Credit: PanGeo Alliance

Credit: PanGeo Alliance

UrtheCast negotiates tricky path to goal of constellation owner

PARIS — Satellite geospatial imagery and services provider UrtheCast on March 28 said revenue doubled in 2016 and the company turned EBITDA-positive on the strength of its ownership of two Spanish satellites and an alliance with other small Earth imagery providers. Read more

Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

APT of Hong Kong appears lukewarm on global HTS project

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator APT Satellite Holdings of Hong Kong has agreed to invest 600 million Chinese renminbi ($86.3 million) for a 30 percent interest in a Chinese joint venture to launch a Ku-/Ka-band high-throughput satellite over the Asia-Pacific. Read more

Credit: Global Eagle Entertainment

Credit: Global Eagle Entertainment

Interview: David M. Davis, former CEO, Global Eagle Entertainment

PARIS — The Feb. 21 announcement by aero- and maritime-connectivity provider Global Eagle Entertainment that its CEO and CFO would be leaving the company, effective immediately, caused GEE’s stock to plummet by 26%. What happened? Read more

Credit: Inmarsat

Credit: Inmarsat

Interview: Rupert Pearce, CEO, Inmarsat

LONDON — Mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat recently told investors to expect a never-ending capex cycle whose peaks are much lower and whose valleys, also known as capex holidays, all but disappear. For Chief Executive Rupert Pearce, it’s the only way to stay current with the all-but-insatiable bandwidth demand by customers. Read more

Credit: Elena Pisonero

Credit: Elena Pisonero

Hispasat revenue grows but EBITDA falls on satellite delay

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Hispasat on March 24 reported a 4.2 percent increase in revenue for 2016 but a dip in EBITDA margin because of the costs of leasing a satellite to make up for a satellite that was years late in being put into service. Read more

Credit: Arianespace

Credit: Arianespace

Interview: David Williams, CEO, Avanti Communications

LONDON — Satellite fleet operator Avanti has been a dramatic story in the past year: Liquidity crisis with falling bandwidth prices in its core African markets, strategic review and possible sale, then a bondholder rescue and now awaiting two Ka-band satellite payloads to bolster Avanti’s business. Read more

Credit: International Astronautical Federation

Credit: International Astronautical Federation

NASA raises China soft-power threat if space station is retired

PARIS — A senior NASA official told the U.S. Congress that China may steal the march on the United States in the use of soft-power diplomacy by getting U.S. allies to join China’s space station on the same cash-free barter basis NASA uses for the International Space Station (ISS). Read more

 
 

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Credit: UK Department for International Trade

Credit: UK Department for International Trade

Interview: Mike Lawton, chief executive, Oxford Space Systems

LONDON — Oxford Space Systems has been on everyone’s Most Likely to Succeed list of European space startups for a couple of years now. The specialist in satellite deployable booms and antennas using proprietary materials dreams of the day it competes directly with Harris Corp. and Northrop Grumman. Read more

Credit: Airbus Defence and Space

Credit: Airbus Defence and Space

Interview: Eric Beranger, Chief Executive, OneWeb

LONDON — The chief executive of satellite internet startup OneWeb, which is building a constellation of some 800 satellites for global broadband coverage, said total capex requirements are evolving, as is the production cost of each OneWeb satellite. Read more

UK companies say Brexit already excludes them from EU work

LONDON — British space hardware and services companies on March 20 said they were already feeling Brexit’s effects as industrial bidding teams preparing for European Commission contracts exclude British companies. Read more

Credit: UAE Embassy

Credit: UAE Embassy

Samer Halawi leaves Thuraya for undisclosed Washington post

PARIS — Samer Halawi has resigned as chief executive of mobile satellite services provider Thuraya Telecommunications of Dubai in what he said was an amicable departure that had nothing to do with a conflict over strategy within Thuraya. Read more

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

US Air Force: SpaceX likely raised price to meet requirements

PARIS —  The U.S. Air Force appeared to buttress SpaceX’s claim that it charges more for U.S. government launches than for commercial missions not just because it can, but because government customers demand more than commercial customers for each launch. Read more

 

Credit: Panasonic Avionics

Credit: Panasonic Avionics

Panasonic Avionics stays the course despite investigation

Panasonic Avionics Corp.’s chief salesman for in-flight connectivity said a U.S. investigation into alleged corrupt practices that led to the resignation of the company’s two top executives has had no impact on the company’s airline broadband strategy. Read more

Credit: ITU

Credit: ITU

GSM Assn. suggests regulators divvy up Q/V-band

WASHINGTON — The terrestrial wireless industry’s GSM Association is proposing that radio spectrum regulators use the largely untapped Q/V-band radio spectrum as a template for frequency sharing with satellite systems. Read more

Credit: ITU

Credit: ITU

ITU, FCC: Satellite constellation surge requires new rules

WASHINGTON — The U.S. and international agencies responsible for satellite orbital slot and frequency allocations said they may need to adapt their licensing procedures given the flood of proposals for mega-constellations for broadband internet delivery. Read more

Credit: C-Span

Credit: C-Span

Where Wheeler raged, FCC’s O’Rielly woos satellite sector to compromise

WASHINGTON — U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s March 6 speech to the U.S. Satellite Industry Association came across as sunshine and daffodils compared to last year’s thunder and lightning delivered by then-FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler. Read more

Credit: AsiaSat

Credit: AsiaSat

AsiaSat says 2017 could be turnaround year

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator AsiaSat on March 15 reported a decline in revenue and operating profit in 2016, as expected, but said there were signs of an upturn in its long-overcrowded, hyper-competitive Asian markets. Read more

Credit: Spacecom

Credit: Spacecom

Interview: David Pollack, chief executive, Spacecom

No commercial satellite fleet operator — not even Russian Satellite Communications Co. — has suffered more from satellite and launch failures in recent years that Spacecom of Israel. Read more

Credit: Sky News via Youtube.

Credit: Sky News via Youtube.

Avanti reports further declines in African Ka-band pricing

Satellite fleet operator Avanti Communications is reporting continued declines in average bandwidth prices in Africa for the six months ending Dec. 31 as well as headwinds related to the company’s mid-2016 strategic review. Read more

Credit: Space Florida

Credit: Space Florida

Blue Origin’s Bezos: ‘Barnstorming’ to lead satellite industry to new equilibrium

Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos presented what was widely interpreted as the company’s “reverse SpaceX” roadmap to future orbital success and rocket reusability, saying suborbital tourism with the New Shepard rocket is indispensable to the future operation of the company’s larger New Glenn orbital vehicle. Read more

Credit: Inmarsat via Youtube.

Credit: Inmarsat via Youtube.

Inmarsat to ViaSat, Eutelsat: Euro S-band game over. Go home

Mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat on March 8 said efforts by competitors ViaSat and Eutelsat to block Inmarsat’s deployment of an S-band satellite-terrestrial aeronautical service in Europe is a rearguard action that regulators have already dismissed. Read more

Credit: SSPI via Youtube

Credit: SSPI via Youtube

Orbital ATK bearish on commercial satellites, bullish on military, waiting on NASA

Satellite and rocket manufacturer Orbital ATK on March 8 said the sag in the global commercial telecommunications satellite market — just 14 orders in 2016 by Orbital’s count — is likely to continue through 2017 but that the company’s civil and military government satellite work is taking up the slack. Read more

Credit: SES

Credit: SES

Interview: Karim Michel Sabbagh, chief executive, SES

SES Chief Executive Karim Michel Sabbagh discusses the Intelsat-OneWeb merger proposal, the near-term prospects for UHD TV, the cost of SpaceX launch delays, and investment in O3b MEO versus expanding the company’s GEO fleet, and O3b’s proposed new constellation. Read more