Expedition Communications buys MobilSat in deal between satcom integrators
Expedition Communications announced the acquisition of Mobile Satellite Technologies (MobilSat) in a transaction merging two satellite-telecommunications integrators that serve the public-safety, military and critical-communications sectors.
Liz Ingle, vice president of sales and marketing for Expedition Communications, said the synergies between the companies meant that doing the deal that was announced last week “just made a lot of sense” as MobilSat CEO Bud Burton and his wife, Debra Burton sought to divest all their holdings in satellite-communications integrator.
“MobilSat also has a unique portfolio that will offer expanded reach for us and allow us to offer—specifically to the public-safety [market], which would be state and local governments—more robust, end-to-end telecommunications solutions,” Ingle said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
“So, if you’re thinking about a mobile command center, we didn’t offer video solutions before. Now, with this deal, we’ll have the ability to make that available to our clients.”
There are notable similarities between Expedition Communications and MobilSat, in terms of the companies’ business models and the markets they serve, according to Ingle.
“They’re a satellite-telecommunications systems integrator; we’re also an integrator—we don’t own a bird [satellite] in the sky,” she said. “We work with a lot of the [satellite-constellation] providers, and similarly to them—we work with Intelsat and Viasat, and they work with them, as well, plus a couple others.
“We do a lot in the public-safety and first-responder area, as well as some with the military, and MobilSat does quite a bit in that area, as well … With the FirstNet deal that we’ve been working on with Rescue42 and the CRDs [Compact Rapid Deployables], we’re working with a lot more state and local governments across the United States, including along the West Coast.”
Purchasing MobilSat will let Expedition Communications add new VoIP and VPN technologies to its offerings, as well as Internet capabilities for VSAT, cellular backhaul, mobile-command trailers and television offerings, according to an Expedition Communications press release about the transaction.
Expedition Communications CEO Dean Eldridge emphasized the MobilSat capabilities that will now be available to Expedition Communications’ customers in a prepared statement about the deal.
“We’ve built a strong reputation for being fast and nimble to reach our goals and to serve our customers,” Eldridge said. “Acquiring MobilSat was the next step in our evolution and was the right move for us in efforts to expand our portfolio and enable new opportunities and solutions for our customers.”
Expedition Communications CTO Jerry Creekbaum echoed this sentiment.
“By bringing all of these technologies together it allows us to provide our customers a seamless integrated solution to become a true one-stop-shop for our clients,” Creekbaum said in a prepared statement. “This is important, because we’ve seen many clients being required to streamline and simplify their vendors. That’s why we have focused on offering true end-to-end telecommunications solutions.”
Ingle said that Expedition Communications’ offerings today primarily deliver satellite connectivity via geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) satellite, but the satellite integrator is exploring the possibility of leveraging low-earth-orbit (LEO) and medium-earth-orbit (MEO) satellites in the future.
“Our CEO and CTO are having talks with LEO and MEO [satellite providers],” Ingle said. “It’s in the plans, and when the time is right, we will be exploring that.”
Ingle said that the Expedition Communications acquisition should have minimal immediate impact on existing MobilSat customers.
“As of right now, it’s business as usual,” Ingle said. “We’re working to get all of the infrastructure, from a billing standpoint, set up to make it as seamless as possible for the customers.
“A big part of what we do at Expedition Communications is business-continuity planning, so we’re really trying to be strategic about how we integrate and move things over with the end customer in mind to minimize disruption.”
Expedition Communications’ main office is located in Carlsbad, Calif., while MobilSat is headquartered in Chesapeake, Va. Expedition Communications currently plans to maintain the Virginia office location and hopes to keep all MobilSat employees, outside of the Burton family that is divesting from the company, Ingle said.
“We’re really excited about the additional resources and reach that this team can help us with,” Ingle said. “Ultimately, having additional talent under one roof is going to help us provide better service to our end clients. Right now, we’re in the process of trying to onboard everyone.”