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Despite Stiff Competition, Enterprise Satellite Market Remains Strong

By | November 4, 2003

      NEW YORK–Even though point-to-point, fiber optic solutions for the enterprise services market continue to gain market share, this “bread and butter” niche for the commercial satellite business is showing renewed signs of life for the satellite industry.

      “The growth for Best Western hotels will be in overseas markets, which we will connect with VSATs,” said Jim Newhall, managing director of technology at Best Western hotels. “We are a customer of [Germantown, Md.-based] Hughes Network Systems and are committed to migrating to their SpaceWay [Ka-band satellite] system once it launches next year.”

      Newhall made his comments here Tuesday during the opening session at the Satellite Application Technology Conference & Expo (Satcon).

      Echoing Newhall’s comments was Michael Hinz, director of real-time operations for Haliburton Energy Services. Hinz said his company currently operates 350 VSATs on land, offshore and non-stablilized platforms in some of the most dangerous places on earth. They also use portable Inmarsat and Iridium satellite voice/data terminals.

      Hinz said Haliburton currently spends $40 million to $50 million on its VSAT network. Hinz said that Haliburton has decided to avoid use of future Ka-band satellite systems due to the reported high incidence of rain attenuation and outages in equatorial regions. Haliburton’s VSAT network provider is ViaSat.

      Finally, Chuck Taylor, manager of information systems for Goodyear Tire and Rubber [NYSE: GT]said his business uses VSATs in 2,100 locations, 800 of which are owned by Goodyear with the remaining 1,300 owned and operated by independent tire dealers. Spacenet is Goodyear’s VSAT provider.

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