IBC 2017: Livewire Digital secures funding from the European Space Agency
The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded communications specialist Livewire Digital a €900k contract to accelerate the development of its new RazorLink Smart Networking technology designed to provide users, including broadcasters, with seamless access across 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, DSL cellular networks and satellite delivering failover and aggregated bandwidth all without the need to reconfigure equipment or change applications.
Heralded as an important new development of significant value to news crews reporting on breaking news stories in harsh, remote or war torn environments, the new technology achieves a headline objective of 5G – offering a seamless, carrier agnostic transition between terrestrial and satellite communications.
The fund which has been drawn from the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme – ESA’s long-running, large-scale programme to support the development of advanced satcom products and services – will be used to accelerate enhancements to RazorLink’s protocols, scaling for Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud service offerings as well as integration with backend infrastructure to facilitate deployment in telecom operators’ networks.
The activity, which is supported by ESA’s UK Delegation commenced following a successful negotiation meeting in Noordwijk in March and the work will be completed Q1 2019.
Commenting on its significance, Tristan Wood, Managing Director, Livewire Digital said: “Cellular and WiFi services are now ubiquitous and broadcasters expect to be able to use their preferred operators. If a satellite service provider leaves the integration problem to the end user, they will become frustrated and it will become an opportunity for competitors.”
“By offering a RazorLinkvalue add service, a network operator can adapt quickly to this changing situation, provide a solution to their customers that seamlessly integrates their own range of services and, where appropriate, combines them with those offered by others. This adds significant value for the customer, makes their workflows faster, more efficient and more reliable across all services and, most importantly, retains their business.”
“The RazorLink P2 proposition can offer this capability in the B2B space where a dedicated private RazorLink service is made available to the customer.
“The RazorLink P3 developments extend the proposition, offering the scalability for publicly accessible deployments, a framework for managing authenticated access, utilisation statistics and billing.”
Roberto Donadio, ESA Technical Officer, stated that: “The product will provide users the benefits of ubiquitous coverage offered by satellite communications as well as interoperability with terrestrial networks”.
RazorLink Smart Networking is available as software for Windows, Mac and Linux or as a “Black Box” device, similar to a router. Alternatively, the technology can be virtualised as Private or Cloud based endpoints.