The vessels and their crew require constant and reliable communications to keep in permanent contact with their headquarters on land, and with other shipping vessels during operations at the Boffa port in Guinea, where 3G/4G connectivity is poor and internet services are limited.
The ships were installed with the iDirect modem and KNS 1.2m Maritime Antenna Z12Mk2 in Shanghai, China, enabling bandwidth-intensive applications including video, email and WeChat to be run. Paratus remotely configured the modems and commissioned the antennas for the ships when they arrived in Boffa. Commissioning is completed with the ships being operational.
“We are pleased to be working alongside our long-term partner ST Engineering iDirect as we continue to address poor connectivity issues that currently affect Africa,” said Colwyn van Rensburg, Chief Development Officer at Paratus. “The work we have undertaken has more than satisfied our customer, and the company is looking to implement further connectivity for its offices in the future. We look forward to our continued success together.”
“Our collaboration with ST Engineering iDirect stretches back for over a decade,” commented EZ Gao, Manager of Asia and MENA at KNS. “We already have plans in place to expand our collaboration to the market, building upon this very strong foundation to drive expansion towards more price-sensitive customers in certain market segments and regions to enable this kind of mission-critical connectivity at sea.”
“We are excited to extend our relationship with Paratus, whom we have worked with for many years to provide data rates and multi-service capabilities to their customers,” said Pieter-Paul Mooijman, Regional Vice President for Africa at ST Engineering iDirect. “Paratus is already utilizing ST Engineering iDirect hubs to power connectivity in Angola, Namibia and South Africa. This collaboration further demonstrates how satellite is an effective and reliable form of connectivity for traditionally hard-to-reach locations, with the versatility to serve diverse markets and applications.”
Recognized as the gold-standard in the mobility sector, iDirect solutions are optimized for small to large-scale, multi-beam networks. The advanced quality of service maximizes the value of a shared TDMA bandwidth pool for traffic prioritization and bandwidth management, allowing for SLA configuration and prioritization. The iDirect system incorporates a number of integrated mobility management technologies that enable seamless connectivity when a vessel automatically switches between satellite beams as it moves from one geographic footprint to another. With the ease of installation and management of the iDirect system, service providers can reduce ship visits, installation and modem updates, and optimize their networks for higher efficiency, performance and scalability.
ST Engineering North America is the U.S. headquarters of ST Engineering, a global technology, defense and engineering group specializing in the aerospace, electronics, land systems, and marine sectors. Based in Alexandria, VA, it has major operations across 17 cities in 13 states and employs about 5,000 people providing innovative products and solutions to commercial and government customers across diverse market segments.
ST Engineering iDirect, a subsidiary of ST Engineering North America, is a global leader in satellite communications (satcom) providing technology and solutions that enable its customers to expand their business, differentiate their services and optimize their satcom networks. Through the merger with Newtec, a recognized industry pioneer, the combined business unites over 35 years of innovation focused on solving satellite’s most critical economic and technology challenges, and expands a shared commitment to shaping the future of how the world connects. The product portfolio, branded under the names iDirect and Newtec, represents the highest standards in performance, efficiency and reliability, making it possible for its customers to deliver the best satcom connectivity experience anywhere in the world. ST Engineering iDirect is the world’s largest TDMA enterprise VSAT manufacturer and is the leader in key industries including broadcast, mobility and military/government. In 2007, iDirect Government was formed to better serve the U.S. government and defense communities.
Paratus is a multinational organisation and has established a prolific network across Africa. It has operational offices in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia and further provides connectivity services to more than 20 African countries through an extensive partner network. Paratus also established the first cross-continent fiber connection from Swakopmund, Namibia to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania under the management of a single Autonomous System Number (ASN), carried across its Trans-Kalahari Fiber route.