SAN FRANCISCO — Electro Optic Systems Holdings Ltd. of Australia (EOS) completed its acquisition May 28 of Silicon Valley startup Audacy and announced plans to spend approximately $1.2 billion Australian dollars ($800 million) to create the EOSLink satellite communications constellation.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved EOS’ plan to take over Audacy’s spectrum license and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) completed its review of the deal, EOS announced May 28.
Now, EOS can “move quickly to the deployment phase of the first EOSLink constellation, comprising four satellites,” EOS Group CEO Ben Greene said in a statement. “The size, capability and cost of these satellites has been scaled to meet the requirements of initial customers. Over the next six months we will complete the satellite design sufficient to allow the award of build and launch contracts by early in 2021.”
EOS is counting on expansion of optical communications, which it expects to account for the majority of communications traffic by 2036. The EOSLink constellation is designed to support the transition from RF links accounting for the lion’s share of the market to optical links.
During this transition, EOS anticipates the communications market to experience severe disruption as traffic jumps 100-fold without any increase in overall revenue.
Prior to acquiring Audacy, EOS purchased EM Solutions, an Australian manufacturer of mobile terminals for wideband satellite communications.
Two EOS subsidiaries, EOS Space Systems and EM Solutions, are founding corporate members of the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre, an Australian public private partnership with $245 million in funding supporting more than 100 research organizations. EOS Space Systems and EM Solutions have forged agreements with the SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre to work together to develop a hybrid RF and optical satellite communications terminal.