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OneWeb buys military satellite company to give Pentagon 195Mbps

TrustComm.jpg

OneWeb is to buy US military satellite specialist TrustComm to give it a way into US government and military contracts.

TrustComm, based in Texas, is officially a commercial satellite communications provider but it notes that it is the only one in the US “with its own network infrastructure and 24/7 managed services operations center located on a secure military base” (pictured).

OneWeb said it will offer the US Department of Defense and other government clients “a new suite of services with network speeds up to 195Mbps, lower latency, smaller and more compact multi-orbit user terminals and built-in network management tools”.

Dylan Browne, head of government services for OneWeb, said: “OneWeb’s acquisition of TrustComm underpins our strategy to rapidly scale satellite communications service to the US Department of Defense and other government agencies as they look to integrate high throughput, low latency solutions to meet new connectivity demands.”

The news comes days after one of OneWeb’s shareholders, Hughes Network Systems, secured a contract with the US Air Force to use the satellite network in the Arctic.

TrustComm will “leverage their strong reputation providing the remote communications our customers want, particularly in Alaska and the Arctic”, said Browne.

OneWeb’s three main shareholders are Indian telecoms group Bharti Global, the UK government and — in a deal agreed in late April — Paris-based Eutelsat.

Neither OneWeb nor TrustComm have announced the terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close later this year.

TrustComm, based in a secure military base on the south-eastern edge of Houston, was set up in 1999 as a provider of managed satellite communications and professional services to commercial organisations and governments.

TrustComm CEO Bob Roe will head what’s called “a newly acquired proxy subsidiary of OneWeb”. Eight years ago Roe led a buyout of TrustComm via a US investor group, Global Secure Networks (GSN). The announcement in 2013 said Roe “has more than 35 years experience in government and commercial satcom, including 22 years in the US Navy as a communications and intelligence officer”.

He said yesterday about the OneWeb deal: “TrustComm’s heritage and customer-focused support teams will enable us to expand the portfolio of services we offer and allow us to pursue new opportunities. This is an exciting development and we look forward to taking our government business to new heights in the coming year.”

 

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