Intelligent global IP network
The ground segment is fundamental to delivering secure, end-to-end reliable, high performance for satellite communications. AST has made considerable investment in INTEGRA, our intelligent global IP network, to provide the quality of service expected of a trusted, tier one global provider. Based on the latest technologies available, INTEGRA now surpasses the capabilities of our industry peers.
The INTEGRA network infrastructure comprises:
- Carrier-grade leased lines from satellite operators’ gateways to the internet
- Global IPVPN from Level 3, which operates at 99.999% availability
- Optimised internet routing
- Data centres built to the highest industry standards
- POPs in London and Sydney, and soon New York
- Redundant links for resiliency
The INTEGRA network has multiple layers of cybersecurity controls to maximise protection against threats. The first layer is a firewall, which controls traffic and blocks abnormal connections.
Supplementary web filtering offers anti-malware and anti-virus protection, with a default block on software updates. On top, intrusion prevention provides “zero-day” protection against known and emerging threats, which can generate additional unwanted traffic.
INTEGRA delivers carrier-class connectivity from your satellite provider’s gateway into POPs in London and Sydney, and soon New York, and onwards to the internet. It operates at 99.999% availability, with POP diversity and redundant links for greater resiliency. We have partnered with best-in-class data centres and terrestrial network providers to provide a trusted, reliable end-to-end connection.
INTEGRA uses optimal routing to select the best possible path across an increasingly complex internet – taking latency, packet loss, route stability and congestion into account – to deliver improved, consistent performance than via standard internet carriers.
Satellite network connectivity
INTEGRA is network agnostic and can support connectivity to any satellite IP network and communications equipment. It currently supports connectivity to the satellite networks of Inmarsat, Iridium, Thuraya and Telenor.
Trying to manage satellite communications traffic is becoming increasingly difficult, particularly in today’s BYOD (bring-your-own-device) culture. It’s not always possible to detect which devices are connecting to the satellite network, which cloud-based applications they’re running that generate constant background traffic, and how frequently they’re being updated.
Traditional firewalls are no longer effective at blocking the growing number of encrypted applications designed to protect personal data. Undetectable applications not only eat into bandwidth allowances, but pose a potentially significant threat to cybersecurity.
And lack of granular, real-time reporting makes it difficult to see exactly how much traffic is passing over the satellite connection and ‘bill shock’ is a common problem. Or fair usage limits are exceeded, so performance is throttled back and the user experience is poor. Existing traffic management solutions for satellite communications struggle to handle this new environment.
INTEGRA currently enables web control (to block advertising and pop-ups) and software update blocking to help reduce unwanted traffic and keep satellite communications costs down.
Future INTEGRA capability will give customers far more visibility of the applications and devices using their satellite connection, and more control in managing this than ever before. This will mean more savings for our customers – either on bills by reducing unwanted traffic or saving their bandwidth for what it should be used.
INTEGRA is easy to manage via myASTportal, a simple web interface for setting application and traffic controls, viewing bills and traffic reports. The portal can be accessed via a laptop, tablet or smartphone.