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Forced by Brexit, Inmarsat moves satellite/ground airline connectivity business to Luxembourg

PARIS — Mobile satellite services operator Inmarsat of London is moving its subsidiary responsible for the ground- and satellite-based European Aviation Network (EAN) business to Luxembourg as a result of Brexit. Inmarsat is one of two companies — EchoStar Mobile is the other — that received European Commission licenses to operate an S-band mobile satellite service to cover European Union...

Kratos reports $65 million in space/satellite contract commitments, expects 4th-quarter growth

CARBONDALE, Colorado – Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, which has said its $200-million in annual satellite communications business was growing at 9-10%, said it had recently booked $65 million in multiple new contracts and customers’ exercising of existing contract options. Kratos’s space and satellite business is hard to gauge as it sits inside the company’s Government Solutions...

After 10 years, and now Swedish, Ovzon is poised to purchase its own broadband satellite

UPDATE Dec. 27:  CARBONDALE, Colorado: Ovzon AB’s board of directors has fully guaranteed the issuance of new preferential-rights shares to raise gross proceeds of 750 million Swedish krona ($82 million) to finance the equity portion of its Ovzon-3 satellite. The rights were sold at 29.7 krona per share, a 30.6% discount from where the shares traded on Dec. 21. Formal subscriptions will...

NASA’s Bridenstine tells Europe that U.S. is not quitting the space station in 2025

PARIS — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told the 22-nation European Space Agency that NASA will not cease funding the International Space Station in 2025 despite President Donald Trump’s budget proposal suggesting that this is the case. Bridenstine said while the budget calls for the end of direct NASA funding for ISS, the absence of direct funding “does not mean no funding.” “I envision a...

Viasat: Campaign to stop Inmarsat’s Euro-IFC network moves to Belgium, Germany after British defeat

TOULOUSE, France — Viasat Inc. said it is pursuing its challenge to Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network — which it alleges is a ground network with a satellite add-on, and not a mobile satellite system — in Belgium, Germany, Italy, France and possibly Spain and expects decisions in the first two jurisdictions in the first half of 2019. Colin Ward, Viasat’s head of litigation, said the company...

Interview: RBC Signals Chief Executive Christopher Richins

TOULOUSE, France — Startup ground satellite Earth station network operator RBC Signals looked at the creation of Amazon Ground and and said: Imitation is a form of flattery. Except that here, the imitator is a multibillion-dollar behemoth that can sweeten its offer by proximity to Amazon Web Services and the cloud. It’s true that RBC has been preaching a new business model for satellite fleet...

AWS Ground Station, the 800-pound gorilla, forces rethink at Kongsberg & other existing operators

LUXEMBOURG — Amazon Web Services’ big-splash arrival into the satellite Earth station business with a pay-per-use offer employing Lockheed Martin’s low-cost Verge antennas tied to the AWS cloud will force companies like Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSat) into a serious rethink. KSat already was introducing its KSat Lite product, a less-expensive option tailored to operators of constellations of...

NATO gives itself 12 months for $1.2-billion satellite MoU with Britain, France, Italy, US

LONDON — The NATO alliance expects by late 2019 to complete an MoU with Britain, France, Italy and the United States for about 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to provide 15  years of SHF-, UHF- and EHF-band satellite capacity starting in 2020. The purchase is part of an overall NATO package of 1.5 billion euros that will include an extensive upgrade of NATO’s satellite ground segment and...

SES faces fleet operator, manufacturer headwinds in software-defined-satellite push

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Satellite fleet operators say the industry is nearing a point where fully software-defined satellites are within reach but that they would require a leap of faith on the part of satellite builders and the endorsement of their competitors. Everyone appears to agree on the end point: Fleet operators ordering small bunches of satellites that are virtually identical and...

Iridium asks the FCC to put the satellite-MSS ATC story out of its misery

PARIS — In a petition that will stimulate as much interest in Europe as in the United States, mobile satellite services (MSS) operator Iridium Communications is asking U.S. regulators to scrap regulations allowing MSS companies to operate ground-based networks to boost coverage and signal strength. Called Ancillary Terrestrial Components (ATCs) in the United States and Complementary Ground...

Allied Minds: Raytheon investment in satellite-SigInt Hawkeye 360, Boeing in BridgeSat validate startups’ promise

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Patent-mining investment company Allied Minds said two of its space-technology startups — radio signals-intelligence satellite operator Hawkeye 360 and optical satellite ground station network operator BridgeSat — have secured major support from Raytheon and Boeing, respectively, giving Allied Minds an exit path. Hawkeye 360 and BridgeSat are both nearing first revenue....

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