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FCC says it can’t verify satellite constellations’ interference threat, passes buck to ITU

PARIS — Current and prospective satellite fleet operators are asking the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reverse a proposed rule that would allow operators of low-orbiting constellations to self-certify that their networks won’t interfere with satellites in geostationary orbit. The FCC’s decision, which represents a 180-degree switch from its earlier position, would essentially...

Global Eagle Entertainment says customers have stayed with it during financial storm

  UPDATE Sept. 21: GEE has leased 100% of the aging, inclined-orbit Telstar-12 satellite from Telesat of Canada in a deal that apparently involves SES, whose AMC-3 satellite GEE had fully leased late last year, industry officials said. Telstar-12, launched in 1999, has been stationed at 109.2 degrees west. AMC-3 is at 72 degrees West. GEE may be planning to move Telstar-12 to an SES slot....

SES bets more than $1 billion that Boeing satellites can lure Amazon Web Services et al

PARIS— Satellite fleet operator SES’s seven-satellite contract with Boeing is valued at about $750 million and is the centerpiece of a total investment exceeding $1 billion that includes major new spending on ground terminals and gateway antennas, industry officials said. The O3b mPower satellites, scheduled for launch in 2021 on two still-unselected rockets, is designed to deliver an aggregate...

Seraphim Space Fund closes at $91M, invests in U.S., Finnish geospatial satellite companies

PARIS — With satellite fleet operator SES joining its investor team, Seraphim Capital passed the $90-million mark for its Seraphim Space Fund and closed it with the announcement of two initial investments in Spire Global and Iceye Oy. London-based Seraphim is no longer the outlier it appeared to be in 2015 when it first announced its intentions to use money from well-known space-industry players...

Interview: Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler

PARIS — Intelsat Chief Executive Stephen Spengler skipped the annual Euroconsult World Space Business Week conference — a Goldman Sachs conference took precedence — but his company nonetheless was a topic of conversation. The drama of Intelsat’s leverage — you’re welcome, private equity — and the weaknesses of a few other geo-satellite operators have put the industry on edge for a couple of...

Interview: Magnitude Space CEO Ernst Peter Hovinga

PARIS — Dutch IoT/M2M satellite connectivity startup Magnitude Space has signed an MoU with mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications to investigate how their complementary constellations might work together. Magnitude expects to start commercial service in 2018 with just one or two UHF-band satellites in low Earth orbit, and then scaling production in 2019 for a constellation...

Boeing wins SES contract to build second-generation O3b satellite constellation

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator SES has awarded Boeing a contract to build seven satellites as part of SES’s second-generation medium-Earth-orbit constellation, formerly known as O3b, according to industry officials. The selection of Boeing Satellite Systems International is a blow for O3b’s incumbent prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, which built all 12 O3b satellites...

Iridium, eyeing low-cost end of IoT/M2M, enters MoU with start-up Magnitude Space

PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications has signed an MoU with a startup Dutch company planning a constellation of low-cost, narrowband satellites for IoT/M2M applications, whose first satellite is scheduled for launch in early 2018. For now, Iridium’s relationship with Magnitude Space BV is full of good intentions without any commitment by either party. But Magnitude...

Intelsat: Here’s the status of the IS-33e satellite

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Intelsat has raised concerns that an earlier story here — http://bit.ly/2vE7o93 — left the impression that the IS-33e satellite might be unable to serve its customers because of an anomaly with its attitude-control system. This is not the case. IS-33e has suffered two fuel-related issues. The first occurred just after launch in August 2016, when the main...

APT Satellite, weathering bandwidth glut, reports flat revenue, higher EBITDA

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator APT Satellite Holdings Ltd. reported flat revenue and profit for the first six months of 2017, with a dip in its fleet’s fill rate and continued downward pressure on bandwidth prices. The company said it concluded a second tranche of investment in APT Mobile Satcom Ltd., a Chinese-owned company planning a fleet of three or four mobile Ku-/Ka-band mobile...

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