Sat-Com’s History

1996

1996

The Birth of Sat-Com:

  • Former companies Electro-Com, Starex and Design Laboratories amalgamated to become Sat-Com.
  • The name Sat-Com came from the predominantly Satellite business during the early years, although a lot radio and TV broadcasting business filled the portfolio.
  • This at the time completed the communication engineering portfolio.
  • After David Brown joined the group in 1996 with his electronic design skills, Sat-Com was able to design and develop products that directly addressed all the requirements of our customers.
1997

1997

Television and Satellite era

  • Sat-Com was the sole technical contractor for a Television Service provider, Multichoice, in Namibia.
  • Sat-Com installed and commissioned more than 50 broadcasting stations throughout Namibia.
  • Sat-Com also started manufacturing a range of very successful TV Radio Frequency Amplifiers.
  • Many of them are still in use throughout Africa.
1998

1998

TV Broadcasting era:

  • Sat-Com engages and wins broadcasting tenders in Malawi and Tanzania.
  • As the sole contractor, Sat-Com installed and commissioned the complete broadcasting infrastructure for the Malawi National Broadcasting Corporation.
1999

1999

R&D era starts:

  • Sat-Com acquires new premises at 2 Jakaranda Street, Suiderhof in Windhoek.
  • Design and Production of the first military RF amplifier, The AFRACAL-I 50W starts.
  • It became one of Sat-Com’s star performing products at the time and is still in use by Sat-Com’s customers.
  • Sat-Com grants the first bursaries to Namibian students wishing to study electronic engineering at a university.
2000

2000

Birth of the first military radio:

  • Sat-Com wins a design and development contract for the first purely Namibian Military VHF communications radio, the Cheetah-I, a 30-88MHz Manpack.
2001

2001

Scaling-up era:

  • Sat-Com becomes the preferred supplier to Thales UK for our multi chemistry solar and manual wind-up field charging systems. Sat-Com designed and manufactured more than 500 units for export to the United Kingdom.
  • The first Pick & Place machine was acquired enabling SMD production of the redesigned AFRACAL1 and production of the first radio, the Cheetah-I, 30-88 MHz manpack.
  • Sat-Com invests in a it’s CNC milling machine to enhance our manufacturing and design capability.
2003

2003

Growth era:

  • The August 26 Group of Companies acquires a 49% share in Sat-Com.
  • The original shareholders David Brown and Derek Moore remained majority share holders.
  • Civilian and military business is growing with larger orders coming in.

 

 

2004

2004

Modernised manufacturing era:

  • Sat-Com upgrades its Printed Circuit Board plant to multi-player production capability.
  • The first Sat-Com graduates join our team of engineers.
  • The first large manufacturing order for the military Man-Pack radio is executed in record time.
  • The Cheetah-I was at the time one of the best in its class and was manufactured in large quantities.
  • More Afracal1-50W orders were received.
  • This multimillion-dollar contract was executed and delivered in record time.
  • The Cheetah-I and Afracal-1 are still in service today and used by the Namibian defence force.
2005

2005

Diversification era:

  • Sat-Com installs and commissions Digital Video Broadcasting Up-link for Trinity Broadcasting Namibia and One-Africa Television.
  • Sat-Com receives a design and development contract for a Namibian Military HF Communications Radio.
  • Sat-Com secures tenders for a 14 channel MPT1327 trunking radio system for the City of Windhoek and a HF radio system to the ministry of forestry.
  • The first analogue HF Radio prototype is completed.
  • All projects were completed and handed over in good time.
  • Normal military and commercial communication business continued
2006

2006

Cellular era:

  • Sat-Com engages in the cellular infrastructure market with major emphasis on Telecommunication Implementation with Nokia, Later Nokia Siemens N (NSN) for Namibia’s second cellular network Cell One.
  • Sat-Com installs and commissions V-Sat Backhaul Satellite networks for Cellular Operators in Namibia.
  • Normal military and commercial communication business continued

 

2007

2007

Cellular Roll out era:

  • Sat-Com expands its premises to cater for the expansion in the Cellular business hosting the network implementation teams while normal business continued.
  • Team of 8 engineers go to Italy for Nokia base station integration and commissioning training.
  • More than a hundred sites Cellular for Cell One were build, integrated and accepted.
  • Normal military and commercial communication business continued
2008

2008

Dawn of a new era:

  • The rollout for the 1st phase of the cellular implementation was concluded.
  • The August 26 Group of companies acquires 74.5% of the shares in Sat-Com with David Brown retaining 25.5% shares as the MD of the company.
  • Normal military and commercial communication business continued
2009

2009

SDR era:

  • Sat-Com adopts a split operation approach to regain focus to develop a multiband SDR.
  • The R&D team start with the design of a software defined military radio, later to become the Leopard-1
  • The engineering service team introduced new product / services to test market response.
  • Sat-Com is awarded a contracted for a turn-key V-Sat backhaul system.
2010

2010

Construction era:

  • Sat-Com starts construction of its modern business and manufacturing facility.
  • Sat-Com is awarded long- terms manufacturing contracts for military communication equipment, Cheetah Handheld Radio is conceptualised.
  • Normal military and commercial communication business continued
2011

2011

Instrument Landing System era:

  • Sat-Com wins a bid for an ILS (Instrument Landing System) to be installed at the largest military airport in Namibia.
  • Sat-com participates in Namibia’s first ITU conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Normal military and commercial communication business continued
2012

2012

Launch of the Leopard1 SDR:

  • The Leopard-I manpack enters the international market space as one of the few multiband manpack radios in the world.
  • Normal military and commercial communication business continued
2013

2013

New Sat-Com building:

  1. In March Sat-Com new Head Quarters with state of the art production and manufacturing facilities was inaugurated by His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba President of the Republic of Namibia.
  2. Now, under ONE Roof, the R&D, Production, Procurement, Finance and Implementation teams can progress faster.
  3. The first Leopard-1 Manpack radios are delivered and become a daily used item in Namibian Defense Forces.
2014

2014

Expansion and Tooling-up era:

  • Large Manufacturing Contract is signed with the Namibian Ministry of Defence to manufacture and deliver over a 3 year contract multiple hundreds of the Sat-Com developed communication systems.
  • Sat-Com commissions the large capacity factory adding more C&C, Pick and Place, Optical recognition, laser cutting and bending.
  • Sat-Com commissions it’s environmental test facility to aid with MIL-STD-810G environmental development and testing.
  • The first Field Trials and International Exhibits of the Leopard-I are a success, everyone wants the multiband manpack with data, COMSEC and TRANSEC capabilities.
  • The need for a Multi-Role, Multiband Power Amplifier necessitates the design of a Dual RF Amplifier with Automatic Antenna Switch, The AFRACAL-2 HV amplifier was conceptualised.
  • Sat-Com sign a development and manufacturing contract with the MOD for a multiband VHF/UHF handheld radio, the Cheetah-3, based on the Leopard-1 is born.
  • Leopard-1 Build 2 goes into production.
2015

2015

Production & International era:

  • Sat-Com starts large scale produces and delivers the first phase of a three phase project to Namibian Defense Force
  • The automated FAT lines are commissioned.
  • The Afracal2 Multiband Dual RF Power Amplifier goes into production.
  • The first field trials on international grounds are conducted, various possible end users are visited and positive constructive feedback is received.
  • The multi role requirement as man-pack, base station, vehicular and repeater with data, e-mail, messaging and situational awareness becomes priority as sales team conducts more intense field trials to foreign military organisations.

 

2016

2016

Expansion era:

  • The sales team conduct many more successful field trials with multi role equipment on three continents.
  • Sat-Com embarks onto a joint development project for a large international end user to customise our military radios including technology transfer for their specific needs.
  • The Cheetah3 Tactical High Power Multiband SDR goes into production.
  • Automated powder coating plant is installed and commissioned.
  • Sat-Com conclude phase 1 to NDF
  • The Leopard1 Build 4 Radio goes into production
2017

2017

Large scale delivery era:

  • Satcom completes phase 1 delivery to NDF and start immediately with Phase 2
  • The Leopard1 Build 5 radio goes into production.
  • The Cheetah3 Build 2 radio goes into production.
  • International orders are coming in and delivery with training and implementation is very successful.
  • Sat-Com embarks on establishing an SKD factory in Western Africa.
2018

2018

New Development era:

  • Satcom completes phase 2 delivery to NDF.
  • The VHF Power Amplifier (VRI) goes into production.
  • The Afracal2-B2 VU is production ready.
  • R&D on the AFRACAL 1000 (1kW) HF power Amplifier commences.
  • R&D on the 1kW HF Antenna Tuner Commences.
  • NON GPS Hopping Synchronisation (OTAHS) commences.
  • Sat-Com own advanced NR (Noise Reduction) implementation commences.
  • More International orders are coming in.
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