Hughes EBITDA up on higher consumer revenue; LatAm subs up 20%; enlisting OneWeb for FCC RDOF bid

PARIS — EchoStar Corp.’s Hughes Network Systems reported a 5% increase in average monthly consumer broadband subscription revenue for the three months ending June 30 compared to the previous three months as the Covid-19 pandemic kept people home and caused a spike in U.S. household broadband use.
The company reported an 11.2% decline in its U.S. subscribers during the same period, to 1.22 million. The decline was more than offset by a 20.2% increase in its Latin American subscribers, which totaled 321,000 . . .
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SES: No Covid-19 impact in Q2, some expected in H2; 4 more Boeing satellites for O3b mPower constellation

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES reported zero effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on its airline and maritime mobility business in the three months ending June 30 as contracts signed in 2019 took effect.
But the company acknowledged that the sharp drop in air travel and in the maritime cruise market is forcing SES customers in those markets to seek contract modifications that will take effect later this year.
Luxembourg-based SES lowered its 2020 revenue forecast by 4%, and its EBITDA forecast by 3.4%, to . . .
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Iridium reports only moderate damage in 1st full Covid-19 quarter; Aireon, more exposed, needs shareholder loan

PARIS — Mobile satellite service provider Iridium Communications reported only mild turbulence from Covid-19 during the three months ending June 30 but said the drop in air traffic would mean its 22%-owned Aireon LLC, which provides global air-traffic surveillance, will require additional cash before stabilizing its business.
Iridium is contributing $11 million for its share of a $50 million loan being made available to Aireon by its shareholders, led by Nav Canada, which owns 45%. The loan carries an interest rate of 11%.

Smallsat launch startup ABL Space Systems raises $49M, books 3-year USAF contracts totaling $44.5M

PARIS — Startup small-satellite launch service provider ABL Space Systems said it had won two contracts valued at $44.5 million over three years with the U.S. Air Force that, combined with a $49 million funding round, gives it enough cash to conduct three demonstration launches in 2021.
California-based ABL has begun testing its RS1 rocket’s second stage at Edwards Air Force Base, California and said it long-duration testing will be done by October. The first demonstration launch is scheduled to occur by . . .
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Mynaric says German government denial of lasercom export to China will cost it a big contract; company now hopes for US military order

UPDATE July 31: This story was updated to include Mynaric's response to questions.
PARIS — Startup laser communications terminal manufacturer Mynaric AG said it would cease all business in China, a major customer, following the German government’s denial of an export license. Mynaric said the decision will cost it a contract that would have been valued in double-digit millions of euros.
The government decision came two years after Mynaric first announced an MoU with an unidentified satellite constellation operator for up to 1,000 laser terminals, which . . .
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Eutelsat: Satellite DTH thriving in sub-Saharan Africa; company digs in on retail broadband in Europe

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat offered updated proof that the direct-to-home satellite-television market remains a solid business, especially in the emerging markets including Africa, and said it had now assembled the pieces of a consumer satellite-broadband strategy.
Paris-based Eutelsat has been fighting two market sentiments in the past couple of years: That satellite TV was in a slow but inexorable death spiral, and that the company was unable to prosecute a viable consumer broadband business in Europe and Africa . . .
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Telesat: Still wait-and-see on LEO, and bad-debt provisions for aero/maritime customers

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telesat reported a 10% decline in revenue for the three months ending June 30 compared to the previous year and booked bad-debt provisions of $2.5 million from aero and maritime mobility customers whose business has been laid low by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company provided no update on its proposed multibillion-dollar LEO constellation of Ka-band broadband satellites, which is still looking for financing and for a prime contractor, beyond assuring that it’s alive and well in the minds of Telesat management . . .
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