Gilat Details Several New Products in Q4 Earnings Call
[Via Satellite 02-18-2014] Bolstered by a $228 million backlog, the sale of its Spacenet subsidiary and $130 million in Latin American business from Peru and Colombia, Gilat announced a number of upcoming product launches during its fourth quarter earnings call.
“In the coming weeks we will be launching our new Sky H2C Capricorn high performance satellite router,” said Erez Antebi, CEO of Gilat. “This compact high-throughput VSAT is designed to enable high-speed broadband services while meeting cost efficiencies.”
In addition to the new router, Gilat discussed new amplifiers, a new man pack, and tri-band antennas for military customers. Antebi also mentioned the recently launched Cell Edge small cell satellite solution as part of the company’s growing investment in small cell products for rural areas. He explained the long-term value of this product for Gilat by mentioning an NSR study that cited the expected global growth of small cell from 9,400 units worth $106 million in 2012 to 28,400 units worth $307M in 2022.
“This has led us to start providing solutions for small cell over satellite designed specifically for rural areas with populations as low as several thousand people,” said Antebi. “We have already closed two Cell Edge deals; the first, a 2G small cell project in Africa, already has its first implemented site and is carrying traffic. The second is a recently installed 3G small cell project providing cellular services for a village of over 15,000 people in Africa. We see good potential for this growing market.”
The majority of new products were targeted toward military applications. According to Antebi, the new Eagle Ray low-profile antenna, now in the final stages prior to launch, will be the first tri-band on-the-move antenna in the market. Gilat is working with an unnamed company to develop a second tri-band antenna.
“[The Eagle Ray] antenna is uniquely designed to leverage Ku-, commercial Ka-, and military Ka-bands to provide reliable continuous and rapidly implemented broadband communications while reducing total costs of ownership,” said Antebi. “In addition, we recently closed a contract with a top-tier global defense firm to enable our stealth ray 300 small footprint satellite on-the-move antenna for use in X-band, Ka-band and Ku-band. These antennas will be released in 2014 and will be used in smaller vehicles that have very limited space.”
In the coming months, Gilat will be launching two new amplifiers: a wideband Ka-band Gallium nitride amplifier (GaN), and a next-gen Ku-band Block-Up Converter (BUC). A Ku-band SatTrooper man pack is also being developed to compliment the Ka-band version that came out in 2013. The company cited fewer budgetary uncertainties, a growing demand for smaller UAVs and budgets favoring support for ISR and Special Forces as anticipated drivers for growth.
Antebi also highlighted growth from working with Thaicom, NBN Co and SES. NBN Co ordered Gilat products at 48,000 sites across Australia, and may pursue further business opportunities. Gilat has not decided whether or not to extend its contract beyond the original 48,000 sites. In Asia, Gilat is working with Thaicom to expand its broadband services across the continent. Major growth is also expected in Europe as Gilat works with SES Broadband services (SBBS).
“As of the end of the fourth quarter we have delivered over 17,000 CPU units, and are working with half a dozen ISPs across Western Europe,” said Antebi. “We expect this business to continue to grow as SES plans to launch an additional satellite, and we expect to sign up additional ISPs.”