April 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

COMSAT General Plans Expansion Of MARISAT

COMSAT General Corporation has announced it plans to expand MARISAT voice capacity serving the shipping and offshore industries from the present one to as many as six duplex high-quality voice circuits in each of the Atlantic and Pacific satellites.

The MARISAT System, which began service last year, provides modern, 24-hour communications to the U.S. Navy and to commercial maritime users. COMSAT General offers telephone, telex, facsimile and data services between the shore and ships or offshore facilities at sea via MARISAT.

"This significant increase in capacity will mean faster and more convenient service," COMSAT General president John A. Johnson said. "Queuing for a circuit will be minimized, and data can be handled in real-time with additional voice circuits. Heavy communications users, such as oil drilling rigs and passenger ships, will be assured almost immediate access." A study of the performance of the MARISAT satellites during their months of operation indicates that the satellites can be operated at a higher power mode in the commercial maritime frequencies, while providing full service in UHF frequencies to the Navy.

Thus, COMSAT General said, from its share (86.29 percent) of the MARISAT System, it now will be able to substantially increase its commercial service to as many as six telephone circuits in each satellite, while still providing 25 channels for telex service in each satellite.

At present, more than 40 ships and offshore facilities registered in 13 different countries are equipped with COMSAT General terminals for operation with MARISAT, and additional terminals are on order by industry users.

COMSAT General said it will promptly seek appropriate authorization from the Federal Communications Commission to expand its MARISAT voice-grade services in the near future.

Other stories from April 1977 issue


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