iDirect and Informa Issue Research Paper On New Paths To Profitability For Mobile Operators Seeking Rural Customers

Survey reveals network growth strategies and business opportunities for reaching the next 2 billion subscribers

Herndon, Va., November 11, 2009 - VT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems Inc (VT Systems), today announced that it has teamed with Informa Telecoms & Media to issue a research paper and industry survey examining how emerging technologies are enabling mobile operators to cost-effectively reach remote and rural markets. The independent research was commissioned by iDirect and conducted by Informa analysts Dimitris Mavrakis and Tatum Anderson. The paper can be downloaded at iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

New technologies extend network reach and lower operating costs

Informa projects that two billion new mobile subscribers will be added to the global market by 2013, with rural customers accounting for a majority of this growth. While mobile operators have struggled to profitably expand their networks into remote areas, the Informa research paper identifies two major technology trends that are making the provision of rural service more affordable today: the use of satellite networks to cost-effectively backhaul voice and data traffic, and the shift toward all-IP network infrastructure to achieve greater operational efficiencies.

Specifically, Informa noted that operators are realizing the advantages of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) satellite networks as an emerging alternative to microwave towers, Single Channel Per Carrier (SCPC) satellite connectivity and other conventional forms of mobile backhaul. TDMA networks enable operators to reduce operating costs by allocating shared satellite capacity across multiple remote sites. Further, Informa found that operators implementing IP-based backhaul networks can realize bandwidth savings of up to 40 percent.

Operator survey reveals growing success

Informa surveyed mobile operators around the globe revealing how the industry is already leveraging technology advances to capture early successes:

  • 58 percent currently deploy satellite backhaul technology, with the top benefits cited being lower operating costs, greater reach across challenging terrain and the ability to roll out services rapidly.
  • 80 percent plan to expand their Base Transceiver Station (BTS) sites further into remote areas in the next five years, with TDMA-based infrastructure accounting for the majority of growth.
  • 83 percent have begun implementing IP technology, with major benefits listed including offering Internet access, supporting a broad variety of mobile data services and creating a single unified network to lower operating costs, minimize technical complexity and increase network efficiency.

To further validate the paper’s research findings, Informa developed four original case studies which showcase how mobile operators have utilized satellite backhaul to generate new revenue opportunities.

“Both remote and rural areas present a huge opportunity for mobile operators. TDMA backhaul is giving mobile operators a tool to cost effectively reach new subscribers, expand coverage and maintain organic growth beyond urban areas.”

~ Dimitris MAVRAKIS
Senior Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media

“iDirect commissioned this research at an important moment for the mobile telecommunications industry. New technology innovations are establishing a strong business case for the further expansion of service into remote areas. iDirect and its partners are helping mobile operators grow their business and improve the quality of life for billions of rural citizens worldwide.”

Director, Vertical Markets, iDirect


Informa Telecoms & Media is the leading provider of business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets. Providing business critical information, Informa Telecoms & Media conducts primary and secondary research into the latest trends impacting upon the mobile communications, fixed communications and TV sectors, on a global basis. Clients subscribe to Informa's market intelligence services to access market forecasts and key performance indicators (KPIs), as well as detailed analysis and exploration of trends. Please visit  

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  

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