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Vizada no more as Astrium rises

Astrium Services, part of the EADS Group and the parent company of Vizada following its 2011 acquisition of the maritime communications provider, is to restructure the company and discontinue the Vizada brand.

Vizada will be absorbed into a new Astrium Services Business Communications entity from October 2012, which will host all commercial satcom activities of Astrium Services, serving three main markets – maritime, enterprises and aero.

In the maritime market, the company will continue providing services using the existing Vizada infrastructure of indirect sales through its service provider channel, while also maintaining a direct sales channel via Marlink. The Marlink brand will remain in place for these purposes following the restructuring.

Vizada CEO, Erik Ceuppens will head-up Astrium Services Business Communications, with responsibility for all activities across the maritime, land and aeronautical markets, while Tore Morten Olsen, Marlink CEO, will manage the maritime division of the Astrium Services Business Communications entity.

“The integration into Astrium Services is well underway, and we are already seeing a number of positive effects for our service provider channel and customers,” said Mr Ceuppens.

“We are committed to expanding our maritime services portfolio and are already better positioned to meet our customers’ evolving needs, while, as a new entity of Astrium Services, continuing our dedication to our well-founded channel and customers.”

The company is keen to point out that, from a customer stand point, it will be “business as usual” following this restructuring and that there will be no noticeable changes in service at the user level.

This announcement is one of a number of new developments for the company, with Astrium Services having also agreed a new deal with Intelsat to expand its capacity on Intelsat’s Ku-band mobility infrastructure.

Intelsat’s new mobility network, which is scheduled for completion in early 2013, will consist of 10 beams on seven satellites.

Customers of Marlink and the new Astrium Services Business Communications division will benefit from additional capacity on the Intelsat 22 satellite to enhance coverage for maritime VSAT services in the Indian Ocean, as well as the Intelsat 21 satellite designed to provide Ku-band coverage in the southern Atlantic Ocean.

The capacity on Intelsat 21 and Intelsat 22 will be accessed via the IntelsatOne Network Broadband product, a global network of VSAT service platforms and teleports integrated with an IP/MPLS backbone which will be integrated with Astrium Services’ own proprietary global teleport network.

In other news, Astrium Services has also launched a mobile software package to allow mobile devices onboard ship to connect to its Vizada XChange platform.

Available in October 2012, Vizada XChange Mobile will allow dual user groups – crew and officers – to connect via Wi-Fi to the communications system, for increased privacy while using the internet and controlled use of personal apps.

Content stored on board, including news feeds, training information or videos, can also be freely downloaded to personal devices via the mobile platform.

The system has been designed to include additional management functionality, given the increase in the number of unique connections that can be expected via the wireless interface, to allow cost and application usage to be controlled.

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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