VSAT services added to GSA satellite contract

U.S. nation-building efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have led a satellite services company to add Very Small Aperture Terminal services to its General Services Administration contract.

'The demand has grown significantly in the government sector,' said Tom Surface, spokesman for Telenor Satellite Services Inc., the U.S. division of the Norwegian Telenor Satellite Services Group.

Telenor has been offering mobile satellite communications through its GSA schedule contract, including Iridium phone service. VSAT offers a fixed-to-mobile communications link for remote areas. It provides an always-on service at a fixed price rather than on-demand service.

With the addition to the contract, government buyers now can get C and Ku band global VSAT systems over multiple satellite networks. Services include network design, equipment and capacity provisioning, implementation, operation, maintenance and training.

Surface said the demand for the services is growing in part because of the increased activity of nonmilitary agencies in Iraq and Afghanistan during reconstruction of those countries. He said the GSA schedule contract was changed initially because an agency using the company's VSAT services wanted to move to the GSA schedule.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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