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SpaceX satellite mega-constellation attracts competitors’ fire

PARIS — SpaceX’s planned constellation of 4,425-satellites for direct-to-home internet delivery has come under fire by competitors who want regulators to reject SpaceX’s request for a waiver of in-service and coverage deadlines. Several competitors are also asking that any decision on the SpaceX system be delayed pending a review of the measures SpaceX says it will take to avoid signal...

Shortseller Kerrisdale turns harsh gaze on ViaSat, consumer satellite broadband

PARIS — A well-known Wall Street short seller has mounted a sustained attack on satellite broadband provider ViaSat Inc., saying ViaSat has inflated its consumer-broadband results with non-bandwidth-related add-ons that mask the real story. In a report on ViaSat that reads like a prosecution brief, Kerrisdale Capital largely bypasses ViaSat’s defense and aeronautical businesses to focus on its...

Interview: ViaSat President and COO Richard A. Baldridge

Key takeaways: — ViaSat-2 has completed its chemical burn, now on electric. All OK, it will reach GEO slot in October. You’ve likely never seen a detailed photo of ViaSat-2 and won’t now. — 2 ViaSat-3 satellite payloads & platforms are progressing on schedule and on budget at ViaSat and Boeing. —ViaSat wants Eutelstat ViaSat-3 partnership but concedes political headwind and will go it alone...

SpaceX’s Shotwell: 1 Falcon Heavy demo this year; satellite broadband remains ‘on the side’

PARIS — SpaceX now plans an inaugural flight of its Falcon Heavy rocket, with a SpaceX payload and no paying passengers, late this year and to begin commercial flights in early 2018 with an Arabsat telecommunications satellite, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said. In a June 22 appearance on the space show — http://bit.ly/2saRo0B — Shotwell said launch-pad availability in Florida is one reason...

Satellite carrying laser-optical data relay service and Hylas-3 Ka- payload faces new delay

LE BOURGET, France — A long-delayed satellite carrying a laser-optical payload for intersatellite links and Ka-band broadband for Africa faces further delays because of an anomaly in its Ka-band system, government and industry officials said. The satellite, called EDRS-C by the European Space Agency, Airbus Defense and Space and the European Commission, and Hylas-3 by commercial satellite fleet...

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...

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...

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...

Avanti reports continued revenue decline on Africa pricing, sees turnaround on horizon

MANCHESTER, England — Satellite fleet operator Avanti Communications reported a 30% decline in revenue for the three months ending March 31 compared to the same period a year ago, citing continued headwinds in Africa in addition to “Brexit and industry volatility.” London-based Avanti, whose Ka-band broadband portfolio is heavily focused on Africa, said its current four-satellite fleet was...

Arianespace Ariane 5 + ViaSat-2 + Eutelsat 172B carried record $786 million in insurance

PARIS— June 1’s successful Ariane 5 launch was a key event for the 2018 revenue of the two customers, ViaSat Inc. and Eutelsat and a huge relief for space insurance underwriters. At $786 million, the Ariane 5 mission carried the most insurance ever provided for a single launch. The ViaSat-2 Ka-band broadband satellite was insured for $545 million, which might not have been enough to cover the...

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