Satmax extends Air Force phones

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

Satellite Media Extender (Satmax) allows people to quickly access wireless, voice and data communications from within buildings, vehicles, ships, aircraft and obstructed areas. Satmax lets users of the Iridium satellite network use satellite phones to make multiple concurrent calls within its enabled areas from any location in the world, company officials said 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 officer Eagle Broadband.

Command officials will use Satmax in a critical control center, allowing personnel to use their Iridium 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, company officials said.

Scott Air Force Base serves as the base for the command and the Transportation Command. The commands direct and control air missions, from transporting troops and materiel to transporting 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 a statement.

Randy Shapiro, vice president of marketing at Eagle Broadband, a publicly traded company located in Houston, declined to comment on the contract’s dollar amount. He also declined to comment on the military’s use of Satmax, 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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