Comtech Telecommunications and UHP Networks Join at the Hip

by Patrick Gannon

Comtech Acquiring UHP Networks for $40 Million

Dec 08, 2019

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Two vendors that BusinessCom Networks works with, Newtec and ST Engineering iDirect recently finalized their merger. ST Engineering Completes Acquisition of Newtec Now another two vendor partners are tying the knot. BusinessCom uses the best technology for the project at hand, and each of these vendors has specific strengths that can be applied to a project, depending on the requirements. We have delivered numerous circuits based on these platforms.

Comtech has entered into an agreement to acquire Canadian company UHP Networks for a price of about $40 million, intending to take advantage of UHP Network’s revolutionary technology transforming the VSAT market. Comtech will benefit by expanding their product line in the satellite ground station market. UHP provides reliable, high capacity satellite equipment geared for the private and high-performance enterprise market. The company plans to leverage revolutionary TDMA technology into Comtech EF Data’s HEIGHTS platform which provides dynamic Single Carrier per Channel (dSCPC) technology.

Comtech EF Data

Comtech has a wide range of product solutions, and they will not all be reviewed here, but one feature is worth mentioning. BusinessCom has frequently leveraged Comtech’s DoubleTalk® Carrier-in-Carrier® Bandwidth Compression for large circuits in which the outbound and inbound carriers are close in size to each other. Carrier-in-Carrier (CiC), based on “Adaptive Cancellation” technology allows transmit and receive carriers to share the same transponder space, thereby reducing capacity requirements, and the associated costs. The savings can be significant for larger duplex circuits.

The Comtech diagram illustrates how two carriers adjacent to each other can share the same spectrum. The DoubleTalk CiC achieves spectral efficiencies – in other words how many bits per second can be transmitted or received per amount of transponder power – that cannot be achieved with traditional links. The increased efficiency reduces carrier costs but can also contribute to reduced capital expenditures as smaller BUCs (transmitters) and/or antenna hardware may be required. The overall cost savings can be very significant for broadband satellite operations with large circuits in which both inbound and outbound carriers are roughly the same size. A very large outbound and a small inbound, which is typical for many satellite services, given that most content flows in one direction, are not good candidates for CiC. However, circuits that support large VoIP termination, video conferencing and two-way file transfer applications are great candidates for CiC.

UHP Networks

UHP Networks, formerly known as Romantis, is famous for their Software Defined Network capabilities. Most data communications products are designed with a single purpose. The UHP product line delivers a wide range of solutions, simply by defining what role the satellite router is to play using software. This can range from standard point-to-point SCPC circuits, to multi-site TDMA networks and a range of flexible mesh networks providing any-to-any connectivity or a mix of point to point and mesh. Hardware can be repurposed simply by changing the software. UHP Networks’ solutions have proven to be very competitively priced, as compared with other high-capacity satellite router solutions.

BusinessCom Networks leverages the UHP Networks platform for its broadband satellite service optimized to support the growing demand for streaming content. See: BusinessCom Leverages UHP Networks for Streaming Wave

The Merger

Comtech Telecommunications delivers a wide range of innovative products, systems and services for advanced communications solutions, providing services to commercial and government markets. Comtech EF Data is a leading supplier that focuses on satellite bandwidth efficiency and link optimization for mission-critical and demanding applications in mobile backhaul, government, enterprise and mobility markets.

Comtech will be purchasing UHP Networks as well as the acquisition of a sister company and all intellectual property. UHP employees are expected to join and remain with the new company. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second half of fiscal 2020 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

UHP’s President, Vagan Shakhgildian expects the strategic combination with Comtech will significantly benefit its customers with greater resources and capabilities than UHP can provide on its own. The company plans to maintain focus on scheduled and committed rollouts to customers, and continuing to support all existing products, services and agreements to customers and strategic partners such as BusinessCom.

Consolidation

The broadband satellite market appears to be consolidating after a fairly long period of stasis. While technology has progressed slowly and steadily, some seem to feel that the time has come for bigger steps. The industry has become very exciting again, with new LEO mega-constellations being launched, advanced HTS (high throughput satellites) satellites with hot spot beams, integration with new wireless 5G services, and growing demand for internet everywhere. In order to meet these new demands and challenges, the industry leaders are joining to pool resources to deliver the technology needed to support the new services. Who will be next?

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