MariTel Completes Field Test of Wireless DSC VHF

MariTel, The Marine Telephone Company, has successfully completed field testing of its "Next Generation" wireless DSC (Digital Selective Calling) marine VHF radiotelephone Network. For the first time in the U.S., users have the ability to place direct-dial, private, automatically routed VHF telephone calls between ship and shore. The testing also demonstrates the Network's ability to provide accurate vessel location services, which will be used by vessel operators, cargo owners, family and friends. The test also proved that the MariTel Network exceeds the U.S. Coast Guard's (USCG) 20- mile minimum requirement for DSC VHF radiotelephone coverage for the mandated National Defense Replacement and Safety Modernization Program (NDRSMP). Telephone calls were routinely connected 25-30 miles from the tower sites MariTel's effective area is also determined by tower site topography and vessel antenna height, permitting coverage from up to 50 to 100 miles from shore.

The company plans to launch its first wireless Network coverage in the Gulf of Mexico and on the lower Mississippi River during the month of May, subsequent to the completion of commercial "Beta" testing.

The completion of the field test also confirms MariTel's ability to successfully apply its marine communications business model. The company owns all nine regional Federal Communications Commission licenses to provide wireless telephone interconnect in the marine VHF radio spectrum.

The company has also concluded a $31 million private equity financing transaction, according to Mitchell Hauser, president and CEO. The company's list of investors includes American Tower Corporation, Wafra Partners, Harris Corporation, Williams Communications, Northwood Ventures and MCT Investors. With the announcement, MariTel has raised $61.5 million in equity financing to date.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 10,  Jun 2001

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.