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    Gulf's Space Odyssey

    Spacenet's Skystar Advantage platform will be available to 1,800 Gulf dealers in northeastern United States.

    CHELESA, Mass. -- Gulf Oil Co. is partnering with Gilat Spacenet Inc. to provide a high-speed satellite communications network to serve its fuel dealers in the northeast who are looking to upgrade their credit authorization and pay-at-the-pump capabilities.

    Under the terms of the deal, Gulf dealers across the nation will be able to use Gilat's Skystar Advantage network to deploy fast credit and debit authorization and pay-at-the-pump services to minimize customer-waiting time. Gulf distributes motor fuels through a network of 1,800 Gulf-branded gas stations and independent retailers throughout the northeastern United States. Because the VSAT network is not constrained by the reach of land lines, it can provide the same high level of service to every one of Gulf's retail locations -- even those in remote areas.

    "By bringing Spacenet's satellite broadband technology to our dealers across the country, we expect to achieve significant cost savings and increase efficiencies at the point of sale. Gilat and Spacenet have successfully served major retail petroleum chains worldwide for many years. This experience proved to us that their technology provides the high performance we require to meet the needs of our retailers," Margaret McDonnell, Gulf's manager of credit card services.

    Gulf is expected to begin making the Skystar Advantage VSAT network available to its dealers this quarter. Spacenet's solution for Gulf includes turnkey installation of all VSAT remote site equipment, as well as comprehensive network operations and field maintenance.

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