Satnews Daily
December 22nd, 2014

MTN Government Knows Xactly What They're Doing w/X-Band Antenna In Spain...The Largest X-Band In Europe

[SatNews] "MTNGOV been working to bring this capability to our U.S. Department of Defense customers since 2012 when the two X-band antennas were first installed at our teleport in Santander."

MTN Government (MTNGOV) today announces it has extended its military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) capability using a 12-meter X-band antenna capable of supporting remote, small-aperture users throughout Europe and Southwest Asia. The new antenna complements an existing five-meter antenna currently supporting XTAR LANT and XTAR EUR services.  

The commercial X-band antenna, the largest of its kind in Europe supporting full X-band communications, is located at the company’s teleport in Santander, Spain. The Santander Teleport is a joint venture between MTN Communications (MTN) and ERZIA Technologies. MTNGOV, a subsidiary of MTN, is a respected provider of secure communications, cybersecurity, physical security and integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) solutions serving defense and civilian agencies worldwide.  

“MTNGOV has been working to bring this capability to our U.S. Department of Defense customers since 2012 when the two X-band antennas were first installed at our teleport in Santander,” said Scott Davis, senior director of engineering at MTVGOV.  “The Santander Teleport is now licensed to offer X-band services for mobile, aviation and remote operations using terminals less than a meter in diameter.” 

For decades, X-band has been designated specifically for government communications and has outperformed other frequencies in the most demanding scenarios. There are several technical and operational advantages to X-band communications, including:

  • Freedom from the clutter of commercial users and possible interference;
  • Rain-fade resistance;
  • Maximized throughput, matching or exceeding other frequencies;
  • Higher power for mobility applications; and
  • High data rates with existing DoD X-band terminals.


MTNGOV’s X-band antennas are configured to operate within both a global beam that is cross-strapped to a steerable spot beam and spot to pot beams. These configurations are key to supporting small remote aperture antennas in the field providing higher throughput than normally expected.

“MTNGOV’s extended antenna capabilities at Santander will certainly be a welcome resource to users of XTAR satellites,” said Andrew Ruszkowski, chief commercial officer at XTAR, which owns and operates XTAR LANT and XTAR EUR. “X-band’s tremendous advantages to users and its government-only designation means that XTAR continues to see increased demand for access to its service.”

The X-band service is currently in use by a Spanish oceanographic ship, a customer of JV partner Erzia, for research, transport and logistical missions. The ship is presently sailing to Antarctica to support the operations of the Antarctica Base Juan Carlos I.

MTNGOV established the X-band service at its Santander Teleport with the awarding of an earlier contract. The service is fully operational and available to other governmental agencies, Spanish and foreign, at the Santander Teleport.