Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications Becomes Equity Partner in Asia Cellular Satellite
BETHESDA, MD and JAKARTA, INDONESIA, January 5th, 1999 -- Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications and ASIA Cellular Satellite (ACeS) -- a company formed by Indonesia's Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), Thailand's Jasmine International Overseas Company Ltd., and the Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) -- today announced the addition of Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications as a major equity participant in the venture. The investment gives Lockheed Martin a 30 percent ownership stake in ACeS, which will deliver mobile voice and data communications services via one of the world's most powerful commercial mobile communications satellites, the Garuda-1, beginning in the fall of 1999. The founding ACeS partners will retain 70 percent interest in the venture. In addition, ACeS has been reincorporated under the name ACeS International Limited and will be registered in Bermuda.
Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications will hold three seats on the venture's board of directors, and also will appoint key executives to the ACeS International operating business. The Lockheed Martin investment ensures that the project will be fully funded through early operations, and enables commencement of construction of a second satellite, Garuda-2, to serve first as a back-up and then for expansion of the system to provide coverage to western and central Asia, eastern Europe and parts of northern Africa.
The worldwide market for mobile satellite services is projected to reach $35 billion annually by the year 2003, with Asia alone accounting for more than one-third.
ACeS International is to launch the Garuda-1 satellite in mid-1999 on a Proton launch vehicle and manage a satellite control facility and network control center on Batam Island in Indonesia. The satellite, under development for the past four years, is now undergoing final testing, the ground segment is nearing completion and gateways in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand are under construction. Ericsson, which is providing dual-mode handsets for ACeS, already has delivered the alpha model within the agreed weight and size parameters.
"We welcome Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications to a project that will satisfy tremendous unmet demand in Asia Pacific for reliable, affordable, high-quality mobile communications services," said Adi R. Adiwoso, chief executive officer and president director of PSN and the founder of ACeS. "Of the region's 3 billion inhabitants Ã± less than 25 percent have access to wireline coverage and less than 11 percent have access to wireless services. This, combined with a region comprising a huge and diverse geographic landmass, makes Asia Pacific one of the best areas for mobile satellite services in the world."
John V. Sponyoe, chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, said, "The ACeS system demonstrates how innovative systems engineering and network design can take telecommunications services to a new level. In developing the Garuda satellite and the ACeS telecommunications network, and in working with industry leaders such as Ericsson, we've produced a telecommunications solution that will be highly competitive against the higher profile LEO mobile systems. Our ACeS investment reflects confidence not only in the quality of this system's technology and design, but also in the long-term growth prospects for the Asian economy."
National service providers will offer retail services for $1 or less per minute in most countries in the ACeS coverage area. To date, service providers in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan have agreed to market ACeS services in their national territories. Memorandums of understanding also have been signed with Sri Lanka and Japan. Negotiations with additional countries in the ACeS coverage area are ongoing.
The ACeS joint venture is the latest telecommunications initiative undertaken by Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin formed to concentrate and extend the Corporation's role in the expanding telecommunications services marketplace. In September 1998, Lockheed Martin Global Telecommunications announced a proposed $2.7-billion strategic combination with COMSAT Corporation.
P.T. Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN) is the first private satellite communications company in Indonesia and, with USD $285 million in assets, is also one of the leading satellite companies in the Asia Pacific region. Based in Jakarta, PSN is focused on becoming a fully
Darian GermainLockheed Martin Global Telecommunications(703) email@example.com