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Interview: Audacy CEO Ralph Ewig

PARIS — Audacy’s June 6 operating license from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already had the effect of triggering a $4 million financing, in the form of equity-secured debt, from Horizon Technology Finance. That brings Audacy financing to far to $11.1 million, with backers including Fidelity Investments’ Eight Roads Ventures, InnoSpring Seed Fund, Metatron Global and...

U.S. regulators approve Audacy’s MEO-orbit satellite data-relay service, with conditions

PARIS — U.S. regulators on June 6 granted, with conditions, a license to Audacy Corp. to launch a three-satellite constellation of medium-Earth-orbit satellites to relay telecommunications data from constellations in low-Earth orbit to the ground, reducing the need for a network of ground stations. In granting Audacy’s license request, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rejected...

Brazil’s Telebras pursues satellite broadband deployment, but no new ViaSat imports pending higher-court ruling

UPDATE May 24: Telebras will be able to continue its satellite broadband deployment but will not be able to take import any additional ViaSat hardware until Brazil’s judicial system resolves the opposing views of two courts. PARIS — Brazilian national telecommunications operator Telebras will pursue its satellite broadband deployment partnership with ViaSat Inc. following Brazilian...

Brexit debate gets rough, invokes UK secure satnav service that could beat Galileo PRS to market

PARIS— The British Defence Secretary on May 21 reiterated that the government is investigating whether it should build its own positioning, navigation and timing satellite constellation in competition with Europe’s Galileo and ultimately the U.S. GPS network. The statement by Gavin Williamson comes in the wake of a UK Parliamentary hearing on the subject at which representatives of Airbus...

Eutelsat on refusing ViaSat broadband deal: Breaking up is hard to do, but has advantages

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat on May 14 gave a detailed explanation for why it’s turning away from a partnership with ViaSat Inc. on a ViaSat-provided terabit-per-second ViaSat-3 satellite over Europe. But it left several questions unanswered. Eutelsat Chief Executive Rodolphe Belmer said the company’s decision to order the 500-Gbps Konnect VHTS satellite from Thales Alenia Space of...

Hotel California? Not at all, says Space Angels. Space-sector equity exits have been successful

PARIS — Nine years after angel and venture-capital investors began taking a serious interest in the space sector, it’s time for some of them to think of exiting their positions. How’s that working out? Very well indeed, said Space Angels Chief Executive Chad Anderson, whose combination angel/VC fund tracks private space investment since 2009. “When you get to exit? No kidding: The average exit...

Interview: Isotropic CEO John Finney

WASHINGTON — With visions of millions of satellite Earth stations for connected vehicles, broadband connectivity and 5G roll-out dancing in its head, the commercial satellite sector is waiting for antenna designers to deliver. Form factor, unit cost at both low- and high-volume production, durability — none of these has yet been proven among those working on electronically steered antennas,...

Satellite mega constellations: Great and powerful Oz, or let’s look behind the curtain?

WASHINGTON — Much of the commercial space industry is spellbound by the promise of thousands of broadband satellites in low Earth orbit in the next few years, a multibillion-dollar investment that would be a dream come true for satellite component makers, launch-service providers — and the financial-services industry too. At the Satellite 2018 conference and exhibition here March 12-15, industry...

Belgian court gives ViaSat, Eutelsat tactical victory vs Inmarsat, but not much of one

WASHINGTON — A Belgian court has thrown a small lifeline to ViaSat and Eutelsat in their battle to keep alive a protest against Inmarsat’s deployment of an air-to-ground network for in-flight connectivity in Europe. In a March 13 ruling, the Belgian Market Court struck down a June 2016 decision by the Belgian Posts and Telecommunications Institute (IBPT) that OK’d the deployment of the network...

VC space tech investment grew in 2017 out of the glare of the biggest deals

WASHINGTON — Venture-capital investment in space technology companies, startups or otherwise, remained strong in 2017 with evidence that non-U.S. investors are now joining the party. There have been few exits to date, which several attendees at the Satellite 2018 conference here March 11-14 said is a worry. Others disagreed, saying many VCs have longer-term time horizons and are willing to give...

Kratos sees HTS GEO satellite spot beams, and multiplies by 10 for LEO smallsat market

PARIS — Kratos Defense and Security Solutions said the increased use of very small satellites for government and commercial applications means more network intelligence will be put on the ground, where Kratos awaits. Most of Kratos’s business is with government customers, and its showcase satellite contracts are with the big U.S. military systems — Wideband Global Satcom (WGS), Mobile User...

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