A new hyper-intelligent Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), is being developed by Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications with UK company Livewire Digital. This latest feat of British technology innovation will bring a wealth of new, additional connectivity capabilities for mobility businesses worldwide, as part of Inmarsat’s global ORCHESTRA network. ORCHESTRA will integrate Inmarsat’s existing geosynchronous (GEO) networks with terrestrial 5G and a new, targeted low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite deployment.
This SD-WAN solution offers a network of networks to route data intelligently and dynamically via the most efficient and relevant paths, depending on the nature of the information. Multiple pathways will be available via ORCHESTRA, from existing networks in Ka-band with Global Xpress or in L-band via ELERA, as well as in the future via 5G terrestrial connectivity and LEO satellites.
As demand for reliable connectivity in global mobility markets, such as aviation – manned and unmanned – and maritime, continues to grow, peak-time capacity and multi-dimensional networks that can draw upon the right options at the right time are more important than ever. With our customer’s digital demands growing at pace, they seek much more advanced networks to meet their evolving business challenges.
SD-WAN is being implemented across Inmarsat’s infrastructure with crucial contributions by technology partner Livewire Digital leveraging its innovative RazorLink® technology. It anticipates demand from mobility customers and futureproofs Inmarsat operations, allowing the company to add new networks and waveforms seamlessly. Integration of the base technology in Inmarsat networks and products is ensuring full mobility support and regulatory compliance, driving industry innovation and ensuring that global mobility customers have the connectivity needed to succeed for the long-term, both for their existing offerings and for their next innovations, whatever they may be.
SD-WAN delivers the vision of a network of networks by smoothly and efficiently combining satellite and terrestrial internet protocol (IP) networks. By combining multiple networks, SD-WAN will deliver excellent customer experience through highly secure, ultra-reliable global connectivity, which are crucial in serving mobility customers. Upcoming Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-based (AI-ML) algorithms will influence dynamically the network selection and routing decisions to further optimize the customer’s experience.
As an example, within the maritime industry, SD-WAN can help identify and separate traffic securely between users – from ship owner, to operator, to manager, to crew, to charterers, to application providers – and ensure ultra-high resiliency for mission critical traffic or life-critical live applications, such as Medicare or autonomous shipping. It will also enhance the user experience thanks to direct cloud connections and help users make the most of the available networks by using dynamic bandwidth management.
For the growing Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market, SD-WAN is enabling the development of diverse communications technologies like Inmarsat ELERA and LTE/5G for use in uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and flying taxis. It will also help create a common structure for better information exchange between vehicles and ground systems. In such a complex sector of aviation, no one single communications technology is sufficient on its own, therefore delivering a combined network leveraging multiple independent networks is vital, especially in terms of safe and reliable operations.
Finally, for emergency services, SD-WAN will enable them to access multiple networks in tandem with Inmarsat ELERA with no impact on their applications, delivering the level of resilience and availability required.