Satellite Demand is Growing – Mike Kenneally, NewSat VP of Satellite Strategy
Mr Kenneally, the vice president of Satellite Strategy of NewSat, expects the size of the company’s teleport engineers to increase in the coming years due to the rising demand for mobile backhaul, satellite communications and satellite-based services.
A communications specialist and information management expert, Kennealy has been with the satellite carrier for six years. He also worked at the Department of Defence, the Prime Minister’s Department and IBM. Under his supervision as technical auditor, the national census adopted spatial information systems in 1996 for the very first time.
In an interview with Sa Defense Business journal, Kenneally talked about the teleport operations and future satellite communications fleet of the independent SATCOM carrier.
NewSat is poised to become a global player in satellite communications business with the launching of its first Ka band satellite. The company runs two teleports in Australia which serve both local and internal clients. It acquired the Perth and Adelaide teleports from SES Newskies Satellites in 2005. The Adelaide facility boasts of twelve antennas. These facilities are run by radio frequency engineers who mitigate latency problems and ensure timely transmission of signals to and from geostationary satellites.
NewSat’s satellite reselling and teleport business passed the Australian government standards for public contracts, making the company an officially “Endorsed Supplier”. NewSat has been a satcom supplier to US and Australian defense agencies. It was also nominated for the 2012 World Teleport Association’s Awards for Excellence, along with two independent teleport companies.
South Australia is a strategic location for running teleports due to its good reception pathway for satellite signals. Kennealy points out that it is critical consideration when choosing contractors for military communications since combatants often have to rely to satellite antennas to communicate in areas not reached by cable lines or cellular sites. He said NewSat teleports have a global reach, thus they can communicate with antennas outside Australia and connect end-users with another satellite terminal wherever it may be to facilitate two-way real-time communications.
Lockheed Martin has begun building the company’s first Ka band satellite, Jabiru-1, and the project is likely to get finished in 2014. Arianespace will then launch the satellite, which will be located in a geostationary orbit to serve Australasia, the Middle East and Africa.
Kenneally expects more engineers at the Adelaide facility in the near future.
“..We have secured nearly $600 million of pre launch satellite contracts,” he said. NewSat is the satellite communications partner of the US army under 20 different contracts which mainly involve service coverage in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Jabiru satellite communications program will enable NewSat to increase its satellite communications, teleport and mobile backhaul coverage from 75% to almost 100% of the world’s surface.