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ESA contracts for eight new Galileo navsats, confident atomic-clock issue is resolved

LE BOURGET, France — The European Space Agency on June 22 signed a long-expected contract with OHB SE of Germany for eight more Galileo positioning, timing and navigation satellites, a contract that is about eight months late. Valued at 329 million euros ($367 million), the contract stipulates that the eight spacecraft will be ready for launch by 2020, the date Galileo’s owner, the European...

IAI: Amos-6 failure sent message to Israeli government on satellite autonomy

LE BOURGET, France — The Sept. 1 destruction of the Amos-6 telecommunications satellite in a SpaceX Falcon 9 on-pad explosion may have been the wake-up call the Israeli government needed to secure a future for its domestic satellite industry, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Chief Executive Joseph Weiss said. In a June 20 interview here at the Paris Air Show, Weiss said a new Israeli government...

Eutelsat, ViaSat, joined by Panasonic, ask EU regulators to block Inmarsat’s aviation play

TEL AVIV — Eutelsat and ViaSat are asking a European court to block Inmarsat’s planned aeronautical-connectivity service, saying Inmarsat is violating the terms of its license by passing off a terrestrial network as a satellite system. The legal action comes on the eve of the launch of Inmarsat’s European Aeronautical Network (EAN) satellite payload, which is sharing a Thales Alenia Space-built...

Intelsat reduces revenue, EBITDA forecast for 2017, trims capex plans

Intelsat is banking on its Epic Ku-band HTS satellites to open new markets with lower per-megahertz prices. But it’s taking longer than expected for the new demand to compensate for revenue declines in its ongoing business. Credit: Intelsat PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Intelsat on June 16 trimmed its revenue and EBITDA forecast for 2017 and reduced is planned capex following...

Arianespace valuation, $500 million. Rocket Lab, $1 billion: New Space thinking

PARIS — You know the power of New Space and the New Economy — as ideas, if not as business models — has reached a high-water mark when the former director-general of the European Space Agency seeks to explain the fact that a startup launch operator has a higher market valuation than Europe’s Arianespace. Jean-Jacques Dordain, who is now on the advisory board for the Luxembourg government’s...

Iridium thinking ahead to life after Coface loan, when M&A is possible

PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications expects to pay down its export-credit-agency loan early by taking advantage of favorable commercial financing markets to be able to acquire an Internet of Things (IoT) business, Chief Executive Matt Desch said June 13. Desch did not specify a given investment, but said Iridium would not refinance its $1.8-billion loan from...

Interview: Newtec CEO Thomas Van den Driessche

SINGAPORE — Satellite ground network provider Newtec sees its closed-network competitors, Hughes and ViaSat, expanding internationally and concludes it needs to get ever closer to its satellite fleet operator customers. Newtec Chief Executive Thomas Van den Driessche does not buy the ViaSat-Hughes argument that vertical integration of a high-throughput satellite (HTS) system leads to higher...

Telesat sees possible LEO partnership in Canada’s new defense posture

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telesat jumped out of its chair June 12 to applaud Canada’s new defense policy statement, in particular the statement’s support for new satellite communications, both narrowband and wideband, in the Arctic. Just hours after the document was published, Ottawa-based Telesat said the Canadian government’s willingness to strike public-private partnerships, a move...

AsiaSat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, SES start interference-prevention drive

PARIS — Five well-established satellite fleet operators have established common  Earth station antenna-performance and testing criteria that they will insist on with their supply chains and promote among other fleet owners in a global signal interference-mitigation effort. The companies — AsiaSat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, Intelsat and SES — hope to ensure a minimum standard for any satellite Earth...

exactEarth still paying for Canadian contract loss, but backlog growing

PARIS — Satellite maritime tracking service provider exactEarth Ltd. on June 8 reported continued financial fallout from a lost Canadian government contract but said orders were up and the second-generation service showed promising results. Canada-based exactEarth said the likely tipping point for a revenue boost will be when 30 Automatic Identification Service (AIS) transponders are in orbit as...

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News Archives

ViaSat-3 schedule slipping, cost going up

SINGAPORE — Satellite broadband hardware and services provider ViaSat Inc. on May 25 said its ostensibly three-satellite ViaSat-3 broadband satellites would be in service later and cost more than initially planned. The delays are likely due to challenges associated...

O3b denies ABS customer-defection claim, says rain fade is manageable

SINGAPORE — The chief executive of O3b Networks on May 24 flatly denied allegations by competitor ABS that an O3b customer in the Pacific islands had replaced its O3b Ka-band capacity with bandwidth from ABS’s C- and Ku-band satellite following a series of service...

ViaSat measures ViaSat-2 vs OneWeb, SpaceX, Gogo 2Ku

Takeaways from ViaSat CEO Dankberg’s May 17 investor conference remarks: — LEO constellations: ‘I don’t understand OneWeb/SpaceX. Few care about latency.’ — ViaSat-2: 100-200 Mbps for residential users, wireless model in Lat Am. — 6-month penalty vs Hughes’s Jupiter-2 will evaporate in 6 months. — Gogo’s 2Ku service is ‘just an antenna. The issue is satellite capacity.’ — A prospective ban on laptops on commercial flights won’t materially damage larger IFC market.

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