In the private sector, SSPI recognizes XTAR for introducing a new model for meeting the specialized needs of government and military customers through a commercially developed and operated satellite system operating in the X-Band rather than conventional commercial satellite bands. Formed in 2001 as a joint venture between Loral Space and Communications and HISDESAT, XTAR is the world’s first commercial provider of X-band capacity to government agencies and military forces. The company's first satellite, XTAR-EUR, was launched in February 2005 to 29 degrees E. in order to provide coverage from Eastern Brazil and the Atlantic Ocean across Europe, Africa and the Middle East to Singapore. In field tests for the US military, XTAR-EUR demonstrated a throughput of up to 105 Mbps using 25-year-old legacy terminals, and the Spanish Ministry of Defense and US Department of State became its first customers. In early 2006, HISDESAT will launch SPAINSAT to a location at 30 degrees W. This Spanish satellite will carry 8 X-band transponders designated XTAR-LANT to serve the Atlantic Ocean Region including the eastern United States, Latin America and most of Europe and Africa.
In the public/nonprofit sector, SSPI recognizes the e-Mexico Project of the Ministry of Communications and Transportation of Mexico for using satellite technology to provide that country's large rural population with Internet access and IP-based services. The project began in 2000, when newly-elected President Vicente Fox directed the Secretary of Communications and Transportation to develop a network of Internet access centers across the country. The primary goal was to bridge the digital divide, but the project also aimed to foster the teaching of English as the language of the global economy and to help develop the country's IT and telecom industry, foster an internal market for IT products and digitize government services. PanAmSat agreed to donate Ku bandwidth on Galaxy 3C for the project in order to help meet the goal of delivering service priced at US$40 per site. Rollout of the network began in January 2003 and, by early 2004, the system was carrying 24 Mbps of daytime traffic. By 2005, the system included about 3,000 terminals reaching 90% of the population via satellite and offering, in addition to Internet access, IP multicast for e-learning (video, audio and data) with interactivity between teachers and students.
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