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iDirect Partnership Offers Hybrid Network

By | September 27, 2004

      Herndon, Va.-based iDirect wants to capitalize on a new threesome forged with satellite services operator Intelsat and communications networking provider Equant by tapping into what its management considers to be a unique technical advantage. Equant is a subsidiary of France Telecom that works with other organizations within its parent company’s various enterprises to use teleports from various networks and carriers as well as from GlobeCast.

      The arrangement calls for Intelsat to provide the satellite services, while Equant would handle the key terrestrial networking role, and iDirect would provide the hardware and software required at an end user’s location as well as at teleports where a signal is beamed to the satellite for distribution.

      The iDirect equipment allows the broadband signal to come from a terrestrial link and go out from an Equant hub that is located at a teleport. The signal then can be sent to an Intelsat satellite virtually anywhere in the world.

      This set of fully managed, satellite-based, wide area network (WAN) services would available to the 1,300 multinational companies that use Equant services. Those customers could use standalone satellite services or they could integrate the satellite capabilities with the terrestrial service provider’s IP VPN service because between 5 percent and 10 percent of Equant’s business is not reachable by terrestrial connectivity or the service is unreliable.

      The partnership also supports Equant’s strategy to develop global, customized and integrated communications services for multinational corporations that operate almost anywhere in the world. Intelsat benefits from selling space segment on its global fleet of satellites.

      Networking Via Satellite

      iDirect now becomes part of Equant’s growing hybrid network and, of course, this new partnership has the potential to become an important source of additional revenues for iDirect. According to Warren Brown, iDirect’s vice president of marketing, “Ultimately, we see this sales channel growing significantly.” In an interview with Satellite News Senior Editor and Senior Analyst Paul Dykewicz, Brown added, “We’ve always seen that hybrid networks are the wave of the future. Any network provider has to offer a multitude of solutions. We fit the solution that happens to be networking via satellite. The real differentiator is that we are the only provider out there that has built this equipment from the ground up using IP standards.” Because iDirect serves enterprise customers and not consumers, its technology needs to support IP-based applications.

      The iDirect IP-based technology makes its bandwidth management capabilities “much more” efficient and cost-effective than other options, Brown said. “By using IP standards, our equipment looks, acts and feels like current terrestrial-based IP networks,” Brown explained. “That makes it easy for a terrestrial company to implement our equipment as part of an overall hybrid network solution. An enterprise user has come to expect the same type of high-speed service, regardless of whether it is through a terrestrial network or through a satellite network. We bring that capability.”

      The strategic focus of iDirect is to design, develop, and market satellite-based broadband access solutions for the enterprise, government, carrier and educational sectors that require fast, flexible, and geographically dispersed two-way Internet/intranet access. The company has developed technology aimed at giving users high performance, worldwide availability, ease of installation, high reliability and low cost. In addition, iDirect aims to offer efficiencies that increase revenue opportunities for its end users by generating higher per customer gross margins for satellite network operators.

      iDirect was included in the 2003 Inc. 500 list of the country’s fastest growing entrepreneurial firms as well as the Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500 list of the fastest-growing U.S. technology companies. The organization also ranked as one of Virginia’s top 50 fastest growing technology companies for both 2003 and 2004. Aside from its corporate headquarters in Herndon, Va., the company has regional offices in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Additional information is available on the company website at

      (Warren Brown, iDirect, 703/648-8155)

      iDirect At a Glance:

      U.S. Headquarters: 13865 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon, Va 20171
      Phone: 866/345-0983
      Principal Contact: 703/648-8155
      Web Site:

      EMEA iDirect Technologies
      Regus House
      268 Bath Road
      Slough, Berks
      SL1 4DX
      United Kingdom
      +44 (0) 1753 725540 office

      Workforce: 91 employees today, with 100 expected by year’s end

      Sources: iDirect, Satellite News

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