Inmarsat and VT iDirect form joint R&D partnership to develop next generation services
Inmarsat and VT iDirect announced on July 13 an extension of their long-term strategic partnership with the formation of a joint research & development (R&D) team – i2 – to support the development of the next generation satellite communications (satcom) technologies. This venture is a logical next step in the Inmarsat and VT iDirect relationship, having worked successfully together over the past four years to develop the GX programme.
The R&D project team, which will be based at Inmarsat’s headquarters in London, will focus on the proof-of-concept and prototype phases for new satcom technologies. Inmarsat and VT iDirect will jointly assess the commercial potential of each new technology before the decision is taken to deploy it in the form of a new product or service. Both companies’ partners and end-users will enjoy privileged access to the new technologies.
Among the first projects the team will address are the creation of new solutions to support the growing integration of satcom and terrestrial networks, the requirement for smaller, more powerful satcom terminals, and the boosting of waveform performance.
“This is a highly practical relationship with the objective to deliver a continual flow of market-leading new technologies,” said Michele Franci, Inmarsat’s Chief Technology Officer. “Inmarsat and VT iDirect have been close partners for many years. We share a common vision of the future development of satellite communications – particularly its growing integration with terrestrial networks. It makes complete sense to combine our resources and capabilities in this way.
“This new R&D partnership with VT iDirect helps further to underpin Inmarsat’s long-term technological leadership. It is fully aligned with our broader building block development strategy, which includes the Inmarsat Communications Evolution (ICE) initiative, a Public Private Partnership between Inmarsat and European Space Agency (ESA).”
“The i2 initiative is a natural extension of VT iDirect’s existing partnership with Inmarsat to broaden our R&D focus and accelerate new technologies to market,” said Mary Cotton, VT iDirect’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re bringing together the skills and resources to optimize the satellite and ground infrastructure assets to innovate on broader industry level and develop advances in satellite economics and performance, while transforming the user experience.”