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Alcatel Notches Satellite Broadband Deal

French telecom giant Alcatel has won a new multi-million dollar contract to implement its "DSL in the sky" system -- satellite gateway, on-site equipment and network management software -- for a China broadband provider by year's end.

The system will allow Nanjing Toptry China-Spacenet to provide users with high-speed Internet, virtual private networks and distance learning services to thousands of schools and small and medium businesses.

The project will lead to a great expansion of communications, said Dominique de Boisseson, head of Alcatel's China operations.

"(The offering) will allow people in the remote areas to get access to state-of-the-art satellite technology, and the communication systems in the urban areas to have a flexible back up," de Boisseson said.

The China deal comes two weeks after Alcatel expanded a previous relationship with EMS Technologies to develop satellite broadband Internet systems.

Under that deal, Alcatel will integrate EMS's return link subsystem (RLSS) and its end-user terminals into its "DSL in the Sky" service.

The offering will supports a complete service management suite enabling service providers to offer broadband access services to end users located outside landline DSL areas.

With the EMS deal, Alcatel has also announced several contracts wins with satellite and broadband service providers including nine-figure deals with Korean Telecom and Brazilian satellite operator Star One. Equipment from Atlanta-based EMS, which adheres to the emerging DVB-RCS industry standard, are due over the next few months could help Alcatel fulfill those contracts.

Alcatel is best known for its land-based telecom operations but is active in the satellite industry. Its space unit develops satellite technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, optical and radar observation, weather and scientific applications. It generated more than $1 billion in revenues last year and has 6,000 employees.