By Mitch Haft, Director of Sales
For Narda-MITEQ, 2016 was a most interesting year—in 2016, the merger of two very significant microwave companies, L-3 Narda and MITEQ, was accomplished. By merging the two companies, the company is able to focus on providing reliable, technically advanced solutions for the MILSATCOM and SATCOM markets served.
L-3 Narda Microwave acquired MITEQ in January of 2015. The goal was to build a world-class RF/microwave component and systems company and deliver on-time, quality products to all customers.
In October of 2015, L-3 Narda-MITEQ closed two heritage MITEQ buildings and merged the business into facilities in Hauppauge, New York. The firm also migrated the heritage MITEQ company data onto the Narda ERP system. Both these actions were designed to provide a closer working relationship between the two organizations to form one powerful entity.
The surface mount facility and machine shop that the heritage MITEQ company maintained were sold to local businesses that now support the company's requirements. By closing these areas, L-3 Narda-MITEQ can concentrate on designing and manufacturing our core products.
Due to these changes, L-3 Narda-MITEQ has been working on reducing backlog for the past year and is poised to achieve all on-time delivery goals.
L-3 Narda-MITEQ produces more than 6,000 satellite communications (SATCOM) products each year from the world-class facility in New York. In addition, an extensive production center in Costa Rica, which produces components, modules and subsystems, is fully supported.
Collectively, L-3 Narda-MITEQ has more than 60 years of
RF/microwave design experience and 40+ years of experience in SATCOM equipment for commercial and military markets.
L-3 Narda-MITEQ manufactures RF/microwave components and systems from 1 Hz to 70 GHz. The Narda side of the company continues to maintain an extensive in-stock inventory of passive components, including power dividers, couplers, attenuators, adapters and terminations.
In addition, L-3 Narda Safety Test Solutions produces leading-edge RF safety monitoring equipment for various applications—personal size, portable and area-wide.
The MITEQ side of the business continues to supply RF/microwave active and passive components, including low-noise amplifiers, mixers, oscillators, synthesizers, switches, modules, fiber-optic transmitters and receivers, as well as spaceborne components and subsystems.
The SATCOM division manufactures dual-conversion frequency up- and downconverters, block converters, switchover units, test translators, fiber-optic links, uplink power controllers, redundant amplifier systems and custom solutions.
A majority of L-3 Narda-MITEQ’s products provide a customized solution that is designed to meet the customer’s requirements. As the SATCOM products use the L-3 Narda-MITEQ components within the unit, we have total control of the performance—from input to output.
The firm's current products are being used in Earth stations across the globe and the firm has been selected to supply Ka-band communications equipment for many different customers who require specialized, reliable products to meet their requirements.
Ka-band continues to grow as more and more satellites are designed for higher capacity, which allows operators and owners to be more competitive. As the Ka-band spectrum has atmospheric issues, the L-3 Narda-MITEQ uplink power controller solves diversity and power adjustment challenges that come with the territory. The company's uplink power controller unit can be used for L- or IF-Band attenuation, with as many as 10 channels.
The primary Earth station products that we supply are frequency converters. Synthesized up- and down-converters in C-, Ku- and DBS-bands continue to be the most popular with the up and down block converters (to L-Band) directly behind them.
L-3 Narda-MITEQ indoor redundant block converters use a patented 1/3 rack assembly to form a 1RU form factor for a 1:1 system. Both indoor and outdoor form factors are supplied to support different system architectures for Earth station designs.
L-3 Narda-MITEQ specializes in providing a custom approach when a standard solution is not available. Using the firm's technical ability to understand and solve the issues, our engineering team leverages vast experience and expertise to support custom-engineered designs.
The company is using the combined resources of two excellent organizations to produce products that customers require. The newly merged L-3 Narda-MITEQ business offers many different technical approaches to solve challenges outside the breadth of other companies. This makes the firm's products superior and ultimately helps customers reach their goals.
Looking Ahead To 2017
Now that the merger has been completed, the company is focusing on meeting customers’ needs with even more innovative solutions.
Next year starts with the largest internal research and development budget in the history of L-3 Narda-MITEQ, with a major share going to further the development of Q- and V-band converters, as well as producing a more cost-effective converter for the C-, X-, Ku- and Ka-bands.
In addition, the company will start the year with an improved backlog position in order to achieve on-time delivery goals.
L-3 Narda-MITEQ believes that Q- and V-bands will be the next growth area for the satellite industry, just as Ka-band is now—with more and more connectivity, people will demand a better, faster, more reliable and secure method of getting their data and content. The Q- and V-Bands will offer additional choices for expansion once the rain attenuation effect is overcome.
Mitch Haft received his BSEE degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford, New Jersey. He is currently the Director of Sales for the SATCOM division at L-3 Narda-MITEQ located in Hauppauge, New York. L-3 Narda-MITEQ, a division of L-3, designs and manufactures RF/microwave components, safety monitoring equipment and satellite communications equipment.
By David Gsell, Chief Operating Officer
The Mobile Satellite (MSS) industry and the organizations it serves is expanding with a plethora of new capacity and high throughput bandwidth options designed to satisfy the needs of the mobile, global end-user.
Inmarsat’s Global Xpress has officially and fully debuted and is commercially available around the world. Iridium is preparing to begin launching the satellites that will comprise their new $3 billion Certus offering.
Improvements in hardware size, costs and terrestrial interoperability combined with the requirement for secure capacity, reliable, “go anywhere/everywhere” connectivity within the government market has opened new opportunities for satellite services to be deployed around the world.
2016 was a step change year for MVS. As a company that has traditionally been steeped in the traditional MSS verticals—maritime and land for government users—this year the company redefined itself in those vertical markets while at the same time growing its technology portfolio and expanding its footprint across the world with new offices and in-country management teams. Because of the priority to provide a high-quality, secure solutions base to our end-users, the company has also increased the focus on Cyber Security to protect the networks the firm establishes and maintains for customers.
In the improved network infrastructure built out in 2016 to 2017, along with the existing security measures such as the MVS firewall, anti-DDoS and anti-spoofing features, MVS is presenting a Personal Security Center—displaying in a web portal information about threats coming to end-user systems, personalized to that specific traffic.
From the web, portal users will further investigate, mitigate and block attacks that threaten their infrastructure. In addition, capabilities are being increased by the company for creating closed user group networks—grouping terminals together which are able to communicate only with each other and/or with central office or data center connected via leased line or IPSEC VPN.
A closed user group, not being connected to the Internet in the first place, offers users the secure environment that most applications require. With these new additions MVS remains committed to offering customers a secure networking experience as cybersecurity threat levels increase world-wide.
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, satellite communications is often the most reliable, if not the only, communications option for first responders and government support teams on the ground.
This past year, MVS USA was once again at the forefront of supporting relief efforts around the world, providing communications equipment as well as needed supplies to places like Ecuador, Haiti and other locations ravaged by earthquakes or hurricanes.
With global warming and dire predictions of more intense natural calamities to come, responding to emergency situations and supporting relief workers will continue to be an important part of the company’s work. The MVS USA team will be ready with equipment, supplies and the ability to provide network support around-the-clock.
International expansion was a significant hallmark of MVS’ year, with MVS Brazil becoming the first Inmarsat partner to become a GX VAR for Brazil. GX was tested and demonstrated successfully for broadcasters covering this past summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. The MVS team in Brazil continues to leverage this technology and is seeing major interest from the utility markets throughout the country.
Elsewhere in the region, MVS expanded its commitment to South American with the opening of a new office in Bogota to serve both government and commercial customers in the country. In November, the company dedicated the new office with a grand opening ceremony that coincided with the signing of a major contract with the Ministry of Defense. The company has been active in Columbia for many years and has grown to the point where a direct physical presence was needed to capitalize on the many business development opportunities and to provide the much needed foothold in the LATAM region sought by many of the company’s customers.
2017 & A Glimpse Into The Future
In 2017, MVS USA will continue its expansion growth plan both in terms of its management team and its global presence.
After introducing GX in 2016, the Company will continue to embrace technology and embark on a ‘tech forward’ path. The company has already hosted Tech Forums for partners and customers and will continue to do so to bring the brightest and most innovative minds and ideas into one room.
In terms of geographic presence, MVS USA forecasts continued expansion with plans for the opening of a west coast office and a strengthening of the company’s presence in Washington DC for government customers, both of which will happen in the early part of the new year.
Among the most significant initiatives for MVS USA in 2017 will be the expansion and enhancement and its network. The company is in the process of a network re-design and has made major investments into a new structure that will migrate to the cloud and ultimately offer secure, seamless and fully redundant data networking.
Once complete, customers will have access to a private network within the MVS USA network along with discrete firewalling, Cyber Security and account management tools. Security is on everyone’s mind, so the new MVS USA network will feature enhanced security for the entire data network. The core of the new network will be housed in a new state-of-the-art facility in Amsterdam with power and redundant racks well above ground and safe from nature’s conflicts.
With additional capacity and the new network architecture in place in Amsterdam, MVS USA expects to tackle a new vertical in 2017—Disaster Recovery storage. Amsterdam is one of the most attractive locations in the world for Disaster Recovery given its political neutrality, absence of government interference and access to undersea cable and teleports to every continent on the planet. MVS will be looking to gain a foothold in their area for US and international customers.
2016 was a year that saw advancements, investments and the introduction of new technologies in MSS. MVS USA continued to make its mark across a wide spectrum of government customers, providing a range of highly mobile and secure satellite communications solutions wherever they may be needed on land or at sea.
David Gsell has more than 18 years of senior executive leadership experience across several satellite technology and service sectors. Gsell joined MVS in October of 2015 as Chief Operating Officer. In this position, he is responsible for the management and operation of the global business, including business development, strategic planning, M&A, new market development, technology strategy and government-related activities.
Prior to joining MVS, Gsell held leadership positions in the M2M sector as the GM for Orbcomm, LLC., and prior to that he held several senior management positions in SES Americom.
By Michael Weisler, Director, Product Management and Marketing
What were ND SatComn's plans for 2016?
ND SatCom sought to firmly establish itself as an open supplier and partner. In 2016, new international partners joined our group of existing partner companies from the institutional, military and governmental sectors as sales channels or technology partners. Many of these new partners have taken the opportunity to distribute the company's SKYWAN 5G modem to their clientele on site. Additionally, the unique features of 5G have convinced product manufacturers to integrate SKYWAN 5G modules into their own product range, thereby expanding our SKYWAN portfolio.
Focus on CBH Vertical
One major focus in 2016 was to demonstrate SKYWAN 5G’s benefits and TCO savings to service providers in the cellular backhaul domain using proof-of-concept tests. For example, ND SatCom conducted and successfully completed a live test in South America under very demanding conditions.
This service provider, now convinced by this network solution, has incorporated SKYWAN 5G in other projects. In addition, a major Asian cellular network service provider is planning to use 5G as the core component of its commercial applications. Offering additional verified solutions with Sevis or XipLink products has proven most helpful.
Focus On "Installing Reliability"
ND SatCom has been known for years as a reliable partner for fail-safe communication solutions for governments, air traffic control, and broadcasting companies. The firm's experience and competence benefit our customers: for years there has been no VSAT network failure and only two customers have reported a single device failure during the last two years. The company is proud of this performance reliability and the value we provide, which SKYWAN 5G will bring to commercial solutions.
Focus On Making Missions Possible
ND SatCom is known in various European countries and beyond as a reliable supplier and logistics partner for military ground units. Partners and end-users are supported through all stages and for many years thereafter. With the firm's commitment to design, validate, deliver and maintain a customer’s network, ND SatCom is well prepared for every adjustment and replacement—today and in the future.
The Successes Of 2016
ND SatCom defines success as offering the customer the correct system solution with utmost reliability, all at a reasonable price. To this end, there is continual investment in product development to deliver reliable solutions. Company engineers draw on decades of experience by using the firm’s own, or third party, products from SATCOM suppliers to best meet customer requirements.
ND SatCom’s reach expanded and solidified in 2016—two of the largest orders were received from the Middle East and Africa (MENA).
Asia and South America were the biggest source of new customers. In the Brazilian market, Anatel certification for all SKYWAN modems was received.
Europe, especially the military sector, continued to be a significant and stable source for order backlog.
In the American market, the M&C system was updated as a basis of the MFM solution for controlling Satellite News Gathering (SNG) vehicles for ABC.
The latest SKYWAN 5G product is the universal solution for military networks due to the unit’s flexibility to equip each node with the same 5G hardware, regardless of the role of that node in a mission, whether as a flyaway terminal, mobile hub or an anchor station.
This was successfully demonstrated to the first field-test users. With continuing development advances, this product—as well as the terminals developed by its partners—is becoming even more attractive for the military market.
In the telecommunications and media markets, ND SatCom developed, produced, and delivered highly-integrated Production SNGs, customized to order, for HDT, YLE and Free Lens TV. The company was also commissioned by ORF, Magyar Telekom and Telekom Romania to install redundant DBS (Digital Broadcast Satellite) band transmission systems as well as additional uplinks.
Service providers value the performance and ease-of-use of the latest generation of VSAT networks, which have already been demonstrated in customer applications. The excellent quality of carrier grade/best-in-class VSAT technology is confirmed by the feedback received, such as “best price/performance” and “easy to deploy, operate and maintain".
The SKYWAN 7000 series continues to be the modem for security-relevant networks with FIPS 140-2 Level 3 and WGS certifications. Through cooperation with partners such as Sevis and XipLink, SKYWAN 5G has demonstrated how it is best suited for connecting cellular infrastructures to the core network. The bandwidth savings and flexibility convinced the first customers to invest in the company’s MF-TDMA modems instead of in pure star-type or even SCPC technology.
With in-house developed transportable terminals that have performed convincingly in several projects, ND SatCom is the manufacturer for a large and well-known Tier-1 system supplier. Other notable companies are negotiating the use of these systems, which ensure reliable communication in all possible climatic zones.
With a dozen delivered Ka2Go antenna systems for the Eutelsat Newsspotter Service, the firm is just as successful as with the proven SKYRAY antennas for system integrators. Currently being finalized is a new generation of antennas—naturally with Eutelsat approval—and a suitable ACU.
As a company
In 2016, ND SatCom operated as an independent manufacturer and system supplier with a wide product and solution portfolio and expanded its customer base in the global market of cellular backhaul.
Customer Perspective: 2016 Highlights
Establishing a local presence in Asia/Singapore and South America
With the new SKYWAN 5G, ND SatCom launched a commercially attractive product that is suitable for price-conscious customers and countries with poorer or less distinct network infrastructure. With initial successes in the Andean countries, South America is now served from Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Bogota. With Asia as a second growth region, we are managing sales activities and engineering support through a new location in Singapore. The entire South Asian region is thus supported directly and through new local sales partners. As a result, we have inspired many new prospective clients for our product portfolio since the beginning of the year. During CommunicAsia, ND SatCom ensured its large on-site team was accessible and responsive to customers, and since then has held new customer workshops and specialist trainings as preparation for pilot installations and live tests.
Delivering to Government and Defence Sectors
In September, we handed over the eighth transportable terminal—on time and error-free—to the buyer for delivery to the end customer.
In 2016, there were two important development steps for SKYWAN 5G: the introduction of guaranteed satellite capacity mechanisms for terminal groups and the expansion for multiple DVB-S2X outbound links. Both features support cellular backhaul applications. With DVB-S2X, a customer can extend their current MF-TDMA network to many ACM-enabled outbounds.
At IBC in Amsterdam, a well-known US antenna manufacturer agreed to integrate SKYWAN 5G into its brand-new Auto-Acquire FlyAway terminal, thus further increasing the reach of 5G.
The Goal For 2017
ND SatCom will continue the successful partner strategy as a supplier of components and systems for military ground-unit solutions. The SKYWAN product business via resellers and as a system supplier for enterprise networks, including cellular backhaul networks with SKYWAN 5G, will remain our goal, complete with dedicated support of our global commercial customers. Thus, our search for motivated and qualified employees will continue.
Currently responsible for Product Management & Marketing, Dr. Michael Weixler joined ND SatCom at its very beginning, in April 2000. During his continual career in the communication field, previously he held positions as head of R&D for Nortel Dasa, head of software development for ND SatCom AG and head of R&D for ND SatCom GmbH. Due to his extensive 25 years of experience in communication networks and network records, product development and maintenance, Dr. Weixler excels in his field.
As the head of R&D between the years of 2003 and 2015, he successfully supervised all product development, including SKYWAN. Prior to this assignment, he was responsible for ND SatCom’s DVB-RCS hub system, a first in the world. Before his tenure at ND SatCom, he was responsible for development and technical marketing for data communication products at Nortel Networks.
Dr. Michael Weixler earned his Ph. D. at the Institute of Communication Networks and Computer Engineering, University of Stuttgart.
By Koen Willems, Market Director and Senior Contributor
When looking back at the past year, 2016 will be remembered as a time of significant geo-political shifts and numerous security issues facing nations across the globe.
Major terrorist attacks in Brussels and Nice, combined with the ongoing threat from Daesh, the military tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border and the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump, have created a security situation unlike any other in recent memory.
European Defense & Security
The uncertain global geo-political situation and security issues inside and outside Europe's borders in 2016 has created momentum for a stronger role for these nations to play on the international chessboard.
European policy makers have had to react to growing concerns from citizens about security in the wake of attacks in European cities this year and show that the EU remains relevant, despite the summer’s Brexit vote in the UK. No European nation has the resources to confront failing states on Europe's borders, Islamist militants or a resurgent Russia alone, so increased European cooperation in security and defense matters is more crucial than ever.
In order to turn this situation around, European policy makers and individual nations this year stepped up efforts to deepen European military and security cooperation and to strengthen EU defense in tandem with NATO.
The desire from the European Defence Agency and the European Space Agency to boost European cooperation for satellite communication led to the launch of the European Government Satellite Communications (GovSatCom) initiative. Through this, the European SATCOM industry has been invited to build proposals and solutions to strengthen continent-wide cooperation on disaster relief and peacekeeping applications
European satellite operators, service providers, integrators and technology providers, such as Newtec, have been grouped in different consortia and have worked together to design proposals to face the satcom challenges presented by such situations.
With the rise of new High Throughput Satellite (HTS) constellations, it is key that satellite operators and providers of next-generation VSAT platforms, such as Newtec Dialog®, join efforts and offer cross-European solutions and services.
An important element in the European GovSatCom initiative is the support of the pooling and sharing requirement. Established back in 2010 to preserve and enhance national operational capabilities, pooling and sharing improves sustainability, interoperability and cost efficiency, and is heavily used nowadays by numerous nations for a variety of military applications.
The alignment of ground and space SATCOM assets is key in providing crisis management and disaster relief network operators the flexibility, scalability and efficiency to engage into operations where these military and government assets are pooled and shared.
With the combination of innovative and market-proven technologies, the Newtec Dialog Multiservice VSAT platform has shown its suitability for the requirements of pooling and sharing for global operational support, autonomy and affordable communications in 2016.
Defending The Skies
In 2016, the Newtec MDM9000 modem and the Newtec Dialog Multiservice VSAT platform—Newtec’s two core products for the government and defense market—have successfully been adopted in a wide range of humanitarian, government and defense networks.
The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) selected the Newtec MDM9000 modem as part of its Aurora fleet Incremental Modernization Project Block IV upgrades. The CP-140 Aurora—a long-range patrol aircraft operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force for domestic and international defense missions—is used in a wide variety of operations, including strategic airborne surface (sea and land) and subsurface missions, as well as maritime, overland Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Search and Rescue missions.
The fleet contributes significantly to the security of Canada and North America and supports the restoration and maintaining of peace and security in regions around the world.
Under the contract with General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada, Newtec delivered the MDM9000, a ruggedized ATR-size airborne modem, to provide High Data Rate, Beyond Line-Of-Sight airborne communication between the airborne platform and the DND ground network, also consisting of MDM9000 modems.
Following this application, MDM9000 is set to become the most advanced satellite modem certified to operate on the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) constellation.
Following numerous deployments in 2016, the Newtec Dialog VSAT Platform will be next in line for WGS certification. This will enable peacekeepers and the WGS member nations to provide their operations with double the throughput, and allow seamless communications at maximum service availability, even in adverse conditions.
Alongside the ISR and military mission support programs, the Newtec Dialog platform has been selected for national elections in Africa, humanitarian and development programs and large school networks across the world.
All these exciting Newtec technologies, products and projects in the government, defense and commercial market have contributed to a double-digit growth for Newtec for a third successive year, achieving an increase in revenue of 23 percent during 2016.
Newtec’s growth share for the government and defense market has now surpassed 50 percent and the company plans to extend its workforce with an additional 10 percent in 2017 to keep up with the large amount of projects
Quo Vadis, Newtec In 2017?
The pipeline of new projects for Newtec in 2017 suggests that the revenue growth will also continue for the company beyond the next year.
A partnership deal between Panasonic and Newtec—announced in November—will see its application in 2017, with Panasonic Global Communications and Newtec developing a new, high bandwidth satellite modem based on the Newtec Dialog Platform.
The solution will offer Panasonic customers twenty times the bandwidth of its current solution, and versions of this new modem will be available across Panasonic’s mobility markets including air transport, business aviation, maritime, cruise ships, mega-yachts, and river cruises.
The Newtec Dialog developments linked to the mobility market will also be integrated into the on-the-move and on-the-pause solutions for government and defense applications in order to increase data throughput and assure maximum availability for mission critical communications.
Moreover, Newtec will focus on making the Newtec Dialog platform even more resilient and secure in order to fully comply with harsh environment requirements and to provide the peacekeeping and humanitarian satellite network operators with the necessary tools to embrace the complexity of their operations in a successful way.
Koen Willems has more than 18 years’ experience working in different technology industries. Before joining Newtec he was Product Marketing Manager for Europe at the electronics giant TOSHIBA. Currently Koen holds the position of Market Director with focus on the government, defence and humanitarian satcom markets at Newtec. In this role Mr. Willems is in charge of developing the government and defence market worldwide for Newtec and managing
Koen has a Master's degree in English & Scandinavian Languages (University Ghent, Belgium, 1997) and a Master's degree in Marketing Strategy and Management (Vlekho Business School in Brussels, 1998). More recently Koen also received the degree for ‘High Studies in Security and Defence’ at the Belgian Royal Higher Institute for Defence.
You may know Koen as a Newtec technology evangelist through his regular appearance in editorials in satellite focused publications, white papers and speaking slots at conferences around the world.