Sailing Around the World with a Single Internet Service Provider

It’s no secret that our lives become more dependent on and interdependent with digital technology nearly every day. Consumer device integration with AI and wireless communications abounds: Alexa controls our kitchen appliances; we video chat with our colleagues, friends, and family; we receive instant notifications on our phones when money is transferred, an order is delivered, or someone is at the door. We rely on our smartphones not only to communicate with others but as our most important source of information. The phrases “Google it,” “Skype me,” and “YouTube it” are common action verbs used in quotidian interactions. We are all accustomed to having reliable Internet connections at home, at work, and on the go, but being “connected” is not always a given outside the US, and certainly not at sea.

To demonstrate the importance of choosing the right communications provider for global service, we invite you to sail around the world with us and see how satellite communications allow Lepton to be your single global service provider.

We start our voyage from the west coast of the United States heading toward Hawaii, and then on to the Philippines. As we traverse satellite beam footprints crossing the ocean, Lepton utilizes its global Network Management System (NMS) to switch our network from Intelsat’s Horizons 1 America beam to Eutelsat’s 172B North Pacific Beam, and then to the South West Pacific beam as we near the Philippines.

Lepton Global is the only small business satellite communications provider that offers a global Ku-band satellite network.

How did we choose these satellites? Ku-band beams make the most sense for a multi-application global satellite network for several reasons: the equipment can be small, it performs well in inclement weather, and the footprints are wide enough that we can build a global network with a reasonable number of overlapping beams. We concentrate on the redundancy of Ku-band beams as well as the ground equipment at our customer sites and our teleport hubs.

Using one provider eliminates the need to deal with multiple compatibilities.

iDirect-based satellite communications providers operate their networks on various firmware versions. Purchasing services for each region from different providers is possible, but firmware compatibility is not guaranteed. If your modem is configured to run one version of the firmware, switching to another provider does not ensure that your modem will be compatible. This issue is eliminated when working withLepton Global as we operate a truly global network.

Working with one provider gives you peace of mind.

Who is responding to your technical support issues? Multiple communications providers call for various points of contact. While working with Lepton, you stay in touch with your dedicated Program Manager and our global Network Operations Center (NOC) located in Vienna, Virginia. Everyone on our technical support team is connected to a centralized system for ongoing technical issues and is familiar with each customer’s platform. Our NOC operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, proactively monitoring customer remotes and solving issues before they start to affect your service. Each customer receives MyPortal access with their service order for access to real-time network statistics: data usage, upstream and downstream speeds, weather patterns, antenna signal strength, and other helpful data.

U.S. IP addressing makes your journey far from home feel like home.

Have you ever tried to watch your favorite Netflix show while traveling internationally? The local IP address likely canceled your evening entertainment. Lepton’s network solves this problem.

Let’s continue on our journey from the Philippines along the coast of Singapore to Sri Lanka and the southern portion of India to find out how. These countries have rich histories, diverse landscapes, and most important to your browsing experience, different languages. When you visit any of these countries, navigating the Internet might become a challenge. Most likely, when you type “Google” in your web browser, you will get routed to the local Google servers ending in .sg or .in. The hope is that your device will recognize that English is your native language and translate the page; however, you might get your answers in Sinhalese or Tamil. As you travel from Sri Lanka to northern Africa, you might run into another issue; the Internet is heavily censored in Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia, and your Internet browsing capabilities may become limited. Single IP addressing will quickly fix these problems. A customer connecting to the Internet using Lepton’s global network is assigned a designated IP address that reroutes all Internet traffic and requests through the United States. Our users experience the same Internet they would on their home computers.

Cybersecurity protection is key to safeguarding our customers.

One of the greatest concerns while using the Internet during international travel is that of cybersecurity. Will you be able to check your bank statements and pay your bills online safely? Can you make online purchases without compromising your identity online? Satellite communications solutions provided by Lepton Global have built-in encryption at the remote for both upload and download links. Your data transfer is secured from cyber-attacks by our network firewalls, and network intrusion detection and protection services are included. These security features are baked into our networks – we offer a safe and secure solution to every customer, regardless of their mission and at no extra cost.

With Lepton Global Boost™ your Internet activity is cached to increase the speed and functionality of your service.

While exploring what to do on land along your expedition, there is no time to wait around for the local site-seeing websites to load. Incorporating Lepton Global Boost™ into your satellite communications solution makes browsing your favorite websites faster. Your search history is cached on-site, saving portions of your favorite pages for easy access, and limiting the satellite download requirement for new information only.

Traveling from the Indian Ocean through the Mediterranean Sea and back to the eastern shore of the United States should be a breeze (since you are protected against cybercriminals, let’s hope you don’t run into real pirates along the way). Your signal will switch seamlessly from Eutelsat’s E70B Wide beam to Intelsat’s 34 North Atlantic beam as you exit the Mediterranean and hit the Atlantic Ocean. Once you arrive safely back on the East Coast, you will switch back to our original Intelsat’s Horizons 1 America beam, and no doubt have many photos to upload from your journey!

Lepton Global is solving connectivity with customers in mind. Our priority is customizing solutions that eliminate the complexities of satellite communications in our user experience. We provide our customers with a fast, secure, and seamless Internet experience. How we achieve this goal makes Lepton Global a leader among small business satellite communications providers.

Welcome home!

Employee Spotlight – Robert Strickland

Introducing the newest member of our business development team, Robert Strickland. Bobby joined Lepton Global Solutions as Director of Satellite Engineering during the summer of 2017. His rich background in SATCOM and Government brings valuable experience to the Lepton team. With Robert’s expertise, we look forward to making a splash in the DISA and GSA task order arena and expanding our customer base in 2018.

Bobby, what is your previous experience in the SATCOM industry before joining Lepton?

Bobby: I started my career in the U.S. Air Force in 1977 as a flight simulator technician, and later cross-trained into military SATCOM as a Space Communications Systems Specialist. After I left the military, I continued in the satellite communications path and held a variety of jobs, including as a Systems Engineering and Technical Assistant consultant working with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). While employed there, I was on the other side of the aisle, formulating specifications for satellite communications proposals, evaluating proposals, and managing the task orders after they were awarded.  I also worked directly with military and government agencies, defining their needs, and developing the proposal documents for the procurement process. Since joining the private sector, I have worked on both the operator and service provider side.

Lepton Global is a relatively new player in this industry, competing alongside big names like Intelsat, DRS, Ultisat, and others. What surprised you about our company?

Bobby: I hadn’t heard a lot about the company before applying for the position. When I started my research, I found that Lepton was highly focused on providing turnkey services. I was surprised to find out that such a relatively new small business had a functional global satellite network in place, and was capable of easily adding new customers into their existing networks. Now that I am a part of the team, I understand what makes Lepton Global successful. We work together as a team and use a variety of tools and resources to provide world-class service.

Why Lepton Global?

Bobby: I’ve found my happy medium here at Lepton. Half of my responsibilities are business development and proposals, and the other half are satellite engineering. While Lepton has earned a well-deserved spot on the major satellite communications IDIQ contracts, including GSA IT Schedule 70 and CS3 (Complex SATCOM Solutions), there are still a lot more sales opportunities within other government agencies. My job is to identify and develop customized satellite solutions for all government agencies.

For us to provide customers with a proposal, we have to assess their needs and gauge available market capabilities. Using my satellite engineering knowledge, I evaluate the performance of various technologies that exist on the market to understand current trends and future advancements in SATCOM. Working in the industry for many years, I have developed relationships with many satellite communications integrators. One of the advantages of working for Lepton is that we stay agnostic when choosing satellite equipment. Our goal is to provide customers with the best performance equipment at the best possible price, regardless of who makes it. Part of my work is to link VSAT innovators with this pioneering small business to provide global, reliable, and flexible communications solutions to support our customers’ missions.

You have a lot of experience in the industry. What is the biggest perk or benefit you have found working here?

Bobby: Lepton is new in the COMSATCOM space, and I have the opportunity to contribute to our growth in different areas. In a small company, you can’t have just one job, and that fits my personality very well. In addition to working business development and satellite engineering, I also have duties as one of the facility security officers. Every day is an exciting new challenge – one day I’m doing proposals, the next putting VSATs together, the next focusing on security issues.

From the list of your past achievements, what skills are you able to utilize at Lepton?

Bobby: When I worked for Orbital Sciences, I was a flight operations director on three satellite launches. I directed satellite operations from the satellite launch up to customer acceptance. It helped me understand how things work on that side of the industry. I can now put together solutions for our customers and identify how to leverage satellite capabilities to offer maximum benefits based on my knowledge of how satellite operators work and where efficiencies can be gained. I’ve also worked in the procurement directorate for DISA, where I was a member of the Technical Evaluation Boards (TEB) on more than 250 proposals. This is very beneficial experience as a member of the proposal team at Lepton. I understand how the government will evaluate our proposals, and how to customize our offerings to provide unique benefits that our government customers will appreciate.

Are there any skills that you would like to master that you think will help you become better at your role?

Bobby: I recently got my Facility Security Officer (FSO) certification and am focusing more on the security aspects of COMSATCOM. The government is putting a lot more emphasis on physical and cyber security, and we have to make sure our systems are fully compliant with the government’s security needs. One of our recent projects was ensuring DFARS Compliance with NIST SP 800-171 as an IT services provider.

Coming from a different state, what is the most significant change you have noticed living in DC/Virginia area?

Bobby: This is the third time I’ve lived in Northern Virginia, and when we returned to it in 2013, the areas where I lived before had turned from a pasture into the city with roads and tall buildings. We ended up moving farther out into Loudoun County to get away from the development, but it’s slowly catching up to us.

Do you participate in any clubs or organizations outside of work?

Bobby: I am a part of the RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service) network, a nationwide volunteer operators network that provides emergency radio communications in times of emergency. I operate a HAM radio station (call sign KM4NPP) primarily on 10m, 2m, and 70cm. I’m also studying to upgrade to a general class license so that I can operate on additional frequencies.

Do you have any unique talents?

Bobby: I am good at repairing electronics; as a hobby, I repair and rebuild vintage radios and tube amplifiers. Many musicians value good quality, old-school technology. I get broken equipment, fix it, and then sell it to local musicians. Getting tubes for these old amps used to be a real problem, but now we are getting very good quality tubes from Ukraine and China, and I can bring these old school amps back to life.

Thank you, Bobby, for the interview! We welcome you to our team and looking forward learning from your broad SATCOM experience.

Delivering Hope and Communications with SATCOM during Disaster Relief

When disaster strikes, it generally brings a paralyzing sense of uncertainty for those in the affected zones and family and friends on the outside. Survival becomes the top priority, and outsiders feel helpless not knowing the condition of loved ones and what help is needed for rescue and repair. Satellite communications links, often the only form of functioning communications in the aftermath of disasters, provide hope to families and friends, and critical information for rescue and relief efforts.

Recent extreme weather events including hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires, have increased reliance on SATCOM across the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean as search and rescue teams depend on remote communications solutions for reach back and situational awareness.

Considered the heaviest hurricane season in recent history, 2017’s major hurricanes to date Harvey, Irma, Jose, and now Maria had ravaged the continental United States and nearby islands, including Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, and U.S. Virgin Islands. The storms have knocked out critical infrastructure including power lines and telecommunications towers on these islands, leaving people in remote areas in particular in great danger.

In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, Lepton Global has supported private companies with exposed facilities and infrastructure as well as DHS customers responding in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the USVI. The Lepton team has worked tirelessly throughout the hurricane season to provide high-quality Ku-band links, deployable satellite equipment, VoIP phone lines, and on-site technicians to ensure communications capabilities on the ground.

Due to the overwhelming response requirements from customers, Lepton increased the capacity on our Horizons 1 network in August to provide up to 10Mbps download speeds to our clients in the affected areas. We have deployed technicians across Florida, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the USVI within 24 hours of a request to bring VSAT systems online for deployment. We have provided over 40 VoIP lines to our customers on the ground. Lepton’s satellite communications have enabled the coordination of relief efforts with local and federal rescue teams and allowed the transmission of high call volumes by victims and responders.

Lepton’s agility and experience supporting short-notice requirements enable us to respond with urgency to catastrophic events. Customers appreciate the flexibility and customization of our plans, and annual occasional use support contracts have proven vital in the wake of recent events. One of our corporate customers in Tampa uses Lepton’s COOP (Continuity of Operations) solution as a part of their risk management plan. In exchange for a low monthly service plan charge, this customer can call on Lepton to provide a complete communications suite, including a technician, within 24 hours of notice.

In August, this customer requested such a satellite communications package 3 days ahead of Hurricane Irma striking Florida. Lepton immediately deployed a pre-configured, pre-tested portable VSAT system with high bandwidth network access, pre-configured VoIP phones, Wi-Fi routers, and various power solutions customized by our team to fit their needs. In the off-season, this customer receives annual on-site training and a guaranteed 24-hour turnaround in the event of an emergency.

Lepton’s experience this hurricane season is a reminder of the role that satellite communications technology provides both to government and military relief efforts, and to businesses during emergency scenarios. As climate change continues to occur and extreme weather events seem to be increasing, we are expanding our disaster response and continuity of operations solutions and capabilities, and we encourage our customers to strengthen risk management plans for communications considerations involving SATCOM.

Contact Us to customize your SATCOM solution.

ISO 9001:2015 Certification

Lepton Global Solutions is proud to have reached a significant milestone in our organizational development and commitment to quality: ISO 9001:2015 certification. As explained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), “The ISO 9001:2015 standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach, and continual improvement.”

ISO 9001:2015 certification signifies that our organization is committed to continual improvements and that regular internal reviews ensure the success of our quality management system.

What ISO 9001:2015 means to our company:

At Lepton, quality management primarily means continuously striving to deliver a better experience for our customers. We ensure that our organization is operating as a well-functioning system, not just individual people working toward a common goal. We are committed to improving every aspect of our business – from customer service to processes to business metrics. Through our adherence to ISO quality standards, we regularly review and revise our practices for improvement.

What the Certification means to our employees:

ISO 9001:2015 implementation is an asset for Lepton employees. Thanks to our QMS, Lepton employees understand the expectations of their jobs through clearly defined roles and performance metrics. Each member of our team is responsible for shaping their own goals, and they receive valuable and timely feedback through periodic review sessions. Our quality system also empowers employees by making them directly responsible for tracking and improving processes that affect their work; employees are expected to modify and adjust goals according to the growth patterns of our business.

What ISO accreditation means to our customers:

Adherence to the Quality Management Standard means we are always trying to be better. We are constantly collecting data on our performance, eliminating mistakes, and adjusting our processes to provide the best possible customer service. Our company culture is centered around delivering critical services and products with flexibility and agility. While it may seem paradoxical, we are able to do this with accuracy and professionalism at a high op-tempo because of our adherence to processes. ISO 9001:2015 is a flexible standard, and we have designed a quality management system that meets the standard while still addressing the needs of our customers and other stakeholders.

What ISO Quality Management System means to our partners:

ISO QMS certification provides a benchmark to vendors and customers about our commitment to quality. It also opens doors to partnering with more companies that value and even require the same high standards and dedication to quality customer service. Vendors know we will be good stewards of their products. Customers can be confident that what they have asked of us is what they will receive.

View ISO 9001:2015 Certificate

What Makes Our Customer Support Special? The Lepton NOC

Around the Clock Service

In today’s global economy, you can buy a printer, request food delivery, or have a credit card issued at literally any time, day or night. And you will often find a customer service representative available to help regardless of the hour. For any company to operate successfully on a global scale, the around-the-clock technical support team is a necessity. The same is, of course, true for satellite communications companies like Lepton, which is why we operate our Network Operation Center (NOC) 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Going Beyond 24×7

What does the NOC mean to us at Lepton? Perhaps second to our website, the NOC is among our most visible customer-facing assets. We hold our technicians to high standards of professionalism, technical capability, and concern for the quality of our services. Having personnel to cover a 24×7 NOC requirement is de rigueur, but we also require that each member of our team be attentive, personable, and knowledgeable about the breadth of antenna systems that our customers operate. We also encourage our staff to grow and improve; we invest in our team by providing training and certification courses to ensure competency and familiarity with various types of satellite equipment and networking platforms. Because we take an agnostic approach when selecting equipment for customer solutions – focused on their needs rather than our manufacturer alliances – our technicians must be well-prepared to service a variety of VSAT manufacturer models and form factors.

Our NOC staff truly work as a team, and each member is invested in supporting their teammates and our customers to ensure operations are successful. Being a NOC technician is not shift work at Lepton, it is a lifestyle. Our customers are looking for someone on the other end of the line who cares, listens, and really wants to solve their issues. Our technicians use a personable approach with customers; they become trusted guides in all things satellite, even beyond our service. It is not uncommon for customers to call Lepton technicians on their cell phones with questions unrelated to the service Lepton provides because they know they will receive a helpful and urgent response.

Leading with Action

At Lepton, we believe in preventing, not reacting to problems. Our strategy involves proactive network monitoring tools that keep the Lepton NOC team one step ahead of potential issues, such as weather, modem temperature, or something as simple as an Ethernet cable being unplugged. This proactive approach, as compared to the conventional reactive nature of most technical support centers not only saves Lepton and our customers money, but it reduces downtime, conserves hardware, and fosters a relationship of trust between the NOC staff and the end-user in the field. When our customers call with an issue, we are already working to resolve it.

Network Performance Monitoring (NPM) software is tightly integrated into our suite of NOC tools. Lepton has partnered with industry leading software including iDirect iMonitor® and SolarWinds® to ensure continuous oversight of our satellite network nodes. We have also outfitted our NOC engineers with the latest in radio frequency (RF) monitoring equipment, and our networking infrastructure has fully redundant power and Internet access. The robustness of our NOC ensures our NOC team will be in touch with our customers regardless of conditions.

For a service-oriented small business, it is essential to take a 21st-century approach to customer service. Lepton does so by providing high-quality, 24x7x365 customer support, by investing in our people, and by employing the latest technologies to offer proactive support.

Visit our Technical Support page to learn more about the Lepton NOC.