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Building on its leadership in developing advanced technologies and products for the world’s premier mobile satellite operators, Hughes earlier this year commenced work on the ground communications network for MEXSAT, Mexico’s next-generation mobile satellite system. The company is taking mobile satellite technology to a new level by developing advanced features such as push-to-talk functionality and an all-IP multicast capability—both industry firsts.
The government of Mexico awarded the MEXSAT contract to Boeing to deliver an end-to-end L-band satellite communications system, which will consist of three satellites, two gateway sites, associated network operations systems, and reference user terminals. With satellites operating over Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean, the geo-mobile satellite system will provide mobile and fixed satellite services to support national security, civil, and humanitarian efforts, including disaster relief, emergency services, telemedicine, rural education, surveillance, and government agency operations.
As a subcontractor to Boeing, Hughes will provide the ground communications network for MEXSAT, which will be installed at two gateway sites, consisting of satellite base stations, core cellular network switching and related equipment, and customer care and billing systems.
“Mobile satellite broadband technology is ideal for government, military, and emergency communications, particularly in countries with limited terrestrial infrastructure,” said Matthew Mohebbi, vice president and general manager of Mobile Satellite Systems at Hughes. “That’s why today more and more governments are showing considerable interest in owning their own satellites for use by their defense, government, and public safety agencies. Mexico is one of the first to deploy its own mobile satellite system and this may become a trend as nations such as Korea, India, and Australia consider following suit.”
Besides the ground network, Hughes is also building a range of reference user terminals for maritime, aeronautical, and high-speed vehicular applications. These new voice and data terminals will leverage a common, flexible architecture so that different antennas and amplifiers can be employed to build various types, such as handheld portables, on-the-pause units, and terminals with rooftop antennas for different uses.
Hughes has already begun work on the 33-month project, which includes system design and development engineering, fabrication, development of gateways, factory integration, and testing of all subsystems.
At Hughes, innovation is a commitment and a passion. The company’s state-of-the-art work on MEXSAT and other mobile satellite systems means more and more people around the world will continue to reap the powerful benefits of broadband.
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