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Orbit CEO Discusses Asia Train Operator Deals, Importance of Maritime Business

By | September 4, 2009
      [Satellite News 09-04-09] Orbit Technology Group believes it is in a strong position to sell one of its latest satellite communications antenna solutions to train operators in Asia, after successful trials in Europe, Orbit CEO Avi Cohen told Satellite News.
          “We are now able to reap the benefits of our decision to invest together with Tes of Italy in rail-specific solutions.  We have started with the European train market, and we are now starting to enter both the American and Asian markets. In Asia, we expect in the very near future to provide SatCom Internet connectivity systems installed onboard trains throughout the continent,” said Cohen.
          Orbit’s low-profile VSAT Ku-Band mobile stabilized antenna system was specially designed as a satellite tracking system for trains. Cohen said the system was designed to be resistant to vibration and thermal variations, enabling continuous Internet connectivity for high-speed trains traveling at speeds of over 300 km/h. “The system provides uninterrupted connectivity enabled by the system’s unique capability to reacquire a satellite signal almost immediately,” he said. 
          The demand for communications solutions on-the-move is increasing. The maritime market represents one of the fastest growing segments of the Orbit’s business. “The maritime satellite communications market has been developing faster than air and ground segments because of the significantly longer trip durations in oceanic environments,” said Cohen.
          Correspondingly, the need for constant communications at sea has been growing steadily and even though the market segment is already quite large in size, Cohen believes it still has plenty of room to grow. “Not only are connectivity expectations growing rapidly, but we are noticing significant, unmet market needs. At Orbit, we see this as a great opportunity,” he said.
          Orbit is also evaluating the market demand for smaller vessels with a new line of products of sub 1-meter antenna solutions. It is also looking to capture the energy that compact solutions are maintaining in the sector. Diversity in its portfolio of maritime applications is important to Orbit as the sector amounts to over 50 percent of its sales volume. One of the company’s flagship products is OrSat-G, a solution for high performance, high-speed two-way broadband communications at sea. Cohen said he has been pleased with the performance of Orsat-G so far.
          “OrSat-G’s global sales are quickly increasing as the new antenna’s performance parameters were a direct response to marketplace expectations. To date, Orbit has sold thousands of systems for maritime platforms including over 700 OrSat antennas. We have been experiencing steady growth in our sales for some time, and the OrSat-G continues this trend,” he said.
          Despite the economic downturn, the company expects to perform strongly during the rest of the year. “The coming year should see an even greater leap in technology as well, leading to smaller, yet more powerful systems, installed on a greater variety of platforms. We intend to continue offering the most advanced solutions to ensure constant connectivity at sea, on rail and in the air,” he said.

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