Category: Broadband

Satellite lasercom builder Mynaric, its 2020 revenue scuttled by German government’s China export ban, plans U.S. IPO

UPDATE April 9: This story was updated to include additional comment from Mynaric.
PARIS — German laser communications terminal manufacturer Mynaric AG, which is pinning much of its near-term market prospects on the U.S. Defense Department, plans to ask shareholders for a capital raise to fund a public stock offering in the United States.
Mynaric, which is still a startup with little revenue, already trades on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange but wants to ride the wave of interest in space-based technologies among U.S. investors . . .
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For OneWeb and SpaceX Starlink, a competition for the favors of the U.S. military

PARIS — Broadband LEO satellite constellation operators OneWeb and SpaceX Starlink, both counting on the U.S. military as a major customer, are looking to decisions by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Defense Department this year as an indication of how well each of them is positioned.
The FCC is weighing whether to accept a modification to SpaceX Starlink’s license to allow all 4,400 Starlink satellites to operate from around 550 kilometers. the original license was 1,100 . . .
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Incoming head of French space agency, CNES: Top priority is the challenge from Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba

PARIS — The incoming new president of the French space agency, CNES, passed his examination by the French legislature, surmounting criticism of his “atypical” background as a researcher and mathematician with stints at IBM and France’s CNRS research center, with no experience in the space sector.
Given his professional history, including a Master of Science and a doctorate in computer science, it was not surprising that Philippe Baptiste said his highest priority at CNES would be to confront the challenge posed by Amazon, Microsoft . . .
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SpaceX has reduced production cost of Starlink phased-array terminals by > 50%, to <$1,500, Shotwwell says

PARIS — The SpaceX Starlink broadband satellite service began beta testing in October 2020 with user terminals that cost $3,000 and has since been brought down production cost to less than $1,500, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said.
Shotwell’s remarks, made April 6 during the Satellite 2021 LEO Digital Forum, answers one of many business-model issues surrounding Starlink, which Shotwell said now counts 1,320 of its 260-kilogram Version 1.0 satellites in orbit.
The Starlink beta testing asks users to pay . . .
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Satellite ground antenna manufacturers Intellian, ThinKom say constellations will cause systemic stresses

PARIS — ThinKom and Intellian, two successful satellite ground antenna manufacturers whose business will profit from constellations of low-orbiting satellites, warned of the threat of signal interference and collision risk with so much traffic in such close quarters.
They also said that the goal of building consumer antennas for $300 or less will remain elusive given the demands placed on this hardware to avoid signal interference.
“Antenna components by themselves are declining in cost because you are producing in massive scales now because a LEO . . .
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India Satcom Industry Association, taking arms against a sea of regulations, has the government’s sympathies

PARIS — India has inaugurated the Satcom Industry Association- India (SIA-India) industry association with words of encouragement from government officials who acknowledged that India’s regulatory thicket still presents a formidable challenge.
You know you’ve got headwinds when government officials sympathize with how tough you’re job will be given the regulatory environment, particularly for broadband deployment.
“It is heartening to see the new-wave companies and private organizations venturing into the business of satellite communication,” said V.K. Saraswat, a member of the government’s . . .
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Cart before the horse: SpaceX Starlink solicitation in India without a license draws protest from broadband forum

PARIS — Nineteen years after its founding, SpaceX continues to show enough brass to outfit a marching band. We’ll see how it plays in India, the world’s largest potentially addressable satellite broadband market.
For the past several weeks, SpaceX Starlink has been advertising in India, and on its own website, that its consumer broadband network, Starlink, is coming imminently to India for beta testing.
It invites prospective Indian subscribers to lay down $99, or about 7,250 Indian rupees, as a refundable deposit. This . . .
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Inmarsat v Netherlands government C-band GMDSS frequency dispute heads to court May 11

PARIS — A Dutch tribunal has scheduled a May 11 hearing on Inmarsat’s protest of a Dutch government decision to force satellite fleet operator Inmarsat to stop using C-band spectrum from a site in the northern Netherlands that provides global maritime distress and safety service (GMDSS) to the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
Inmarsat on March 26 served a writ on the government after months of negotiations failed to unblock the situation. The Netherlands’s National Frequency Plan calls for an auction of the C-band spectrum, with September 2022 . . .
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SES: Whistleblower testimony will prove our case that Intelsat violated C-band proceeds deal

PARIS — SES said it has secured whistleblower testimony from an unnamed former Intelsat manager that will back SES”s claim that Intelsat management colluded to cheat SES out of $450 million in C-band relocation proceeds.
Raising the temperature of its complaint, SES asked Intelsat’s bankruptcy court to stop approval of a planned Intelsat reorganization, saying the plan cannot move forward given the threat that the post-Chapter 11 Intelsat would need to pay SES between $450 million and $1.8 billion.
SES argues . . .
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Intelsat in 2020: Revenue down 7%, no letup on Media business pressure, EBITDA margin 67%

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Intelsat S.A. reported a 7% decline in revenue in 2020 following a sharp reduction in business from media customers, a renegotiated contract with maritime service provider Speedcast and the continued downward trend of its point-to-point Channel business.
Intelsat, which entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring in May 2020 and remains there pending a resolution of disputes among its creditors, reported a 67% adjusted EBITDA margin for 2020. Backlog at Dec. 31 stood at $6.1 billion, 24% of which will be converted to . . .
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