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Year In Review... Globecomm

gcomm_sm1210_l Revolutionaries like to brag that their revolutions are never-ending. The leaders at Globecomm are no wild-eyed anarchists but painstaking engineers instead. Their revolution, however seems to be in full swing.

Only four years ago, the Company earned most of its money doing what it was founded to do: integrating satellite systems and building satellite networks. In the 2009 fiscal year, that ended in June 2010, half of the Globecomm’s income came from providing communications services instead. The services are also not your grandmother’s satellite services. Instead, the company has moved into new markets and new technologies, and is learning to manage new levels of complexity in the process.

One of those markets is mobile. At the end of 2009, Globecomm placed a carrier-class 3G mobile switch into service. The company uses it to provide hosted core switching as an outsourced service for carriers seeking to broaden coverage without major capital or operational investment. The switch has the capacity to service more than a million subscribers with a 100 percent IP-based soft-switch architecture offering a forward path to 4G. Since then, the company has gained numerous regional carriers as customers in the US, the Caribbean, and as far away as Africa. Globecomm’s Mobile Switching Center now carries millions of minutes of voice traffic and hundreds of gigabytes of data traffic every month.

At NAB 2010, Globecomm introduced TempoSM, a hosted service providing enterprises with a single platform for delivering interactive training, employee communications, and digital display to global audiences. Tempo is a secure platform for publishing content, conducting interactive live events, and managing each viewer’s access to programming. It offers interactive, high-quality video broadcasts with integrated polling, chat and powerful analytics from any Web browser with a broadband connection.

The growth of these new services has certainly applied pressure on Globecomm’s own infrastructure, and in August, the Company expanded its fiber point-of-presence and teleport facilities fourfold and added a new POP in New York. The infrastructure includes connection into the DISA network, as Globecomm continues to expand its role as a supplier of satellite technology and transmission services to the Department of Defense and civilian agencies of the US Government. In 2010, the company announced more than $35 million in new deals with government agencies.

gcomm_sm1210_g1 Satellite, however, remains a vital technology for the firm. As a market that depends on satellite, maritime has become highly attractive to Globecomm. The Company acquired maritime players Mach6 in the Netherlands and Telaurus in the USA in 2009.

Today, the company delivers communications services to 2,500 vessels around the world. In 2010, Globecomm acquired two more companies in the sector. Carrier2Carrier, based in the Netherlands, provides satellite services across Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, and maritime services in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Gulf of Mexico and the Indian Ocean regions. Its teleport in Biddinghuizen, Netherlands, has added another teleport node to the company’s global network. The second company, Evosat, provides Inmarsat land-based BGAN, maritime-based Fleet Broadband services and mobile communications.

In 2010, Globecomm’s Telaurus subsidiary won one of its biggest jobs ever, a three-year managed services contract from Singapore-based PACC Ship Managers. Telaurus is providing 30 vessels trading worldwide with maritime Fleet Broadband terminals and its se@COMM managed communications platform, which simplifies management and controls costs.

In October, Globecomm landed a project that returns the Company to its business roots but also reaches far into the future. Hughes Network Systems selected the company to design and install the gateway ground stations that will support the 100 Gbps Ka-band Jupiter satellite that is due for launch in early 2012.

Through the Earth station network developed by Globecomm, Hughes expects to deliver low-cost, high-speed broadband via satellite to millions of customer terminals in rural areas across North America. Ka-band represents the industry’s first serious attempt to provide a service comparable to terrestrial broadband providers, and more than $5 billion in new assets are being placed into orbit through 2014. The contract win positions Globecomm at the leading edge of an exciting new market — a territory the company has been occupying since it launched an Internet via satellite subsidiary back in 1998.

gcomm_sm1210_bio The revolution will continue in 2011. Like the satellite industry itself, Globecomm will drive farther into the niches where satellite communications provides unique value, while further integrating its systems and services into the global communications market. Satellite stood alone for decades as a solution for unique applications such as broadcasting and maritime. In the next decade of the new century, Globecomm will be one of the companies taking it to the mainstream.