Tunnel Vision

Serving military and government users without distractions from the commercial marketplace

The communications technology sector is fast paced, at times even chaotic, with new concepts perpetually in development. The satellite industry is no exception. As new antennas, higher throughput and many other products and services come online, companies look to capitalize on these innovations. Complicated business models are designed to build markets and margins. XTAR is a little different, or perhaps quite different. Plain and simple, XTAR was created and continues to grow purely in support of the government user, their requirements. Our “job” is to understand and enable the most effective means to mission success. This focus on government users is what we do, ALL we do, and dare I say we do it better than any other commercial satellite operator.

The rest of commercial industry uses satellite communications to serve many users in various vertical markets from newsgathering and entertainment to financial services and retail—government being only one market among many. Market diversity can be good for business as companies can shift focus to balance market fluctuation. However, that diversity also means being ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. Balancing profit and loss for most companies is largely a financial equation based on where revenue is most easily gained. Special government requirements normally will not supersede a bigger buyer whether we are talking in the short or long term.

XTAR is an exception to this diversified business model. We have chosen to have a sole focus. Just as the ITU has set aside X-band for government use, we believe there is a crucial need for a commercial satellite operator completely devoted to meeting mission requirements. Our ‘tunnel vision’ eliminates common conflicts of interest typically vying for commercial satcom service.

With the SOFIC Conference taking place this week, I would like to better explain our unique perspective through the lens of the special operations community. Although the Special Operations Forces (SOF) has created a resilient network to address present and future threats in all regions of the world, the US and its Allies face increasingly determined adversaries requiring the network to adapt further to meet these challenges. Satellites that enable information sharing, very often in near real-time, are a key element of the SOF network. Obviously, the quality and availability of the connection are essential. At XTAR, we recognize (and can act accordingly!) that the special operator units cannot be delayed by weeks, days or sometimes even hours, nor can they be limited in mission scope. The information they gather must reach decision makers around the globe to enable actionable intelligence that are critical to national security. Satellite communications are the major conduit of this constantly growing demand for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Major General Clayton Hutmacher, US Army Special Operations Deputy Commander, recently explained that the Special Operations appetite for ISR assets is just scratching the surface of what is possible.

XTAR sees these missions, understands their parameters and develops resilient, secure, high-speed network solutions to fulfill missions, even in the most remote regions where SOF operates. We have developed a strong relationship with SOF around the globe. Rather than attempting to retrofit something designed for a commercial customer, XTAR helps government users understand and evaluate commercial products and services working together to derive solutions that are the right fit for special requirements. XTAR plays this advisory role on a regular basis to develop the capabilities and support needed. This includes beam placement, pricing, availability, flexibility and speed to service.

XTAR is an organization dedicated solely to understanding and supporting the government mission. This takes keeping our eye on the ball to provide the service needed when it is needed. In order to pursue this chosen path, we have created relationships to benefit our unique users. Just like SOF pursues various means to achieve mission success, XTAR also has surveyed the field and chosen to do business differently. Our focus is to bring the best commercial technology solutions to benefit the diverse and unique challenges of government users without the distraction of other customer priorities.