Boeing, Lockheed Martin Teams Lodge TSAT Production Proposals
Teams from each Boeing and Lockheed Martin with their respective industrial partners have lodged proposals to the U.S. Air Force for the development and production phase of the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) Military Operations System, the companies announced July 30.
TSAT is designed to provide American warfighters with a secure, interoperable, high-capacity global communications network. The contract for the TSAT Space Segment will include the design, development, and fielding of up to five space vehicles plus one spare, along with the ground-based space vehicle command and control, and the high data-rate ground communications gateway. The contract’s value may reach $15.0 billion if all options are exercised.
Boeing’s project team consists of Cisco Systems, Hughes, IBM, Harris Corp., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., LGS Innovations, Raytheon, General Dynamics C4S, L-3 Communications, BBN Technologies, EMS Technologies, Innovative Communications Engineering and SAIC.
Lockheed Martin’s team includes Northrop Grumman plus ViaSat Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc.
Defense Department Awards $31.1 Million Contract For Boeing’s Connexion
Boeing Service Co. has been awarded a $31.1 million, firm-fixed-price contract modification to provide broadband data service to U.S. military and government aircraft equipped with the Connexion by Boeing (CBB) system, the U.S. Department of Defense announced July 27.
Typical applications used aboard Department of Defense and Department of State operated aircraft include Internet, e-mail, video teleconferencing, and server access. The service also includes access to Direct Broadcast Satellite television service compatible with the CBB system.
Navy AIS Contract Awarded To DKW Communications
DKW Communications Inc. of Silver Spring, Md., has been awarded a $6.4 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, performance-based contract to provide Automated Information System (AIS) services to the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Defense announced July 27.
The contract, administrated by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, S.C., includes a requirement to provide, operate and maintain all Navy ship-to-shore strategic communications resources and specified fleet tactical information resources for communications, command and control.
It includes three one-year option periods which if exercised could be worth $26.6 million. Work is expected for completion by July 2008, options extending to July 2011.
Forecast Sees Taiwan STB Market To Reach 20 Percent Growth In 2007
Taiwanese set-top box vendors are likely to ship 3.2 million digital satellite set-top boxes in the second half of this year. Such is the forecast of MIC (Market Intelligence Center), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, it announced July 27.
In the full-year 2007, MIC expects shipment of digital satellite set-top boxes to reach 5.6 million units, up 20 percent compared to 2006. MIC analyst Leon Kao said Taiwanese vendors were seeing growth “due to increasing orders from European and Korean vendors.”
SES Americom’s HD-Prime Triple-Feed Antenna Program Offers Cable Operators New HD Access
CableOne and Cox Communications are among the
latest U.S. cable operators to join SES Americom’s triple-feed antenna program to provide access to new high-definition (HD) programming via the HD-Prime service, SES Americom announced July 30.
Among cable operators already participating are Comcast, Bresnan Communications, Brighthouse Networks, RCN and many independent operators, according to SES Americom.
The triple-feed antenna program provides qualified cable operators with free new Patriot Antenna Systems satellite antennas (sized 3.8 meter, 4.5 meter or 5.0 meter) and associated equipment at each of their headends to receive programming via three SES Americom satellites.
Polsat Claims HD Industry First In Poland
Cyfrowy Polsat, the Polish DTH operator, is claiming an HD first in Poland, the company announced July 30. It said it is the first in Poland to own an outside HD broadcast truck, as Polsat is gearing up its HD strategy domestically. It is launching an HD sports channel, Polsat Sport HD, in October while it meanwhile plans to launch another four thematic HD channels in the following six months.
Polsat operates in a vibrant DTH market where it competes against Canal+ Polska, and new DTH player n. Polsat is working with Samsung as regard HD set-top boxes.
Vislink Acquires Focus
Vislink, a United Kingdom-based supplier of microwave radio and satellite transmission products for the broadcast and security markets, has acquired Focus Communications to boost its prospects in the U.S. technical services market, Vislink announced July 30. Vislink will pay $5.5 million in cash for the company, depending on performance.
Focus Communications (dba Western Technical Services), is an Orange County, Calif.-based company specializing in the design and installation of video and data microwave communications, electronic newsgathering, airborne law enforcement, cellular and PCS, satellite, video surveillance, fiber optics and site control systems.
Launch Of Third Sino-Brazilian Satellite Scheduled For Fall
China is expecting to launch the third Sino-Brazilian Earth resources satellite in September or October, according to Xinhua, citing a July 29 announcement by China’s National Space Administration (CNSA).
The latest schedule differs from one announced last month by Sun Laiyan, CNSA’s director, who had been quoted as expecting the Earth Resources Satellite 02B to be launched in September.
The satellite, which has reportedly passed all testing, will be launched aboard a Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan in China’s northern Shanxi province.
China and Brazil have reportedly agreed to develop Earth Resources satellites 03 and 04, to launch the former in 2009.
Previous Sino-Brazilian satellites launched in 1999 and 2003 have been described as producing more than 1 million Earth images, 180,000 of which have gone to more than 1,200 Chinese users for applications including agriculture, forestry, mining and environmental surveillance.
Powerstar International To Change Auditor, CFO
Powerstar International Inc. is making a change of both its auditor and chief financial officer, the company announced July 30.
At Powerstar’s June 28 annual general meeting, BDO Dunwoody LLP was reappointed as the auditor of Powerstar. Due to Powerstar’s transition from a Vancouver-based capital pool company to a Calgary-based company with international operations, however, the audit committee of Powerstar’s board recommended that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP serve as auditor for the period until the next annual general meeting. The company reported that there were no reservations in the auditors’ reports with regard to Powerstar’s past financial statements, and that the transitional change of auditor was amicable.
Powerstar also announced that Patrick Delisle will take over as chief financial officer from Larry Podrasky, citing personal reasons. Delisle previously served as Powerstar’s controller.
RocketStream Releases Enhanced Data Transfer Acceleration Software Suite
RocketStream Inc., a subsidiary of Voyant International Corp. and developer of technologies and solutions to accelerate digital content delivery over high-bandwidth IP networks, unveiled its updated RocketStream file transfer acceleration suite, the company announced July 30.
Now available, the new version incorporates added features for automating routine file transfers, along with enhancements to the proprietary RocketStream Protocol to extend the product’s applicability from large enterprises to small-and-medium-size businesses and home users.
iDirect Rolls Out DVB-S2 Offerings, Announces CrossSat Deal In China
iDirect Technologies, a company of VT Systems Inc., will introduce a DVB-S2 product line with Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) fully integrated within its system architecture to support the DVB-S2 digital broadcast standard, the company announced July 30.
Available in the fourth quarter of 2007, iDirect’s next-generation satellite communications platform will provide customers with bandwidth efficiency improvements.
Through testing, iDirect’s DVB-S2/ACM technology was determined to achieve consistent bandwidth gains of 50 percent or greater over non-ACM offerings, according to typical network profiles.
In an unrelated announcement, iDirect Inc. won a contract worth an estimated $500,000 from CrossSat Telecom Technology Co. Ltd., an independent oil and gas exploration group based in China. CrossSat has purchased an iDirect Infinity universal 5IF satellite hub and 60 iDirect remote
Sirius Increases Revenue, Narrows Loss In Second Quarter
Sirius Satellite Radio enjoyed a second quarter with revenue and subscribers increasing by 51 percent and 53 percent, respectively, the broadcaster announced July 31. It attained record revenues of $226.4 million while adding more than 561,000 new subscribers to push total subscriptions to more than 7.1 million.
Those gains helped improve Sirius’ net loss by 44 percent, to $134.1 million for the second quarter of 2007 from $237.8 million for the second quarter of 2006.
New subscribers during the quarter outpaced XM Satellite Radio’s customers by nearly two-thirds for the period, as XM reported 338,000 new subscribers. It was the seventh straight quarter that Sirius outsold its rival and putative merger partner.
“Sirius, once again, posted solid results,” said Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius. “Both revenue and subscriber growth exceeded 50 percent while operating expenses before stock-based compensation and depreciation grew only 6 percent.
“Momentum for the pending merger with XM continues to build,” said Karmazin. “Support from our customers, suppliers and other groups representing a diverse cross-section of Americans, clearly demonstrates the public interest benefits and enhanced competition that will come from the merger.”
Pending the merger’s approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, Karmazin said he expects it to be completed by the end of the year.
Army Gives Northrop Grumman $91 Million Contract To Supply GPS-Aided Laser Rangefinder Systems
The U.S. Army extended a $91 million contract to Northrop Grumman Corp. for more than 300 battle-proven Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR) systems, Northrop Grumman announced July 30.
The systems provide targeting capability for laser-guided, GPS-guided and conventional munitions. The Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder can recognize targets, find the range to a target, calculate grid coordinates, and provide the information to other digital battlefield systems.
The delivery order is part of a previously awarded $336 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for lightweight laser designator rangefinder components. Work is expected to be completed by 2009.
SES New Skies Signs African Deal
SES New Skies has signed a five-year deal with one of Africa’s largest VSAT companies for capacity on its NSS-7 satellite, the operator announced July 31.
SES New Skies said that Afsat has contracted additional capacity for its iWay broadband via satellite services. Afsat will use the additional satellite capacity on NSS-7 to specifically target sub-Saharan customers, notably in west and southern Africa. NSS-7 is a hybrid Ku- and C-band spacecraft located at 338º East over the Atlantic Ocean to provide coverage of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas.
The terms of the multi-million dollar deal were not disclosed.
TCS Nets $3.5 Million Addition From Army For Military Transition SATCOM Contract
TeleCommunication Systems Inc. (TCS) has received a $3.5 million contract increase for satellite communications equipment and services to support Military Transition Teams (MiTTs), TCS announced July 31.
In a three-year contract with a potential total value of over $29 million if all contract options are exercised, TCS will provide additional terminals, spare parts and field support engineers to MiTTs.
Awarded through the Army’s World-Wide Satellite Systems (WWSS) indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle, the latest addition brings TCS’ total funding for WWSS to approximately $14.4 million.
Gilat’s Spacenet Announces Contract Extensions
Spacenet Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., has been awarded two new contract extensions, Gilat announced July 31. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Spacenet has signed a contract extension with American Municipal Power Ohio (AMP-Ohio) for its Spacenet Connexstar satellite network’s providing a high-speed VSAT data network to a non-profit association representing member municipal electric communities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Michigan.
Also, Spacenet has extended its enterprisenetwork services contract with Fazoli’s Restaurants, a Lexington, Ky.-based, quick-service Italian restaurant chain operating more than 300 locations nationwide. The Connexstar
network services support applications including credit/debit authorizations, point-of-sale polling and back-office operations.
Blue Sky Network, Iridium Provide RAF With Flight-Tracking System For Search-And-Rescue Missions
The British Ministry of Defense is deploying Blue Sky Network’s Iridium satellite-based flight tracking equipment for the Search-and-Rescue division of the Royal Air Force (RAF), the companies announced July 31.
Utilizing Blue Sky Network’s D1000C and ACH1000 equipment, the RAF is capable of tracking aircraft and using satellite voice communications for search and rescue efforts worldwide.
The D1000C Iridium terminal offers a flight-tracking unit with high reliability and control that integrates with the ACH1000 voice and messaging enabled control head. The combined solution affords the RAF with reliable text and voice communications plus event reporting.
The RAF’s purchase of 44 aircraft tracking and communication kits from Blue Sky Network is the largest the provider has fulfilled for a large airborne search-and-rescue fleet. The RAF will track its aircraft and augment existing communication with radio operators while tracking data from Blue Sky Network’s SkyRouter portal will be integrated with existing RAF command and control systems.
Ball Aerospace Ready To Ship WorldView 1
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has completed assembly and performance testing of DigitalGlobe’s WorldView 1 remote sensing satellite, Ball reported July 30.
Ball, DigitalGlobe and the National Geospatial
Intelligence Agency (NGA) each completed their comprehensive pre-shipment review. The satellite is being prepared for delivery to California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base for a launch planned in mid-September.
WorldView 1 is a next-generation commercial remote sensing satellite designed to provide half-meter, high-resolution imaging capability for DigitalGlobe’s customers, including the NGA and other global customers.
satellite routers to create a global IP network supporting both Ku- and C-bands.
CrossSat will provide satellite connectivity to multiple Chinese oil and gas companies, whose operations span China, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The contract represents iDirect’s second major hub installation in China; in June the company announced a contract with PetroChina’s Bureau of Geophysics Oil/Gas Exploration Group, a division of CNPC.
Northrop Grumman Given NPOESS Contract Modification Worth $2.35 Billion
Northrop Grumman Space Technology was awarded a contract modification including a cost-plus-award-fee with multiple incentives worth $2.35 billion in the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) acquisition and operations contract, the U.S. Department of Defense announced July 30. NPOESS is a joint program of NASA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Defense that will provide weather and climate data to government and civilian users.
The modification essentially changed the requirements and associated costs for the production of two satellites, with scheduled launch dates delayed from 2009 to 2013 for the C1 satellite, and from 2013 to 2016 for the C2 satellite. A production follow-on may provide for two additional satellites, the costs of which were not included.
In a separate deal, Northrop Grumman’s Electronics Sensors Systems Section was awarded a cost-plus-award-fee contract modification for $18.9 million to test, repair, and replace sensor hardware as part of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Group, Service Life Extension program (SLEP). That work is due for completion by November 2014.
Eumetsat Admits Anomaly Could Be ‘Non-Correctable’
Eumetsat, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, gave further details of an anomaly on its Metop-A satellite, which it believes could now be “non-correctable,” the agency announced July 31.
The anomaly was first observed at the start of July when the AHRPT transmitter was observed to have autonomously switched off. Eumetsat, alongside Astrium and the European Space Agency (ESA)’s European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC), started investigations focusing on the status of the failed AHRPT sub-system.
The investigations have concluded that the failure on the nominal AHRPT is of a permanent, non-correctable nature, which means that the nominal AHRPT subsystem cannot be used for the remaining operational lifetime of the Metop-A spacecraft.
RR Satellite Draws Record Revenue In Second Quarter
Satellite broadcast company RR Satellite Communications Ltd. posted record revenue and a 37 percent growth in net profit during the second quarter of 2007, the company announced July 31. The company’s revenue increased 42.6 percent, to $14.7 million from $10.3 million, from the similar period of 2006.
RR Satellite CEO David Rivel said the company finished the quarter with the biggest backlog in its history, and added that RR Satellite is hoping to make an acquisition by the end of the year. He said that several potential acquisitions have been identified in the United States.
Trimble Sees Positive Second Quarter Growth
Trimble reported that its revenue for the second quarter of 2007 was $327.7 million, up approximately 34 percent from revenue of $245.3 million in the same quarter of 2006, when it announced its quarterly earnings figures on July 31.
For the second quarter ending June 29, net income was up approximately 23 percent, to $35.0 million, compared to net income of $28.5 million in the second quarter of 2006.
“Second quarter growth in revenue and profit was strong across all segments with some segments reflecting particularly strong international growth,” said Steven W. Berglund, Trimble’s president and CEO.
“The @Road transition continued as planned and produced meaningful earnings for the mobile solutions segment in the quarter,” he added. “Overall market conditions continue to be positive.”
Telesat Reports Revenue Increases For Second Quarter
Telesat Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of BCE Inc., posted increases in both revenue and profitability, the company announced Aug. 1.
For the second quarter ending June 30, Telesat’s second quarter operating revenue of 161.4 million Canadian dollars ($151.7 million) marked a 35 percent increase from 119.6 million Canadian dollars ($112.4 million) in the same period of 2006.
Among highlights for the Ottawa-based company, which owns and operates satellites serving the Americas and providing a range of consulting services, were the launch of the Anik-F3 satellite with commercial Ku- and C-band services commenced on May 1; a launch agreement for Nimiq 5 with International Launch Services (ILS) signed in April; an agreement with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. for pre-operational and satellite operation services for the low-Earth orbit Radarsat-2 satellite; and five new spectrum licenses granted by Canada’s Minister of Industry.
Last December, BCE Inc. announced the sale of the satellite operator for 3.25 billion Canadian dollars ($3.05 billion), net of debt, to a new acquisition company formed by Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) and Loral Space & Communications Inc. (Loral). The purchase is pending approval by Canadian regulatory authorities.
Norsat Increases Penetration Into Military Markets
Norsat International Inc. has sold its portable satellite systems to seven of the world’s militaries, deploying Norsat’s technology in at least 17 countries and all five continents, the company announced Aug. 1.
The company pointed out that its GlobeTrekker and OmniLink systems have been specifically engineered for survivability and ease of deployment, adding to the versatility of their applications.
Stauder Technologies Receives $9.6 Million Modification To A Marine Corps Contract
Stauder Technologies of St. Peters, Mo., has been awarded a contract modification with a not-to-exceed ceiling of $9.6 million with undefinitized contract line items for not less than 230 units, the U.S. Department of Defense announced July 31.
The modification came after a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, undefinitized letter contract to support an increase in the approved acquisition objective to 1016 units of Target Location, Designation and Hand-off Systems (TLDHS) used as the forward observer’s entry device for requesting the new Excalibur Unitary GPS (Global Positioning System) Precision Guided Munition.
TLDHS is a man-portable equipment suite which enables warfighters to perform target acquisition before handing targets off to fire-support agencies via interface with tactical data systems using current and planned communications equipment.
Work is expected to be completed by August 2008.
Lockheed Martin Completes End-To-End Test Of Space-Based Infrared System
Lockheed Martin has completed a critical end-to-end test between the space and ground elements of the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS), the company announced Aug. 1.
The test was considered a key milestone in preparation for launch and on-orbit operations of the program’s first geosynchronous orbit (GEO) spacecraft.
SBIRS will provide early warning of missile launches and support other missions simultaneously, including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization.
GlobeCast Begins Playout Services From London
GlobeCast has opened a complete playout and media management center at its existing facility in London, the company announced August 1.
The new center allows GlobeCast to offer a range of solutions to global broadcasters of all sizes. GlobeCast’s London office and technical hub is one of 18 locations providing worldwide delivery of permanent channels, coverage of news and sporting events and a host of value-added services.
Abertis Exec Discusses Possible Hispasat Deal
Abertis, a Spanish infrastructure company, has firmly set its sights on Spanish satellite operator Hispasat. In its results issued August 2, the company announced that its subsidiary, Abertis Telecom, “has been in talks” with Hispasat’s private investors with a view to buying their stakes, although Abertis admitted that “nothing formal had been agreed.”
In an Aug. 2 interview, Martinez was optimistic that a deal would be forthcoming. “We think that an agreement on Hispasat is feasible and reasonable,” he said. “It would cover the expectation of the different parties and stakeholders involved, in order to allow the full deployment of Hispasat’s industrial project. This would allow the Spanish aerospace industry to maintain a solid footprint within a sector which operates at the edge of the innovation and technology.”
Abertis is fast becoming a major player in the satellite sector. Abertis Telecom concluded a deal earlier this year to take a 32 percent stake in Eutelsat through a deal costing Abertis more than 1 billion euros ($1.37 billion). Its move for Hispasat indicates a desire to differentiate itself in the global satellite industry. With Eutelsat holding a near 30 percent stake in Hispasat, the two companies appear to be edging closer together.
Martinez would not surmise when a deal for Hispasat could be done, or whether he felt the stance of the Spanish government could impact the deal. “There is no specific time framework for an announcement,” he said. “Contacts are being held on a sustained basis with all the parties involved including the Spanish government. We are convinced that the arguments supporting Abertis’s industrial case for Hispasat will demonstrate themselves as a good alternative for the Spanish satellite operator, and thus any specific hurdles or worries that may arise will be overcome.”
It seems clear that Abertis views Hispasat as a key piece toward developing its satellite aspirations. Martinez said “Abertis’s bet for the telecom business is a strategic and long term-oriented one. We have a project for Abertis Telecom in order to develop the company as a benchmark in the management of telecom infrastructure in Europe and worldwide. This implies the need to find the right balance between industrial fit, complementary assets, as well a strong presence across different geographies. These conditions are being met by both Eutelsat and Hispasat. They complement each other on a technical and geographical basis. They also complement our existing transmission network. Our strategy is to become a major global player in the telecom infrastructure business.”
Sirius Selects Space Systems/Loral To Build FM-6 Satellite
Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications, has been awarded a contract from Sirius Satellite Radio to build Sirius FM-6, a high-power satellite designed to operate in a highly inclined elliptical orbit (HIEO), the companies announced Aug. 2.
Sirius FM-6 will carry an X-band uplink and an S-band downlink payload to provide nearly double the power of the satellites in Sirius’ existing, in-orbit constellation. Scheduled for completion in 2010, it will be designed to provide more than 15 years of service life. Sirius has not yet identified a launch provider.
Sirius FM-6 will make the sixth SS/L-built spacecraft in the Sirius fleet, which consists three in-orbit satellites and one ground spare currently in storage. A fifth satellite is currently under construction at SS/L and will provide enhanced performance and additional sparing capabilities from a geosynchronous orbit when it is launched in late 2008.
Sirius FM-6 marks SS/L’s fourth awarded commercial satellite construction contract of 2007.
Inmarsat Signs Deal With Major Asian Wireless Operator
Inmarsat has teamed up with top Philippines wireless operator Smart Communications as the telco looks to expand the reach of its satellite phone offering, Smart Link, the companies announced August 2. Smart is a major force in the Philippines wireless market and has over 27 million GSM subscribers. The Philippines has an estimated population of more than 90 million.
The collaboration with Inmarsat involves a $5 million investment by Smart to set up a gateway facility and ground infrastructure in Subic, Zambales. It will result in an expanded coverage area for the Smart Link prepaid wireless satellite phone service that will initially include India, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific Ocean. The Smart services will be carried on the Inmarsat-4 F1 satellite, which can support both voice call services and data connectivity.
Integral Systems Receives CCS-C Contract Modification For Air Force’s WGS And AEHF Satellite Programs
Integral Systems Inc. has been awarded a cost-plus-award fee modification from the U.S. Air Force totaling $5.8 million to modify the Command and Control System-Consolidated (CCS-C) effort to support the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) and Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) programs, Integral announced Aug. 2.
The change provides for operations readiness and additional training to support the first WGS launch planned for Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5.
It also updates the system specification for the AEHF program. The CCS-C program provides an upgraded capability to command and control the Air Force’s communication satellites, including the Defense Satellite Communication System (DSCS),
Milstar, Advanced EHF (AEHF), and WGS.
Showtime Goes On-Demand
Showtime, the Middle East satellite pay-TV operator, is launching a new Video-on-Demand (VoD) service to its subscribers in the Middle East, the company announced August 2. With the launch of Show On Demand, Showtime is claiming it is one of the first operators anywhere in the world to offer customers a VoD service via satellite. Show On Demand will enable Showtime’s subscribers to access up to 40 hours of movies, sport and series automatically downloaded and refreshed every week to their Showbox, Showtime’s Personal Video Recorder (PVR). Showtime competes in a strong satellite pay-TV market in the region against Orbit and ART.
Boeing Updates Its TSAT Status
Having earlier in the week submitted its proposal to the U.S. Air Force for the development and production phase of the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) Military Operations System, Boeing updated the status of its program on Aug. 2.
TSAT is designed to provide American warfighters secure, interoperable, high-capacity global communications. The contract for the space segment will include the design, development and launch of five satellites with a spare plus ground-based command and control and the high data-rate gateway. Due to be awarded in late November, the contract’s value through 2020 may reach $15 billion if all options are exercised. Boeing’s rival for the job is Lockheed Martin, which also submitted its bid on July 30 with partners including Northrop Grumman, ViaSat Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc.
Boeing’s team consists of Cisco Systems, Hughes, IBM, Harris Corp., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., LGS Innovations, Raytheon, General Dynamics C4S, L-3 Communications, BBN Technologies, EMS Technologies, Innovative Communications Engineering and SAIC.
While calling the project “revolutionary instead of evolutionary” in terms of its research and design phase, Marc Johansen, Boeing’s director for space and intelligence programs, said the project has placed a premium on delivering the project on time and under budget.
“This is a phased approach to make sure it fits in schedule, [at] lower risk with a significant amount of investment up front,” Johansen said, adding “we have to balance low risk with moving higher capabilities into the first phase, which is a very touchy balance.”
Based on Boeing’s experience with MilStar, Johansen said that in developing the proposal for TSAT “the major difference was that both teams had to develop the technology and do a lot of [research and design] up front. The government, especially the Air Force, is going about proving a system up front,” having at a certain point decided that they would move a higher degree of the responsibility for delivery to the private companies ultimately responsible for the product.
Garmin To Buy Italian Distributor After Posting Record Second Quarter
Navigation and communications devices manufacturer Garmin Ltd. has signed a letter of intent to acquire Synergy S.p.A., the distributor of Garmin’s consumer products in Italy, Garmin announced Aug. 3. Financial terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed.
The move is intended to further strengthen Garmin’s European sales and marketing presence. Earlier this year, Garmin acquired both the French and German distributors of its products, and in July Garmin signed a letter of intent to purchase its Spanish distributor.
Synergy is expected to change its name to Garmin Italia S.p.A and continue operations at its established headquarters in Milan, Garmin said.
The move comes two days after Garmin announced a record second quarter. The company reported total revenue of $742 million for the three months that ended June 30, up more than 71 percent from $433 million in second quarter of 2006.
Contributing to the record second quarter were increased figures across the board: A 99 percent increase, to $508 million, in its automotive/mobile segment revenue; a 39 percent increase, to $78 million, in its aviation segment; a 9 percent increase, to $77 million, in its outdoor/fitness segment; and a 59 percent increase, to $80 million, in its marine segment.
All geographic areas experienced significant growth as well. In North America, revenue was up 95 percent, or $455 million compared to $233 million; in Europe revenue was up 44 percent, or $257 million compared to $178 million; in Asia revenue was up nearly 41 percent, or $31 million compared to $22 million.
Garmin now forecasts that its 2007 revenue will exceed $2.8 billion.
SES Astra Signs German Capacity Deals
SES Astra has signed two long-term capacity deals with top German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, SES Astra announced Aug. 2.
SES Astra will provide ARD and ZDF with an additional transponder each for a 15-year period, with the broadcasters planning to use the new capacity to further develop the possibilities of digital broadcasting, including high-definition TV.
The transponders will be made available early next year.
Numerex Acquires Orbit One Communications
Numerex Corp., a machine-to-machine solutions and wireless network services provider, has acquired the assets of Orbit One Communications Inc., Numerex announced Aug. 3.
Numerex will pay $6 million in cash for Orbit One, which provides satellite data products and services to government agencies and emergency services markets. Numerex may also pay additional cash and stock based on meeting certain business objectives.
Orbit One, which generated $15.2 million in revenues in the second quarter, will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Numerex.
Premiere Seeing Fast Take-Up of Soccer Packages
German pay-TV operator Premiere has been seeing strong demand for its new Bundesliga (German soccer) packages in Germany. The company announced August 2 that it had sold 45,000 subscriptions in less than two weeks, and that it expects to sell around 200,000 subscriptions before the end of the month.
Premiere lost the Bundesliga rights in late 2005 to Arena, a subsidiary of cable company Unity Media, and Premiere’s subscriber growth had suffered as a result
It is unlikely that Premiere will lose such valuable rights again, said Sarah Simon, a media equity analyst at Morgan Stanley. “Premiere has secured access to the Bundesliga and this should restore subscriber and [average revenue per user] growth which have suffered (although not as much as had been anticipated) in the past 18 months,” she said in an Aug. 3 research note. “Premiere also looks well-placed to maintain this access to the Bundesliga beyond the 2008-2009 season as we do not see any significant competition at the next tender.”