Global-IP Cayman is an innovative satellite communications company and incorporated in the Cayman Islands with operations in California, USA and Dubai, UAE.
Privately owned Global-IP was founded in 2016 by three satellite industry veterans with 75 years of combined experience providing satellite products and services in emerging markets. The company CEO, Bahram Pourmand, was until recently Executive VP and General Manager of the International Division of Hughes Network Systems, LLC. The other two founders, Emil Youssefzadeh and Umar Javed were founders and executives of STM, one of the VSAT industry pioneers with a 15-year track record in Africa before sale of STM in 2013 in a private equity transaction.
In anticipation of procurement of its first satellite, engineering and the technical activities as well as the launch of GiSAT-1 (not to be mixed with ISRO’s GISAT-1 Earth Observation satellite), Global IP established its US subsidiary in August 2016.
Global-IP is entering a crowded market that has more high-throughput capacity on the way. In addition to the many operators that already have capacity over Africa, Avanti’s Hylas-4, Yahsat’s Al Yah 3, Spacecom’s AMOS-17 and Fibersat’s hosted payload Fibersat-1 are all expected to bring more Ka-Band capacity to the African continent before GiSAT-1 is in orbit.
The first satellite, GiSAT-1, is designed to provide broadband services in Sub-Sahara Africa covering over 750 million people in 35 countries with over 150 Gbps of capacity. GiSAT-1 is already under construction at Boeing Satellite Systems and will carry the latest advanced digital payload technology on a Ka-band High-Throughput-Satellite (HTS) entirely dedicated to Africa. GiSAT network will have multiple gateways located in Europe for connectivity to Internet via tier-1 fiber backbones. Also the advanced digital payload capabilities will allow the deployment of multiple in-country gateways and terminals for customers who wish to have local connectivity.
With the ability to reconfigure the GiSAT on-board processor, the Boeing’s 702 digital payload will allow Global-IP to broadcast different channels to different beams from different locations, providing better service to broadcasters, mobile operators and ISP’s.
Global-IP Cayman made an agreement with satellite operator Hellas-Sat from Greece to operate the new GiSAT-1 satellite. The agreement has duration of 15 years, regardless of the life expectancy of the satellite. GiSAT-1 satellite will be controlled from Greek and Cypriot control centers and Teleports by Hellas-Sat engineers.
In April 2017 Global-IP Cayman announced that it had selected launch operator SpaceX to launch the GiSAT-1 high-throughput satellite. The launch was scheduled in Q4 of 2018 on a Falcon 9 rocket. Global IP scheduled GiSAT-1 to enter service in 2019.
In June 2017 Global-IP contracted satellite communication service-provider SkyVision Global Networks, Ltd, to build and maintain the ground infrastructure of 11 Ka-band gateway stations in different European teleports for Global-IP’s GiSat-1 satellite network.
Construction of the turn-key gateway stations started in 2017 and will supply 11x 9.4m Ka-band antenna systems including two TT&C Earth stations, and M&C systems to manage the entire network, with 24/7 maintenance and support.
In late 2018, the company was the center of controversities, as Chinese investors had taken control of Global IP. Manufacturer Boeing announced in early December 2018 it was canceling the satellite order, since Global IP was behind on payments for the satellite and needed to raise an extra 200 million USD to complete it.
Boeing will likely search a new customer for the nearly completed satellite but US Export Control stopped the sale of the Chinese financed satellite since export of satellite technology, or key parts of a satellite, is forbidden under American trade regulations.
In October 2019, Global-IP renegotiated the contract with Boeing with the backing of a 175 million USD investment from Hong Kong-based Bronzelink Holdings. The funds would go towards completion of the mostly-complete satellite and fulfillment of contract payments. Because the launch order with SpaceX remained valid, GiSAT-1 will still be launched on a Falcon 9 rocket. The satellite’s telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C) will be managed by Hellas-Sat satellite operator from their Cyprus teleport.
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