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Satellites To Continue Critical Role In Military, Commercial Markets

By | October 27, 2004

      NEW YORK– Satellite technology will continue to play a crucial role in defense applications, broadcasting infrastructure and the fast-growing enterprise segment of the marketplace. “In television, satellites are a critical part of the infrastructure,” said Glenn Reitmeier, vice president/technology, NBC Universal. “We continue to rely on satellite technology for news events and live sporting events.” Reitmeier made his remarks here during a chief technology officer (CTO) panel session this morning at the Satcon ’04 conference.

      Echoing Reitmeier’s comments was Michael Regan, director of the National Security Space Office, Communications Functional Integration Office, who said the role of satellites in the military’s communications scheme will continue to grow, especially in the area of Homeland Security. He added that the U.S. Department of Defense continues to use satellites for navigation (GPS birds), weather satellites (GOES spacecraft), and dedicated military and commercial communications (for voice/data communications).

      Tony Scott, CTO for General Motors Corp., said GM uses satellite-based technology solutions for distance learning and training applications as well as to deliver OnStar navigation services and mobile radio via its affiliation with Washington, D.C.-based XM Satellite Radio [XMSR].

      He added that the use of satellite-based technology is “flat” in North America due to GM’s mature position in the market. However, he said GM is growing rapidly in the People’s Republic of China, India and the developing world; and the use of satellites for distance learning and training is growing in tandem.

      Finally, all of the CTOs agreed that protecting the security and integrity of their satellite networks is important. NBC’s Reitmeier added that end users (whether they are consumers, enterprise companies or the military) want transparency with the technology, interoperability and common-sense standards that ease the use of satcoms.

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