News, Research & Development

Data Services set for success in 2020

Not only has our revenue increased by 20% the past year but our evolving business has seen a number of milestones over recent years. All in all 2020 looks set to be another very good year.

Over 15 years’ ago we set-up Data Services with a team of 20 to better service the growing maritime, land and oil & gas industries. Not only has our revenue increased by 20% the past year but our evolving business has seen a number of milestones over recent years.

Deployment of iDirect Hubs

  • Uptake of Managed Services
  • Partnering with Newtec Dialog® to offer up to 150/50 Mbps for high-end users on Anker Ka
  • Digitalisation and automation of our customer portal – The Bridge
  • Today the division boasts a team of close to 30 across multiple countries continually adapting to technological advances. We launched our THOR 7 satellite in 2015, specially designed for maritime, optimising Ka-band spot beam technology to provide faster and more efficient broadband connectivity across EMEA.

Double the growth

The biggest shift in Data Services so far was seen in 2018 where the adoption of Ka-band was incredibly notable. We saw Ka-band terminals increase by 112% and our Ku-band terminal count remain broadly stable. Across both frequency bands we saw the Fishing industry account for a significant proportion of our 700+ active terminals, and the Passenger sector total more than 50% of overall capacity consumption.

Among many achievements, in 2018, our coverage on Anker was extended to the ‘0’ degree elevation contour as we experienced increased demand from our customers sailing further North.

With another year under our belt we have focussed our efforts on quality and harnessing the tools available to deliver even better customer service. We partnered with Newtec Dialog® to offer Anker services of up to 150/50 Mbps for high end users such as Ferry, Cruise and OSVs to provide a service that far exceeds what is possible to deliver today using existing hub based technology.

We introduced the Mini Bridge for end-users (an extension of The Bridge – our account and terminal management platform for resellers) to monitor their individual terminals. Our reseller partner marketing support within The Bridge itself saw us introduce the ‘Marketing Centre’, a library of downloadable and co-branded marketing material and paid-for services from event stand design to video production.

iDirect’s iQ Desktop and iQ Desktop+ modems were also introduced as the ideal solution for fixed broadband and small enterprise applications, and we are working continuously to keep costs competitive with not only our service but our approved portfolio of antennas.

‘One of the best in the industry’

It has been an exciting couple of years for us, helping so many customers adopt Ka-band technology. Our annual Customer Survey heard first-hand how our services were fairing, and where we could strive to improve. We were voted ‘one of the best in the industry’ by over 94% of customers and we are still so incredibly proud of our 100% availability across our entire satellite fleet.

Our focus for 2020 doesn’t narrow either. To further improve our reseller partnerships we aim to build stronger, more open channels of communication, supporting our partners in every area of the customer journey. We also expect to see continued growth of our Anker Ku and Ka Managed Services and vast improvements in regards to ‘The Bridge’ and Mini Bridge functionality.