ST Engineering iDirect upgrades Arabsat gateways for new market push

ST Engineering iDirect upgrades Arabsat gateways for new market push

Saudi Arabia-headquartered satellite operator Arabsat announced on Wednesday it is working with ST Engineering iDirect to deploy cloud technologies into its gateway infrastructure as part of a plan to reach new markets in the Middle East, Africa and West/Central Asia.

The move is part of an extension of the existing partnership between the two companies that aims to expand coverage of Arabsat’s BADR-7 Ka-band satellite and its 6A Ku-Band satellite to “manage connectivity services in countries that face poor infrastructure challenges.”

To that end, Arabsat is deploying the next-gen iDirect Hub infrastructure to expand its existing Dialog and Evolution-based ground systems in four new gateways.

The iDirect Hub Infrastructure leverages virtualization and cloud technologies that enable it to provide a highly-scalable and flexible solution for Arabsat's Dialog-based gateway deployments, achieving a higher throughput, greater efficiency and flexibility, ST Engineering said.

ST Engineering iDirect said this will establish the foundation for Arabsat to migrate to a virtualized, cloud-based hybrid infrastructure over time. It will also give Arabsat the option to adopt ST Engineering’s recently announced next-gen ground system “Intuition”, which supports standards-based, end-to-end orchestration capabilities that could accelerate time-to-market and streamline service delivery.

Arabsat didn’t specify which markets it is targeting under the new initiative, or where the new gateways would be established. BADR-7 and 6A Ku-Band currently serve locations in Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Arabsat said it has two gateways utilizing and operating almost 30 beams on Ka-Band, Ku-band, and C-band on BADR-7 and 6A.

Arabsat CEO and President Alhamedi Alanezi said the extension deal will not only bring vital connectivity for managed services such as e-learning and disaster recovery solutions to residents in the targeted countries, but also enable the operator to expand its services portfolio across the entire region to provide a superior satellite broadband experience with competitive market SLAs.

“We are dedicated to promoting fairer distribution of broadband for a range of use cases, continuing to deliver the very best quality of service content for our customers, and ensuring we have a future-proof network so we can adapt and respond as market demands evolve,” he said in a statement.

Don Claussen, CEO at ST Engineering iDirect, said his company is “committed to delivering flexible and future-ready solutions that enable Arabsat to address a wide range of services from media and enterprise, to mobility and broadband, to help them to unlock new markets and growth.”

Arabsat – which is wholly owned by the Arab League – also said its expansion into new markets is “part of Saudi Arabia's wider initiative to continue to invest in space, diversify from the media and broadcast sector and bring satellite internet capabilities to users in remote and underserved areas through its VSAT broadband business.”


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