By Kristy Dorsey

A US firm specialising in satellite telecommunications services is to set up shop in Scotland in a further boost to the country’s burgeoning space sector.

Mangata Networks of Arizona will create 38 jobs in Edinburgh where it will open a research and development centre to advance its satellite-based communication technologies. The company is said to be investing £10.5 million in Scotland, of which £3.6m will be offset by an award from development agency Scottish Enterprise.

Mangata offers satellite connectivity by either hosting communications on its own platform, or by integration into existing networks. In addition to enhancing Scotland’s space capability, the inward investment is also expected to bolster Scotland’s proposition in the 5G communication sectors.

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Chief executive Brian Holz described the decision to set up in Scotland as “just the beginning of a long partnership”.

“We are impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the Scottish people we meet and by the sense of camaraderie they instil in all that they do,” he said. “With the skills and available local talent, picking Scotland as our European hub was a natural choice.”

Almost one-fifth of all UK jobs in the space sector are based in Scotland, where the aim is to grow the industry's value to £4 billion by 2030. Meanwhile, the Scottish 5G Centre will work with Mangata on the development and testing of its hybrid 5G/satellite service.

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Paul Coffey, chief executive of the 5G centre, said: “The opportunities for Scotland from satellite communications are enormous, particularly as the pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of digital connectivity."

“Mobile operators and internet service providers will be able to complement their traditional connectivity in areas that have historically been difficult to serve.”