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Technology Update – e3 systems

I wrote my September column whilst heading across Biscay on a ferry, very excited at the prospect of visiting family and friends in the UK for the first time in nearly two years.  Our trip was a huge success, only slightly marred by some “ridiculously complex technology” on my Land Rover!

Ridiculously complex technology!

My windscreen wipers stopped working!  As many of you will appreciate, this is a critical function when driving in the UK.   The problem arose first in Mallorca, and we had this checked by the central Land Rover experts here prior to our departure.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t replicate the problem, so they replaced the motor and we hoped for the best.

Needless to say, we hit our first rain shower during our first morning on the road in England and from then on the wipers only worked intermittently, then finally stopped working altogether and were stuck in the middle of the windscreen.

The only way to get some temporary respite was to pull over, stop the engine, then start it up again.  Yes, we had to re-boot the car!

Fortunately, we managed to avoid any heavy and persistent rainfall until the time came to head back to Spain, at which point we were on the wet and wild west coast of Scotland.  Rain was forecast pretty much every day, so we limped back to Edinburgh and headed for the biggest Land Rover dealership in Scotland, with at least 200 brand new Land Rovers lined up outside.

Land Rover

The technicians there came out into the pouring rain and witnessed the fault.  However, despite their persistent diagnostics and fantastic service, after 3 days, they were still unable to resolve the problem.  Finally, we were informed that it was all down to one of the two central processors which control all the functions in the car, and it would take up to a week to locate the exact problem and solve it.

Also, that it would probably cost the same as a deposit on a new car!

This was not an option, so from that point we headed south, keeping a close eye on all the weather Apps available, especially those with radar (thank you Accuweather!) and timing our visits to motorway service stations to coincide with passing showers.

It felt more like a sailing than a driving holiday at times!  A makeshift repair of sticking insulation tape over the rain sensor on the outer windscreen gave us the ability to use a single swipe at a time, although this also somehow disabled the auto headlight function…  Now back in Palma, the car is booked into the Land Rover dealership here for an indefinite period.

The point is that some things really have become too complicated.  There are some unnecessary functions on today’s very sophisticated cars (and boats!), which could do with a simple override for extenuating circumstances, so they are still usable and safe.

e3 October Technology Update - The Future is Ours! e.SAT by e3

The Future is Ours!

In the future do you think there will ever be a single communications solution that provides seamless L-band, VSAT and 4G connectivity, including VoIP and TV streaming globally, with on-line digital self-service management and with 24/7 pro-active support? Also, a service that will be ready to work with the new evolving technologies including LEO satellites, 5G, and flat antennas?

That Future is Ours! We are launching our new eSAT HYBRID communications service based on our own new VSAT – including 4G service, with inclusive VoIP and IPTV streaming all in one self-service digital package.  Here are the features:

  • Self-service VSAT management and monitoring, via my.e3s client portal.
  • e3’s own premium network directly from the Satellite operator.
  • Includes free 4G with most annual plans.
  • Unique HYBRID VoIP connecting over VSAT and 4G.
  • 24/7 Proactive “All Systems” Support.
  • IPTV streaming ready – free and pay channels available shortly!
  • Latest Newtec modem.
  • Multibeam service.
  • Full global coverage.
  • High bandwidth plans.
  • Short term Pop-Up plans.
  • An annual commitment that can be dipped into over 2 years.
  • Full flexibility on upgrades and suspensions.

This is a unique all-inclusive solution that can only be provided by a team that has years of expertise in each component of the solution, and which has wide-ranging experience of what is required and how to integrate the components efficiently.

The solution has been running on the 62m motor yacht Bacarella all summer.  Their testimonial video will be released shortly.

Kymeta and OneWeb

One very interesting piece of news, which we have been anticipating ever since we installed the first flat VSAT antenna from Kymeta on a yacht in 2017 was released this week by OneWeb.

OneWeb has confirmed that their global network of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) based broadband satellites is now compatible with the Kymeta u8 flat panel user terminal.  Repeated tests at Toulouse in France in July achieved consistent download speeds of over 200Mbps and uploads of 40Mbps on a single u8 flat panel with successful satellite handover! The latency was 25-40ms from earlier tests.

e3 October Technology Update - The Kymeta u8 flat panel user terminal

From day one, the Kymeta panel was designed with extremely fast satellite tracking.  It has no moving parts so it can switch from one satellite to another in milliseconds, rather than the tens of seconds a conventional dome antenna takes to switch satellites.  The flat panel’s forte was always going to be working with the new Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

OneWeb is now the second most highly developed LEO constellation, owned by the UK Government, Bharti Global, Eutelsat, Hanwha and Softbank.  288 satellites are already in orbit and full global commercialisation is planned for end of 2022 when they have the full constellation in orbit.  A beta regional service will be launched at the end of this year.

As you may know, we have been working with Kymeta since 2013 and we now have several yachts fitted with Kymeta flat panel antennas using GEO satellites.  We are currently fitting panels to several large newbuilds in anticipation of the bandwidth and latency improvements the LEO connectivity will bring.  We are also working closely with OneWeb and look forward to trialling this service.

Meet Benjamin McMillan

e3 October Technology Update - Ben Mcmillan - e3 Systems
Ben Mcmillan – e3 Systems

e3 Systems Europe, Support Operations Centre Engineer, and “Magician”!

My name is Ben, and I was born in Douglas, Isle of Man, a beautiful and culturally rich island. I moved to Mallorca with my family shortly after my 13th birthday. Moving was difficult at that age, but I quickly became accustomed to the Island that I now call home.

I have always been a creative and knowledge- thirsty person and these two traits have defined me as a person. My free time was split between many different hobbies: Piano, Guitar, Drawing, Skateboarding & Video games, all of which I still do today.

I studied Science, Maths and Philosophy in High School but shortly after finishing I decided I didn’t want to continue to study in school and I started to work at 18 while studying in my own time. In my spare time, I taught myself Graphic Design and everything I could about IT as I was passionate about both.

A few years later, I started working at an investment company in a junior position and in a short period of time I grew to manage their IT, Marketing & Graphic Design.

e3 Interview

Six or seven years later I was asked to come to an interview at e3 Systems after helping out with a small problem that they had.  Even though I was very happy at my current job, I thought to myself “why not, I have nothing to lose” so I went to the interview. Everything went well and I decided to jump ship (sorry for the pun).

I have been at e3 for almost 3 years now, and it feels like I joined just yesterday. Here I am surrounded by technology that is constantly evolving and I am always learning new things. My colleagues are likeminded and very knowledgeable people, which has made it very easy for me to grow and find my place here.

My favourite part about working at e3 is that every support ticket that comes our way is like a puzzle, each with its own challenges, some easier than others. We work together to solve them and offer the best solution for each one – giving me a sense of accomplishment with every support ticket we solve.

Ben Mcmillan - e3 Systems

Life in Mallorca

I find that life here in Mallorca is very similar to that of the Isle of Man, in the sense that people often have a relaxed approach to things. In Manx Gaelic they say ‘Traa Dy Liooar’, meaning ‘time enough’.

In my spare time I still like to take things apart and rebuild them, sketch, play piano and guitar, and practice my magic!  Most of the time I will have a deck of cards with me, you may even catch me around the island doing some card tricks.

Roger Horner
E3 Systems
+34 971 404 208

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