sites and closed customer networks

Via our iDirect platform we provide both services for a single vessel as well as closed customer networks consisting of multiple vessels operating in the same region which can optionally be clustered in a Group Bandwidth service. The Group Bandwidth service is a pool of bandwidth which can be shared by all vessels, meaning that if one site is not using the bandwidth - this bandwidth comes automatically available for other vessels.

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