March 2, 2024

Inmarsat’s ORCHESTRA network gets a new conductor

Inmarsat has announced a venture with Livewire Digital Limited to develop and deploy a new Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN). It will route data efficiently and intelligently via multiple routes as part of Inmarsat’s global ORCHESTRA network.

For mobility businesses worldwide this development brings new connectivity capabilities. ORCHESTRA promises to integrate Inmarsat’s geosynchronous (GEO) satellite network with 5G networks around the world and new low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. That means multiple pathways for data to be transmitted across, on top of existing Ka-band and L-band networks.

“Every ORCHESTRA needs a conductor and this new offering from Inmarsat performs that role, choosing the best routes for information on our network to take, depending on the class or priority of the information in question. SD-WAN uses flexible and defined policies to segregate traffic and route it accordingly and intelligently. Different types of data may start and finish at common points but can take entirely different routes to arrive to optimise their journeys,” explains Peter Hadinger, Inmarsat’s Chief Technology Officer.

For businesses operating in the global mobility markets, including airlines, ferry companies and cruise lines, ORCHESTRA looks set to meet demand for reliable connectivity at peak times. The hyper-intelligent, multi-dimensional network will be able to optimise data routing.

Hadinger likens the functionality provided by the SD-WAN to a satellite navigation unit that advises drivers in real time about the best route to drive along. By taking into account ever-changing factors such as traffic jams, road works and accidents, satnav systems can dynamically reroute drivers during their journey.

“It takes into account any issues on a network automatically, finding better routes for data and it can offer other paths en route as conditions on the network change. With our growing geostationary satellite fleet and a number of frequency bands at our disposal, we have multiple pathways that can be used in different ways for different needs and providing different routes for data that others cannot match. This advantage for our customers will only increase further as ORCHESTRA continues to develop,” explains Hadinger.

Livewire Digital’s RazorLink technology is a key element in the SD-WAN implementation. Seamlessly and efficiently, it combines terrestrial and satellite internet protocol (IP) networks. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-based (AI-ML) algorithms will influence the network selection and decisions about data routing.

“Hybrid connectivity is critical to the future of the global mobility industry. Inmarsat ORCHESTRA is the driving force in creating this, and Livewire Digital is proud for RazorLink SD-WAN to be a part of it. RazorLink offers a comprehensive solution providing WAN optimisation, bonding across disparate service groups and the capability to seamlessly route traffic across the most appropriate combination of networks. This makes it possible for Inmarsat’s customers to operate far more efficiently,” said Tristan Wood, Livewire Digital’s Managing Director.

Reassuringly, SD-WAN can ensure ultra-high resiliency for critical data traffic by leveraging multiple independent networks for the delivery of a reliable combined network.