Press Releases

March 7, 2016

Ligado Networks, Cobham and ViaSat Join Forces to Offer EXPLORER MSAT-G3 Next-generation Mobile Satellite Push-to-Talk Platform

EXPLORER MSAT-G3 Service Will Feature Encrypted IP-Based Service With True Multicast Group PTT Communications Powered by the Ligado Networks SkyTerra 1 Satellite

RESTON, VA—Ligado Networks continues to set the standard for the mobile satellite Push-to-Talk (PTT) market with the introduction of the EXPLORER MSAT-G3, a next-generation satellite PTT platform, in partnership with Cobham SATCOM and ViaSat.

The new EXPLORER MSAT-G3 platform is powered by Ligado Networks’ state-of-the-art SkyTerra 1 L-band satellite, which provides ubiquitous coverage throughout North America using a 22-meter reflector-based antenna—the largest reflector to be put into service on a commercial satellite. The expansive communications services and data applications offered by EXPLORER MSAT-G3 will operate over ViaSat’s low-latency, IP-based L-band Mobile Satellite Services network with PTT functionality enabled by Cobham’s IP-based EXPLORER PTT user equipment and server infrastructure.

“The combination of our high-powered satellite operating with the market-leading technologies and services of Cobham and ViaSat enable us to offer secure, durable and data-rich services that build upon the standard-setting satellite PTT foundation we established nearly two decades ago,” said Oliver Hunsucker, vice president of sales, marketing and strategy, Ligado Networks. “As a partnership, we are thrilled to be able to offer our public safety, government and enterprise users the best of all worlds in mobile satellite PTT communications—an extremely rugged, mobile, IP66 rated terminal device enabling next-generation services they can rely on every day and depend on in the most remote and challenging environments.”

Ligado Networks has continually set the standard for satellite PTT communications. The company launched the MSAT Network—North America’s first satellite PTT network—in 1997 and has consistently developed services valued by end-users, including the MSAT-G2 Mobile Satellite Radio (2006), MSAT-G2 Push-to-Track (2007), and set the benchmark for interoperable communications with the creation of SMART™ talkgroups (2007). The EXPLORER MSAT-G3 raises the bar yet again with features significantly evolving the capabilities of the MSAT-G2 platform to better serve current and future users.

The collaboration between Ligado Networks, Cobham SATCOM and ViaSat brings to market the next-generation features that expand upon the legacy of MSAT-G2 while retaining the platform’s popular flat-rate service plans. The IP-based EXPLORER MSAT-G3 platform will allow for a broad range of new terminal-based data-rich applications secured by AES-256 encryption connected to a ruggedized Cobham EXPLORER mobile PTT interface that supports Satellite/3G/LTE/LAN backhaul and Land Mobile Radio integration to provide seamless handover of voice calls. The terminal also supports Bluetooth and WiFi data connectivity.

“We are excited to be combining our all IP based EXPLORER PTT platform with the compact EXPLORER 122 vehicular satellite terminal to create the next generation MSAT Mobile Satellite Radio. The robust Satellite/3G/LTE roaming capability ensures the highest network reliability at the lowest cost available,” said Henrik Norrelykke, vice president, Land Business, Cobham SATCOM.

Phil Berry, vice president and general manager, Mobile Satellite Services, ViaSat commented, “In working jointly with Ligado Networks and Cobham, we have created the next generation of satellite PTT services. Integrating the latest L-band technology and efficiency with the reliability of trusted industry leaders to provide a rugged, mobile capability that surpasses customers’ desires for flexibility, security and ease of use.”

Availability

The EXPLORER MSAT-G3 PTT platform is specifically designed to provide reliable high-performance connectivity to the Public Safety, Utilities, Transportation, and Fleet Management markets and will be available for purchase the end of Q1 2016. As an ongoing strategic partnership, Cobham and Ligado Networks will make available additional features in early 2017 that will bring to market popular MSAT G2 functions that Ligado Networks’ customers have come to rely on. These feature enhancements will include the ability to interoperate with MSAT talkgroups, support for SMART™ Talk Groups, Private Mode Talk Groups for one-to-one conversations, and the ability to scan multiple talk groups.