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

Monday, October 1, 2018

Satellite companies form C-Band Alliance to advance U.S. mid-band spectrum for 5G

A new C-Band Alliance has been formed by leading satellite companies, including Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, and Telesat with a goal of making mid‐band spectrum available for 5G services in the United States.

The CBA will act as a facilitator, as described in a recent FCC proceeding featuring the companies’ market-based proposal to clear a portion of C-band spectrum in the United States.

The market-based proposal, which was approved by the FCC in July 2018, aims to protect the quality and reliability of the extensive services provided by satellite operators in the C-band spectrum to U.S. broadcasters, media, and data companies. The proposal establishes a commercial and technical framework that would enable terrestrial mobile operators to quickly access spectrum in a portion of the 3,700 to 4,200 MHz frequency band in the U.S., speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services.

The CBA will undertake the technical and commercial implementation of the spectrum clearing process.

The CBA will be led by Bill Tolpegin, currently CEO of OTA Broadcasting, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of CBA. Media sector veteran Preston Padden will serve as Head of Advocacy and Government Relations.


FCC looks to open 3.7 and 4.2 GHz for 5G

The Federal Communications Commission has identified up to 500 megahertz of mid-band spectrum between 3.7 and 4.2 GHz that could be open for 5G wireless services.

A newly adopted FCC order sets forth several steps toward making more mid-band spectrum available for terrestrial fixed and mobile broadband use.  Specifically, the Order will require Fixed Satellite Service earth stations operating in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band to certify the accuracy of existing registration and license information and will collect additional information from space station licensees on their operations in the band to assist the Commission and commenters in developing a clearer understanding of how the band is currently being used.  The Commission will then use this information to evaluate the most efficient way to drive the deployment of mid-band spectrum for mobile services and more intensive fixed services.

The FCC said its Notice also proposes to add a mobile (except aeronautical mobile) allocation to all 500 megahertz in the band and seeks comment on various proposals for transitioning part or all of the band for flexible use, working up from 3.7 GHz, including market-based, auction, and alternative mechanisms.  The Notice also seeks comment on allowing more intensive point-to-multipoint fixed use in some portion of the band, on a shared basis, working down from 4.2 GHz and on how to define and protect incumbent users from harmful interference, and it seeks comment on service and technical rules that would enable efficient and intensive use by any new services in the band.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Horizons 3e preps for launch -- extending Intelsat's EpicNG

Horizons 3e, a next-gen satellite owned by a joint venture between Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation of Japan, arrived at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, where it will undergo final preparations before its scheduled launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on the 7th of September, 2018.

Horizons 3e was built by Boeing and is based on the Intelsat EpicNG design. Horizons 3e is the sixth of Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites and will complete Intelsat EpicNG’s global coverage. It is also the first Intelsat EpicNG satellite to feature entire Ku-band spot beams utilizing multiport amplifiers that optimize power across the satellite, and features the highest throughput of the entire Intelsat EpicNG fleet with full beam interconnectivity in two commercial bands.

http://www.intelsat.com/global-network/satellites/epicng/


Saturday, August 4, 2018

UAE satellite operators consolidate -- Yahsat takes over Thuraya

Yahsat, a leading global satellite operator based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, completed the acquisition of a majority and controlling stake in the mobile satellite services operator Thuraya.

Thuraya, which was the first satellite operator from the UAE, operates two satellites serving over 160 countries. Yahsat has three satellites of its own.

The combination of geostationary satellites operating in the C, Ka, Ku and L-bands will jointly cover Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Asia, providing a broad range of Fixed and Mobile Satellite Services spanning voice and data communications to both commercial and government sectors.

Ali Al Hashemi, who has led Yahsat Government Solutions, Yahsat's specialised unit fulfilling defense and governmental client requirements, for the past few years is announced as the new CEO of Thuraya, while former CEO Ahmed Al Shamsi will remain as Advisor to the CEO. Ali Al Hashemi, will at the same time continue to be General Manager of Yahsat Government Solutions.

Commenting on the Thuraya acquisition, Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO of Yahsat stated: "The Thuraya acquisition provides us with an ideal opportunity to grow and diversify our business, bolstering our satellite solutions capabilities on both government and commercial fronts.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Viasat launches 35-100 Mbps business Internet across U.S.

Viasat began offering a nationwide, business-class Internet service with a variety of unlimited and metered data plans featuring download speed options ranging from 35 Mbps to 100 Mbps across U.S. Maximum speeds vary by location.

Viasat broadband business internet will also provide a more resilient secondary/backup connection for businesses in urban locations.

The new business Internet service is delivered via the ViaSat-2 satellite system, which was launched on June 1, 2017 by Arianespace.  The Ka-band satellite was built by Boeing.

"Businesses across the U.S. expect an internet service that can support their sales and operational needs—anywhere they are based," said Cody Catalena, vice president and general manager, Global Business Solutions, Viasat. "With our new ViaSat-2 service for business, we’re now able to provide broadband speeds across all plans and even more coverage to enable businesses to stay connected, productive and profitable.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

SES delivers connectivity for French Polynesian islands

SES Networks announced a deal with the Office des Postes et Telecommunications of French Polynesia (OPT) to deliver enhanced mobile broadband and Internet services to residents across the vast French Polynesian territory.

Under the new agreement, OPT will access the NSS-9 satellite’s wide C-band coverage to reach the sprawling Polynesian archipelago of 118 islands in the South Pacific.

OPT has been using SES satellite capacity to provide connectivity services since 2007.

“OPT and SES Networks have been partners for the last decade. It was thanks to SES satellites that we brought French Polynesia into the Internet age. Today, mobile broadband and Internet connectivity demands from residents and businesses are growing faster than ever. NSS-9 offers reliable coverage and a wide footprint spanning the Pacific Ocean – a perfect complement to our terrestrial infrastructure, as we expand our network to provide new and enhanced services that people need,” said Tehina Thuret, Telecommunications Chief Executive at OPT.

Monday, June 4, 2018

SES-12 enters orbit with 72 high throughput user spot beams

SES-12 was successfully launched by SpaceX into geostationary orbit at 95 degrees East. It will serve video, fixed data, mobility and government customers across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

SES-12, which is one of the largest geostationary satellites that SES has ever launched, is equipped with six wide beams and 72 high throughput user spot beams.

It also has a Digital Transparent Processor (DTP) that increases payload flexibility to provide much more customizable bandwidth solutions to SES's customers.

SES-12 will join SES’ network of seven geostationary satellites and 16 MEO satellites across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Martin Halliwell, Chief Technology Officer at SES said, “More content. More immersive viewing experience. Blazing internet speeds. Reliable cell coverage. All of these dynamic customer requirements can now be met with the successful launch of SES-12, which will provide incremental high-performance capacity and offer greater reliability and flexibility to our customers.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

SpaceX launches 5 Iridium NEXT satellites, 2 GRACE-FO satellites

SpaceX successfully launched five Iridium NEXT satellites and two GRACE-FO satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The launch used the Falcon 9 rocket.

Falcon 9’s first stage for this mission was previously used in January for the Zuma mission from Cape Canaveral in Florida. After today's launch, SpaceX did not attempt to recover the first stage again.

The Iridium NEXT project is replacing the replacing all of the company's satellites with new ones for enabling next-generation broadband for specialized applications, like safety services, data and communications, remote monitoring, tracking, etc. This was the sixth of eight launch missions by SpaceX for Iridium NEXT. In total, 81 satellites are being built, with 66 in the operational constellation, nine serving as on-orbit spares and six as ground spares.

The two Geosciences (GFZ) GRACE Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites belong to the NASA/German Research Centre. As the twin satellites fly over
areas of higher and lower mass, the distance between them changes slightly due to gravitational forces. By precisely measuring these changes, the distribution of Earth’s mass can be mapped monthly and tracked over time. This data can be used to monitor changes in ice sheets and glaciers, underground water storage, water in large lakes and rivers, and sea level, providing a unique view of Earth’s evolving climate and its water and energy cycles, with far-reaching societal benefits

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Eutelsat plans next gen sat for European fixed broadband and in-flight

Eutelsat Communications unveiled plans for a next-generation VHTS satellite system named KONNECT VHTS for its European fixed broadband and in-flight connectivity businesses.

The KONNECT VHTS satellite is due to enter into service in 2021. Thales Alenia Space will build the satellite along with the ground segment solution. The satellite will have Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, making it the most powerful on-board digital processor ever put in orbit.

Eutelsat also announced that it has secured firm multi-year distribution commitments from Orange and Thales, two key European players and leaders in their businesses. A retail partnership was signed with Orange to address the fixed broadband market in European countries where the Group has a retail presence, and a distribution partnership was inked with Thales to serve the government connectivity services market.

Commenting on the contract, Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with global partners, Orange and Thales, which confirms the place of satellite-based solutions in the drive for enhanced high-speed internet coverage. As a core complement to terrestrial broadband networks, high-speed broadband will be a critical driver of Eutelsat’s growth from 2020 onwards. Over the next decade, VHTS satellites will bring enough capacity to serve high speed internet and in-flight connectivity markets at scale, offering fiber-like services both in terms of price and speed.”

The investment in KONNECT VHTS replaces the project of a joint investment with ViaSat in a ViaSat 3 satellite for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and is covered by Eutelsat’s capex objective of an average of 420 million euros per annum.

Eutelsat faces pressure in its traditional video business, seeks new opportunities


Eutelsat, originally known as the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization, is known for being the first satellite operator in Europe to broadcast television channels direct-to-home beginning in the 1980s with its first generation of Hot Bird satellites. The company was founded in 1977, has its headquarters in Paris, and now operates ground stations in every region of the world.  Its business interests have diversified to include...


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Satellite TV from SES now reaches 1 billion viewers worldwide

SES now reaches 351 million TV homes, according to the company's research. This means that SES is now delivering video content to more than 1 billion global viewers.

This compares with 325 million households at the end of 2016.

SES attributes its increased reach to the addition of new countries (Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Turkey) and the wider reach of Yahlive, namely in the Maghreb countries, together accounting for 17 million more SES TV homes. On a like-for-like basis, the technical reach grew by 9 million SES TV homes, mainly in Nigeria, Ghana and the Middle East.

Out of its 351 million TV homes, SES directly reaches 145 million, and indirectly serves another 147 million cable homes, 40 million IPTV homes, and 18 million terrestrial homes.

“The Satellite Monitor shows that our strategy to invest in growth markets is successful and results in a significantly larger geographical reach,” said Ferdinand Kayser, CEO of SES Video. “We continue to leverage our growing, unique technical reach worldwide to help our customers build their businesses and expand their audiences. In Africa, our infrastructure will continue to play a key role in the digital switch-over, while in developed countries, namely Europe, our satellites remain the leading platform to deliver HD and drive Ultra HD to millions of households. We are also strongly supporting the development and roll-out of HD and Ultra HD in the Americas and Asia Pacific.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Eutelsat seeks new opportunities - part 2

In the first half of this article, we looked at the recent financial performance of Eutelsat, the Paris-based satellite operator known for its pioneering video distribution services and global reach. Currently, the Eutelsat fleet of satellites is carrying 6,810 TV channels, of which 1,275 channels are HD – a penetration rate of only 19%, which seems low in this era when 4K television screens are now widely available in many markets at declining prices.

As the video market continues to shift toward over-the-top services, and as fibre reaches many of the locations which were previously the exclusive domain of satellites, Eutelsat will seek new opportunities, such as in-flight mobile connectivity -- its only segment that is currently growing. Eutelsat also has interesting ventures underway in Africa, and recently in the "Belt and Road" countries in partnership with China Unicom.



Upcoming satellite launches

Unlike some of its industry rivals that have drawn up plans for dozens, hundreds or even thousands of new satellites in the coming decade, Eutelsat seems to be taking a conservative CAPEX approach with regards to the orders book. While current shareholders may appreciate keeping a healthy dividend, the space business is inherently a costly one. Eventually, satellites get old and must be replaced. Newer technology means that the current assets in orbit can depreciate quite quickly.

As in the case of current satellites not optimized for 100% HD or even 4K video. There will also be the need to defend against the ultra-aggressive business plans of SpaceX and others, who could conceivably push an established company such as Eutelsat into irrelevancy quite quickly. Here is a list of upcoming Eutelsat satellite launches:




A Vision for Africa

In September 2016, Eutelsat suffered a major setback in its vision to deliver broadband connectivity to Africa in partnership with Facebook when SpaceX experienced a launch pad anomaly during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral, Florida, leading to the explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket and the destruction of its payload, Eutelsat's AMOS-6 satellite.

AMOS-6 was a Ka-band geostationary satellite configured with high gain spot beams for covering large parts of West, EAast and Southern Africa. The satellite was designed for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment.
The partnership with Facebook was announced in October 2015 with a mission to reach large parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Eutelsat’s upcoming African Broadband Satellite looks to be a replacement for this lost bird. The new satellite t has ordered from Thales Alenia Space for possible launch in 2019. The all-electric satellite will be the first to use Thales Alenia Space's new Spacebus Neo platform. And it will offer 75 Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spotbeams, which together provide quasi-complete coverage of Sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite will address direct-to-user consumer and enterprise broadband services using dishes from approximately 75 cm.  Villages could use the satellite connectivity for Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile phone backhauling.  No word on whether Facebook will play a role in the renewed project.

There are two other past regional expansions for Eutelsat that should be noted. In October 2017, Eutelsat acquired Noorsat, one of the leading satellite service providers in the Middle East, from Bahrain’s Orbit Holding Group. In 2013, Eutelsat acquired Sat√©lites Mexicanos, for $831 million in cash plus assumption of $311 million in Satmex debt. Satmex operates three satellites that cover 90% of the population of the Americas.

Finally, Eutelsat and China Unicom signed a memorandum of understanding to address satellite communications market in the framework of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. The agreement builds on in-flight connectivity deal formed between Eutelsat and UnicomAirNet (UAN), which was recently formed by China Unicom's broadband network unit and Hangmei, a Chinese Wi-Fi service and content provider for railways and buses, to provide IFC services to Chinese commercial airlines.

The Belt and Road Initiative is the development strategy proposed by the Chinese government that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries. The idea is to build a 21st century Silk Road linking more than 68 countries, equivalent to 65% of the world's population and 40% of the global GDP as of 2017. The Belt and Road Initiative has the support of President Xi and the highest levels of his administration, leading some analysts to call it the largest organised development in history.

China's leading IT players, including China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile, are being encouraged to pursue an overseas expansion strategy. As such, Eutelsat makes an interesting partner for China Unicom in that it already has the satellite coverage, and the local TV broadcast partners), in the regions that China Unicom wishes to expand. Likewise, if Eutelsat is looking for a partner with the financial resources, scale, and ambition to cover Asia, the Middle East and Africa, China Unicom presents many possibilities. Global politics, of course, would play a role, with government contracts and national security interests as top concerns if this partnership were to deepen.




Monday, March 5, 2018

Oak Thorne takes the helm at Gogo

Oakleigh Thorne has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing Michael J. Small, who has stepped down as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a director of the company. Gogo said the decision for Small to leave the company was "mutual".

Mr. Thorne, a director of the company since 2003, has approximately 30 years of leadership experience with significant operational and financial expertise. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Thorndale Farm LLC, the family office of the Thorne family, which is the largest Gogo shareholder, owning approximately 30 percent of the ompany's outstanding common stock. Mr. Thorne has served in numerous senior management positions, including as Chief Executive Officer of two public companies.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

SES boosts Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) connectivity for Palau

Palau Telecoms will be extending and augmenting a contract with SES Networks for satellite broadband connectivity.

Since 2014, Palau Telecoms has been using SES' medium earth orbit (MEO) connectivity. The contract extension runs until 2020 and increases the amount of medium earth orbit (MEO) connectivity by 150%.

“Since we first initiated service with SES Networks, we have seen a tremendous uptick in demand for fast, reliable internet,” said Sam Masang, President of Palau Telecoms. “Now more than ever people expect to be able to access online services such as ecommerce sites and video calling applications at any time. We’ve been extremely impressed by the O3b fleet capabilities, and look forward to providing services for even more Palau residents in the coming years.”

“At SES Networks, our top priority is working with our customers to create unique and cost-effective solutions that help bridge the digital divide in areas that lie beyond the reach of traditional connectivity options,” said Imran Malik, Vice President, Fixed Data, Asia-Pacific at SES Networks. “We are incredibly proud that through our continued partnership, and ongoing efforts, we are making an impact on social and economic development in Palau.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Avanti readies Ka-band satellite for March launch

Avanti Communications confirmed that its HYLAS 4 satellite has arrived safely in French Guiana ahead of a scheduled launch in March.

The Avanti HYLAS 4 is a Ka-band satellite that will provide coverage over Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It has 64 active fixed beams and four independent steerable beams and is designed for:

  • Backhaul services for mobile network operators
  • Wholesale broadband for ISPs
  • Connectivity for governments (civil and defence)
  • High-speed broadband services for the enterprise market
  • Infill capacity for satellite operators

The spacecraft was built by Orbital ATK.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Intelsat and SES agree on joint use of C-band by satellite and mobile operators

Intelsat and SES last week both agreed to back a proposal to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the seeks to protect satellite services in the 3700-4200 MHz C-band downlink spectrum while opening a specified portion of that spectrum for terrestrial mobile use.

The companies said their joint proposal sets a commercial and technical framework that would enable wireless operators to quickly access approximately 100 MHz of nationwide C-band downlink spectrum in the United States, speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services. The idea builds on an innovative model first put forward to the FCC by Intelsat and Intel in October 2017 for spectrum sharing.

Under the proposal, a consortium of satellite operators would be created to oversee the governance of the initiative, define and implement the methodology for spectrum clearance, and serve as the sole interface for market-based transactions with parties interested in deploying terrestrial mobile services in specific portions of the C-band.

“The C-band is and remains a critical component of the U.S. network architecture. Space and ground segment operators have invested billions of dollars in U.S. C-band networks and connectivity and generate important value out of it. It is, therefore, our duty and mission to protect the C-band in the U.S. from any form of disruption and preserve its use,” stated Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO of SES.

"Our proposed market-based solution provides a speedy resolution to the U.S. objective of accelerating deployment of 5G services. With Intelsat and SES now in agreement on major tenets of the framework and with the support of Intel, we are confident in our ability to implement this proposal quickly and efficiently, ultimately to the benefit of American consumers and the U.S. economy,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler.

Monday, February 12, 2018

United Airlines picks ViaSat for Ka-band in-flight connectivity

United Airlines awarded a contract to ViaSat to bring its latest generation in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system to more than 70 aircraft, including at least 58 of United's new Boeing 737MAX aircraft. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The service will be delivered over Viasat's advanced high-capacity Ka-band satellite system, which will include the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms.

Viasat's IFEC system will also power United's Private Screening entertainment option, which offers customers access to hundreds of entertainment titles from its onboard library direct to their own devices.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

SES-14 and Al Yah 3 satellites reach orbit despite Ariane 5 anomaly

An Ariane 5 rocket launched from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) suffered an anomaly during the second stage separation process. Ground tracking stations lost telemetry contact with the rocket and its two satellite payloads shortly after the second stage separation. An investigation is underway. The CEO of Arianespace issued an apology. Two hours later, Arianespace confirmed that both of the satellites in its payload reached orbit and are communicating.

The mission carried SES-14, the second of SES' hybrid satellite to be launched. SES-14 was equipped with C-band wide beams will help cable and IP operators gain more viewers in Latin America, as well as provide maritime managed connectivity service across the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, HTS spot beams are designed for in-flight connectivity aboard commercial aircraft over the Atlantic provided by Global Eagle, Gogo and Panasonic. The satellite is also hosted a NASA scientific payload called "GOLD" that will enable scientists to study the border between earth and space. SES-14 is the first high-power satellite in the 4-tons class. It was built by Airbus.

The Ariane 5 mission also carried the Al Yah 3 satellite for the United Arab Emirates operator
Yahsat (Al Yah Satellite Communications Company), which is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer Ka-band services reaching 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population from its geostationary position at at 20° West Longitude. The Al Yah 3 satellite carries 53 active Ka-band user beams and four gateway beams, and produces approximately 8.0 kilowatts of payload electrical power. It was built by Orbital ATK using its new GEOStar-3 hybrid platform.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Harris supplies navigation payloads for GPS III

Harris Corporation delivered two advanced navigation payloads in 2017 to Lockheed Martin for use on GPS III satellites. The company is on track to deliver four more in 2018, and a total of ten units under its contract with Lockheed Martin.

Harris’ navigation payload consists of a Mission Data Unit (MDU), featuring a unique 70-percent digital design that links atomic clocks, radiation-hardened computers and powerful transmitters – enabling signals three times more accurate than those on current GPS satellites. These payloads also boost satellite signal power, increase jamming resistance by eight times and help extend the satellite’s lifespan.

Harris said the first payload, which was delivered earlier this year, is now fully integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s first GPS III satellite, GPS III SV01, which was declared Available for Launch in September, with an expected launch in 2018.

In November, Harris announced that it had completed development of a fully digital MDU for Lockheed Martin’s GPS III satellites 11 and beyond. The new SV 11+ payload design will provide enhanced capabilities and increased performance for the Air Force.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

EUTELSAT 172B enters service over Pacific

Eutelsat Communications’ EUTELSAT 172B satellite, which was launched in June, went into full commercial service covering a vast region stretching from the West coast of the Americas to Asia, Oceania and across the Pacific.

EUTELSAT 172B, which is the fastest satellite to reach geostationary orbit using electric propulsion (in only four months) is optimised for in-flight connectivity across the Pacific and offers 11 spotbeams.

Panasonic is the major client of the High Throughput Service (HTS) payload.

EUTELSAT 172B also offers C-band capacity as well as flexible Ku-band capacity spread across five interconnecting Widebeam service areas. Ku-band can be used for maritime, video, enterprise, cellular backhaul and government services, or as an overlay to deliver live television to passengers in flight.

Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO, said: “As EUTELSAT 172B begins commercial activity that will stretch into the 2030s, this is a key moment to thank the men and women at Eutelsat and our colleagues at Airbus for collaborating passionately on a programme that sets a new industry standard. In addition to taking our 172° East location to a new level of performance for clients in the Asia-Pacific, EUTELSAT 172B further validates the value of electric propulsion for high-capacity satellites that are core to providing cost-competitive services in the telecoms marketplace.”

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Orbital's Minotaur C Rocket Carries 10 Satellites to Orbit

Orbital ATK successfully launched 10 commercial spacecraft into orbit aboard its commercial Minotaur C rocket.

The miniature satellites belong to Planet, a San Francisco based company that is rapidly becoming a major provide of satellite imagery services. Planet now has a constellation of 275 "Dove" satellites in orbit.  It also now has a constellation of 13 "SkySat" satellites, making it he world’s largest commercial, sub-meter fleet of high-res satellites operating in space.

Orbital's Minotaur C rocket was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Monday, October 23, 2017

SES provides satellite connectivity for Loon balloons over P.R.

SES Networks confirmed that it is providing high throughput and fibre-like satellite connectivity service to Project Loon, the stratospheric balloons that are aiming to deliver 4G/LTE connectivity in disaster-affected Puerto Rico.

The connectivity is provided by SES Networks' O3b FastConnect, a rapidly deployable satellite terminal delivering fibre-like performance.

SES said this effort could not have happened with traditional satellites and could only happen with its fleet of MEO satellites because of its low latency, fiber-like capability.

“Our thoughts are with those whose lives have been impacted by this devastating hurricane," said Steve Collar, CEO of SES Networks. “Access to connectivity is crucial in getting those affected the information and help they need after a natural disaster. We are really pleased to be working with X and their other partners to deploy high-performance connectivity to Puerto Rico and to play a part in the island's restoration efforts.”

See also