AST Adds iDirect-Based VSAT Broadband Offering To Maritime Service Portfolio

Customers demand VSAT capabilities as bandwidth consumption rises

Herndon, Va., September 1, 2009 – VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems Inc (VT Systems) today announced that Applied Satellite Technology Ltd (AST) has launched a maritime VSAT broadband service built on the iDirect Intelligent Platform. The new offering introduces higher bandwidth data rates as well as a flat-fee service model to AST’s customers, and is supported by AST’s technology management services. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

With offices in the UK, Australia, Singapore and South Africa, AST provides a wide range of satellite service options to marine and land customers around the world. The company’s investment in an iDirect VSAT network is a response to growing demand from maritime companies whose communications needs have moved beyond basic connectivity requirements.

The new broadband service provides Ku-band and C-band coverage and is designed to operate on the 4000 and 6000 Sea Tel Cobham stabilized VSAT antenna range. Data rates can reach 512 Kbps on the inbound channel and 2 Mbps on the outbound channel, supporting bandwidth intensive applications such as Voice over IP, remote engine monitoring, real-time data transfer and video streaming. The AST broadband service is available today for organizations with vessels or land-based operations in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. The service extends worldwide through AST’s partnership with Speedcast using Eutelsat’s global satellite network.

Network management and systems integration

The AST VSAT broadband offering is supported by several of the provider’s technology and network management services. These include:

  • Remote IT and systems management: AST’s team of network technicians can remotely handle standard maintenance and problem resolution for onboard communications equipment as well as a vessel’s IT systems.
  • Business continuity service: AST has developed a remote diagnostic solution that monitors onboard network activity. If service is interrupted, the system can facilitate an auto-switchover to operate in another satellite band, preserving network uptime and avoiding costly service visits.
  • Customized Service Level Agreements: Using iDirect’s Group Quality of Service technology, AST can tailor Service Level Agreements to meet the real-time bandwidth needs of each vessel, while enabling cost-effective sharing of satellite capacity. Committed Information Rates can be set for specific onboard applications, with the ability for each vessel to burst into a Maximum Information Rate based on a fleet’s larger bandwidth pool.
  • Systems integration: AST can integrate a VSAT network with marine electronics systems and other satellite communications technology through the use of iDirect’s iToolkit, which is an API feature of the iVantage Network Management System. In addition, AST collaborates with its customers to assess ongoing network requirements and provides technology development services to support future applications and increase network performance.

“VSAT is a strategic addition to our service portfolio. We conducted a comprehensive and objective requirements audit for each customer and were seeing exponential increases in data usage, which pointed to the need for a VSAT broadband offering. The decision to build our new service on the iDirect platform was based on iDirect’s track record of success in the maritime market, the platform’s many technology advantages and the ability to scale our business affordably.”

~Gregory DARLING
Managing Director, Applied Satellite Technology Ltd (AST)

“For maritime companies, communications technology has shifted from simply a means of connectivity to a business solution. With the iDirect platform, AST can help its customers transform their vessels into productive remote offices, and deliver the consulting and support services its customers need to maximise the value of onboard VSAT networks.”

Regional Vice President and Managing Director, Europe, Russia and CIS, iDirect


Applied Satellite Technology Ltd, founded in 1992, is now Europe’s largest independent distributor of satcomms products and services. The company prides itself on the ability to provide a complete solution for it’s marine clients under the ASTBroadbandTM solutions portfolio, comprising the four keystones of support, service, hardware and airtime, thus granting it’s customers a one-stop-shop, for all their satcomms needs. AST currently oversees five global offices: Norfolk and Southampton in the UK, Singapore, Australia and South Africa. Alongside proven commitments to demystify the satcomms arena and provide un-biased advice, AST has placed an emphasis on maintaining an approachable grassroots position. As implementation of new technologies can be expensive and challenging for customers AST will often provide equipment on a trial basis for evaluation purposes, going that extra mile to ensure suitability and customer satisfaction. In 2009, this ability to offer a complete service has allowed AST’s business to continue to expand, having increased by 10 percent this year alone.

iDirect, a subsidiary of VT Systems, is transforming the way the world gets and stays connected. The company’s satellite-based IP communications technology enables constant connectivity for voice, video and data applications in diverse and challenging environments. These include extending private networks to remote offices; supporting mobile connectivity across land, sea and air; providing rural telephony and Internet broadband; and maintaining communications in the wake of disasters and network failures. The iDirect Intelligent Platform™ integrates advanced technology into iDirect’s portfolio of hubs, routers and network management software to address the growing complexity of deploying and managing global IP networks. With more than 13 years of global satellite communications experience, iDirect serves customers in 50 countries through a diverse network of channel partners, including some of the largest satellite providers, operators and carriers in the world and seven of the World Teleport Association’s Global Top Ten. Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, iDirect has offices in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Please visit  

VT Systems and its subsidiaries are preferred providers of engineering solutions, products, integrated systems, and services in the Americas across the core business areas of marine, aerospace, electronics and land systems. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, VT Systems operates around the globe and offers a broad range of proven innovative services to both the commercial and government sectors. VT Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. Please visit  

Media Contacts:

Julie Gouldin
Vice President, Corporate Marketing
Phone: 703-648-8155
Fax: 703-648-8015

Sarah Thuman
Manager, Corporate Communications
VT Systems
Phone: 703-739-2610
Fax: 703-739-2611

Martin Yates
Sales Manager (EMEA)
Applied Satellite Technology
Phone: +44 (0) 1493 668949

Richard Coston
Sales Manager (Asia Pacific)
Applied Satellite Technology Australia Pty
Phone: +61 400 952 926