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

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Rocket Lab launch fails 4 minutes into flight

Rocket Lab 13th "Electron" mission experienced a catastrophic anomaly four minutes into flight, resulting in the loss of customer payload. The mission, ‘Pics Or It Didn’t Happen,’ was launched from New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula.

The primary payload was Canon Electronics Inc.’s CE-SAT-IB, which was procured by satellite rideshare and mission management provider Spaceflight Inc. Canon Electronics was seeking to demonstrate Earth-imaging technology with high-resolution and wide-angle cameras, as well as test its microsatellite for mass production.
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ocket Lab, which, currently has more than eight Electron rockets in production, said it hopes to be ready for a rapid return to flight as soon as investigations are complete and any required corrective actions are in place.

“We are deeply sorry to our customers Spaceflight Inc., Canon Electronics Inc., Planet, and In-Space Missions for the loss of their payloads. We know many people poured their hearts and souls into those spacecraft. Today's anomaly is a reminder that space launch can be unforgiving, but we will identify the issue, rectify it, and be safely back on the pad as soon as possible,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and CEO. “The launch team operated with professionalism and expertise to implement systems and procedures that ensured the anomaly was managed safely. I’m proud of the way they have responded to a tough day. We’re working together as a team to comb through the data, learn from today, and prepare for our next mission.”


Friday, June 26, 2020

Intelsat and Liquid Telecom extend partnership for Africa

Intelsat and Liquid Telecom are expanding their partnership to deliver very-small-aperture terminal (VSAT) service to 20 countries across Africa.

Through the partnership extension, Liquid Telecom will be able to connect more than 2,000 additional VSAT terminals across the continent. This will ensure the continuity of high-speed, reliable satellite connectivity to mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media, content companies and retail customers across Africa, and it will also help Liquid Telecom better serve the growing demand for improved connectivity in its rural service areas.

“Extending our partnership with Intelsat will enable us to continue developing VSAT products with high- efficiency models and ubiquitous coverage; in fact, Liquid Telecom has just added three new high-performance VSAT service offerings to our portfolio, each with a range of data volume options. Liquid Telecom is continuing to drive increased demand and improve service levels across the continent, and this continuation of our partnership with Intelsat is a significant boost in that regard,” said Liquid Telecom Satellite Services CEO Scott Mumford.

http://www.liquidtelecom.com

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Intelsat files C-band spectrum transition plan with FCC

Intelsat filed its C-band spectrum transition plan with the FCC, detailing how it will:

  • Migrate 80-plus broadcast, cable, radio, religious and government customers to the upper 200 megahertz (MHz) of the C-band, including the corresponding changes required at 3,500 cable head-ends and 13,500 affiliate earth stations
  • Install 60,000 5G signal-blocking filters across the U.S. in order to mitigate post-transition interference
  • Consolidate multiple telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C)/Gateway antennas into two locations on the East and West Coasts of the U.S.
  • Contract with U.S.-based companies USSI Global, WESCO, ATCi and Convergent to perform aspects of the transition and installation work required on the ground at thousands of earth stations and cable television head-ends throughout the U.S.
  • Intelsat and other satellite operators participating in the FCC’s accelerated C-band clearing plan are responsible for incurring the upfront costs associated with clearing 300 MHz of the spectrum and moving their existing services to the upper portion of the band. Intelsat estimates these upfront investments will cost the company $1.6 to $1.7 billion.

In addition to receiving reimbursement for reasonable upfront costs associated with clearing the spectrum and transitioning incumbent services to the upper portion of the band, Intelsat said it is eligible to receive up to $4.87 billion in incentive payments for successfully meeting the Commission’s accelerated deadlines of clearing 120 MHz of spectrum (3.7 to 3.82 GHz) by December 5, 2021, and the remaining 180 MHz (3.82 to 4.0 GHz) by December 5, 2023. Reimbursements will be funded by the winning bidders of the FCC’s public C-band auction, in line with the FCC’s emerging technologies framework.

“Intelsat is filing its comprehensive transition plan after having spent more than two years proactively working with the FCC, our customers, industry stakeholders, vendors and other satellite operators to create a clear path for meeting the FCC’s accelerated clearing deadlines and ensuring the U.S. maintains its leadership in 5G,” said Intelsat Chief Services Officer Mike DeMarco. “With our detailed plan finalized and our supply chain engaged, Intelsat looks forward to supporting the FCC in successfully transitioning the C-band spectrum and accelerating America’s path to 5G – all while safeguarding the high-quality media broadcast services on which more than 100 million American households rely.”

  • Last week, Intelsat announced that it has selected U.S. manufacturers, Maxar Technologies and Northrop Grumman, to design and manufacture satellites required to transition the company’s high-quality media distribution and contribution services – uninterrupted – from the 3.7 to 4.0 gigahertz (GHz) portion of the C-band to the 4.0 to 4.2 GHz portion of the band.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Investors pour $100 million into Ligado for its terrestrial L-Band network

Ligado Networks announced more than $100 million in new investments to begin taking the necessary steps to build 5G IoT networks.

“With this new round of capital, we are better prepared than ever to do exactly what we’ve said: get this mid-band spectrum deployed to support the next-generation wireless networks needed to bring America’s critical infrastructure and essential services into the 21st century,” said Ligado CEO Doug Smith. “The investments will create American jobs, expand innovation and directly enhance critical industries such as first responders, health care workers and supply chain personnel that depend on ubiquitous and ultra-reliable networks to protect and secure American lives.”

https://ligado.com/press/ligado-raises-100-million-build-mission-critical-5g-networks/


  • On May 22, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), acting on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Transportation (DoT), petitioned the FCC to reconsider, clarify or amend its recent decision regarding Ligado. Specifically, NTIA is requesting the FCC to rescind the approval of the mobile satellite service (MSS) license modification applications conditionally granted to Ligado, stating that these will cause irreparable harms to federal government users of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Separately, NTIA is seeking a stay in the proceedings to prevent Ligado from deploying its network until this petition is addressed and harmful interference concerns are resolved.

    In response, Ligado stated "This rehash of arguments put before the FCC over two years ago contains no new information or technical data to support its request that the FCC reconsider its recent unanimous, bipartisan decision.  The entire petition is premised on the tired 1 dB argument, which is just another way of the DoD saying, “we want this spectrum for our own use.”  The FCC carefully analyzed and dismantled that argument in its 74-page Order, and we are confident that it will affirm its decision upon review." 

FCC approves Ligado for low-power L-band terrestrial network

The FCC voted unanimously to approve with conditions Ligado’s application to deploy a low-power terrestrial nationwide network in the L-Band that will primarily support 5G and Internet of Things services.

“I thank my colleagues for coming together on a bipartisan basis to support Ligado’s application,” said Chairman Pai.  “The vote at the Commission reflects the broad, bipartisan support that this order has received, from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr on the one hand to Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and Congresswoman Doris Matsui of California on the other.  This vote is another step forward for American leadership in 5G and advanced wireless services.”

Among the conditions that Ligado must abide by:
  • Ligado must provide a significant (23 megahertz) guard-band using its own licensed spectrum to separate its terrestrial base station transmissions from neighboring operations in the Radionavigation-Satellite Service allocation. 
  • Ligado is required to limit the power levels of its base stations to 9.8 dBW, a reduction of 99.3% from the power levels proposed in Ligado’s 2015 application. 
  • Ligado must protect adjacent band incumbents by reporting its base station locations and technical operating parameters to potentially affected government and industry stakeholders prior to commencing operations, continuously monitoring the transmit power of its base station sites, and complying with procedures and actions for responding to credible reports of interference, including rapid shutdown of operations where warranted. 


  • 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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Intelsat opts into FCC accelerated C-band clearing plan

Intelsat filed a written commitment with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to accelerate clearing of the U.S. C-band spectrum. Intelsat completed the filing in advance of the FCC’s May 29 deadline.

“Intelsat has been connecting Americans with technology for more than half a century. Our expertise, innovation, and technology investments have played a critical role in driving America’s economic and national security edge for the last five decades”

In March, the FCC finalized its Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band order, which requires the lower 280 megahertz of the 3.7 to 4.2 gigahertz C-band spectrum, plus a 20 megahertz guard band, to be cleared and repurposed for use by 5G services, by relocating existing satellite services to the upper part of the band.

“As the foundational architects of satellite technology and leading experts of integrated communications technologies, Intelsat is committed to advancing – at an accelerated pace – America’s position in the race to 5G. With decades-deep institutional knowledge of the U.S. C-band, we understand what’s required to successfully and quickly transition current users, while maintaining high-quality, uninterrupted broadcast to more than 100 million American homes and businesses,” said Intelsat Chief Executive Officer Stephen Spengler.

“Intelsat has been connecting Americans with technology for more than half a century. Our expertise, innovation, and technology investments have played a critical role in driving America’s economic and national security edge for the last five decades,” continued Spengler. “We embrace America’s drive to adopt 5G and recognize the important role that Intelsat will play in accelerating the clearing of the C-Band spectrum to ensure the U.S. maintains its leadership in 5G and other advanced telecommunications technologies for decades to come.”

FCC approves C-Band spectrum rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted to approve new rules to accelerate the auction and transfer of a wide swath of 3.5 GHz spectrum from the satellite industry for new uses, including 5G.

The 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum will be made available via a public auction.

Within the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, the FCC has is allocating the 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band for mobile use and 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz band) will be auctioned by the FCC for wireless services in the contiguous United States.  Another 20 megahertz (3.98-4.0 GHz) will serve as a guard band while existing satellite operations will be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band (4.0-4.2 GHz).

Satellite operators will be able to receive accelerated relocation payments of $9.7 billion if they meet accelerated clearing milestones.

FCC expects to conduct an auction beginning on December 8, 2020.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Intelsat offers Cellular Backhaul Solution for U.S. Mobile Operators

Intelsat launched CellBackhaul, an end-to-end managed service that helps Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) provide cost-efficient and rapid 4G and 5G broadband coverage to rural areas of the United States.

As an end-to-end cellular backhaul managed service, Intelsat CellBackhaul includes:

  • Network-design consultation
  • Connectivity from the MNO's cell sites to their core network over Intelsat's high-performance integrated space and ground network
  • Satellite antenna and modem, plus additional equipment installation and maintenance options
  • Guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • 24x7 network-operations support

“We innovate to help our customers connect more people, places, and devices they otherwise would not be able to connect, and we do that on a global scale,” said Intelsat Director of Product Management for Networks, Gerry Collins. “Our service will enable our U.S. mobile network operators to quickly and cost-effectively expand their coverage and bring connectivity into unserved and underserved areas, including many previously considered unreachable or unprofitable.”

Intelsat also noted that the FCC is moving forward with its planned $9 billion 5G Rural Fund. As much as 67% of the U.S. landmass in 49 states and three U.S. territories could be eligible for funds to bring 5G into rural communities and support connectivity needs of American farms and ranches – a tremendous opportunity for U.S. MNOs.

Intelsat plans to roll out the Intelsat CellBackhaul service to mobile operators in additional regions, including Africa, in late 2020.

Monday, May 18, 2020

U.S. Defense Innovation Unit to test Isotropic's' Optical Beamforming

Isotropic Systems announced an antenna evaluation and development contract with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to test the ability of its patented multi-beam antennas to unlock high-powered bandwidth aboard next-gen Naval vessels at sea.  The collaboration contract is focused on the delivery of a low-profile, high performance, affordable and customizable antenna to support multiple links over multiple bands of satellite capacity, including S-, C-, Ka-, Ku-, X-, and Q-band connectivity, to open up a new world of real-time government communications and connectivity.

Isotropic's patented optical beamforming antenna technologies are designed to fuse multi-band, multi-orbit commercial and military capacity to deliver intelligence data at the tactical edge over a single platform.

Isotropic Systems said its high-performance terminal features optical lens modules that are conformal to the limited real estate aboard Navy ships, providing an antenna design that delivers seamless make-before-break switching between satellites in multiple orbits, and continuous connectivity during turbulent pitch-and-roll conditions facing vessels traversing rough seas.

"Isotropic Systems has cracked the code for a new age of seamless and secure connectivity and communications in some of the most challenging conditions facing government agencies and military operations around the globe," said John Finney, CEO and Founder of Isotropic Systems. "This important effort is potentially a major milestone that will ultimately lead to ultra-high-speed data delivery and real-time national security advantages that come with integrated government networks. We will enable the Navy, and other government forces and agencies, to arbitrage all the capacity it needs from across low-Earth, geosynchronous- equatorial and medium-earth orbit constellations over a single multi-beam platform."

https://www.isotropicsystems.com/

Sunday, April 26, 2020

FCC updates satellite orbital debris rules

The FCC updated its satellite rules on orbital debris mitigation for the first time since 2004.

Specifically, the new rules improve the specificity and clarity of rules that require disclosure of debris mitigation plans by satellite companies.  The changes include requiring that satellite applicants assign numerical values to collision risk, probability of successful post-mission disposal, and casualty risk associated with those satellites that will re-enter earth’s atmosphere.  Satellite applicants will also have new disclosure requirements related to protecting inhabitable spacecraft, maneuverability, use of deployment devices, release of persistent liquids, proximity operations, trackability and identification, and information sharing for situational awareness.  The new rules also update the process for geostationary orbit satellite license term extension requests.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated "Today, for the first time in 15 years, we are adopting new rules to mitigate the threat posed by orbital debris, including regulations involving satellite design, better disposal procedures, and active collision avoidance.  15 years is an eternity in this fast-moving sector, and the time has come to address this critical issue.  The rules that we adopt today take a balanced approach: mitigating the risk posed by orbital debris, while at the same time continuing to light a regulatory path for space-based innovation." 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites

SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites on Wednesday, 22-April-2020, bringing its constellation to 420 satellites in orbit.

The first stage of the Falcon 9 successfully landed on the drone ship in the Atlantic.

Monday, April 20, 2020

FCC approves Ligado for low-power L-band terrestrial network

The FCC voted unanimously to approve with conditions Ligado’s application to deploy a low-power terrestrial nationwide network in the L-Band that will primarily support 5G and Internet of Things services. 

“I thank my colleagues for coming together on a bipartisan basis to support Ligado’s application,” said Chairman Pai.  “The vote at the Commission reflects the broad, bipartisan support that this order has received, from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr on the one hand to Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and Congresswoman Doris Matsui of California on the other.  This vote is another step forward for American leadership in 5G and advanced wireless services.”

Among the conditions that Ligado must abide by:

  • Ligado must provide a significant (23 megahertz) guard-band using its own licensed spectrum to separate its terrestrial base station transmissions from neighboring operations in the Radionavigation-Satellite Service allocation. 
  • Ligado is required to limit the power levels of its base stations to 9.8 dBW, a reduction of 99.3% from the power levels proposed in Ligado’s 2015 application. 
  • Ligado must protect adjacent band incumbents by reporting its base station locations and technical operating parameters to potentially affected government and industry stakeholders prior to commencing operations, continuously monitoring the transmit power of its base station sites, and complying with procedures and actions for responding to credible reports of interference, including rapid shutdown of operations where warranted. 


  • 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.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

FCC Chairman favors Ligado's bid for low-power L-band terrestrial network

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated  a draft order that would approve with conditions Ligado’s application to deploy a low-power terrestrial nationwide network in the L-Band that would primarily support 5G and Internet of Things services. 

“After many years of consideration, it is time for the FCC to make a decision and bring this proceeding to a close,” said Chairman Pai.  “We have compiled an extensive record, which confirms that it is in the public interest to grant Ligado’s application while imposing stringent conditions to prevent harmful interference.  The draft order that I have presented to my colleagues would make more efficient use of underused spectrum and promote the deployment of 5G and Internet of Things services.

In recent years, Ligado has amended its application to significantly reduce the power levels of its base stations from 32 dBW to 9.8 dBW (a reduction of 99.3%).  Ligado has also committed to providing a significant (23 megahertz) guard-band using its own licensed spectrum to further separate its terrestrial base station transmissions from neighboring operations in the Radionavigation-Satellite Service allocation.  As such, Ligado is now only seeking terrestrial use of the 1526-1536 MHz, 1627.5-1637.5 MHz, and 1646.5-1656.5 MHz bands.  The Order is conditioned to reflect these technical requirements.  It also requires Ligado to protect adjacent band incumbents by reporting its base station locations and technical operating parameters to potentially affected government and industry stakeholders prior to commencing operations, continuously monitoring the transmit power of its base station sites, and complying with procedures and actions for responding to credible reports of interference, including rapid shutdown of operations where warranted.

Doug Smith, President & Chief Executive Officer of Ligado, stated: "Since the very beginning of its long, comprehensive and collaborative analysis of the technical issues presented by Ligado's application, the FCC's dedicated staff has repeatedly shown its commitment to science-based, engineering-driven decision making, and Chairman's Pai's circulation of the Order regarding our license modification applications is the most recent example of this. The central importance of mid-band – especially our lower mid-band – to 5G is well-known. As Ericsson and Nokia technical studies on our proposed network deployment have shown, the superior propagation characteristics of our spectrum will improve mobile 5G coverage – both outdoor and indoor – and in doing so, accelerate the deployment of 5G networks. Ligado is committed to the twin goals of protecting GPS while delivering highly secure and ultra-reliable communications to accelerate next-generation technologies and the Industrial Internet of Things."


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.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Myriota raises $19M for satellite IoT

Myriota, a start-up based in Adelaide, Australia, announced  US$19.3 million in Series B funding for its low-cost and low-power satellite connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Myriota has pioneered a new way to retrieve data from anywhere on Earth through the connectivity between its constellation of satellites and low-power IoT modules. The company said its technology will revolutionize the way companies share information across multiple industries, such as agriculture, defense, mining, transport & logistics, and more.

The new funding round was led by Hostplus and Main Sequence Ventures. Additional investors include In-Q-Tel, Inc., Right Click Capital, Singtel Innov8, Boeing HorizonX, South Australian Venture Capital Fund, and Malcolm Turnbull – the former Australian Prime Minister who led the government that established the Australian space agency in 2017. This latest round of funding brings Myriota’s total funding to more than US$37 million.

“This is a critical time for IoT. Presently, 90 percent of the earth’s surface lacks connectivity. At Myriota, we’ve been focused on filling that gap and overcoming constraints in existing infrastructure. With this new round of funding, we’ll continue to grow our network of satellites to deliver on an affordable, environmentally friendly, and powerful solution to make data accessible for our global customer base,” said Alex Grant, Co-founder and CEO, Myriota.

"Myriota is a leader and innovator in low cost, low power IoT. They have paved the way in bringing products to market for global and local applications, both here in Australia's flourishing space sector and across the world. Myriota’s growth plans will only strengthen its ability to provide industry-leading connectivity across its network of international partners,” said Malcolm Turnbull, 29th Prime Minister of Australia.

https://myriota.com

Sunday, March 29, 2020

OneWeb files for Chapter 11

OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a federal court in New York. The company said uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis derailed advanced negotiations might have fully funded the company through its deployment and commercial launch.

OneWeb said it intends to use these proceedings to pursue a sale of its business in order to maximize the value of the company.

So far, OneWeb has launched 74 satellites as part of its constellation, secured valuable global spectrum, begun development on a range of user terminals for a variety of customer markets, has half of its 44 ground stations completed or in development, and performed successful demonstrations of its system with broadband speeds in excess of 400 Mbps and latency of 32 ms. In addition, OneWeb’s commercial team has seen significant early global demand for OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency connectivity services from governments and leaders in the automotive, maritime, enterprise, and aviation industries.

Adrian Steckel, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb, stated, “OneWeb has been building a truly global communications network to provide high-speed low latency broadband everywhere. Our current situation is a consequence of the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. We remain convinced of the social and economic value of our mission to connect everyone everywhere. Today is a difficult day for us at OneWeb. So many people have dedicated so much energy, effort, and passion to this company and our mission. Our hope is that this process will allow us to carve a path forward that leads to the completion of our mission, building on the years of effort and the billions of invested capital. It is with a very heavy heart that we have been forced to reduce our workforce and enter the Chapter 11 process while the Company’s remaining employees are focused on responsibly managing our nascent constellation and working with the Court and investors.”

http://www.omniagentsolutions.com/onewebglobal

OneWeb prepares to launch its LEO constellation

OneWeb, which is planning to deploy a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites, secured $1.25 billion in new capital, enabling it to start mass production of satellites through its joint venture with Airbus. This round was led by SoftBank, Grupo Salinas, Qualcomm, and the Government of Rwanda. OneWeb has now raised to $3.4 billion to date.

OneWeb said it will now "embark on the largest satellite launch campaign in history." Satellites will be built at its new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Exploration Park, Florida. The first launch occured on February 27th.  Starting in Q4, OneWeb will begin monthly launches of more than 30 satellites at a time, creating an initial constellation of 650 satellites to enable full global coverage. Further phases are planned.

"This latest funding round, our largest to date, makes OneWeb’s service inevitable and is a vote of confidence from our core investor base in our business model and the OneWeb value proposition," said Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb. "With the recent successful launch of our first six satellites, near-completion of our innovative satellite manufacturing facility with our partner Airbus, progress towards fully securing our ITU priority spectrum position, and the signing of our first customer contracts, OneWeb is moving from the planning and development stage to deployment of our full constellation. Our success is made possible thanks to the backing of our investors and the cooperation of our world class commercial partners including Arianespace, Airbus, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., Virgin, and Hughes.”

On the additional investment, Marcelo Claure, COO of SoftBank Group Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Group International said: “OneWeb has extended its first-mover advantage and is on track to become the world’s largest and first truly global communications network. At SoftBank, our aim is to invest in transformative companies at the leading edge of technology disruption. OneWeb’s potential is undeniable as the growth in data from 5G, IoT, autonomous driving and other new technologies drives demand for capacity above and beyond the limits of the existing infrastructure.”

OneWeb’s priority rights to a large block of globally harmonized spectrum and its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation design will enable a unique combination of high speed, low latency, and truly global service. OneWeb’s network will go beyond the limits of existing infrastructure, enabling connectivity for rural communities and schools as well as for business and industries that demand seamless global connectivity solutions such as Aviation, Maritime, Backhaul, and Land Mobility. OneWeb’s customers will be able to develop and support a wide range of emerging applications that require real-time communication and collaboration.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

SpaceX selected to launch Intelsat 40e in 2022

Intelsat named SpaceX as its launch partner for Intelsat 40e (IS-40e), which is an advanced geostationary satellite that will provide Intelsat’s government and enterprise customers across North and Central America with high-throughput, “coast-to-coast” services. Intelsat announced in February that Maxar Technologies will manufacture Intelsat 40e.

The launch is planned for 2022 on SpaceX’s American-built Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

“We look forward to working with SpaceX to launch Intelsat 40e in 2022,” said Intelsat Chief Services Officer Mike DeMarco. “IS-40e will join the Intelsat Epic high-throughput satellite fleet and integrated IntelsatOne ground network to provide our customers with the managed hybrid-connectivity they need in today’s ever-changing world.”
d communications strategies.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

SES and Telesat support FCC’s C-band Order

SES and Telesat, as founding members of the C-Band Alliance, applauded the FCC's final C-band Report and Order.

"We congratulate the Commission on striking the right balance to ensure accelerated access to the spectrum with appropriate incentives, providing an effective transition framework, and adequately protecting critical satellite services for customers and earth station operators."

FCC approves C-Band spectrum rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted to approve new rules to accelerate the auction and transfer of a wide swath of 3.5 GHz spectrum from the satellite industry for new uses, including 5G.

The 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum will be made available via a public auction.

Within the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, the FCC has is allocating the 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band for mobile use and 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz band) will be auctioned by the FCC for wireless services in the contiguous United States.  Another 20 megahertz (3.98-4.0 GHz) will serve as a guard band while existing satellite operations will be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band (4.0-4.2 GHz).

Satellite operators will be able to receive accelerated relocation payments of $9.7 billion if they meet accelerated clearing milestones.

FCC expects to conduct an auction beginning on December 8, 2020.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

FCC approves C-Band spectrum rules

The Federal Communications Commission voted to approve new rules to accelerate the auction and transfer of a wide swath of 3.5 GHz spectrum from the satellite industry for new uses, including 5G.

The 280 megahertz of mid-band spectrum will be made available via a public auction.

Within the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, the FCC has is allocating the 3.7-4.0 GHz portion of the band for mobile use and 280 megahertz (3.7-3.98 GHz band) will be auctioned by the FCC for wireless services in the contiguous United States.  Another 20 megahertz (3.98-4.0 GHz) will serve as a guard band while existing satellite operations will be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band (4.0-4.2 GHz).

Satellite operators will be able to receive accelerated relocation payments of $9.7 billion if they meet accelerated clearing milestones. 

FCC expects to conduct an auction beginning on December 8, 2020.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai writes: "With respect to this principle of revenue for the federal government, it’s important to make a couple of points about accelerated relocation payments.  First, they will be made by wireless carriers, not the FCC and not the American taxpayer.  And second, to the extent they impact the proceeds of the auction at all, they are likely to increase those proceeds.  That’s because without a strong incentive for satellite operators to cooperate, it will take years longer to clear this spectrum, dramatically reducing the value of this spectrum opportunity to wireless bidders.  It’s like repainting your house before you sell it; yes, there are costs to doing that, but the costs are more than offset by the higher sales price.  And our conservative approach here means the costs of accelerated relocation are easily outweighed by the benefits to the Treasury (not to mention the public at large)..."

"But as to its timing, there are some who argue that we should wait—indefinitely.  They complain that we are refusing to sit on our hands and wait for Congress to legislate.  It’s at once amusing and astounding that some making this criticism are the very same people who have previously complained that the agency isn’t moving quickly enough on mid-band spectrum.  Indeed, by now, it’s become a tired refrain:  Demand action on mid-band spectrum, but vote against putting 2.5 GHz spectrum to work for American consumers.  Demand action on mid-band spectrum, but vote against making the 3.5 GHz band a testbed for 5G.  Demand action on mid-band spectrum, but vote against letting New T-Mobile put underused spectrum to work in rural America.  Demand action on mid-band spectrum, but vote against every single one of the infrastructure reforms needed to enable that spectrum to be used for 5G..." 

So let me be clear regarding this tepid call to change course and sit still.  For those waiting with bated breath for that favorite Washington catchphrase “the U-turn,” I have only one thing to say:  You turn if you want to.  This Chairman’s not for turning.  The goal of leading the world in 5G is too urgent, the need to close the digital divide too pressing for us to put off action indefinitely.  The time to act is now.  And we are acting."


Monday, February 17, 2020

SpaceX deploys 60 more Starlink satellites, booster misses landing

SpaceX successfully launched another 60 Starlink satellites, bringing in orbit to 240.


The launch used a Falcon 9 first stage that had previously flown the CRS-17 mission in May 2019, the CRS-18 mission in July 2019, and the JCSAT-18/Kacific1 mission in December 2019.

However, this time the Falcon 9 booster missed the drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Astranis raises $90 million for its micro-GEO satellite ambitions

Astranis Space Technologies Corp., a start-up based in San Francisco, raised $90 million in new debt and equity funding for its micro-geostationary satellite plans.

Astranis plans to manufacture and operate small geostationary satellites. Its first mission is to bring widespread broadband internet access to the people of Alaska, where 39% of the population still has unreliable internet access.

The Astranis satellites are expected to weigh approximately 350kg and will leverage software-defined radio capabilities.

https://www.astranis.com/

Thursday, February 6, 2020

FCC Chairman proposes accelerated timeline for opening C-band

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai circulated draft rules with his fellow Commissioners that would reform the use of the C-band and make a large amount of spectrum available for 5G.

The C-band is a 500 megahertz segment of spectrum from 3.7 to 4.2 GHz, which is now mostly used by fixed satellite companies to beam content to video and audio broadcasters, cable systems, and other content distributors.

Under the proposed rules, the lower 280 megahertz of the C-band would be available for flexible use, including 5G, through a public auction.  Existing satellite operations would be repacked into the upper 200 megahertz of the band with relocation costs covered by the winning bidders of the auctioned spectrum.

Chairman Pai argues that his proposal would quickly free up a significant amount of spectrum for next-generation wireless services, and it would generate significant revenue for the U.S. Treasury. The plans calls for an accelerated timeline, with the auction occurring in December 2020. 5G deployments could happen in the lower 100 megahertz of the C-band in 46 of the nation’s top 50 Partial Economic Areas by September 2021 and in the remaining spectrum by September 2023.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/summary-chairman-pais-c-band-proposal

Monday, February 3, 2020

Maxar selected for Intelsat 40 geostationary satellite

Maxar Technologies has been selected to manufacture Intelsat 40e, a next-generation geostationary communications satellite scheduled to launch in 2022.

Intelsat 40e will be based on Maxar’s 1300-class satellite platform and Intelsat Epic. It will deliver high-throughput, “coast-to-coast” coverage for North America. It will also integrate NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) payload.

“When it’s launched, Intelsat 40e will be the newest addition to our next-generation Intelsat Epic platform, which is already providing our global customers with flexible, high-performance connectivity they can count on today – and in the future,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler. “Intelsat continuously invests in innovative new satellite and hybrid technologies that make it easy and affordable for our customers to connect people, devices and networks, even in the most remote locations. We look forward to partnering with Maxar on this next build.”