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U.S. military buying less commercial satellite capacity, using it more efficiently; low latency a new interest

LONDON — The U.S. military, perhaps anticipating the arrival of several global broadband satellite constellations, is turning its focus to low-latency capacity even as it trims its annual purchase of commercial satellite bandwidth. The reduction has come both in the amount of bandwidth secured from commercial satellite providers and the per-megahertz price paid by the U.S. Defense Information...

Inmarsat says it will limit, but not cease, cash burn to build in-flight-connectivity business

PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat, faced with continued rising costs and profit headwinds in its in-flight-connectivity (IFC) business, said it is not signing commercial-aviation deals just for market share but must continue to spend now for later profitability. “We are very disciplined,” Inmarsat Chief Executive Rupert Pearce said. “We don’t want to win any business here, we...

ViaSat sets February ViaSat-2 satellite debut, details flat-panel R&D work in Europe

PARIS — Satellite broadband services and hardware provider ViaSat Inc. reported continued declines in consumer broadband subscribers for the three months, but also an increase in per-subscriber revenue and airline connectivity that minimized the effect. ViaSat said its subscriber count likely would drop further before increasing after the ViaSat-2 satellite enters service in February. ViaSat-2...

EchoStar’s Hughes satellite broadband has 35% EBITDA margin; EchoStar loses Brazil S-, Ka- rights

LONDON — EchoStar Corp’s Hughes satellite consumer broadband division reported increased revenue and gross profit for the three months ending Sept. 30 and maintained its estimate that The U.S. market has 18 million householders that should adopt satellite broadband on is merits. With Hughes and its competitor, ViaSat Inc., together serving a bit less than 2 million subscribers now, that leaves...

British military says privatizing satellite telecom led to unacceptable loss of expertise

The British Defence Ministry is still investigating scenarios for its next-generation satellite telecommunications system, called Skynet 6. But one thing is clear: The ministry thinks it has lost too much in-house expertise in the way it handled the previous Skynet 5 Private Finance Initiative. Credit: UK Ministry of Defence. LONDON — The British Defence Ministry is preparing to return to a...

KVH asks investor patience during transition to satellite connectivity-as-a-service model

PARIS — Maritime satellite broadband hardware and service provider KVH Industries asked for investor patience as it moves to a new service model that takes hardware sales out of revenue in favor of an all-service model the company believes will be a hit with customers. Moving away from selling hardware and service separately means the company will suffer an immediate hit to hardware revenue,...

ViaSat advances on European chessboard with ESA satellite broadband project

PARIS — Broadband hardware and service provider ViaSat Inc., in a transaction that smoothes the company’s tricky entry into the European market, has entered into a cost-sharing program with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop broadband satellite user terminals and gateway Earth stations for the ViaSat-3 network. The Public-Private Partnership (PPP), which is an increasingly common...

Telesat revenue/EBITDA down, backlog/fill-rate up; Telstar 19V satellite’s Ka-band selling well

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Telesat Canada’s third-quarter results constitute a mixed bag of positive and negative, with revenue and EBITDA down but both backlog and fleet fill rates up. The highlight the quarter was the lease by Bell Canada, of the entire Canadian Ka-band payload on the Telstar 19 Vantage satellite to launch in 2018. Telesat is likely to see a revenue bump in the fourth...

SES to take revenue hit in 2017, but says its satellite TV and data portfolios are both solid

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES gave a mixed message to investors, saying 2017 revenue will be down over 2016 and strongly suggesting that a major SES Video contract renewal was completed with no increase in price. On the SES Networks data centric side, the company said the fixed-data business remains under pressure but that new contracts are on the way even if they take longer to conclude....

Space Angels counts $519 million in satellite equity investment so far in 2017

PARIS — The commercial space industry is likely to see a record number of investments — both entries and exits — in 2017, with the launch sector dominating the figures because of big-slash financings of Blue Origin and SpaceX, according to angel and venture-capital investor Space Angels. A first look at the numbers suggests that investors have eyes only for rockets, which given the launch...

Harris sees long-term growth for commercial satellite antenna, classified satellite businesses

PARIS — Harris Corp. said its commercial space business from GPS payloads and satellite reflector antennas will grow by 10% or more this year and that demand for its reflectors has doubled in the past couple of years. In an Oct. 31 conference call with investors, Harris Chief Executive William M. Brown said two of the three legs of the company’s Space and Intelligence Systems division — the...

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