OneWeb buys US secure comms company
The deal with TrustComm in Texas will help OneWeb offer its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network and connectivity services to US government clients and follows a partnership in March.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but OneWeb has raised $1.8bn from the UK government, Bharti Global, Softbank and Eutelsat since its near-bankruptcy last year. Hughes is also part of the consortium of backers for US government services.
Trustcomm is based at the highly secure Ellington Joint Base in Houston, Texas, and provides managed satellite communications and professional services to commercial organizations and governments. TrustComm offers services ranging from broadband Internet access, VoIP and voice, video conferencing and data communications for business continuity to emergency response, tactical field deployment, and temporary use, and resells services from Inmarsat, a competitor to OneWeb’s latest investor Eutelsat.
“OneWeb’s acquisition of TrustComm underpins our strategy to rapidly scale satellite communications service to the US Department of Defense and other government agencies as they look to integrate high throughput, low latency solutions to meet new connectivity demands,” said OneWeb’s Head of Government Services Dylan Browne. “We are excited to have TrustComm join our team and leverage their strong reputation providing the remote communications our customers want, particularly in Alaska and the Arctic.”
The subsidiary will be led by TrustComm CEO Bob Roe to offer network speeds up to 195 Mbit/s, lower latency, smaller and more compact multi-orbit user terminals and built-in network management tools providing substantial economic savings over traditional GEO sales models. It expects to start a limited service in Q4 this year with the current constellation of XX satellites with a full service in 2022.
OneWeb demonstrated data rates up to 500Mbit/s at latency of 32ms, a fraction of the typical latency of current GEO satellite services to the US Department of Defense back in March. The demonstration also illustrated the seamless handover of connectivity between multiple LEO satellites as they passed overhead.
“TrustComm’s heritage and customer-focused support teams will enable us to expand the portfolio of services we offer and allow us to pursue new opportunities. This is an exciting development and we look forward to taking our government business to new heights in the coming year,” said Roe.
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