Satellite Technology Feature Article
iDirect's iDX 3.1 Perfect for Large Networks with Small Inbound Channels
By Rich Steeves, TMCnet Copy Editor
Last month, at the Satellite 2012 conference in Washington, DC, I spoke with representatives from iDirect (News - Alert) about the company’s latest product release and its applications for both utility companies and distance learning. Recently, I interviewed Gloria Kinney, product marketing manager at iDirect, all about the iDX 3.1 and its range of applications.
Kinney emphasized that the iDX 3.1 is perfect for utility networks. She stated that SCADA monitoring at remote sites requires narrowband connectivity, which is also necessary to backhaul smart meter data from rural sites and for other purposes such as video surveillance, VoIP and backup communications.
“With a network like this, you’re typically dealing with a large number of individual sites with remotes that are often idle,” Kinney stated. “To maintain the network affordably, you need a cost-effective solution designed with bandwidth-efficient and energy-efficient hardware. You also need an easy, quick and affordable way to install and manage a large amount of network devices in the field.”
iDirect is touting the iDX 3.1 as a low-cost product, and Kinney believes that this makes it an appealing option for growing smart grid implementation. iDirect hopes to educate the utility industry on the capabilities of satellite with respect to cost, reliability, bandwidth and security, and she hopes that offering providers a cost-effective narrowband solution will enable them to serve large numbers of remote sites in an affordable manner.
This new product contains the Evolution X1 remote, which comes in both indoor and outdoor versions. Both versions feature DVB-S2/ACM on outbound and TDMA on inbound. The outdoor version is weatherproof and can withstand a temperature range from -40 degrees Celsius all the way up to 60 degrees Celsius, making ideal for the harshest possible conditions.
In addition to utility applications, Kinney foresees the iDX 3.1 as appealing to retail, banking and pipeline markets as well as for distance learning applications. “iDX 3.1 is also ideal for distance education networks, which have traffic profiles that are largely idle, but also need to support video streaming, video conferencing and bandwidth-heavy interactive learning applications,” she said.
Kinney emphasized that, beyond the iDX 3.1, all of iDirect’s offerings are designed to help service providers grow their business in key market segments. In fact, later this year the company expects to have a release targeted toward markets with high-bandwidth applications such as enterprise and mobility.
Edited by Jamie Epstein