A manufacturer of satellite broadband antennas has opened a facility in Cherokee County near the regional airport and will hire 50 workers over the next 18 months, officials said this week.
NXT Communications Corp. has opened a new 10,000-square-foot factory at 103 Heather Court, Ball Ground, that will produce what company officials call "the first cost-efficient, commercially viable electronically steered antenna to meet worldwide demand for affordable broadband connectivity on the move."
"We are excited to open our facility in Georgia, a transportation, logistics and aerospace hub nurtured by leading R&D institutions like Georgia Tech, strong engineering and technical schools and a tech-savvy workforce," said Dave Horton, NXTCOMM co-founder and CEO.
The company will produce satellite broadband antennas for a variety of mobility and fixed wireless markets.
The company's antennas are designed for use in the satellite, aviation, trucking and other mobility and fixed wireless markets. The facility will house executive management and administration, engineering, supply chain, quality, production, integration, assembly and test capabilities.
NXTCOMM is initially targeting airline inflight connectivity and land mobile applications such as rail and trucking fleets and first responders, company officials said.
"The commercial market for connected equipment and services across aviation, maritime, land mobile and connected vehicle industries combined is expected to exceed $500 billion in the next 10 to 15 years," company officials said in a written statement.
"Unlike traditional antenna designs, our antennas are modular by design and easily mass producible in any form factor to meet global demand for wireless connectivity – anywhere," Horton said.
"Our goal is to drive production efficiencies with our next-generation, modular, high-performing antenna designs, a lower cost product and connectivity service solutions supporting the mobile connectivity marketplace," said Tim Morton, NXTCOMM's co-founder and president.
Officials plan to begin over-the-air testing of the aero antenna in the fourth quarter of this year, with initial low-rate production in early 2021.
"We are excited to have NXTCOMM in Cherokee and look forward to further partnerships and much success as they continue to empower connectivity within the satellite and mobility markets," said Marshall Day, chairman of the Cherokee Office of Economic Development.