Americom deal extends DOD satellite options

Americom Government Services has inked a deal with Xtar to make high-powered commercial X-band satellite services available to Americom's Defense Department customers, according to a company announcement.

"X-band" refers to the wavelength and frequency of the electronic signals. The electromagnetic spectrum is broken up into bands -- ranges of frequencies -- that are assigned to certain types of communications, including AM and FM radio, VHF and UHF television and satellite transmission, among other uses.

The partnership between the companies gives Americom access to Xtar's XTAR-EUR satellite, orbiting the Earth in a geostationary trajectory that keeps it positioned above the southern Atlantic Ocean, providing coverage from eastern Brazil to Singapore. Xtar is about to launch another satellite that will extend coverage to parts of the United States and more territory in South America and Africa. Both satellites carry steerable spot beams that can be positioned anywhere within each satellite's coverage area.

"Adding X-band services to our portfolio of satcom solutions is something we're very pleased to do through our alliance with Xtar," said David Helfgott, Americom's chief executive officer, in a written statement. "Making X-band capacity available immediately is just the first step."

Tests have shown that data throughput on the XTAR-EUR satellite can exceed 100 megabits/sec, according to the announcement. The services will also be available to Americom's non-DOD customers, including civilian agencies.

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