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By | August 13, 2007

      Intelsat Reports Quarterly Revenues of $543 Million
      In a second-quarter 2007 earnings report, fixed satellite services provider Intelsat Ltd. claimed revenue of $543.2 million and a net loss of $31.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2007.
      The company’s results for the three- and six-month periods were announced on Aug. 9. Those results reflected the impact of the July 3, 2006, acquisition of PanAmSat Holding Corp. (PanAmSat), which was subsequently renamed Intelsat Holding Corp. Results for the second quarter of 2006 are not pro forma for the PanAmSat acquisition.
      For the six months ended June 30, 2007, Intelsat reported revenue of $1.1 billion against a net loss of $146.7 million.
      “Intelsat is well-positioned to benefit from the growth trends in our industry such as mobility, IP applications, and globalization, and as a result we are experiencing solid growth in applications such as wireless extension services, broadband, and direct-to-home television,” said Intelsat CEO Dave McGlade in a statement. He added that “new offerings such as our maritime broadband service further our position in mobile services and we intend to continue to expand our mobile offerings.”

      EchoStar Reports Boosted Revenues As Dish Network Adds Subscribers
      EchoStar Communications Corp., the Colorado-based parent of Dish Network satellite TV, reported boosts in subscriptions and total revenue as it announced its second quarter 2007 figures on Aug. 10. For the quarter ended June 30, EchoStar tallied revenues of $2.76 billion, or an 11.9 percent increase compared with $2.47 billion for second quarter of 2006. Net income for the period totaled $224.2 million, up nearly one-third compared against $168.8 million in second quarter 2006.
      Dish Network added approximately 170,000 net new subscribers during second quarter 2007, ending the quarter with approximately 13.6 million subscribers overall for an increase of nearly 9 percent as compared against 12.5 million subscribers a year earlier.
      In unrelated news, EchoStar was awarded $90,000 in court costs on Aug. 9 when Forgent Networks Inc.’s motion for a new trial was denied by a Texas judge. In May, a jury found invalid Forgent’s accusation of a patent violation by EchoStar.

      Gilat Posts Strong Numbers
      Gilat Satellite Networks announced strong increases in revenues and profits when it reported its second-quarter results on Aug. 9.
      The publicly traded, Israel-based company which designs, develops and markets satellite and hybrid networking products, services and solutions to operators in 85 countries posted revenues of $70.3 million for the second quarter, up $9 million compared to the second quarter of 2006. The company also claimed quarterly net income of $5.5 million, up $3.5 million compared to second quarter 2006.
      Gilat won a number of new contracts in the last month: It was  selected by long-time customer JSC Kazakhtelecom (KT) to provide several hundred additional SkyEdge VSATs for KT’s existing broadband satellite network; its Spacenet subsidiary was awarded two contract extensions to provide a high-speed VSAT data network to both American Municipal Power Ohio (AMP-Ohio) and Fazoli’s Restaurants, a U.S.-based Italian restaurant chain. Gilat also received an order from Latin American satellite service provider Axesat to provide it with a SkyEdge broadband satellite network comprised of a hub and more than 400 SkyEdge VSATs.

      Foxtel Continues Digital Momentum in Australia
      Australian direct-to-home (DTH) operator Foxtel ended June with close to 1.3 million domestic direct customers, the company announced Aug. 9. The operator added 150,000 of those customers in the last year, an increase of more than 13 percent over the same period in 2006.
      In terms of its full-year numbers, Foxtel recorded a profit (before tax and refinancing charges, after depreciation and interest and including joint ventures) of 76.0 million Australian dollars ($65.26 million) up from last year’s maiden profit of 4.0 million Australian dollars ($3.43 million).
      In January, the operator announced that it had completed the migration of all subscribers to its digital platform in less than three years after the launch of its digital services in Australia.
      Foxtel has also seen strong take-up of its personal video recorder (PVR) service, iQ. More than 15 percent of its subscriber base were now taking the service, up from 10 percent at the same stage last year, and one-third of all of its new subscribers take the service. Subscriber growth and increases in average revenues per user have also boosted the company’s take as overall revenues for the year reached 1.42 billion Australian dollars ($1.22 billion).

      Worldspace Satellite Radio Reports Flattened Subscriptions
      Worldspace Satellite Radio saw a slight drop in overall subscriptions during the second quarter of 2007, the company announced with its earnings report on Aug. 9. For the period ended June 30, 2007, the broadcaster ended with 190,333 subscribers worldwide, a loss of 1,313 or nearly 1 percent from the close of the previous quarter. Meanwhile, WorldSpace reported revenues of approximately $3.6 million in the second quarter of 2007, down more than 5 percent compared with approximately $3.8 million for the second quarter of 2006. Subscription revenue was approximately $1.9 million during second quarter 2007, flat against the same in second quarter 2006. The company said that on a sequential basis, subscription revenues in second quarter 2007 were 4 percent higher than the $1.8 million recorded in the first quarter of 2007.
      Worldspace said the drop in subscriptions reflected low net additions in India and a net loss of subscribers globally: In India, despite pulling back on marketing and other promotional spending, Worldspace drew 3,261 net subscribers during second quarter 2007, ending the period with 173,615 Indian subscribers or a 45 percent increase from the end of second quarter 2006. The broadcaster meanwhile lost 4,574 subscribers, primarily in South Africa and Europe where the company has stopped selling subscriptions to customers within the Northwest beam coverage area of its AfriStar satellite in preparation for the testing and pending launch of its service in Italy.
      In a separate announcement, Worldspace reported launching five satellite radio stations via MSN India. Worldspace will provide 24-hour online programming on each of its Farishta (Hindi film classics), Sparsha (Kannada), Spandana (Telugu), Gandharv (Hindustani classical) and Shruti (Carnatic music) stations available online at for $9.90 per month. The company said the move affords listeners access to a specialized platform online even where access to Worldspace Satellite Radio is otherwise unavailable.
      Hughes Communications Reports Increased Revenues Of 12 Percent In Second Quarter
      Global broadband satellite network solutions and services provider Hughes Communications Inc. reported second-quarter increases in services, hardware sales and revenues, the company announced Aug. 10.
      For the second quarter ended June 30, 2007, revenues increased to $234.4 million or up 12.3 percent from the $208.7 million reported for the second quarter of 2006. Likewise, services revenues tallied $129.4 million, up from $107.7 million a year ago; and hardware sales increased to $105.0 million from $100.9 million in the previous year’s quarter. Operating income increased to $20 million from $4 million for a boost of 449 percent.
      Hughes Network Systems “once again delivered strong all-round financial performance in the second quarter of 2007, setting new records” for each revenue, operating income and net income, according to Pradman Kaul, Hughes’ president and CEO. He added that “the consumer, [small or medium-sized business], and mobile satellite businesses continued to be the key contributors to our revenue growth,” citing that more than 30,000 new subscribers were activated in the second quarter of 2007. The subscriber base thus grew to 353,000 or an increase of 18 percent over the subscriber base of June 30, 2006.
      Hughes’ Spaceway-3 satellite has arrived at Arianespace’s launch facility in Kourou, French Guiana, from where an Ariane 5 heavy launcher is slated on Aug. 14 to deliver the satellite to a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

      With SS/L, Loral Sees ‘Steady’ Earnings, Outlook
      Loral Space & Communications saw revenues increase by 17 percent in the second quarter, and 22 percent for the first half of the year, the company announced Aug. 8. For the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2007, total consolidated revenue for the second quarter reached $226 million, up from $193 million for the same period of 2006. For the first half of 2007, revenue totaled $447 million, up from $365 million reported for the first half of 2006.
      Its Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) satellite manufacturing division saw satellite construction contracts boost second quarter 2007 revenues before eliminations to $210 million, or a 29 percent improvement over $163 million in the second quarter of 2006. For the first half, SS/L’s revenues totaled $411 million, up 36 percent from the similar period in 2006. In the second quarter, SS/L both gained a contract to construct NSS-12 for SES New Skies and a delivery order from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Rapid Spacecraft Development Office (RSDO) for a Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Spacecraft Accommodation Study.
      Last week, with SS/L already involved in construction of a fifth satellite for Sirius Satellite Radio, the companies announced signing a contract for the construction of Sirius FM-6, a highly inclined elliptical orbit (HIEO) satellite.
      Tata Sky CEO Targets 8 Million Subscribers By 2012
      Tata Sky, the Indian direct-to-home (DTH) operator, has reached 1 million subscribers within its first year of having launched services, the company announced Aug. 8.
      As India represents one of the world’s largest DTH markets, Tata CEO Vikram Kaushik said he believes his company will reach 8 million subscribers within the next five years. He also expects Tata to be India’s dominant pay-TV platform.
      Citing a Media Partners Asia report, Tata believes the pay-TV market in India is set to explode with upwards of 165 million pay-TV households by 2015, with pay-TV penetration reaching 90 percent of TV households.
      Despite such growth opportunities, Kaushik believes that regulatory changes will be required for the Indian pay-TV market to reach its potential. He is calling for the Indian pay-TV market to be “minimally regulated until the industry achieves critical mass,” and for the government to “reduce punitive levels of taxation on DTH” while regulators relax rules about carrying content to allow Tata’s platform to carry and differentiate itself with more exclusive programming.
      Sky Italia’s Profits Soar
      Sky Italia, the Italian DTH operator owned by News Corp., had 4.2 million subscribers by the end of June, News Corp. reported Aug. 8. Sky Italia added nearly 370,000 subscribers, second in Europe only to U.K. DTH operator BSkyB over the same period.
      Sky Italia’s financial numbers were also notable. The company reported fourth quarter operating income of $155 million, for an increase of $71 million or 85 percent compared to a year ago. Its full-year operating income was $221 million, growth of $182 million over the $39 million reported a year ago.
      India Approves $67.5 Million Arianespace Deal
      India’s cabinet has approved a contract worth up to $67.5 million with Arianespace for launching satellites, according to Aug. 9 published reports out of New Delhi.
      In June, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) signed an agreement with the European launch provider to orbit the Insat-4G communications satellite for providing navigation, telecommunications, TV broadcasting and broadband services.
      The launch is slated for the end of 2008 aboard an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Center at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Earlier this year, Arianespace orbited the Insat-4B satellite. Insat-4G will mark the 14th ISRO satellite to use the European launch provider.
      In another development, ISRO officials reportedly are planning a launch window between Aug. 31 and Sept. 8 to orbit Insat-4CR from ISRO’s spaceport in Sriharikota, India. The communications satellite is similar to Insat-4C, which was lost during the unsuccessful July 2006 launch of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F02) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center.
      Like its predecessor, Insat-4CR will carry 12 Ku-band transponders to provide TV broadcasting services in Southeast Asia, including direct-to-home (DTH) television services plus very small aperture terminal (VSAT) applications, video picture transmission (VPT) and digital satellite newsgathering. Insat-4CR has a designed mission life of 10 years.
      ViaSat’s First-Quarter Earnings Fall Flat
      ViaSat Inc., a producer of satellites and digital communication products, reported that its fiscal first-quarter profit fell on flat revenues and higher expenses, the company announced Aug. 8.
      The Carlsbad, Calif.-based company reported net income of $4.2 million, down more than 22 percent compared with its net income of $5.4 million last year. Revenue meanwhile dipped slightly, to $128.6 million from $128.7 million.
      The company’s chairman and CEO, Mark Dankberg, attributed the below-plan numbers to a shift of certain planned information assurance products from the first quarter to the second quarter of fiscal 2008. Nevertheless, the company maintained that its outlook and underlying business fundamentals for the fiscal year remain strong, adding that its results also reflect a planned increase in discretionary investments for research and development and proposal preparation to pursue a number of unspecified but positive near-term opportunities.
      Selected highlights of the first quarter included initiation of a five-year, $90 million indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract from the General Services Administration Federal Technology Service for a full range of ViaSat satellite communication (satcom) products and services to government agencies; certification of ViaSat’s MD-1366 Enhanced Bandwidth Efficient Modem (EBEM) for operation over the Defense Satellite Communications System Network by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); receipt of a $3.7 million award from DISA to develop MilSatCom technology including implementing a new enhanced Military UHF satellite communications waveform known as integrated waveform (IW).
      On Aug. 2, the company also completed its previously announced acquisition of Jast Antenna Systems for an initial purchase price of approximately $2.0 million with additional consideration of up to $4.5 million to be paid in cash and/or stock based on certain financial performance and technological development targets throughout the next two years.
      MSV And Sprint Join To Offer Satcom Solutions To Public Safety End-Users
      Mobile Satellite Ventures LP (MSV) has entered into a three-year strategic distribution deal with Sprint’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) to offer continuous wireless connectivity for public safety agencies in situations where the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is congested or damaged, or phone coverage is nonexistent, MSV announced Aug. 7.
      Sprint ERT will offer MSV satellite products and services as part of its rapid deployment solutions portfolio, and resell MSV equipment and services to public safety end-users throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
      Sprint ERT will also offer MSV services including push-to-talk and two-way radio service over satellite, and telephony over MSV’s MSAT generation satellites. New and future communications services may be added throughout the agreement.

      Yahsat Orders Satellites From EADS Astrium And Thales Alenia Space
      Al Yah Satellite Communications Co. (Yahsat) has signed a deal with European satellite companies EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space for the buildout of a dual satellite communications system, Yahsat announced Aug. 8.
      The two satellites are scheduled for launch in the second half of 2010. Worth an estimated $1.66 billion, the deal is a major boost to both European satellite manufacturers. EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space will design and construct the two satellites from design concept to post-launch.
      With design lives of 15 years, the satellites are intended to meet the requirements of government and commercial customers alike in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and SW Asia. They will provide Yahsat’s customers with solutions for broadcasting services, Internet trunking via satellite, corporate data networks and backhauling services to telecom operators.
      The Yahsat system will feature YahSat 1A located at 52.5° East and YahSat 1B at a location yet to be determined, and is designed to accommodate emerging satellite industry applications including high-definition TV (HDTV) and other broadband satellite services.

      NDS Posts Strong Full-Year Results
      NDS posted strong increases in revenues and overall profits and revenues among its full year results to the end of June, the company announced Aug. 7.
      The conditional access and middleware vendor works with a number of DTH operators around the world, and reported overall revenues of $709.5 million for an increase of 18 percent compared to last year. Operating profits were up to $160.4 million, an increase of 23 percent compared to last year.
      In separate news, NDS also announced that it had acquired CastUp, a solutions provider for management and delivery of video over the Internet, for $11.3 million in cash plus additional payments to employees and senior management. Completion of the deal is expected for early next year.

      NTE Automation Relies on SkyWave D+ for Remote Compressor Monitoring in Hazardous Environments
      Texas-based NTE Automation has selected SkyWave Mobile Communications to supply reliable D+ terminals and network services for integration with NTE’s remote Web-based monitoring, NTE Automation announced Aug. 7.
      The SkyWave terminals are compact satellite terminals certified to operate amongst and be resistant to chemicals found in hazardous environments.

      Arinc Adds SkyPort Satellite Service For Interoperability Solution
      Arinc Inc. has signed a marketing agreement with SkyPort Global Communications of Houston to distribute SkyPort’s broadband satellite service to customers of Arinc’s wireless interoperability network solution (AWINS) interoperability solution, Arinc announced Aug. 8.
      SkyPort provides carrier-class satellite communications to government agencies, defense programs, and energy customers. A commercial provider of satellite broadband, SkyPort specializes in delivering mission-critical communications required by today’s military, government agencies, and energy companies.
      Based in Annapolis, Md., Arinc Inc. develops and operates communications and information processing systems and provides systems engineering and integration solutions to eight key industries: airports, aviation, aerospace and defense, government, healthcare, networks, security, and transportation.

      Telesat’s Anik-F3 ‘Performing Normally’ Despite Published Rumor
      Notwithstanding an Aug. 3 report posted online at an industry publication, Telesat confirmed Aug. 7 that its Anik F3 satellite “has been performing normally and there have been no recent issues affecting its operations.”

      GeoInformation Group Adds Thermal Mapping To Imagery Portfolio
      The GeoInformation Group, publishers of Cities Revealed aerial photography, is offering a new Thermal Mapping solution among its geographic information and aerial imagery portfolio, the company announced Aug. 8.
      Thermal Mapping is a value-added spatial information tool for the analysis of energy loss from buildings, ground features and even objects below the ground.
      Thermal Mapping is created by using a thermal imaging camera to record temperature differences over millions of data points to produce an image that quantifies thermal variation. Cities Revealed integrates the data with OS MasterMap to assign each building in the map with a heat loss value using a five-level classification system. Thermal Mapping allows users to monitor and compare heat loss from properties, associate heat loss with addresses and develop energy conservation programs. The mapping tool can be used for rural and urban areas for applications by either public or commercial sectors. Based in Cambridge, England, privately owned GeoInformation Group provides its product portfolio under the Cities Revealed brand including: Modern, Historic and Near Infrared aerial imagery, LiDAR data, Oblique imagery solutions, and value-added aerial imagery derived databases: Land Use, Building Class and Building Heights.
      ATK Awarded $2.8 Million Contract With Sandia National Laboratories For Satellite Link Signal Generator
      Alliant Techsystems’ (ATK) mission research and technical services business division has signed a $2.8 million dollar contract from Sandia National Laboratories to build a unique multi-channel test source for the U.S. Nuclear Detection System (NDS) program, ATK announced Aug. 8.
      Options for $1.2 million have been negotiated yet not exercised to extend the project through March 2009.

      Renamed Vizada Launches Website
      Formerly known as France Telecom Mobile Satellite Communications, mobile satellite communications provider Vizada has launched a Website to reflect the new brand, Vizada announced Aug. 8.
      Acquired by Apax Partners from the France Telecom Group in October 2007, Vizada has since undergone a re-branding process culminating with the Website.
      Inmarsat Posts Strong Results; Signs Launch Deal
      Inmarsat reported a leap in profits during the first half of 2007, the company announced Aug. 7.
      Amid earnings results for the first six months of 2007, revenues cleared $284.2 million, or an increase of nearly 16 percent compared to the same period last year. The operator said that profits before tax for the six months were $77.9 million, up more than 60 percent compared to the same quarter in 2006.
      Inmarsat saw strong growth in the maritime sector, driven by its new Fleet product range of services. Second quarter revenue from the maritime sector increased 11 percent year-on-year. Inmarsat said revenue in the land sector for the second quarter was up 13 percent year-on-year, while land data saw year-on-year revenue growth of 20 percent. Inmarsat attributed the windfall as driven by demand for BGAN services.
      In another development, International Launch Services (ILS) and Inmarsat have inked a contract for launch of the Inmarsat 4-F3 satellite on a Proton Breeze M vehicle in early 2008, ILS announced.
      The satellite, third in the constellation, will enable Inmarsat
      to offer global coverage with its BGAN mobile broadband service, along with existing services. Launch is planned for March or April 2008 aboard a Proton Breeze M from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Financial terms were not disclosed.
      Integral Systems Cites Record Results For Third Quarter
      Integral Systems Inc. achieved record results
      for the fiscal third quarter of 2007, the company announced Aug. 7.
      Revenues for the quarter were $35.9 million, up $8.5 million from the third quarter of fiscal 2006, while third quarter operating income was $5.3 million from $3.9 million
      for the third quarter 2006. Integral attributed the numbers to increased shipments in all business segments of the company.
      Integral said it anticipates revenue for fiscal year 2007 to reach $130 million, up approximately 13 percent over revenue posted in fiscal year 2006.
      Lockheed Martin Receives $23 Million Contract To Upgrade B-2 Bomber Satellite Communications System
      Lockheed Martin has received a $23 million contract from Northrop Grumman to support the upgrade of satellite communications systems used aboard the U.S. Air Force B-2 stealth bomber, Lockheed Martin announced Aug. 7.
      Lockheed Martin will replace the B-2’s current flight management computers with a subsystem combining legacy B-2 avionics functions with additional processing capabilities to support the aircraft’s Extremely High Frequency (EHF) satcom system. The EHF satcom provides the bomber’s aircrew with a beyond-line-of-sight, assured-connectivity capability that ensures compatibility with current and future EHF communication satellite architectures, and allows the B-2 to connect to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Global Information Grid (GIG).
      In an unrelated announcement, Lockheed Martin told ICO of a six-week launch postponement. On Aug. 6, Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) bumped the ICO launch slot from between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30, 2007 to Dec. 15 and Jan. 15, 2008, expecting the range date for Jan. 7 or Jan. 8, 2008.Lockheed Martin reportedly indicated that the reason for the short postponement was due to subcontractor United Launch Alliance’s revising its launch manifest due to a minor Atlas launch anomaly investigation.
      Iridium Announces First Development Partners for Next
      Iridium Satellite has contracted with seven partners in the initial phase of designing and developing its next-generation Iridium Next satellite constellation, the company announced Aug. 7.
      The first partners — Avaliant, Boeing, General Dynamics, KinetX, MicroSat Systems Inc. (MSI) and Trident Sensors — will work with Iridium on systems engineering, requirements definition and architecture development.
      Northrop Grumman Delivers SBIRS GEO-1 Payload
      Northrop Grumman Corp., has delivered the first Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO) payload to prime contractor Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman announced Aug. 6.
      The milestone was achieved after a thermal vacuum test program to verify that the payload satisfies both performance and functionality requirements.      
      The GEO-1 payload consists of both a scanning sensor and a staring sensor plus other key spacecraft subsystems and electronics including a pointing and control assembly.
      Ferrari To Offer XM Radio And XM NavTraffic
      The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti will be the first Ferrari model to come with standard factory-installed XM Satellite Radio and XM NavTraffic real-time information service, XM announced Aug. 7.
      Ferrari will include three years of XM Radio broadcast programming and XM NavTraffic navigation service with each vehicle.
      XM Radio offers more than 170 channels of programming, while XM NavTraffic is available in 79 major U.S. markets, providing real-time traffic information including traffic speeds, accident locations and road closings along a driver’s planned route.

      DataPath Wins $16.7 Million Contract For National Guard Rapid Response Program
      DataPath Inc. has been awarded a $16.7 million contract for Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) for the U.S. Army National Guard, DataPath announced Aug. 7.
      DataPath’s communications networks, provided with cooperation by Applied Global Technologies, are designed to enable federal, state and military first responders to establish full command and control capabilities from the site of a man-made or natural disaster within hours anywhere nationwide.
      The system will use DataPath satellite communications base units to deliver high bandwidth to voice-over-IP telephones, video teleconferencing systems and an interoperable handheld radio solution for deployed National Guard teams and other first responders. A complete communications suite will be transportable via military C-130 aircraft and other means for extremely rapid deployment.

      Pace Wins New Sky Deal
      Pace Micro Technology has won a new contract from BSkyB, the company announced August 7.
      Pace said it had won additional STB business for the 2007 financial year. Through previous contracts, Pace expects to begin deliveries of Sky HD boxes at the end of the year and continues to ship BSkyB Personal Video Recorder (PVR) boxes for Sky+, the company said.


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