Questions answered by Intellian Product Manager, Troels Christensen and Intellian Director of Strategic Partnerships & Business Development, Ben Swallow
1. Congratulations on the launch of the C700 terminal! Why did Intellian decide to build an Iridium Certus® terminal?
Iridium Certus has a place in every sector of the maritime market, whether as a primary means of communication or as a companion to VSAT. Its global, pole-to-pole coverage, low latency and resistance to atmospheric interference make it ideal for customers requiring critical communications in remote locations. As a connectivity solutions provider, Intellian sees great value in providing our customers with a small form factor, reliable and powerful antenna. Adding the C700 to our innovative portfolio of maritime systems allows us to serve all our customers’ communications requirements across all bands and orbits, rather than forcing them to try to integrate multiple manufacturers’ equipment.
2. Intellian also unveiled a new “brand identity” with the C700 being the first terminal to reflect this. Tell us a bit about how new Intellian logo reflects the company today?
Intellian has changed tremendously since it started out in 2004, developing from an innovative antenna manufacturer to become a leading technology and solutions provider. The new brand identity celebrates that growth, and also reflects our commitment to evolve and remain at the forefront of our industry, empowering connectivity for our customers through everything we do.
3. Can you tell us more about the unique features of the C700?
The C700 is designed to provide solid internet connectivity and steady, high-quality phone communication in any weather condition or sea state. This level of reliability has been a key consideration from day one as, when Iridium Certus receives full GMDSS approval, our terminals will become part of vital onboard safety equipment. Other important features are the built-in rejection filters and power protection in the C700, which make it less sensitive to interference from other nearby transmitters.
4. What differentiates the C700 from other terminals in your maritime portfolio that use other satellite communications networks?
The C700 offers users a multi-service platform on a truly global meshed network. The all-in-one terminal is provided as standard with the functionalities that you expect from your router at home, including built-in firewall, an Analog Terminal Adapter (ATA) for connecting traditional two-wire phones and switchboards, a built-in wireless access point (Wi-Fi), WAN for least-cost routing of data traffic via 3G/LTE or VSAT, embedded PABX, SIP server and PoE-enabled LAN ports, to mention just a few.
Antennas connecting to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations – such as Iridium’s – are also less prone to blocking of the satellite signal from metal structures or other antennas onboard.
5. What type of markets does the C700 serve? Do any new markets open up for Intellian customers?
I think whatever the market sector or vessel type, the C700 is an easy-to-install, low maintenance communication terminal that will enhance the user’s communication experience for both data and voice. However, the value it provides and the all-in-one capabilities of the C700 may well expand the addressable market. We expect to see strong uptake of the new terminal by fishing, leisure and smaller commercial vessels where improved connectivity is required, yet space is at a premium.
6. Can you explain how the C700 can be used as a primary communications antenna or a VSAT companion?
When deployed as the primary means of connectivity onboard, the straightforward installation offered by the Below Deck Unit (BDU) stand-alone version of the C700 makes it a clear choice, both for new installations and when replacing older or slower L-band equipment. A clever antenna mounting pattern design allows units of all types and brands to be swapped quickly and easily, as existing antenna mountings (mast and pole) can be used again. The antenna cable can also frequently be reused if found in good condition, as can the power supply in most cases, by connecting the included DC power cable.
The 19” Rack Mount version is easy to add to existing equipment installations, typically as a reliable VSAT back-up or for remote access to IT and other important equipment on the vessel. This is more important than ever, as getting experts onboard can prove challenging ongoing travel restrictions.
Iridium Certus, as delivered by the C700, has also proven to be a simple and cost-effective solution for adding additional phone lines for crew welfare and to separate crew data from operational communications.
7. What stands out to you about the C700 and what Iridium Certus brings?
I think it is the versatility. As the most powerful and technically advanced Iridium Certus terminal currently available, we can deliver exceptional performance for customers, both for primary communications or as a supplement to other connectivity services. The uplink and downlink speeds of the C700 at 352kbps and 704kbps take full advantage of the current capabilities of Iridium Certus, and we expect this to benefit all users. Reliability and performance in all conditions is critical, especially as shipping routes evolve. The C700’s unique design includes a 12-patch phased array antenna enabling superior performance at low angles of elevation, meaning that it will track satellites for longer. Combined with Iridium’s LEO network and pole-to-pole coverage it will bring great possibilities for the maritime industry.