Petrocom Turning the Tide In Offshore Communications

PetroCom announced the completion of the first phase of base station installations in the Gulf of Mexico. Final testing will begin in early July. These sites are the first of a total of 56 that the New Orleans-based company is establishing in the Gulf.

In late April, PetroCom announced that it had begun construction and testing of the first digital cellular network in the Gulf. Working with Siemens and Ericsson, PetroCom is introducing cutting-edge GSM technology to provide enhanced, secure and high-speed communications for companies in the multi-billion dollar offshore industry.

The new cellular network will provide greater coverage, better performance and stronger signals for offshore facilities. Petroleum companies, maritime operators and government agencies in the Gulf rely on secure, dependable communication for critical daily operations.

"The first digital cellular network in the Gulf is on schedule and moving swiftly to deployment," said PetroCom President and CEO Brad Parro. "The first operational digital cellular sites signify PetroCom's solid commitment and delivery on its promise to bring the dominant and most strategic communications network to our customers in the Gulf of Mexico."

In addition, PetroCom is fully optimizing the existing analog network at the same time. The analog system is being reengineered and upgraded for better, more powerful performance.

Supported by nearly two years of rigorous research and performance assurance, PetroCom's digital cellular network will deliver approximately 100,000 square miles of coverage in the Gulf of Mexico. The company will also provide additional coverage to support deepwater exploration projects and specialized market demands. According to industry analysts, an estimated $30 billion will be dedicated to deepwater Gulf exploration and production in the next five years.

PetroCom's world-class network harnesses the strength of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard, the leading wireless communications technology with one billion subscribers in more than 200 countries. The network will also be one of the first system-wide deployments of EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) technology in the United States. This unrivaled technology ensures delivery of advanced mobile data services, including high-speed Internet access, video downloading and full multimedia messaging, among others.

With headquarters in New Orleans and offices in Houston and Lafayette, La., PetroCom is the largest cellular provider in the Gulf, with a coverage area stretching from Brownsville, Texas to Mobile, Ala. and as far offshore as 180 miles.

PetroCom is working in concert with Siemens and Ericsson, the industry's leading wireless network equipment manufacturers. Siemens is providing base station equipment and Ericsson supplies the network switching technology. These high-performing telecommunications industry leaders are the conduits through which PetroCom is delivering its breakthrough network.

PetroCom LLC is a full-service telecommunications and network solutions company serving the business community, with particular emphasis in the energy industry. PetroCom was founded in 1983 to construct, develop and operate the world's first satellite-based cellular network.

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