Showing posts with label Satellite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Satellite. Show all posts

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fifth Intelsat EpicNG satellite successfully launched

The Intelsat 37e satellite was successfully launched aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. This is the fifth satellite in Intelsat's EpicNG series.

Intelsat 37e was manufactured by Boeing and equipped with the highest throughput of the entire Intelsat EpicNG fleet. It features enhanced power sharing technology between shaped, fixed and steerable spot beams at Ku-band. This new capability augments flexibility within the payload to optimize connectivity and increase efficiency as requirements shift over time.

The C-band payload includes a mix of high-power spot and wide beams. The Ku- and Ka-band steerable beams, which can be positioned as needed, have been added to increase network access and support high-demand areas for government and commercial mobility applications. They will complement the extensive Ku-band multi-spot beam coverage.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

AsiaSat 9 successfully launched from Kazakhstan

International Launch Services (ILS) successfully launched the AsiaSat 9 satellite into orbit aboard an ILS Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

AsiaSat 9, which was built by SSL (Space Systems Loral), will provide enhanced performance, higher efficiency and greater flexibility for DTH, video distribution, VSAT broadband and mobility services. It carries the world’s first dedicated Ku-band Myanmar beam, new Ku-band beams for Indonesia and Mongolia, in addition to two enhanced Ku-band beams serving Australasia and East Asia and a wider high-power C-band coverage across the Asia-Pacific region.

This was the 416th launch for Proton since its maiden flight in 1965. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Kymeta says its fast satellite access service coming soon

Kymeta, a start-up that developed electronically-scanning satellite antennas and terminals for high-throughput communications for land, sea and air, is teaming up with Intelsat to offer a new satellite service with by-the-gigabyte pricing.

The KĀLO high-throughput access service will use fully integrated KyWay terminals and mTennau7 antenna subsystem modules (ASMs) to provide reliable wireless mobile connectivity. The service leverages the IntelsatOne Flex managed services platform. Commercial launch is expected this year.

Dushyant Sukhija, Kymeta’s newly appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of the KĀLO BU, who joined Kymeta’s executive leadership team in July 2017, will lead the KĀLO BU and the upcoming launch of the service. Sukhija, author of the bestselling leadership book “The Cisco Way” is a former Cisco executive.

“I’m excited to work with our partner, Intelsat, to build a global communication and internet service solution,” said Sukhija. “Having worked with numerous communications companies, that spanned 142 countries, over 65 telecommunications service providers, and more than 1.9 billion subscribers while I was at Cisco, I know the complexities of a solution like this. Doing this with a global network that brings high-throughput internet access to a multitude of mobile platforms will dramatically expand the reach of satellite communications, while simplifying the buying process for everyone.”

“Satellite services today are expensive and difficult to buy,” said Sukhija. “Current satellite services customers often must predict their usage in advance. Imagine having to know exactly where you will be using your phone and how much data you will use three, six or even 36 months from now. With KĀLO internet access services, we’re focused on taking the guesswork out of purchasing satellite services, and making it as easy as purchasing a cell phone data plan.”

“Combining Kymeta’s disruptive flat panel antennas and terminals with our unique global, mobile internet services will make connectivity possible where it has never been before,” said Dr. Nathan Kundtz, President and CEO of Kymeta.

https://www.kymetacorp.com/


Kymeta Raises $50 Million for Broadband Satellite Antennas

Kymeta, a start-up based in Redmond, Washington,  closed a $50 million Series C financing for its Metamaterials Surface Antenna Technology (MSA-T). The company was incubated by Intellectual Ventures and is backed by investments from Bill Gates, Liberty Global and Lux Capital.

Kymeta has said its mTenna product line will simplify the satellite connection needed for broadband Internet on the go, anywhere in the world. The company uses metamaterials to manipulate electromagnetic radiation to electronically point and steer a radio signal toward a satellite. The technology could be used to maintain a continuous broadband link between a satellite and a moving platform such as an aircraft, car or boat. The metamaterials could be manufactured using established lithographic techniques.  The technology will be used in flat, thin, light, and highly adaptable antennas and communication terminals.

Kymeta has already demonstrated a metamaterials-based antenna establishing a connection with a Ka-band satellite. The connection used an aperture size of 15 by 17 inches and was about one centimeter thick. The antenna was powered by a USB cable using less than three watts of power to drive the electronic beamforming antenna.

In the latest funding round, existing Kymeta investors including Bill Gates, Lux Capital and Liberty Global were joined in the financing by Osage University Partners and The Kresge Foundation.

http://www.kymetacorp.com/


  • Kymeta is the second company to spin out of Intellectual Ventures. The first, TerraPower, was created in 2008 to develop a new class of nuclear reactor.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Intelsat seeks opportunity through OneWeb, only to be disappointed

From its inception in August 1964, Intelsat has been at the forefront of satellite communications. It has also always been an organisation governed by considerable complexity. Intelsat's original structure was as an intergovernmental organisation (IGO) with 11 participating countries. Over the decades, hundreds of earth stations were built across the planet to receive and transmit signals from dozens of Intelsat satellites in orbit. Though its charter was that of a commercial endeavour, eventually Intelsat came to be governed by 100 member countries and its decision-making process became every bit as complex as if it were an agency of the United Nations. By the turn of the millennium, the public corporatisation movement was in full swing across the telecoms sector as state-owned carriers lost their monopoly status and were forced to attract private-sector investors and compete in the market. For the space sector, privitisation and competition also became mandates, and so in 2001 Intelsat transitioned into a publicly-traded company. Since then, it has experienced a very tumultuous period of reorganisations, buyouts, mergers and public relisting. Some of these bumps-in-the-road were covered in the first part of this article.

Building and launching satellites is extremely capital intensive. Owning and operating hundreds of earth stations in over 150 countries likewise requires a high operating expense budget. After decades in operation, Intelsat is laden with $14.523 billion of debt with many long-term bond holders. On a positive note, the company's revenue breakdown is well balanced: 39% for network service; 42% for media revenue; 17% for government revenue. Customer contracts in each of these segments are predictable and stable. However, though its contracted backlog amounts to $8.5 billion (future revenue under existing contracts), the company has struggled to convince investors that its best days are still ahead. Discounting for the heavy debt load, Intelsat’s market capitalisation is only $391.2 million. There are many cloud-focused software newcomers in Silicon Valley with higher market valuations, but nowhere near the potential of impacting so many people across the globe as Intelsat.

Looking for growth

Some might see Intelsat as a stodgy veteran with a history dating back to the Apollo moon shot era, but its current crop of EPIC Next Generation satellites has accelerated the pace of satellite design innovation. The new designs offer far more capacity, flexibility and potential lifespan than has been achieved to date. As the legacy satellite fleet reaches retirement, the new birds should easily absorb all the traffic from existing contracts while offering plenty of capacity for new applications such as in-flight connectivity for aircraft, mobile backhaul and broadband connectivity in remote locations. 

Meanwhile, testing last autumn revealed that the Intelsat EPICNG  platform is exceeding its performance expectations. Specifically, Intelsat cited a 165% to 330% increase in spectral efficiency with ground platforms and modem technologies, and up to a 300% improvement in throughput using next generation antenna technology with its new EPICNG high-throughput satellite (HTS) platform.

The company said testing also confirmed that the EPICNG platform exceeds performance expectations transmitting to and from a flat-panel antenna designed for a new class of small remotely piloted aircraft. Now that it has four EPICNG  satellites in orbit and proven performance results from live testing, Intelsat's business trajectory should be reassuring to investors interested in space. But there is a new wave of hot start-ups in the space race that are gaining attention and investments.

OneWeb enters the scene

In January 2015, Richard Branson made headlines worldwide by announcing audacious plans to build, launch and operate the world's largest satellite network using Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne space plane to put 648 small satellites into low earth orbit. OneWeb (previously WorldVu Satellite) initially announced $500 million in financial backing by the Virgin Group and Arianespace. Intelsat also announced an equity investment in the firm. The venture recruited Greg Wyler, who founded O3b Networks in 2007, as its leader. O3b Networks (the 'other 3 billion' people without Internet access). and which was recently acquired by SES, operates a constellation of 12 high throughput satellites (HTS) in a medium earth orbit (MEO) around 8,000 km from the Earth. O3b offers customers a 'fibre in the sky' solution, with each of the constellation's beams capable of delivering up to 1.6 Gbit/s of throughput at a low latency of less than 150 milliseconds, a significant improvement over geostationary connectivity. OneWeb now aims to replicate and expand on O3b's success by using hundreds of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites instead of MEO satellites.

In June 2015, following a bidding competition, OneWeb selected Airbus Defence and Space for the construction of its broadband Internet satellites. The companies set an aggressive timeline to get its first satellites in orbit by the end of 2017 – an unprecedented pace. In December 2016, OneWeb raised $1 billion from SoftBank Group and $200 million from existing investors. Earlier this year, OneWeb announced it expected to sell all its capacity by launch time. The only announced capacity sold was for a joint Gogo and Intelsat venture. OneWeb has gone on to suggest that it might quadruple the size of its already massive satellite constellation to over 2,500 transmitting units in orbit.

Intelsat sees an opportunity, only to be disappointed

On February 28, 2017, Intelsat and OneWeb agreed to merge in a share-for-share transaction. Under the deal, SoftBank was to invest $1.7 billion in newly issued common and preferred shares of the combined company. This provided for debt exchange offers to certain existing Intelsat bondholders. The stated goal was to reduce Intelsat's debt by approximately $3.6 billion via this $1.7 billion investment. From a technology perspective, the deal sought to integrate OneWeb's LEO satellite constellation with Intelsat’s global scale, terrestrial infrastructure and GEO satellite network.

In June, after several rounds of negotiations, the merger talks collapsed. The apparent reason was that Intelsat bondholders were unsatisfied with Softbank's offer to pay only a portion of the face value of their notes. Concerning the collapsed merger, Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler said:

-    "There were many stakeholders’ interests that needed to be satisfied in this complex transaction. We are disappointed that our bondholders were unwilling to accept the terms of the exchange offers presented over the course of this process. Even without a merger of our companies, the pre-existing commercial agreement among Intelsat, OneWeb and SoftBank will continue. Under this agreement, I plan to jointly develop integrated solutions utilising both fleets and to act as a sub-distributor to SoftBank for the attractive application segments of mobility, energy, government and connected car".

On June-22nd, the FCC approved a OneWeb's request to access the U.S. satellite market. Specifically, the FCC approved OneWeb proposal to access the U.S. market using a global network of 720 low-Earth orbit satellites using the Ka (20/30 GHz) and Ku (11/14 GHz) frequency bands.

In conclusion, this week’s successful launch of Intelsat 35e is a positive development for Intelsat even though its proposed merger with OneWeb has been withdrawn. OneWeb's LEO satellites would benefit from Intelsat’s GEO capacity, and Intelsat would be rejuvenated by opportunities such as connected cars.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Dalkom partners with Intelsat to expand broadband in Africa and Middle East

Intelsat, operator of what it describes as the Globalized Network and provider of integrated satellite communications, announced that Dalkom Somalia has signed an agreement covering satellite services that will allow it to expand its broadband enterprise and direct-to-home (DTH) services in East and Central Africa and the Middle East region.

Under the multi-year agreement, Dalkom, a privately-owned operator based in Somalia, will incorporate Ku-band satellite services provided by Intelsat 17 to extend the availability of services currently delivered over its fibre network. This will allow the operator to expand its broadband enterprise networks into countries such as South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as to the Middle East. Dalkom will also add DTH services to its service offering in Somalia.

Dalkom Somalia is a major Somalia-based telecom provider established in 2003 that currently offers a range of next-generation solutions for broadband, connectivity, cloud computing, managed services, satellite and Internet services to the business, wholesale and consumer market segments.

Dalkom holdss submarine cable, international gateway, application service provider (ASP) and content service provider (CSP) licenses and independent infrastructure that includes international landing stations in Mogadishu, Somalia connecting to the rest of the world, and gateways that connect to key cities in Somalia via metro and backbone infrastructure. It also serves cities in Kenya and Uganda via EASSy through partnerships and operates data centres in Mogadishu, Nairobi and Mombasa.

Registered in Somalia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dalkom Somalia is privately owned and funded by Somalian individuals and investment companies. The company holds 10% equity in EASSY and 9.13% in WIOCC, through which it holds equity in the EIG and WACs submarine cables.

In April., pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Global, and Intelsat announced an agreement to introduce Intelsat EpicNG satellite services into the Liquid Telecom network. As part of the multi-year agreement, Liquid Telecom committed to dedicated services on the Intelsat 33e satellite, including ground networking equipment based upon Newtec Dialog VSAT platform with technology developed under the ESA-funded Project Indigo.


The Intelsat EpicNG services expanded Liquid Telecom's coverage and network across the DRC, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe for connectivity to underserved remote or rural areas.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Big ambitions for next gen satellite networks – part 2

While SpaceX is planning to encircle the planet with thousands of satellites for delivering broadband Internet access, another venture, known as Ligado Networks, has come up with a plan to salvage the power of the largest commercial satellite ever launched to deliver connectivity over North America for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) sector, and possibly as a boost for 5G networks.

Ligado Networks is a privately-backed company based in Reston, Virginia, with investors including Centerbridge Partners, Fortress Investment Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co. From the big hitting industry execs on the leadership team it is clear the company is serious. Ivan Seidenberg, a former chairman of Verizon Communications, serves as chairman. Also on the board of directors is Timothy Donahue, former executive chairman of Sprint Nextel and former president and CEO of Nextel Communications, and Reed Hundt, the former Federal Communications Commission. Doug Smith serves as Ligado's president and CEO; he is known for his work in engineering and launching nationwide networks for GTE, Nextel, Sprint Nextel and Clearwire.

Picking up the pieces from LightSquared, SkyTerra and Mobile Satellite Ventures

Ligado Networks, previously known as LightSquared, emerged from bankruptcy reorganisation in 2016 with a new plan, or rather a new version of an old plan. The company controls 40 MHz of nationwide spectrum licenses in the L-Band (1500 to 1700 MHz), which it acquired in 2010 through its purchase of SkyTerra, another bold start-up that envisioned transforming the U.S. mobile scene with satellite communications.

Prior to 2008, SkyTerra was known as Mobile Satellite Ventures and had successfully operated the MSAT-1 and MSAT-2 satellites for over a decade. As 4G LTE technologies neared, the company set its sights and going big. The business plan evolved from pure mobile satellite to a hybrid design where the satellite connectivity would be used to augment terrestrial mobile communications. This would mean using the same spectrum bands from ground based base station as well as from the satellite. The company changed its name to SkyTerra and was acquired by Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners acquired SkyTerra in March 2010. Harbinger invested about $2.9 billion in assets and soon raised more than $2.3 billion in debt and equity financing.

SkyTerra soon became known for its massive SkyTerra 1 satellite, which weighed a record 6,910 kg. The satellite was built at Space Systems/Loral's Palo Alto, California facility. It operates in two 10 MHz blocks of contiguous MSS spectrum in the 2 GHz band throughout the U.S. and Canada. Notably, the satellite uniquely features an 18-metre reflector and an S-band feed array with 500 spot beams. In November 2010, SkyTerra 1 was successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

SkyTerra changed its name to LightSquared and in January 2011 was granted a conditional waiver by the FCC to test its network if it could be shown that the service would not interfere with GPS signals. This alarmed many GPS advocates, who argued that the L-band spectrum was simply too close to its own and that even a little interference could have serious consequences for the military, aviation, agriculture and other vertical sectors that rely on precise navigation.

In February 2012, the company received its greatest setback when the FCC withdrew its conditional approval for LightSquared network due to the potential interference concerns with GPS receivers. In June 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed securities fraud charges against Philip Falcone and Harbinger Capital Partners; the case was settled in June 2013. For LightSquared, the game was over and it was soon forced into the bankruptcy courts. In addition to the technical, legal and financial challenges, LighSquared also faced allegations of political favouritism. Nevertheless, it still had the spectrum licenses and a fully functional Skyterra1 satellite parked in geostationary orbit.

Ligado Network is the new entity that in December 2015 emerged from this decade-long mess. Significantly, the company reached a settlement with the GPS industry on a technical plan to avoid interference issues by reducing the transmission power. It is not clear why a similar compromise could not have been reached in 2012. Ligado is now awaiting clearance from the FCC.

Ligado looks for its market

So back to square one, and Ligado Networks is now moving ahead with the plan to combine Skyterra1 satellite coverage with a ground-based network should FCC approval come. The goal is a ubiquitous national network whose footprint requires far fewer ground-based towers than would otherwise be required for universal coverage. The company says its mid-band spectrum is well suited for things that move, such as planes, trains and automobiles.

In its original iteration, LightSquared aimed to either compete with or partner with 4G LTE mobile services. At least one mobile handset model was developed that incorporated specialised silicon for tuning in the L-band frequency in addition to standard cellular bands. It seemed that a distribution partnership with AT&T was also in the works. For consumers, this would have meant being able to use the AT&T LTE network where available and then seamlessly roam onto the SkyTerra1 satellite service when that signal was stronger. Unfortunately, this handset was based on an old Nokia design and was not an iPhone or Android device. Even without the legal and financial issues, this business plan was not going to work.

Meanwhile, as the number of autonomous vehicles on the road rises, the strain on the mobile infrastructure will rise. Mobile operators are working to 'densify' their networks in preparation for 5G. This might mean more of the capex is focused on the cities and less on rural places. Satellite coverage could really help here, although the issue of latency may prove problematic for fast moving vehicles needing to connect to a geostationary bird. In addition, there is the issue of creating end-point devices tuned for the L-band spectrum. Perhaps Ligado will introduce specialised solutions for the types of vehicles it is targeting. A further issue to consider is the aging Skyterra1 satellite. It has now been in orbit for six and a half years, and most satellites are designed for a 15-year life. By the time the Ligado Network is up and running it may be approaching mid-life status and time to start planning a new one.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

SES Networks launches hybrid resiliency service, Palau Telecoms first customer

Global satellite operator SES has announced a new hybrid resiliency platform designed to serve the requirements of telcos, mobile network operators, enterprises and maritime connectivity providers.

The new SES solution delivers fully-managed, bandwidth-on-demand connectivity featuring intelligent routing and resiliency functionality. SES explained that its multi-orbit approach, which leverages the wide coverage capabilities of geostationary earth orbit (GEO) satellites combined with the high throughput capabilities of medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites, is designed to ensure 100% availability for services.

The new managed solution is currently available in the Asia Pacific region, and leverages a platform designed to enable highly reliable, high performance networks across orbit-diverse connections. SES plans to rollout the service across additional regions, complementing the site diversity intelligent routing capability already deployed for SES networks customers.

In conjunction with the new service launch, SES announced that long-standing partner Palau Telecoms and its customers would become the first to utilise the new hybrid MEO-GEO broadband platform

SES recently launched a new go-to-market organisation based on customer-focused business units. Under the new model, data-centric market segments are served by SES Networks, while SES focuses on delivering differentiated satellite-enabled solutions for fixed data, mobility and government applications. SES noted that the hybrid resiliency platform leverages the infrastructure, networks and operations available via the SES Networks business unit.


SES' combined GEO-MEO offering leverages over 50 satellites in GEO and 12 in MEO. The company operates through two business units - SES Video and SES Networks – that provide satellite communications services to broadcasters, content providers and ISPs, mobile and fixed operators, governments and institutions. SES includes O3b Networks, a global managed data communications service provider, and MX1, a media service provider. SES announced it would acquire a 100% stake in O3b in June 2016.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

SpaceX Launches SES-10 and Retrieves Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket successfully delivered the SES-10 communications satellite Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  The first stage of the rocket then successfully landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic.  The historic mission marked the first re-use of a rocket. Falcon 9’s first stage for the SES-10 mission previously supported the successful CRS-8 mission in April 2016.

SES-10, which was built by Airbus Defence and Space and is based on the Eurostar E3000 platform, features a Ku-band payload of 55 36MHz transponder equivalents, of which 27 are incremental. The satellite is wholly dedicated to providing service to Latin America, replacing capacity currently provided by other SES satellites at 67 degrees West, as well as bring additional capacity to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. The satellite will operate as the Andean Community’s Simón Bolivar 2 providing satellite capacity for each Andean Member State.



http://www.spacex.com/press/2017/03/30/ses-10-mission

Thursday, March 16, 2017

EchoStar XXIII Blasts into Orbit in SpaceX's

The EchoStar XXIII successfully launched into geostationary transfer orbit from the historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

EchoStar XXIII is a highly flexible Ku-band satellite based on Space Systems Loral's 1300 platform with four main reflectors and multiple sub-reflectors supporting multiple mission profiles. Initial commercial deployment of EchoStar XXIII will be at 45° West, and the Satellite End of Life (EOL) Power is 20 kilowatts (kW).

“This is the third satellite built for EchoStar by SSL to be placed on orbit since last June,” said John Celli, president of SSL. I would like to thank EchoStar, SpaceX and our own engineers and technicians who all worked as a team to make this launch a success.”

http://www.echostar.com

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SES-15 Preps for Launch in Kourou

The SES-15 satellite has arrived at the European space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for its launch by a Soyuz vehicle in April 2017.

SES-15, which was designed and manufactured by Boeing, carries a hybrid payload, with additional Ku-band wide beams and Ku- as well as Ka-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capability. The satellite will be equipped with an electric propulsion system for orbit-raising and in-orbit maneuvers. The satellite will also carry the Wide Area Augmentation Systems (WAAS), a US government-funded hosted payload to augment the Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

SES-15 is the first SES hybrid satellite to be launched and is equipped with 16 Ku-band transponders (36MHz equivalent) as well as a 10 GHz high throughput payload. The all-electric satellite will operate at the new orbital position of 129 degrees West and will serve North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

http://www.ses.com

Monday, March 6, 2017

Eutelsat and ViaSat Enter European Broadband JV

Eutelsat Communications and ViaSat entered a partnering arrangement that combines Eutelsat’s established European broadband business with ViaSat’s broadband technology know-how and Internet Service Provider (ISP) business expertise.

The joint venture, which headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, expands Eutelsat’s current wholesale broadband business and launches a new consumer retail service in Europe. The company will consist of two businesses:

Wholesale Services will focus on providing wholesale broadband and mobility services in the European and Mediterranean regions to the newly established retail services business and existing Eutelsat distributors. Eutelsat is contributing its current European broadband business including the KA-SAT satellite to the newly formed entity, owned 51% by Eutelsat. ViaSat has acquired a 49% interest in the business for a consideration of €132.5 million.
Retail Services will focus on offering retail broadband services in the European and Mediterranean regions. Enhanced service plans are expected to be introduced in select European countries from 2017 onwards, setting a foundation for growth in the retail services business with the availability of future satellite capacity. This business is owned 51% by ViaSat and 49% by Eutelsat.

http://news.eutelsat.com/pressreleases/eutelsat-and-viasat-close-european-broadband-joint-venture-1839955

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Intelsat 32e Brings Broadband over North Atlantic & Caribbean

The Intelsat 32e satellite was successfully launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.

Intelsat 32e is designed to overlay certain beams of Intelsat 29e, the company’s first Intelsat EpicNG spacecraft, increasing the throughput available in the highly-trafficked Caribbean and North Atlantic routes and providing resiliency for mobility network service providers servicing those shipping and air routes. The satellite is located at 317º East.

“This is the first of three Intelsat EpicNG satellite launches planned for 2017 as we continue to deploy our high-performance overlay on the world’s first Globalized Network. With the addition of Intelsat 32e, Intelsat is now the only satellite operator with HTS resiliency over the world’s busiest air route,” said Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. “Intelsat 32e also increases our capabilities to support the growth of our maritime customers in the Caribbean and the Atlantic, such as the exclusive use of our services for broadband to most of the world’s largest cruise ships sailing the Caribbean right now.”

The next EpicNG launch, Intelsat 35e, is scheduled aboard a SpaceX Falcon flight in Q2 2017.

http://www.intelsat.com

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DISH Acquires DBS and OTT Assets from EchoStar

DISH Network Corporation will acquire certain EchoStar assets and operations, including its EchoStar Technologies hardware and software development group, its national and regional uplink business, its managed fiber backhaul network serving all U.S. DMAs and its OTT development group, in exchange for DISH’s 80 percent economic interest in Hughes Retail Group held in the form of a tracking stock. The deal also transfers to DISH the 10 percent stake in Sling TV held by EchoStar, wireless spectrum licenses covering four markets in the 28 GHz band and certain real estate properties.

DISH will continue to market satellite broadband under the brand dishNET to rural customers.

“With this transaction we will vertically integrate all the elements that define our customer experience – one team will deliver the full DISH and Sling TV experience end to end,” said DISH President Erik Carlson. “Not only do we gain full control of product development roadmap for DBS and Sling TV but we also anticipate achieving operational efficiencies.”

http://www.dish.com

Monday, January 30, 2017

Second Intelsat Epic Enters Service

Intelsat 33e, the second of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites (HTS), successfully completed all in-orbit testing and entered service on 29 January 2017.

Intelsat 33e was manufactured by Boeing and is equipped with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft.

Intelsat 33e will extend Intelsat’s high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band from the Americas to include Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean regions.

Intelsat said it has a number of customers already committed to Intelsat 33e, some of which include Pakistani Internet service provider SuperNet Limited, African telecommunications providers such as Telkom South Africa, Orange, IP Planet, Vodacom, Dijoubti Telecom, Safarifone and Africell RDC SPRL.; Russian network service providers Romantis and RuSat LLC; and media customers including TV & Radio Broadcasting (formerly Television and Radio Broadcasting of Armenia), and MultiChoice of South Africa.

“The experience of implementing Intelsat EpicNG and bringing it to our customers has affirmed our beliefs about the potential of HTS,” said Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. “We have a dynamic, open and evolving platform that will increase in capability over time, providing a technology hedge for our customers that need to make investments today on which they can build for a decade of growth. Intelsat is delivering on the promise of HTS, and our design and strategy will advance our vision of unlocking access to new, larger and faster growing sectors for Intelsat and our customers.”

http://www.intelsat.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

EUTELSAT 117 West B Satellite Enters Service for Latin America

The new EUTELSAT 117 West B satellite has entered into full commercial service for customers across Latin America.

EUTELSAT 117 West B is the second all-electric satellite in Eutelsat’s fleet. It is equipped with 48 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz equivalent) connected to four beams providing premium coverage of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, the Andean region and the Southern Cone. EUTELSAT 117 West B also features a new-generation WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) payload operated by Raytheon as prime contractor for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will go live in 2018. Developed for the civil aviation community, the WAAS payload is designed to receive signals from ground stations that verify signal accuracy and rebroadcast the information to GPS users, including airline cockpits.

Eutelsat said its new satellite complements EUTELSAT 117 West A, launched in 2013, to create a multi-satellite neighbourhood at 117° West, which is already used by Millicom’s Tigo Star, Stargroup and Televisa. It will also provide key services to telecom operators and government service providers in Latin America.

http://www.eutelsat.com

Monday, January 16, 2017

O3b Networks Sees Growth Across Asia Pacifiv

O3b Networks ended 2016 contracting upwards of 7.5 Gbps throughout the Asia Pacific region, and generating an increase of approximately 30% year-on-year growth for the total used bandwidth.

The company said its fast growth in APAC was a direct result of the successful performance of its high throughput, low latency satellite-enabled network and growing demand for high-quality connectivity.

During 2016, all existing O3b APAC customers upgraded their contracted capacity and, most notably, two Tier-1 Telco providers were added to the company’s customer roster. In 2016 a number of the O3b APAC customers implemented ultra-high availability solutions, to further improve service up-time. In partnership with its customers, O3b has implemented both Site Diversity with additional O3b Terminals, and Hybrid Band diversity through SES C-Band satellite capacity, enabling mission critical services to be maintained through network restoration techniques. O3b is delivering these solutions through its O3b Network Services capabilities, combining unrivalled satellite performance with always-on networking.

“As we reflect on growth in 2016 and move forward into the new year, we are massively proud of the strides we have made in the Asia Pacific Region,” said Steve Collar, CEO of Asia Pacific, O3b Networks. “Today our MNO customers are capable of providing 3G/4G LTE mobile data services to their subscribers, with a quality of experience that was previously out of reach. The surge in data use has been incredible; leading customers in the region have increased capacity to more than 1Gbps. We look forward to expanding our customer base, and providing fiber-equivalent connectivity for more of the region.”

http://www.o3bnetworks.com

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

AT&T Connects NASA's Deep Space Network Radio Antennas

AT&T will provide a global VPN linking the giant radio antennas of NASA's Deep Space Network.

AT&T said its highly secure and reliable VPN lets NASA protect and transmit data 3x faster than before. It also lets NASA increase of decrease bandwidth on demand.

NASA’s Deep Space Network supports communications for interplanetary spacecraft missions. It also provides radar and radio astronomy observations that improve our understanding of the solar system and the larger universe

http://www/att.com
http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/about/

Blacksky Integrates Satellite Imagery wtih Data Streams

Spaceflight Industries introduced a cloud-based platform that integrates satellite imagery, social media and other data feeds – to reveal timely and relevant insights around specific topics or locations.

The new BlackSky global intelligence platform offers two major capabilities:


  • Imagery: Customers can discover, purchase and download imagery via the BlackSky platform, which currently provides access to more than 10 high-resolution imaging spacecraft including those from 21AT’s TripleSat, SIIS’s KOMPSAT, and UrtheCast’s Deimos-2. The platform will incorporate data from BlackSky’s 60-satellite constellation as it enters commercial operation in 2017. Additionally, customers can acquire real-time images by tasking partner satellite systems and soon the BlackSky constellation.
  • Insights: The platform fuses the satellite imagery with information from other sources including news outlets and social media to create curated data feeds by location (ex: port, pipeline, border) or theme (ex: geopolitical conflict, natural disasters, energy, or health/outbreak). Through machine learning, predictive algorithms and natural language processing techniques, the platform triangulates these relevant global events in time and space. Customers then receive customized results that are prioritized based on their preferences.

“Our business plan has always been to look at the planet in real time, in every spectrum, to solve real-world problems,” said Jason Andrews, chief executive officer of Spaceflight Industries. “Today we are announcing significant progress on that journey. For the first time, organizations can fuse satellite imagery with a wide array of data services contextualized in time and space”

http://www.blacksky.com

Monday, November 14, 2016

O3b Delivers 7 Gbps of Connectivity Across Africa

Since launching commercial service in September 2014, O3b Networks has brought up more than 18 African customers in Chad, Somalia, Madagascar, DRC, Congo, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Angola. The company said these customers have contracted over 7Gbps of internet capacity, supplementing existing satellite links from GEO systems and, in many cases, fiber connections with limited reliability.

O3b is a satellite-based global network, but the company’s satellites are much closer to the earth than geostationary (GEO) satellites, reducing latency, increasing internet speed and improving voice and video quality. Internet and mobile data performance over the network rivals the throughput and latency of long-haul fiber, while avoiding the high costs of laying fiber cables across difficult terrain.

http://www.o3bnetworks.com/news-and-media/blog/

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Laser Light Looks to Bring Space-based Optical Links to Equinix Data Centers

Laser Light Communications, which is planning to deploy an All Optical Global Communications Network (HALO) using a constellation of 8-12 Medium Earth Orbit satellites with sat-ground 100 Gbps optical up/down links, will establish its inaugural global Point of Presence (PoP) at Equinix’s DC11 International Business Exchange (IBX®) data center in the Washington, D.C. area.

Laser Light will commence installation, testing and demonstration of its leading-edge laser communications and SD-WAN equipment using the DC11 facility. Once operational, the HALO satellite constellation will offer its Optical Satellite as a Service (OSaaS) - SpaceCable services –  to carriers, enterprises and government customers at Equinix facilities around the globe, providing a seamless all-optical communications system, through its hybrid satellite-terrestrial network, capable of quickly and cost-effectively connecting any two points on the globe with 100Gbps service links.  

Laser Light said space-based laser communication technology – known as Free Space Optics – stems from 20+ years of civil science and federal investments and deployments by government entities such as Department of Defense (DOD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA) and Japanese Space Agency (JSA).

http://www.equinix.com
http://www.laserlightcomms.com/

See also