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By | July 16, 2007

      Comtech Will Provide Cellular Backhaul Equipment For Middle East Network
      Comtech EF Data Corp. received an order to deliver satellite infrastructure equipment that will be used in a cellular backhaul network in the Middle East, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced July 13.
      Under an order from an unidentified systems integrator valued at $1 million, Comtech will provide CDM-600L satellite modems and switches for both hub and remote sites. The modem provides data rates of 2.4 kilobits per second to 20 megabits per second and support a range of interfaces, Comtech said.

      Second Wind Orders Globalstar Modems
      Second Wind Inc. has agreed to purchase 750 Globalstar satellite modems to relay data collected at remote sites throughout the United States and Canada, Globalstar announced July 12.
      Second Wind will integrate Globalstar’s GSP-1620 modem into wind measurement systems and data loggers used to collect data such as wind speeds and other weather-related information.
      The data will be delivered to Second Wind’s SkyServe server using the Globalstar satellite network. The data is made available to customers such as wind farm operators, forecasters and meteorologists.
      Details of the contract were not announced.
      KVH Launches Next-Generation Maritime Broadband
      KVH Industries Inc. has introduced a new satellite communications service that enables 24-inch antennas to provide always-on broadband data connections to maritime vessels, the company announced July 12.
      The mini-VSAT broadband service uses the TracPhone V7 two-way broadband satellite terminal, which combines KVH antenna technology with ViaSat Inc.’s ArcLight spread spectrum mobile broadband technology.
      The service provides vessels with data reception rates as fast as 2 megabits per second and data transmission rates as fast as 512 kilobits per second.

      Saab Space Orders Spacecraft Release Mechanism From SpaceDev
      SpaceDev Inc.’s Starsys unit will manufacture 60 low-shock spacecraft release mechanisms for Sweden’s Saab Space AB, SpaceDev announced July 11.
      It is the third major production order for Starsys’ Clamp Band Opening Device, which is a derivative of Lockheed Martin’s Fast Acting Shock-less Separation Nut technology transferred to Starsys in the late 1990s.

      Polsat Adds New TVN Channel
      Cyfrowy Polsat, a direct-to-home operator in Poland, signed a deal to add an additional channel from broadcaster TVN, the operator announced July 12. TVN Gra will be the eighth TVN channel to be included in Polsat’s DTH platform, and the contract guarantees the channel’s availability for the next few years, Polsat said.
      Impsat Leases Capacity On NSS-10
      Impsat, a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Crossing, has contracted the equivalent of about 2.5 transponders on SES New Skies’ NSS-10 satellite, SES New Skies announced July 12.
      Located at 322.5° East, the satellite’s C-band beams will help support Impsat’s single channel per carrier and VSAT Internet Protocol network in Latin America.
      Financial details were not disclosed.

      Spaceway-3 Arrives In Kourou For August Launch
      Hughes Network Systems’ Spaceway-3 satellite has been delivered to the European Spaceport in French Guiana, Arianespace announced July 11. The spacecraft will be part of a scheduled Aug. 14 launch of an Ariane 5 along with BSAT-3a.
      Spaceway-3, manufactured by Boeing, is a Ka-band satellite designed to deliver high-speed communications services for Internet Protocol data and multimedia applications to North America.

      Thomson Delivers Digital Cinema Beyond Borders
      Thomson, a European digital technology company, has delivered a motion picture to both the United States and other countries on the same day, the company announced July 11.
      Through its Technicolor Digital Cinema business, Thomson claims to be the first integrator to deliver a motion picture via satellite to international and U.S. theater locations using a neutral digital cinema distribution network. The delivery demonstrated vendor-agnostic transmission of a feature to theaters equipped with either its own digital projection systems or a system managed by other integrators.
      “We are no longer limited to satellite deliveries that only reach theaters with Technicolor-owned digital projection systems,” Joe Hart, vice president of digital distribution services for Technicolor, said in a statement.
      In June, Microspace Communications Corp. delivered the film “Transformers” via satellite to four theaters in Los Angeles for its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

      Iridium System Certified By EASA
      The ICS-200 Iridium Communications System from International Communications Group has been approval by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), International Communications announced July 10. EASA, the European Union’s civil aviation regulatory agency, granted its supplemental type certificate for installations on the Learjet 60.
      Separately, International Communications named Kieran Kennedy original equipment manufacturer sales manager. Kennedy has been with the company since 1999 and previously worked in the marine electronics industry.
      Round Solution Rolls Out GPRS/GPS Modules
      Round Solution has introduced communications modules for programming with Python’s open-source-licensed programming language, the company announced July 10. Now available are a small, industrial-grade, quadband-compatible general packet radio service (GPRS) module and a miniaturized, combination GPRS/GPS module.
      DataPath Acquires Swe-Dish Satellite Systems AB
      DataPath Inc. has acquired satellite communications manufacturer Swe-Dish Satellite Systems AB, DataPath announced July 11.
      Swe-Dish, based in Stockholm, provides systems to U.S. military organizations; German, British, Japanese and Swedish defense ministries; and leading global broadcasters. The company will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of DataPath, retaining its management team, name and product brands as well as continue operate its U.S. sales and service facility in Reston, Va.
      The acquisition was a result of negotiations that began in 2006 as the companies considered arranging a distribution deal, Lars Jehrlander, CEO of Swe-Dish, told Satellite News in June before the deal was announced by DataPath.
       “We think it is a good combination,” said Jehrlander. “I think it is fair to say we are one of the world leaders in terms of mobile satellite terminals from 0.9 meters up to 1.5 meters. If you look at DataPath, they have their product portfolio starting at 1.8 [meters to] 2.4 meters and going up. It is a very good fit from a product point of view.”
      Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

      BSkyB’s Broadband Offerings Post Strong Gains
      BSkyB added 259,000 broadband customers in the company’s 2007 fourth quarter, bringing the total number of subscribers to 716,000, the company announced July 11.
      BSkyB launched its Sky Broadband offerings in 2006 following the acquisition of EasyNet and hopes to capture up to 3 million broadband subscribers in the United Kingdom by 2010, the company has said.
      In BSkyB’s more traditional business of direct-to-home TV services, the operator added 90,000 new net subscribers second quarter to nearly 8.6 total million subscribers in the United Kingdom and Ireland at the end of June. BSkyB added that it had about 292,000 high-definition subscribers, up from 244,000 at the end of March, and users of its Sky+ personal video recorders have climbed to nearly 2.4 million subscribers.
      Average revenue per user of 412 British pounds ($831) represented a gain of about 21 pounds ($52) from the 2006 business year.

      U.S. Air Force To Assess Radarsat-2 Capabilities
      MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. received a contract to assist the U.S. Air Force in an evaluation of the capabilities of the Radarsat-2 satellite, including a study of operating a second satellite in tandem with radar imagery spacecraft, MacDonald Dettwiler announced July 11.
      Radarsat-2 is designed to provide C-band radar imagery with ground resolution of 3 to 100 meters and is scheduled to be placed in orbit this summer by a Russian Soyuz rocket.
      The company will demonstrate how data collected by Radarsat-2 can be used for maritime surveillance, intelligence applications and other defense-related requirements. As part of the contract, MacDonald Dettwiler will address the requirements and the concept of operations for a clone satellite flying in tandem with Radarsat-2, which would enable capabilities such as the creation of a global high-resolution terrain map.
      The $9.5 million contract is with the Canadian Commercial Corp., which is acting as the international contracting agency between the two parties.

      TerreStar Networks To Provide Services In Rural Vermont Program
      TerreStar Networks Inc. is establishing a pilot project for deployment and testing of its wireless broadband and telecommunications services to rural and underserved areas in Vermont, the company announced July 11.
      Designed to enhance Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas’ E-State Initiative to provide universal cellular and broadband coverage anywhere in Vermont, the project ¬— which does not require state funds — will be available for all existing and new voice and data service providers operating in Vermont.
      SatCom Networks Africa Chooses Gilat’s SkyEdge
      Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. will provide a SkyEdge broadband satellite network to SatCom Networks Africa Ltd., a Tanzanian public data communications operator, Gilat announced July 11.
      SatCom Networks, which has operated Gilat VSAT networks throughout East Africa since 2002, will use the network to provide broadband connectivity, videoconferencing, Internet Protocol multicasting and voice over Internet Protocol services to government institutions and major corporations, including banking and financial customers.
      Details of the contract were not announced.

      Astra 1L Ready For Service
      The Astra 1L satellite has been deployed to its final orbital position at 19.2° East to begin commercial operations, SES Astra said July 11.
      The Lockheed Martin-built satellite will deliver direct-to-home broadcast services to Europe and allow SES Astra to move Astra 2C to 28.2° East to serve the U.K. and Irish markets.
      Israel Aerospace Industries To Build, Launch Amos 4
      Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a contract with Space Communication Ltd. (Spacecom) to develop and manufacture the Amos-4 satellite, IAI announced July 10.
      Amos-4 will carry Ka- and Ku-band transponders and allow Spacecom to expand its coverage area to include Asia. The contract is valued at about $365 million, and on-orbit delivery is slated to take place in the 2012 third quarter.
      IAI holds a 20 percent interest in Spacecom. Other major shareholders are Eurocom, General Satellite Services Co. and Mer Services Group.

      Integral Systems To Provide ProtoStar Ground System
      Integral Systems Inc. received a contract from ProtoStar to provide a ground system for the ProtoStar 1 satellite, Integral announced July 9.
      Integral will provide its Epoch Integrated Product Suite satellite control system for ProtoStar’s primary and back-up sites. The system will include the Orbit Analysis System flight dynamics system and Newpoint Technologies’ Compass equipment and network management system. The setup also will include SAT Corp.’s Monics carrier monitoring and interference detection system at the primary site and at a remote monitoring site, and a transponder management system from Optimal Satcom at the primary site. Globecomm Systems Inc. has been awarded a subcontract by Integral to provide the radio frequency and antenna systems.
      ProtoStar plans to have ProtoStar 1 in orbit in the first half of 2008 and will use the satellite to provide direct-to-home, high-definition TV and broadband Internet services to underserved areas in Asia.

      Thuraya Secures New Financing
      Thuraya has confirmed details of a new round of financing to fund its mobile satellite services business plans.
      The operator signed an agreement to raise $125 million through a syndicated loan facility arranged by Emirates Bank and Emirates Financial Services, along with participation from Commercial Bank of Dubai, Union National Bank and ING Bank.
      The syndicated facility replaces a six-month bridge loan arranged in December 2006.

      One Touch Systems, Mainstream Data Distance Learning Partnership
      One Touch Systems and Mainstream Data will team up to provide interactive distance-learning and communication solutions to large and mid-sized corporate and government organizations, the companies announced July 10.
      Product offerings will include interactive applications and equipment, satellite broadband delivery, network implementation and installation and support services.
      The companies expect to announce their first client later this year.
      Alcatel-Lucent Begins DVB-SH Trial
      Alcatel-Lucent has launched a trial of its solution for a broadcast mobile TV platform using the DVB-SH standard in S-band, the company announced July 9.
      The pilot is running from June to September in southwestern France using SFR’s 3G mobile infrastructure and pre-commercial DVB-SH elements for the broadcast part.
      The DVB-SH standard is the basis for Alcatel-Lucent’s Unlimited Mobile TV solution, a hybrid satellite and terrestrial system designed to propose a broadcast solution for a mass market, mobile-TV service. The pilot allows various parties to evaluate the capability of making high-quality mobile TV channels available to a large audience in various usage conditions such as inside and outside buildings or while moving in a vehicle.

      C-Com Signs China Broadcast Technologies To Distribution Agreement
      C-Com Satellite Systems Inc. has signed a distribution agreement with Beijing-based China Broadcast Technologies Co. Ltd., for the resale of iNetVu Mobile Satellite antenna systems in China, C-Com announced July 10.
      China Broadcast will integrate the antenna systems with their own broadcast equipment to deliver turnkey solutions to satellite newsgathering organizations.

      OmniGlobe Networks To Provide Satellite-Cellular Service In Rural Canada
      OmniGlobe Networks Inc. has formed a partnership with Naskapi Imuun Inc. to provide a satellite-cellular communications service to First Nation communities across Canada, OmniGlobe announced July 10.
      The service, which will be available in September, will be based on OmniGlobe’s satellite-cellular technology platform and create a local wireless network that provides rural subscribers with cellular services. The local network will link via satellite to global cellular and telephone networks.
      The agreement includes a revenue-sharing business model with First Nation communities, which will operate their own local cellular network. 

      GMV Sees Revenues Climb 18 Percent
      GMV, a private, multinational firm headquartered in Madrid, increased overall revenues by 18 percent, or $90.6 million, in 2006, the company announced July 10.
      The company’s space and defense segment, which represent about 64 percent of total revenues, saw a 15.5 percent increase in revenue to $55.7 million.
      GMV supplies satellite ground system software for customers around the globe, including Galileo, for which GMV received contracts valued at more than $54 million in 2006.
      Thrane & Thrane Licenses VOIP Technology For Explorer Handset
      Thrane & Thrane has licensed HelloSoft’s voice-over-Internet protocol (VOIP) technologies for its next-generation Explorer handset, HelloSoft announced July 10.
      HelloSoft provides software that enables VOIP on mobile handsets without having to change the design of the hardware.
      DirecTV-10 Orbited Aboard ILS Proton
      International Launch Services (ILS) launched the DirecTV-10 satellite July 7 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, ILS announced. A Proton Breeze M rocket placed the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit for approximately two months of in-orbit testing before the spacecraft moves into operating position at 102.8° West.
      The Boeing-built 702 model satellite is designed to enhance DirecTV’s high-definition (HD) services across the United States. DirecTV-11, also manufactured by Boeing, is scheduled to be placed into orbit in early in 2008 to support further expansion of HD services.
      Between the two satellites, DirecTV will be capable of delivering more than 1,500 local HD channels and 150 national HD channels as well as new programming services, the company said.

      TCS Gains Defense Satellite Equipment Contract
      TeleCommunication Systems Inc. (TCS) has received a $2.6 million contract from the U.S. Army to provide satellite parts and services for Defense Satellite Communication System (DSCS) terminals and the DSCS Frequency Control System, the company announced July 9.
      Under the award, part of the World-Wide Satellite Systems contract, TCS will provide spares and test, measurement and diagnostic equipment to the Project Manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission System.

      E’Prime Aerospace, Space Propulsion Systems Form Strategic Alliance
      E’Prime Aerospace Corp. and Space Propulsion Systems Inc. have signed a strategic alliance agreement for Space Propulsion to share its patented concept for the design and manufacturing of advanced performance solid rocket propellants, E’Prime announced July 9.
      The technology should enhance E’Prime’s performance, safety and operating costs while introducing new capabilities such as design of mission-specific propellants.

      NASA’s Dawn Mission Delayed Until September
      The launch of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has been rescheduled to September, NASA announced July 7.
      The primary reasons for the delay are a combination of limited launch opportunities in July and the potential impact to launch preparations for the upcoming Phoenix Mars Lander mission, which is set for early August.
      The next launch window for Dawn opens in September and will not affect mission goals, though the delay adds an additional $25 million to the mission’s $449 million cost, according to NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown.

      Spacenet Introduces Digital Telephone Service Over Satellite
      Spacenet Inc. has introduced its Connexstar Digital Phone, a carrier class telephone solution available as part of the company’s Connexstar satellite service, Spacenet announced July 9.
      The service enables customers to make digital telephone calls while also receiving Internet access and real-time video over the same satellite link.
      Spacenet’s Connexstar services are based on technology developed by Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd.

      Solutrea Awarded Army And Air Force Exchange Service Contract
      Solutrea Inc., a subsidiary of Powerstar International Inc., has been awarded a contract valued at more than $2 million from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) to install the head-end and remote systems to support an upgrade to high-definition TV broadcasts, Powerstar announced July 9.
      The systems will support the AAFES mission to supply digital signage, internal training broadcasts and consumer information and programming to 180 military bases around the globe.
      The 12-month contract extends from July to June 2008.
      Sky Launches On-Demand Service In New Zealand
      Sky Television New Zealand has launched on-demand services for its direct-to-home customers in New Zealand, the company announced July 8.
      The service provides My Sky subscribers the opportunity to receive premium movies and special events anytime. With about 700,000 subscribers, Sky is the most popular pay-TV operator in New Zealand.

      GloNav Names Vice President For Customer Design And Support
      GloNav Inc., which develops GPS and other satellite navigation solutions, has appointed Paul Hansen vice president of customer design and support, the company announced July 9. Previously, Hansen, who co-invented the core technologies for Cambridge Positioning Systems, served in technical and management positions there and helped position the company for sale to CSR in January.

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