Satmax extends Air Force phones

Unique non-line-of-sight SATCOM technology from Eagle Broadband gets installed at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Officials at Eagle Broadband announced today that officials at the Air Force's Air Mobility Command will use the company's unique non-line-of-sight satellite communications technology at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Satellite Media Extender (SatMAX) allows people to quickly and easily make wireless, voice and data communications from any non-line-of-site location including inside buildings, onboard vehicles, ships and aircraft, and from obstructed areas. SatMax lets users of the Iridium satellite network utilize their existing satellite phones to make multiple concurrent calls within its enabled areas from any location in the world, said company officials in a March 22 statement.

'This contract award demonstrates how SatMAX can be used to provide reliable, secure satellite communications in non-line-of-sight environments to support active operations and enhance mission effectiveness,' said Dave Weisman, chairman and chief executive at Eagle Broadband.

Air Mobility Command officials will use SatMAX in a critical control center allowing personnel to use their existing Iridium satellite phones to make wireless, secure calls from inside the facility. The technology ensures uninterrupted ground-to-ground, ground-to-air and air-to-ground communications, said company officials.

Scott Air Force Base serves as the base for the Air Force's Air Mobility Command and the military's Transportation Command. The commands direct and control air missions, from transporting troops and materiel to top government officials.

Air Mobility Command officials awarded the contract during the last 30 days to Science Application International Corp. (SAIC) to purchase SatMAX from the company's schedule with the General Services Administration. 'The ability to provide secure, reliable communications from any location on earth is more important than ever for the U.S. government and military,' said Eric Kaiser, vice president of life cycle support services at SAIC, in the statement.

Randy Shapiro, vice president of marketing at Eagle Broadband, a publicly-traded company located in Houston, declined comment on the contract's dollar amount. He also declined comment on the use of SatMAX across the military citing Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines, but said company officials continue to work on business opportunities with military and government officials.

'There is strong interest in SatMax from a variety of military and government agencies,' said Shapiro.

Industry officials believe Air Force officials may use SatMax in the service's Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft. Service officials announced in a March 17 statement that P-17, the last JSTARS aircraft to roll off the assembly line and scheduled for delivery today, comes equipped with an updated satellite communications (SATCOM) radio that allows aircraft personnel to send and receive ultra-high frequency SATCOM voice and digital data to and from beyond-line-of-sight locations.

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