Scientific-Atlanta Inc. has been awarded a $3.7 million contract by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of China to establish an emergency satellite communications network.

The network will support relief operations when a natural disaster, such as flooding or an earthquake, disables the public telephone network, or in areas where there is no telephone access.

The initial phase of the S-A telephony network will include a 4.5-meter antenna at the master earth station in Shanghai, plus 3.6-meter antenna earth stations in seven provinces.

The eight earth stations will be used in conjunction with 37 mobile satellite systems from S-A that can be quickly deployed and set up for use in coordinating rescue, evacuation, supply, and rebuilding activities that occur in response to catastrophes.

The 3.6-meter fixed antennas will also be used to enhance and expand public telephone system service via connections provided by PBX equipment. Ultimately, the extensive service area of the Scientific-Atlanta network will be expanded to include a 3.6-meter earth station in all 22 Chinese provinces, as well as at least five mobile satellite communications systems per province.