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NewSat makes inroads with US military, but yet to do so locally

NewSat makes inroads with US military, but yet to do so locally

Satellite communications company sees success overseas with defence customers

NewSat Limited founder and CEO, Adrian Ballintine (right), at a signing in Washington with Australia’s US Ambassador, Kim Beazley (left)

NewSat Limited founder and CEO, Adrian Ballintine (right), at a signing in Washington with Australia’s US Ambassador, Kim Beazley (left)

The US department of defence has an “insatiable appetite” for Ka band capacity at the moment, which covers the frequencies of 26.5-40 GHz, according to NewSat Limited founder and CEO, Adrian Ballintine, whose company has sealed satellite deals with the American military.

“Whilst we have sold $105 million to one of their contractors now, we would expect to sell substantially more moving forward,” he said.

While the Australian satellite company has seen success in the US, Ballintine admits it was not easy to develop the relationship with the military.

“It would not have been possible if it wasn’t for our teleports and the relationship we have built with the military,” he said.

Ballintine explains that NewSat’s teleports are regarded as one of the five “best broadcasting havens” in the world for the military.

“The result of that is we have built up credibility with the military,” he said.

“Whether we are a $100 million or $1 billion dollar company, over the last six years we have established a reputation for providing services such that it is not an issue now.”

However, Ballintine said if a company like NewSat had just decided to launch a satellite and go out and find some customers, it would have had “great difficulty in establishing and proving” its credentials with the military.

MIA locally

Despite the success NewSat has had in an overseas market such as the US, Ballintine said the company has no working relationship yet with the Australian defence force.

“We don’t provide any Australian military capacity at the moment,” he said.

“Having said that, we have a plan to do it and we feel we are well placed to do it.”

Ballintine adds that NewSat is also capable of providing for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

“As these new contracts come up for consideration, NewSat is going to be aggressively pitching for that business and, eventually, we’ll launch a specialist satellite over Australia,” he said.

While Australia may be a small market for satellites compared to ones such as the US, and contracts are “infrequent,” Ballintine said it is still a lucrative one.

“Australia has also not had a choice for a local owned entity from which they could buy capacity,” he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.


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