Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets related to the OmniSTAR Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal corrections business from Fugro N.V.
The acquisition is expected to significantly expand Trimble’s worldwide ability to provide corrections services for land based agriculture, construction, mapping and Geographic Information System (GIS) and survey applications.
Trimble and Fugro also entered into a multi-year service agreement which includes Fugro’s ongoing operation of its correction network and satellite service broadcast systems that power the OmniSTAR service. Fugro’s offshore marine business is unaffected. Closing of the transaction, anticipated in the first quarter, is subject to certain closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
OmniSTAR provides space-based GNSS correction services that can improve the accuracy of a GNSS receiver for precise positioning applications. Currently, there are four levels of OmniSTAR service: "VBS" offering sub-meter positioning, "XP" delivering better than 20 centimeter accuracy and "HP" delivering greater than10 centimeter accuracy. In addition, the new OmniSTAR “G2” service combines GPS plus GLONASS based corrections to provide decimeter level positioning.
Trimble pioneered RTK technology in the early 1990s, which enabled high-accuracy corrections for field applications. RTK is now recognized as the industry leading technology for centimeter-level positioning. To further improve accuracy Trimble subsequently introduced VRS technology in 2000 and shortly after that, Trimble VRS Now Service.
“With the addition of the OmniSTAR services and our strong relationship with Fugro, we will offer a full range of high-precision positioning capabilities which now includes satellite-delivered corrections,” says Patricia Boothe, general manager of Trimble’s newly-formed Positioning Services Division. “Today, our agriculture customers use OmniSTAR services to perform planting, harvesting, variable rate application and many other operations. Our expanded portfolio will provide not only farmers, but also surveying, construction and GIS professionals with more options to satisfy their particular accuracy, delivery and financial needs.”
“Trimble and OmniSTAR have enjoyed a long standing relationship,” says John Waits, president of OmniSTAR. “The transfer of land-based GNSS signal corrections assets marks the next phase of our efforts to bring a broader range of positioning services to our combined customer base, on land and offshore. The OmniSTAR and Fugro teams remain committed to providing industry leading corrections services for customers who own a variety of GNSS receivers.”
The OmniSTAR business will be reported as part of Trimble’s Engineering and Construction segment.