AST Launches Real-Time Application Control for Satellite Communications

Screen shot of INTEGRA Edge, on-board traffic management. Image courtesy of AST.

The AST Group, a provider of satellite communications services and solutions, today announced the launch of INTEGRA Control, which it claims offers “the first real-time application control for satellite communications”; and the launch of INTEGRA Edge, a purpose-built hardware solution for maritime communications, enabling the management of traffic on board vessels. Both solutions enable users to block unwanted traffic.

INTEGRA Control identifies individual applications being used over a satellite connection, including encrypted ones that bypass standard firewalls and present a cybersecurity risk. It allows customers to view their satellite IP traffic in real-time and set limits on the total monthly traffic volume and for each application category.  Alternatively, customers can block some categories completely – such as gaming or social networking – and individual applications within these, to prioritise bandwidth for business-critical traffic.

Detailed, real-time reports and alerts are based on IP packets as traffic flows rather than after a data session is finished, as is typically the practice. All AST customers will have access to INTEGRA See, a free breakdown of their traffic by application category and the top 10 individual applications used for each of their AST services during the current month.

INTEGRA Edge, purports to allow a ship’s captain to control all on-board communications – satellite, cellular and WiFi – through a single interface. The solution also incorporates an integrated firewall, web and content filtering to restrict which data is allowed on and off the vessel, plus anti-virus controls and a captive portal to manage the crew’s internet access.

AST Managing Director Gregory Darling commented: “INTEGRA Control gives customers more visibility and control of the applications being used over their satellite connection than ever before – so they can stop unwanted traffic to save money and make better use of their bandwidth. Together with INTEGRA Edge, it’s a compelling reason to be an AST customer for satellite communications.”

INTEGRA Control and Edge operate over AST’s INTEGRA Network, a ground network that “delivers end-to-end connectivity with multi-layered cybersecurity controls and optimised performance”.

INTEGRA Edge is an on-board extension of the INTEGRA Network and is continuously synchronised with INTEGRA Control. The INTEGRA Network supports connectivity to any satellite IP network and communications equipment, and currently connects to the satellite networks of Inmarsat, Iridium, Thuraya and VSAT services.

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