We recently sat down with longtime iDirect partner IP Access International to discuss their role in the satellite world. Bryan Hill, CEO of IP Access International, talks about their partnership with iDirect, the customers they serve, and their new revolutionary product called the Harrier.
iDirect: Please describe IP Access as a company and its role in the satellite communications marketplace.
Hill: IP Access provides critical communications to First Responders who protect and save lives.
iDirect: What drives your decision to partner with iDirect?
Hill: Public Safety has made a clear decision to adopt iDirect as the platform of choice and with over 15 years providing solid communication services to these responders, it was clearly a great choice.
iDirect: What are the top challenges IP Access solves for its customers?
Hill: During crises such as hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes, and terrorist attacks, there is a very high likelihood that local communication infrastructure will be disrupted. IP Access solves this with our satellite network and prevents what would be a life-threatening situation for responders.
iDirect: Tell us about your new product, the Harrier Rapid Communications Kit.
Hill: With 4G LTE, 5G LTE and Band 14, the improvements in availability and throughput are huge. We believe the right solution is to take advantage of these technologies while not giving up the reliability and resiliency of satellite, and that is what the Harrier delivers.
The Harrier is highly portable, certified to fit on helicopters and other aircraft, and can be assembled in less than 10 minutes with a single person. It is fully sealed and able to withstand extreme weather conditions.
With built in smarts, the Harrier detects what networks are available and takes advantage of as many of them simultaneously as possible while always having access to the highly reliable IP Access Select Satellite Network, which provides up to 80Mb/20Mb. Users can access all of this capacity through two built-in Wi-Fi hotspots and numerous wired ports.
iDirect: What makes Harrier revolutionary?
Hill: The Harrier is the first integrated LTE/Satellite solution that allows agencies to utilize their existing LTE service within a multi-satellite network – all with the push of a button and the capabilities of an aggregate network of up to 80Mb down and 20Mb up.
iDirect: What sort of customer will use Harrier? And for what purpose?
Hill: The initial design was conceived with Search and Rescue teams in mind, which is why the helicopter compatibility and portable design was so critical. National Guards and other First Responders quickly saw the power of this solution and have adopted it as part of their forward communication strategies. The Harrier is providing communications such as voice and data in remote locations, and is the critical backhaul link for drone video that is brought down locally then sent back to central command for analysis.
iDirect: What makes Harrier unique in the satcom market?
Hill: Its design. Completely integrated, with systems designed to allow a novice user to deploy and capture multiple IP networks both cellular and satellite without any user configuration requirements. Rather than the satcom market competing with the cellular market, the Harrier embraces the best of both technologies, which is what the customer wants.
iDirect: Why did IP Access integrate an iDirect X7 remote into Harrier? Is the 2nd demodulator being used for multicast traffic? How is the 8-port switch being used?
Hill: Our public safety customers have long recognized the value of the iDirect offering. The X7 was chosen specifically for its throughput capabilities and its integrated switch. Since space is limited inside of an integrated solution, consolidating the switch function into a device that already needs to be installed was the obvious choice.
iDirect: Do you use L2oS to seamlessly pass through IPv6 traffic, or BGP or OSPF protocols? Hill: We are utilizing L2oS in a limited capacity to pass non-IPv4 traffic through the iDirect network. We have plans to expand this capability significantly in the next year.
To learn more: https://www.ipinternational.net/hardware/