GE Satcom Launches Triple-Play VSAT Service For Merchant Vessels Based On iDirect Platform

Europe- and Asia- based bundle offers prepay VoIP, Internet and TV access, supports fleet-management applications  

Herndon, Va., September 15, 2010 - iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems Inc. (VT Systems) today announced that GE Satcom, a leading provider of satellite communications services throughout EMEA, has unveiled the commercial launch of a satellite-based communications service for merchant vessel operators based on iDirect’s Intelligent Platform. Following a successful six-month pilot testing, the service has been scheduled for an initial roll out to 14 commercial ships. To support the new service, GE Satcom will upgrade its current satellite infrastructure to iDirect’s Evolution product line. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

GE Satcom’s maritime broadband solution will deliver a triple-play service bundle with prepay access to Voice Over IP (VoIP) phone, Internet and TV news and sports highlights that can be multiplexed into any cabin, technical or recreation room. In addition to satisfying basic communication and crew welfare needs, GE Satcom’s service offers a scalable platform for integrating critical fleet-management applications such as location tracking, eco-routing and performance monitoring to reduce operational costs for existing ships and new builds. The cost-effective, flat-rate service will cover major shipping lanes across Asia and Europe using Ku-band as the primary link, with the ability to automatically switch to L-Band as a back-up solution. As demand grows, GE Satcom will also have the ability to extend coverage across the Atlantic and Pacific.

By upgrading to Evolution, GE Satcom gains a cost-effective IP broadband communications platform that can support its new service with the reliability of always-on connectivity. Evolution offers a suite of integrated tools that are tailored for maritime customers to make deploying mobile networks simpler and more efficient. GE Satcom can segment bandwidth across multiple ships - even fleets – and prioritize allocation according to each vessel’s dynamic requirements using iDirect’s Group Quality of Service (GQoS) technology. Further, GE Satcom plans to utilize iDirect’s Automatic Beam Switching (ABS) feature to ensure that customers maintain seamless connectivity as their vessels cross multiple satellite footprints, without needing an onboard technician to manually handle transitions between Ku-band beams.

“We chose iDirect because it is the most broadly deployed VSAT platform today across the growing ranks of broadband-enabled vessels, allowing fleet owners and crew to constantly optimize the cost of communications for ship operation and extended plug & play Internet, voice, and TV services. Evolution will provide us with a highly reliable platform for launching a commercial service in Europe and Asia and eventually expanding to a global service.”

~ Ronny SVANG
President and CEO, GE Satcom

“The maritime market is experiencing high demand for reliable, flat-fee, always-on broadband connectivity to keep up with the bandwidth-intensive applications and recreational needs of today’s vessel and crew. GE Satcom’s affordable triple-play service addresses these needs, leveraging the iDirect platform’s flexibility and integrated mobility feature set to help it attract new customers in this market.”

~ Stephen TUNNICLIFFE
Regional Vice President, Europe, iDirect

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GE Satcom provides advanced satellite communication solutions on a multi-regional scale. With access to over 30 satellites, GE Satcom owns two state-of-the-art teleport centers in Germany and Switzerland. Today, GE Satcom has successfully deployed around 10,000 VSAT sites in over 130 countries, providing turnkey satellite network solutions directly to enterprises, maritime operators, NGOs and government entities which require reliable access to the Internet, telephony, large data transmission and TV content applications from dispersed locations.

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. 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 15 years of global satellite communications experience, iDirect serves customers in over 50 countries through a diverse network of service provider partners, including seven of the World Teleport Association’s Global Top Ten operators. Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, iDirect has offices in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. In 2007, iDirect Government Technologies (iGT) was set up to drive adoption of its IP-based solutions in the US Government market. In 2008, iDirect Asia Pte Ltd was established in Singapore to enhance its value-add and responsiveness to customers in the Asia Pacific region. Please visit www.idirect.net.  

VT Systems is a diversified company providing integrated engineering solutions to the commercial and government markets in the aerospace, electronics, land systems and marine sectors. VT Systems’ innovative solutions, products and services include aircraft maintenance, repair and modification; software solutions in training and simulation; satellite-based IP communications technology; network solutions that integrate data, voice and video; rugged computers and computer peripheral equipment; specialized truck bodies and trailers; weapons and munitions systems; road construction equipment; and ship design and shipbuilding. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., VT Systems operates globally and is a wholly owned subsidiary of ST Engineering. Please visit www.vt-systems.com.  

Media Contacts:

Julie Bettinger
Vice President, Corporate Marketing
iDirect
Phone: (1) 703 648 8155
Fax: (1) 703 648 8015
Email: jbettinger@idirect.net  

Edward Szeto
Manager, Corporate Communications
VT Systems
Phone: (1) 703 739 2610
Fax: (1) 703 739 2611
Email: eszeto@vt-systems.com  

Viviana Kennedy
GE Satcom
Phone: (49) 7191 971 3728
Fax: (49) 7191 971 100
Email: press@gesatcom.com