At OmniAccess we continue innovating to improve our VSAT connectivity services!
As part of this effort, throughout 2021 we are migrating all our client base to NewTec Dialog, the most advanced satellite modem platform, and we will be introducing new ways of supervising and managing our VSAT networks, ensuring you always have the bandwidth you need when you need it.
The key to improving the service we offer, is to seamlessly orchestrate network load between the various satellite networks we operate. This was not possible with iDirect as the platform was limited in tools (only allowing us to define a nominal network and backup networks). Satellite beam switches were carried out manually without taking into consideration the network capabilities and loads on each of those backup networks.
With our Newtec Dialog platform, we have more “intelligence”, enabling the modem to decide the best available network based on various factors such as vessel position, priorities, satellite elevation, network load, etc. We combine these new capabilities with constant network monitoring in order to regularly optimise our networks performance. This results in an intelligent orchestration setting remote priorities so as to automatically switch between networks to guarantee the best possible service should an outage occur due to external obstacle / blockage or weather conditions. This, however, can only be achieved when vessels are using the Automatic Beam Selection feature built into the platform.
Network Selection on Newtec Dialog
On occasions, we will need to redistribute vessels between our satellite networks to assure the Quality of Service for all yachts is preserved. Under no circumstance, in these cases, will we enforce a network switch without the consent and approval of the customer. We will continue to rely on direct communication between our NOC staff and the customer, to ensure a suitable moment for a network switch. If necessary, the onboard user can always use our new Plexus UNITY, and the inbuilt toolkit, for the yacht to retrigger an Automatic Beam Selection. The user-initiated satellite network selection will only be possible for customers with our Plexus Unity offering. Customers with just a Newtec modem will not have this capability.
For those cases where it is imperative to force a network change from the vessel, UNITY provides you with the ability to switch off the Automatic Beam Selection and manually block a specific network in the modem. In this case, the modem will no longer allow an automatic switch to an alternative network in case of blockage, and the onboard crew will need to reactivate the Automatic Beam Selection to reacquire a new connection.
Preparing for the future
Technology is allowing us to move towards a seamless VSAT experience. The satellite providers primary responsibility is to provide a consistent service level to all clients across its various networks. The ability for intelligent distribution and routing will be essential in preparation for LEO constellations.
We are convinced that the new Newtec Dialog and Plexus Unity platforms will be beneficial to all our clients resulting in a more resilient and stable Quality of Service and onboard experience.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What happens when I enter a blockage?
The modem will search for the next available backup network, following a priority list. Total beam switching time is less than with iDirect.
What happens if the prioritised network is not working satisfactorily?
You may ask the NOC (24×7) to assign a different network as your priority network. Note that this is of course subject to availability of other networks with the required bandwidth requirements. The fastest way to get to our NOC team is by calling our 24/7 Support numbers:
Spain: +34 971 01 63 33
UK: +44 203 769 7483
US: +1 954 239 58 45
Do I have a button to switch Network?
Plexus Unity has a soft button which will force a reacquisition of the recommended networks in order of priority. You will also have the possibility to lock the modem to a certain network.
If the service is not satisfactory on the secondary network, how do I return to the priority one?
Pressing the reacquisition button in the Plexus Unity web portal will tell the antenna to switch back to the priority network.
Will I have my full bandwidth available on secondary networks?
For high bandwidth packages this may not always be possible, and a prompt push of the reacquisition button should return the yacht to the provisioned network.
There are also isolated cases where due to external factors (bad weather, hardware failure, ground connectivity issues, satellite operator issues, satellite network outages) that may prevent the ability for the vessel to perform as expected or receive their contractual CIR. With Newtec Dialog and Automatic Beam Selection enabled we will be able to quickly balance the networks again, subject to authorisation from the vessel but without intervention from the vessel.
For more information about Plexus UNITY please visit: https://www.omniaccess.com/plexus-unity/