FCC Signals Satellite Business

SAN MATEO (08/01/2000) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Monday cleared the way for aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp. to plunge deeper into its pending merger with satellite mainstay Comsat.

Under the recent FCC order, Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin can begin using the space and earth stations, which belong to Comsat, also headquartered in Bethesda.

Comsat meanwhile has been revving up its satellite-based telecommunications solutions aimed at corporate enterprises that are unable to meet all their needs with terrestrial systems.

Targeting especially multinational companies, Comsat is pushing its Linkway line of products based on VSAT (very small aperture terminal) broadband technology. Linkway is an advanced satellite-networking terminal that can be used for services such as corporate ATM, frame relay, and IP.

Comsat is also trying to sell large corporations on the fact that Linkway provides bandwidth on demand and can be used to build VPNs (virtual private networks) that link outposts in geographic areas that are difficult to reach with land-based broadband solutions.

Lockheed Martin and Comsat expect to close their merger deal this week.

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