By Capt. Patrick Sciacca
MariTEL, a wireless telecommunication service provider for boaters, recently received $31 million in private equity financing, bringing the company’s total financing to $61.5 million. According to MariTEL, this will allow it to put the finishing touches on its $300 million wireless telecommunications network. It will be made up of land-based Digital Selective Calling (DSC) VHF radio towers, fiber optic network, and network control facilities. MariTEL’s services include marrying traditional VHF radio technology with a land-based telephone system and offering (DSC) VHF. DSC allows private calls between ship and shore, direct dial to other boats, boat location capability, and data transfer. The company’s wireless services will cover the U.S. coastline and inland waterways. ...Orbital Sciences Corp. has sold its subsidiary Magellan Corporation, a marine GPS manufacturer, to the Thales Group, an electronics company with interests in aerospace, defense, and information technology services. "With today’s agreement to sell our Magellan subsidiary to Thales, and our previously announced transaction to sell another subsidiary, MacDonald, Dettweiller, and Associates, we have taken several major steps in our campaign to refocus Oribtal on its core space technology," says David W. Thompson, Orbital’s chairman and chief executive officer. "In addition, as part of Thales’ broader worldwide electronics business, Magellan should have greater opportunities to develop full potential its state-of-the-art GPS technology," he adds.
This article originally appeared in the June 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.