Archive for the ‘Business Network’ Category

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 06/17/2011

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Navy selects Raytheon for satellite communications terminals under $51.6m contract for Navy’s Extremely High Frequency Satellite Program.
[Military Aerospace Electronics – 06/18/2011]

Top secret Menwith Hill project in Yorkshire, UK, defence shield inspired by Ronald Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ program, ready to open with 33 satellite dishes receiving data from SBIRS’s four satellites, after almost two decades of construction.
[The Observer – 06/18/2011]

Globecomm Systems is awarded GSA FCSA Schedule-70 Transponded and Subscription service awards covering five-year period with two five-year renewal options and total IDIQ value of approximately $3 billion.
[SatNews – 06/17/2011]

Honeywell acquisition of rugged mobile vendor EMS Technologies gives is a foothold in rugged products for satellite communications.
[eweek – 06/17/2011]

LightSquared sees setbacks on two fronts – attempt by primary investor Harbinger to gain access to S-band frequencies is foiled by Dish Network’s acquisition of Terrestar; then public safety group testing affects of use of L-band reach verdict that “interference to public safety operations (using GPS) will occur” if LightSquared deploys its network as planned.
[Space News – 06/17/2011]

Rural Cellular Association and Cellular South join other tech companies in urging FCC to come up with a “win-win” solution for LightSquared and the GPS industry in the controversy over possible interference to GPS by LightSquared.
[Wireless Week – 06/17/2011]

Euroconsult expects global mobile satellite revenue to grow 7% per year over next 10 years in new report.
[Space News – 06/17/2011]

U.S. House of Representatives attempts to kill DISA plan for long-term lease of commercial satellite in favor of additional WGS satellite – questions emerge regarding long-term viability of defense-related commercial satellite capacity.
[NSR briefing – 06/16/2011]

Key House lawmaker asks FCC to kill LightSquared network, but FCC gives company extra two weeks to report on potential GPS interference issue.
[nextgov – 06/16/2011]

Cablevision executive John Bickham feels “Satellite penetration (of cable market) at 30% is unnatural and unsustainable.  It’s a one-way network.  It has no tricks I know of that we can’t do twice as well.”
[Multichannel News – 06/16/2011]

Intelsat confirms upcoming launch schedule for four satellites, part of $1.3b fleet investment program in the Asia-Pacific region.
[SatNews – 06/16/2011]

Is DISH Network transforming itself by acquiring valuable wireless frequency spectrum which could allow it to grow a viable pay-TV distribution network or become a wireless service provider?
[Zacks – 06/16/2011]

ATCi to provide uplink disaster recovery services for the Outdoor Channel from its Southwest operations center, located in a storm free/earthquake free/hurricane free zone.
[SatNews – 06/16/2011]

Integral Systems announces plans to combine development for its RT Logic TElemetrix-500 series and the Avtec Programmable Telemetry Processors into the Satellite Ground Systems division of its subsidiary RT Logic.
[Benzinga – 06/16/2011]

Advantech Wireless launches new series of VSAT hubs and terminals.
[SatNews – 06/16/2011]

Cont-Trak offers reliable container tracking worldwide via satellite.
[Web Wire – 06/16/2011]

KNS and H2OSatellite announce 100th successful installation of SuperTrack A-Series VSAT on H2O Lightspeed Service, a high speed broadband VSAT solution specifically developed for the maritime market.
[SatNews – 06/16/2011]

Iran launches second domestically built satellite.
[SatNews – 06/15/2011]

USAF 50th Space Wing successfully completes two-phase GPS constellation expansion known as “Expandable 24,” providing civil, military, and commercial GPS users with more robust signal and higher signal acquisition probability.
[SatNews – 06/15/2011]

Vizada Networks ramps up capacity on Eutelsat W7 satellite.
[PR Newswire – 06/15/2011]

SES ASTRA announces that N24 will be first German news channel broadcasting in HD on the ASTRA HD+ platform.
[SatNews – 06/15/2011]

WildBlue launches low-cost rural broadband plan funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
[socaltech – 06/15/2011]

Satellite manufacturers around the world prepare to compete for contract to build Nigeria’s second satellite.
[Vanguard – 06/15/2011]

Scientists say magnitude of decrease in solar activity may indicate that the current solar maximum might be the last we’ll see for a few decades, as sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.
[Bloomberg – 06/15/2011]

The Satellite Interference Reduction Group teams up with the Global VSAT Forum to develop initiatives to combat satellite interference.
[Satellite Today – 06/15/2011]

Vizada and Thrane & Thrane sign partnership agreement to launch new broadband offering to the maritime market.
[Satellite Today – 06/15/2011]

Satellite and cellular phone provider Mobal expands Website with comprehensive buyer’s guide to prepaid and postpaid phones and rental options.
[MailWire – 06/15/2011]

Air Force recoups costs to save AEHF satellite that failed to reach orbit, as Lockheed Martin will offset up to $25m of those costs.
[SpaceFlight Now – 06/14/2011

U.S. climate experts stress importance of new weather satellites in era of tight federal budgets, as current earth observation satellites have served past their lifetimes.
[R&D Magazine – 06/14/2011]

U.S. Air Force’s newest Space Based Infrared Systems GEO-1 satellite successfully achieves orbital slot postion.
[SatNews – 06/14/2011]

Burma to launch first state-owned satellite, expand communications.
[Mizzima – 06/14/2011]

MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat initiate pan-African student competition called “DStv Eutelsat Star Awards” to inspire innovative thinking among secondary and high-school students, create awareness how science and technology can be applied in everyday life, and show impact of satellites on African continent development.
[PR Newswire – 06/14/2011]

ARY Digital leases C-band capacity on AsiaSat 3S.
[Satellite Today – 06/14/2011]

SpaceX is chosen to launch new Thaicom 6 telecommunications satellite into geosynchronous orbit.
[SatNews – 06/13/2011]

House appropriators slam USAF satellite block buy proposal, stating that detailed information on the strategy is “woefully lacking,” and denying request for advance appropriations.
[Space News – 06/13/2011]

Orbital Sciences wins contract to build Thailand communications satellite.
[Examiner – 06/13/2011]

Norsat granted $3.5 million satellite-based communications network and services contract by First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of British Columbia.
[Satellite Today – 06/13/2011]

San Marino RTV signs three-year contract with Eutelsat to broadcast SMtv channel on Eurobird 9A satellite.
[Satellite Today – 06/13/2011]

Inmarsat and Thrane complete IPv6 trials over BGAN.
[Satellite Today – 06/13/2011][

Expanding use of remotely piloted aircraft by Defense Department consumes large amounts of satellite bandwidth – currently over 80% is commercial capacity – commercial operators are expected to upgrade geosynchronous fleets over next few years to meet increasing demand.
[National Defense Magazine July Report]

Air Force embraces small satellites as budget outlook grows dim.
[National Defense Magazine July Report]

The Price Is Right

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

There are a lot of very smart people in the satcom business. Rocket scientists, engineers and business-heads find ways to make money. Good money. We’re talking 80% EBITDAs. You don’t have margins like that without knowing what you’re doing.

You’ve got to plan ahead years in advance, making sure your space assets are fully utilized. The radio spectrum you own is the most prized “asset” you’ve got. You can always build more spacecraft, but you can’t make more spectrum. Unless you find ways to either make better use of what you got or go out and get spectrum that’s not being used effectively.

Great. Now go out and sell it, baby!

Pricing is the real challenge. New satcom services priced to assure an 80% EBITDA are destined to fail, as they’re based on costs incurred many years before service launch. And what do we know of today’s data communications pricing schemes? They move fast. Very fast. Extremely competitive, too, so prices move lower and lower. Iridium? Financial disaster: pricing was based on mobile costs-per-minute in the 1990’s. When they launched, people were paying a fraction of that. As Iridium was about to go belly-up, the U.S. DoD steps in and says “we’ll carry you after bankruptcy.” Why? Iridium covered the globe with a diverse path for communications, and that’s very valuable. But not at that old price.

Diversity is for when other communications fail or are unavailable. We always thought a combination iPhone that uses the S-band for connectivity when regular signal or WiFi are not available would be oh so cool. So maybe now our vision might be realized.

With Dish Network as the “stalking horse bidder” in the TerreStar Networks bankruptcy auction, they see something not readily apparent to others. It’s the spectrum, stupid. Yes, TerreStar has S-band spectrum for CONUS service, but they also have authority for a combined satellite and ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) service. The FCC granted authority in January, 2010. This is really good and it comes without the GPS interference crap that LightSquared has to contend with.

Good move. Dish has a chance to sell mobile data plans with their current TV service packages — or perhaps future packages for on-demand (Blockbuster) or à la carte services to appeal to the growing number of cord-cutters.

Two scenarios emerge: (1) Dish Network adds reasonably-priced mobile data plans to satellite TV services, and (2) an alternate mobile telecom infrastructure emerges to augment today’s overloaded terrestrial networks.

Dean Olmstead was a fan of TerreStar, so he probably had much to do with laying plans to make this kind of move before he passed on.

The PNT Took My L-band Baby Away

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Seems LightSquared has a problem on its hands, after a report (PDF) from the National PNT Systems Engineering Forum

Key Findings:

  • All GPS receiver applications impacted by proposed LightSquared Network
  • Simulation of fully deployed LightSquared network of ~40,000 base stations would:
    1. Degrade or result in loss of GPS function (ranging, position) at standoff distances ranging from few kilometers and extending to space operations
    2. Out of band emissions due to close proximity to GPS Band
    3. Appear to be satisfactory
  • No universal mitigation approach identified

Seriously, it’s not a good situation, according to Fierce Wireless

Jim Kirkland, vice president and general counsel at Trimble Navigation which has opposed LightSquared’s operations as currently designed, said the tests showed that LightSquared’s network clearly cause interference with GPS.

“There is not a solution here,” he said. “In our view, it’s time to stop squandering resources on this and look for alternative spectrum for this operation. What LightSquared is trying to do is a great thing. It’s very important that we have more competition in broadband and more spectrum in broadband wireless. However, there is one place in the satellite band where this does not work,” and that is the spectrum next to GPS, he said.

It gets worse. According to the WSJ blog post by Amy Schatz, the DoD, aviation and a swarm from Congress are signaling a rough go ahead…

A bipartisan group of 66 House members asked the FCC Tuesday to protect global positioning systems from interference from wireless broadband start-up LightSquared, which is trying to launch a new network.

LightSquared’s airwaves have been knocking out some GPS systems during recent tests in New Mexico, according to unofficial reports from GPS users.

The company has acknowledged the problem but says technological fixes are available. LightSquared and GPS makers are scheduled to file a joint report to the FCC on June 15 about any interference issues.

The aviation industry, Defense Department and other government agencies are worried that the new mobile broadband network’s planned 40,000 cell towers could interfere with highly precise GPS systems used in military, aviation and homeland security equipment. Federal officials and GPS industry advocates have been lobbying Congress heavily to pressure the FCC to resolve any interference issues before letting LightSquared turn on its service.

“We request that the Commission only approve LightSquared’s waiver (to offer service) if it can be indisputably proven that there will be no GPS interference,” the lawmakers wrote Tuesday. A bipartisan group of 34 Senators wrote a similar letter to the FCC last month.

By our count, the House letter was signed by 17 Democrats and 49 Republicans, including four committee chairman: House Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon of California, Science Space and Technology Chairman Ralph Hall of Texas, Small Business Chairman Sam Graves of Missouri and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.

Like a challenge, rocket scientists? They’re hiring!

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 06/03/2011

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

AT&T Government Solutions announces series of task orders worth up to $48M to provide satellite-based voice, video, and Internet services to deployed military personnel overseas.
[Tech Zone 360 – 06/03/2011]

TS2 of Poland introduces to the global market satellite connections dedicated to foreign correspondents, photo reporters, and journalists for international broadcast of video, voice, or data files.
[Business Wire – 06/03/2011]

atrexx introduces new service platform specifically targeted at demand for broadband services in highly fragmented South American region.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

Eutelsat’s KA-SAT high throughput satellite goes live, bringing broadband speeds of up to 10Mbps to homes across Europe.
[telecoms – 06/02/2011]

India to launch GSAT-12, with 12 C-band transponders, on a PSLV C-17 rocket from Sriharikota in July.
[Hindu – 06/02/2011]

Sea Launch AG to launch the Intelsat 18 communications satellite in the second half of 2011.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Venezuela all have oil wealth and ambitions in space, with two of the three having ordered satellites and the third starting its own space agency with hints of a satellite order in the works.
[Satellite Spotlight – 06/02/2011]

India gets multi-million dollar contracts to launch 12 foreign satellites into low earth orbits over next two years.
[Kerala next – 06/02/2011]

Spain’s satellite communications service provider ERZIA Tech strikes deal with MTN Satellite Communications of the U.S. to install Rapid Deployment Systems mobile VSAT solution on Spanich research vessel BIO Hesperides.
[TMCnet – 06/02/2011]

Skyware Global announces 69cm Ka-band Outdoor Unit, offering high-performance, cost-effective integrated solution for broadband internet and enterprise broadband solutions.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

Cree demonstrates industry’s first C-band GaN HEMT MMIC high power amplifier for satellite communications.
[Business Wire – 06/02/2011]

SES ASTRA announces availability of Nickelodeon HD and Comedy Central HD via HD+ in Germany, comprising ten free TV HD channels.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

Cape Town-based telecommunications provider Metacom develops low-cost low-rate satellite communications solution for industrial and commercial applications in remote areas of South Africa.
[Cape Business News – 06/02/2011]

Hughes Network Systems makes available the Hughes Emergency Solutions, to provide robust,, expedited broadband Internet connectivity for business and government when disasters strike, in anticipation of the hurricane season.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos officials claim Russian GLONASS beats American GPS in accuracy.
[ibn live – 06/02/2011

Navigation Maritime Bulagare reports significant communication cost savings and management efficiencies since retrofitting its fleet of 45 bulk carriers with Iridium OpenPort.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

U.S. government trade officials criticize Russian Ministry of Transport for proposing laws requiring Glonass equipment to be installed in all new cars sold in Russia, calling them “unfair.”
[Satellite Today – 06/02/2011]

MDA sells Radarsat-2 emergency support services to Russian Government.
[Satellite Today – 06/02/2011]

Sofradir is awarded contract to provide shortwave infrared arrays for the TROPOMI/S5 mission as part of the GMES joint undertaking by the European Commission and the European Space Agency.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

ITT is recognized by NASA with Outstanding Team of the Year award for superior efforts and commitment to excellence in building one of world’s most advance weather instruments – the Advance Baseline Imager for the GOES-R program.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

GlobeCast America CEO David Justin steps down.
[Satellite Today – 06/02/2011]

Boeing establishes Exploration Launch Systems Engineering and Integration office in Titusville Florida near Kennedy Space Center to support operational readiness of NASA’s next launch system currently under study.
[SatNews – 06/02/2011]

European Satellite Operators Association discusses important role of satellite services in delivering 100% broadband coverage in Europe at recent meeting.
[SatNews – 06/01/2011]

India to launch 12 foreign satellites in next two years.
[India Times – 06/01/2011]

SES WORLD SKIES U.S. Government Solutions announces completion of Dynamics Testing on the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload for the SES-2 satellite under construction.
[SatNews – 06/01/2011]

Russia to accelerate GLONASS navigation satellite launches to give its GLONASS navigation system full global coverage capacity by the end of the year according to a senior government official.
[The Hindu – 06/01/2011]

Gilat Satcom launches Shiron hub in Zimbabwe, expanding it reach throughout this African region.
[SatNews – 06/01/2011]

KORE Wireless Group completes acquisition of Melbourne-based Mach Communications, enabling KORE to better respond to global M2M market demand with its integrated cellular and satellite capabilities.
[Benzinga – 06/01/2011]

Spacecom announces that Poland’s TTComm S.A. has signed a number of long-term agreements to lease capacity from the AMOS satellite fleet at 4 degrees West.
[SatNews – 06/01/2011]

Azerbaijan buys first communication satellite, setting a 2012 launch date.
[Bloomberg – 05/31/2011]

Nigerian government, considering building a second satellite, may require the builder to transfer technology, training Nigerian engineers to become satellite builders.
[Vanguard – 05/31/2011]

O3b signs multi million-dollar deal with South Africa-based Mavoni Technologies to roll out broadband to underserviced municipalities in the Northern Cape, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga.
[Engineering News – 05/31/2011]

Multinational Naval coalitions using KVH TracPhone V7 for counter-piracy operations.
[GlobeNewswire – 05/31/2011]

World Surveillance Group acquires Global Telesat, a provider of satellite based tracking and communication solutions to the U.S. government and commercial customers.
[SYS-CON MEDIA – 05/31/2011]

ST Engineering establishes ST Electronics Satellite Systems in a joint venture with Nanyang Technological University and DSO National Laboratories to design, develop, and produce advanced Earth Observation satellites.
[SatNews – 05/31/2011]

NASA selects Fibertek to design, develop, fabricate, test, and deliver laser systems for ICESat-2 mission.
[Satellite Today – 05/31/2011]

SES S.A. signs agreement with YellowSat, a French start-up company that provides Internet connectivity to enterprises, governments, and institutions in Africa, for inclined orbit capacity on NSS-703.
[SatNews – 05/31/2011]

Orbcomm sings partnership deal with Field Intelligence and Controls to provide global data communications.
[Satellite Today – 05/31/2011]

Thailand to launch its sixth satellite, Thaicom 6, in 2013.
[Reuters – 05/30/2011]

SkyVision launches iDirect Evolution network to expand VSAT coverage in Africa.
[PR Newswire – 05/30/2011]

SES joins forces with Kenyan television and broadband operator Wananchi to launch new Direct-to-Home line-up called Zuku TV in East Africa.
[WebWire – 05/30/2011]

Satellite firms see opportunity in Pentagon as increasingly tight budgets will translate into more business for commercial satellite programs.
[Washington Post – 05/29/2011]

NASA missions occupy entire Atlas 5 rocket launch manifest for rest of 2011.
[Spaceflight Now – 05/27/2011]

WBMSAT PS satellite communications systems services


WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 05/27/2011

Friday, May 27th, 2011

NBN Co steps up satellite plans to provide broadband service to remote communities in Australia.
[Satellite Today – 05/27/2011]

SES Astra signs first contract with an Italian broadcaster, Promosat, for DTH services in Italy.
[Satellite Today – 05/27/2011]

NASA selects Fibertek to design, develop, fabricate, test and deliver laser systems for the Ice,Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 mission to measure Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, scheduled for 2016 launch.
[SatNews – 05/26/2011]

U.S. Military satellite, the first Space Based Infrared System satellite, successfully reaches orbit and is performing as required.
[Satellite Today – 05/26/2011]

Northrop Grumman to transition work from NPOESS program to Defense Weather Satellite System (successor to the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program) under authorization from U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.
[SatNews – 05/26/2011]

Satellite broadband gets contentious as smaller and independent companies and cooperatives fight for a share of funds to be provided government broadband programs.
[TMCnet – 05/26/2011]

Aquarius/SAC-D satellite with Argentina-built observatory to be launched June 9 on a three-year mission to map global changes in salinity at the ocean surface.
[PR Newswire – 05/26/2011]

AsiaSat expands its Tai Po Earth Station in Hong Kong.
[Satellite Today – 05/26/2011]

Nordic Maritime Singapore chooses KVH’s TracPhone V7 for onboard communications.
[GlobeNewswire – 05/26/2011]

OnAir and TriaGnoSys launch most lightweight inflight connectivity solution for business jets, connecting to the plane’s existing satellite communications system to provide inflight wireless connectivity for passengers.
[Business Video News – 05/26/2011]

SES Astra increases download speed of its broadband service beyond 10 Mbps.
[Satellite Today – 05/25/2011]

Space Micro wins NASA award for research and development of Satellite Interoperability for Microwave Access – SIMAX – intermodule cluster communications system.
[SpaceRef – 05/26/2011]

Remembering – on May 25, 1945, Arthur C. Clark predicts the future by inventing it, as he proposes using space satellites for global communications including television broadcast.
[Wired – 05/25/2011]

Space shuttle Endeavour, on its final mission, successfully delivers MIT researchers’ Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, designed to search for antimatter and dark matter and measure cosmic rays, to the International Space Station.
[R&D Magazine – 05/25/2011]

Singapore’s first locally-built micro-satellite in space, X-Sat, begins transmitting images back to Singapore.
[Satellite Today – 05/25/2011]

Telesat satellite 14R Estrela do Sul 2 hits a snag as its northern solar array fails to fully deploy.
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/25/2011]

Busy launch schedule for Arianespace continues – next up, two launches in July – from French Guyana (ASTREA 1N and BSAT 3c/JCSAT 110R), and from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (six Globalstar satellites).
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/25/2011]

Vizada unveils Vizada XChange, their new all-in-one maritime satellite communications platform providing secure and controlled communications integrating voice and broadband data for ship operations and crew.
[SatNews – 05/25/2011]

New Brunswick telecommunications company Xplornet Communications gets $230M in private financing as it plans two new satellites to expand its wireless and satellite broadband networks across Canada to reach rural households.
[Business Journal – 05/25/2011]

Iridium offers free calling from ships equipped with its terminals to the U.K. Maritime Trade Operations center, in newly announced anti-piracy program.
[GlobeNewswire – 05/25/2011]

South Africa should develop its own satellite manufacturing capacity and stop relying on other countries, says its Science and Technology Minister, as its Cabinet approves in principal buying an equity stake in satellite manufacturer SunSpace.
[Business Day – 05/25/2011]

Working group evaluating 150 different GPS devices and will explore mitigation solutions to address perceived problems with GPS signal interference by LightSquared’s plans for ground-based use of its satellite spectrum.
[ – 05/24/2011]

Eutelsat’s Skylogic signs distribution agreement with Tliasonera for Tooway service in Finland.
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/24/2011]

SES Astra signs new 3-D TV capacity deal with Penthouse Digital Media Productions.
[ANTESKY – 05/24/2011]

Spot Connect satellite communications app available on App Store; allows iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users to transmit messages via satellite from virtually anywhere in the world.
[GlobeNewswire – 05/24/2011]

Qualcomm announces product support for Russian GLONASS satellite system, with ability to utilize both the GPS and GLONASS networks simultaneously for greater location performance.
[USA Market News – 05/24/2011]

Congolese service provider Microcom upgrades its network to extend the range of services for Central and Western Africa clients with Newtec Elevation hubs in Germany and the U.S.
[SatNews – 05/24/2011]

Detecon Al Saudia launches Geo-Redundant VSAT service in Saudi Arabia powered by iDirect’s Evolution platform.
[PR Newswire – 05/24/2011]

Comtech EF Data and KNS integrate SuperTrack marine stabilized antenna systems and ROSS Open Antenna Management technologies for enhanced maritime solutions.
[GlobeNewswire – 05/24/2011]

Former Virginia Congressman Rick Boucher and communications consultant and political analyst Jamal Simmons join Internet Innovation Alliance, the broad-based coalition supporting broadband availability and adoption for all Americans, as honorary Chariman and Co-Chairman.
[EON – 05/24/2011]

Recent discoveries in remote areas such as the Artic push the Oil & Gas sector further away from terrestrial service, driving satellite connectivity in the digital oilfield.
[NSR – 05/24/2011]

Both satellites launched May 20 by Ariane 5 ECA rocket, ST-2 and Gsat-8, are on-orbit and healthy in geosynchronous orbit.
[Space News – 05/23/2011]

New incoming Dish CEO Joe Clayton makes known that Dish plans to aggressively utilize recent acquisitions Blockbuster, Hughes Communications, and DBSD North America to create new video platform to compete with streaming providers like Netflix.
[Home Media Magazine – 05/23/2011]

Globalstar Europe Satellite Services signs authorized distribution agreement with Spanish company Equipos Navales Industriales.
[Satellite Today – 05/23/2011]

KVH ships 1000th CommBox Ship/Shore Network Manager, supporting changing needs for commercial maritime industry onboard communications.
[Globe Newswire – 05/23/2011]

Judge rules that creditors can vote on DBSD sale to Dish Network.
[Wall Street Journal – 05/23/2011]

WBMSAT PS satellite communications systems services

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits May 6, 2011

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Spectacular light show over Russia’s Ural mountains not Aurora Borealis or
UFO, but a Russian military rocket launching a military communications
[Mail Online – 05/06/2011]

U.S. to finance Azerbaijan’s first communications satellite, AzerSat, from
Orbital, despite objections from some U.S.-based Armenian groups that it could
be used for military purposes.
[eurasianet – 05/06/2011]

Hughes Communications adds 613,000 satellite broadband subscribers in first
quarter, and credits governments broadband stimulus package for much of the
[Space News – 05/06/2011]

Telesat CEO silent on acquisition rumors during first quarter report.
[Satellite Today – 05/06/2011]

NASA Earth Observatory images created using Landsat data from US Geological
Survey illustrate extensive Mississippi River flooding.
[SatNews – 05/06/2011]

Gilat Satellite Networks to initiate hubs and VSATs in Australia under new
contract with Optus Networks Pty Limited.
[SatNews – 05/06/2011]

OmniGlobe EMEA assets acquired by satellite communications start-up iSat.
[Satellite Today – 05/06/2011]

Slovenia National TV renews broadcast relationship with Eutelsat with new
10-year contract for the Hot Bird neighbourhood.
[PR Newswire – 05/06/2011]

Data gathered by the Gravity Probe B satellite during 16 month mission
confirms two previously unproven subtle physical affects predicted by
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
[SatNews – 05/06/2011]

U.S. Air Force’s GEO-1 SBIRS satellite scheduled for launch May 6 is delayed
due to weather.
[Aviation Week – 05/06/2011]

BGAN from Stratos Connectivity plays vital role in expanding archaeological
study in remote Mongolia.
[PR Newswire – 05/05/2011]

Satellites made Osama bin Laden raid possible.
[Spaceflight Now – 05/05/2011]

Russian Meridian series military communications satellite is placed in orbit
aboard a Soyuz-2.1a rocket with a Fregat booster.
[RIA NOVOSTI – 05/05/2011]

Newtec is awarded acclaimed Trends Gazellen award.
[SatNews – 05/05/2011]

Mercury Computer Systems selected to deliver multiple high-speed satellite
communications subsystems for transferring ISR data from UAVs to ground forces.
[Bradenton – 05/05/2011]

Integral Systems, with signal processing systems used by more than 85% of
U.S. space missions, is awarded more than $30M  in multiple contracts
during past three months.
[SatNews – 05/05/2011]

Newsat signs new contracts in April worth $1.7M in additional revenue,
providing satellite communication services in Australia and internationally.
[SatNews – 05/05/2011]

Research fleets choose Mini-VSAT broadband from KVH for onboard Internet and
data connections.
[Globe Newswire – 05/05/2011]

KVH downgrades future outlook though VSAT sales increase 59%, because of
losses in other divisions affected by rising fuel prices and decline in new
boat sales.
[Satellite Today – 05/02/2011]

At Global Space and Satellite Forum in Abu Dhabi May 9-11, leading experts
will discuss how satellite communications play important role in disaster
[AME info – 05/04/2011]

Telenor Satellite Broadcasting signs agreement with Elektrikom for IS 10-02
Spot 1 capacity, to deliver VSAT services for oil, gas, and cruise ship
industries throughout Europe.
[SatNews – 05/04/2011]

Australian communications regulator warns that more spectrum (to come from
satellite, broadcast, or government agencies) must be allocated to mobile
companies to support traffic growth by end of decade to 1000 times that at end
of 2007.
[Sydney Morning Herald – 05/04/2011]

NTD Asia Pacific Television files appeal at Taiwan’s National Communications
Commission charging that Chunghwa Telecom Company is unlawfully refusing to
renew satellite capacity lease.
[NTD Television – 05/04/2011]

Intelsat reports antenna reflector deployment delay with Intelsat New Dawn
[Business Wire – 05/03/2011]

Charlie Ergen says acquired DBSD North America should be viewed as asset
whose existing S-band satellite and U.S. operating license are sufficient for
Dish Network and EchoStar to create wireless broadband business.
[Space News – 05/03/2011]

SES Astra’s German HD Plus service subscriber gains exceed expectations.
[Satellite Today – 05/03/2011]

Gilat Satcom launches iDirect Evolution-based service in Nigeria to deliver
high-speed C-band satellite service throughout the country.
[SatNews – 05/03/2011]

Pakistan will have its first satellite broadband service by the end of this
year using Yahsat YahClick satellite broadband product using satellite launched
April 23.
[TMCnet – 05/03/2011]

United Arab Emirates launches fifth communications satellite, the first to
provide secure and independent telecommunications for its armed forces as Persian Gulf Arab state boosts its military capabilities against Iran.
[UPI – 05/02/2011]

Arianespace wins launch contract for ABS-2 satellite for Asia Broadcast
[Satellite Today – 05/02/2011]

Dish Network and Echostar settle with TiVo for $500M as chances dwindle in
DVR patent suit.
[CED Magazine – 05/02/2011]

iDirect Government Technologies to resell Riverbed Technology products to
maximize bandwidth efficiencies and increase satellite network performance.
[marketwire – 05/02/2011]

Find loved ones anytime, anywhere, with new GPS bracelets.
[Satellite Spotlight – 05/02/2011]

Myanmar sets up central committee and working committee for launching a
satellite, the first for Myanmar.
[TMCnet – 4/30/2011]

Satellite images taken by GeoEye the day after tornadoes blasted through the
South, in an interactive display, show before and after the tornadoes.
[NY Times – April 29, 2011]

More competition, new entrants, fluctuating levels of usage in a slow and
uncertain recovery, and a flurry of new products with High Throughput
Satellites hitting the market in the coming years, all keep the Mobile
Satellite Services sector dynamic.
[NSR Mobile Satellite Services report – June 2011]

WBMSAT PS satellite communications systems services


WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 04/15/2011

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Global satellite machine-to-Machine (M2M) service revenues to reach $1.7B by 2017 according to new Gobal Industry Analysts report.
[San Francisco Chronicle – 04/15/2011]

U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency wants to lease a single commercial satellite for 15 years for $440M, meeting 78% of U.S. Central Command’s requirements in Afghanistan and Iraq while dramatically cutting costs.
[Next Gov – 04/15/2011]

Cheetah “Morale Satellite” system provides free phone calls home and fast Internet connectivity for soldiers in Afghanistan.
[DIVIDS – 04/15/2011]

Comtech receives $1.2M satellite ground station equipment order from a large integrator for a military requirement in a Latin American country.
[Your Industry News – 04/15/2011]

Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb) in an open letter ask fellow senators to call on FCC to stop LightSquared from deploying its nationwide LTE network until it proves service does not interfere with GPS services.
[Fierce Wireless – 04/15/2011]

Space Data Association announces full operational capability of its Space Data Center, established by commercial satellite operators to improve the safety and efficiency of space operations.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carries National Reconnaissance Office’s L-34 secret satellite payload aloft from Vandenberg.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

Arianespace to launch ASTRA 2E satellite for SES ASTRA in 2013.
[Brahmand – 04/14/2011]

New way to cool military satellite payloads to be tested by Northrop Grumman Corporation with an experiment on the International Space Station.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

Newtec extends invitation to all to join their 2011 Business Seminar “How to Keep Satellite Services Profitable” in Miami May 11 and 12, with first day capped by leisurely cruise and dinner.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

ITT successfully concludes Critical Design Review for imaging payload for the Worldview-3 Earth observation satellite being built for DigitalGlobe.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

Iridium excecutive states that the biggest opportunity ever for placing hosted payloads aboard telecommunications satellite system (the 66-satellite next generation Iridium system) may be lost because of slow-moving government bureaucracies.
[Space News – 04/14/2011]

Gilat’s SkyEdge II Broadband Satellite Network selected by Telecom Namibia to provide hundreds of locations throughout Namibia with VOIP and Internet services.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

New satellite to be launched from Kodiak Alaska, TACSAT-4, will carry UHF payload in highly elliptical orbit that will allow soldiers to communicate from deep canyons rather than out in the open, saving lives, though only available 6-7 hours a day.
[National Defense – 04/14/2011]

Advantech Wireless signs contract with Hoje Telecom of Brazil to provide VSAT upgrade hub, RF equipment, and more than 1,000 remote terminals.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

Globalstar Europe Satellite Services, in conjunction with Globalstar Avrasya of Turkey, provisioned to cover all of European sub-continent as well as northern Africa, Middle East, and most of Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic ocean maritime region.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

U.S. Air Force awards Integral Systems $6.99M contract for Rapid Attack Identification, Detection, and Reporting System to provide near real-time detection, characterization, geolocation, and electromagnetic Interference reporting for critical satellite communication systems.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

Dynetics and Pratt & Whitney join Rocket City Space Pioneers team competing for Google $30M Lunar X Prize to be awarded to first team to build and launch to the moon a privately funded spacecraft capable of completing a series of exploration and transmission tasks.
[SatNews – 04/14/2011]

MDA signs contract worth more than $40M to provide technology support for satellite communications and information service for a confidential customer.
[Windsor Star – 04/14/2011]

92,708 total registered attendees for 2011 NAB show in Las Vegas, with 25,691 international attendees and 1,314 news media, beating 2010 final attendance of 88,044.
[SatNews – 04/13/2011]

German aerospace contractor approved for taking lead role in designing European data relay satellite to promptly relay images of Earth from orbiting spacecraft back to ground stations.
[Spaceflight Now – 04/13/2011]

Top Azerbaijani official says country will launch communications satellite in 2012.
[RFE/RL – 04/13/2012]

Russia plans to test a next-generation spacecraft, build a new cosmodrome and even consider a manned mission to Mars after 2035.
[R&D Magazine – 04/13/2011]

China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology announces launch of eighth satellite of the Beidou-2 global navigation system aboard a Long March 3A rocket on April 10, 2011.
[Examiner – 04/13/2011]

RRSAT grows global broadcast network to over 590 channels featuring SD, HD, and 3D formats and increased number of playout centers in Israel and U.S.
[PR Newswire – 04/13/2011]

Arqiva will launch dedicated DVB-S2 MPEG-4 shared platform at Los Angeles teleport, affording broadcasters and mobile providers access to 100% of U.S. cable headends via SES WORLD SKIES’ AMC-10 satellite.
[TMCnet – 04/13/2011]

Raytheon leads team bidding on U.S. Air Force Launch and Test Range System (LTRS) Integrated Support Contract (LISC).
[Defense – Aerospace – 04/13/2011]

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approves merger of XM Canada and Sirius Canada.
[Satellite Today – 04/13/2011]

Intelsat’s New Dawn African satellite rescheduled for April 22 launch.
[Engineering News – 04/12/2011]

SES ASTRA Platform Services opens new playout centre near Munich, significantly expanding capabilities to provide broadcasters and production houses around the world with state-of-the-art playout and platform services.
[SatNews – 04/12/2011]

Harris to deliver shipboard satellite communications terminals to Canadian Navy.
[Satellite Spotlight – 04/12/2011]

SES WORLD SKIES announces AMC-3 C-band capacity deal with Weigel Broadcasting to deliver new digital ME TV channel to broadcast stations and viewers across U.S.
[Business Wire – 04/12/2011]

GMPCS unveils IsatTruck vehicular satellite phone package.
[PR Web – 04/12/2011]

TeleCommunications Systems selected as participant in FCSA contract allowing government agencies to procure services from commercial satellite services providers.
[Market Wire – 04/12/2011]

NSR press release – Revenues for Broadband Satellite Satellite Services to Exceed S$9 Billion by 2020.
[NSR – 04/12/2011]

GlobeCast selects Eurobird 9A to launch HD distribution platform.
[Indian Television – 04/12/2011]

Level 3 buys Global Crossing in effort to create a networking giant.
[Business Insider – 04/11/2011]

Maiden voyage of Ocean Star Pacific, first ship of the first national cruise line based in Mexico, to offer MTM satellite communications VSAT, crew calling, and Internet services.
[PR Newswire – 04/11/2011]

Qatar plans early 2013 launch of its high-powered communications satellite Es’Hail, being built under joint investment with Eutelsat.
[Gulf Times – 04/11/2011]

TerreStar GENUS satellite-enabled cellular smartphone provides expanded voice and data roaming coverage for mobile users.
[SatNews – 04/10/2011]

Iran’s claims about satellite service raise difficult question for ITU – “Can regulators refuse to accept word of sovereign nation about its own assets even if they are convinced it is lying?”
[Spacenews – 04/08/2011]

NSR Report “Broadband Satellite Markets” – VSAT networking and broadband access continue gains; a turning point for IP trunking.
[NSR – May 2011]

NSR Report “Global Satellite Manufacturing and Launch Markets” – 109 payloads were carried by 74 launch missions worldwide over the past 12 months, down from 2009 by 6.5%.
[NSR – May 2011]

Raytheon seeks new applications for System designed to communicate with deeply submerged swiftly moving submarines using satellites and underwater communications systems tied to buoys, since Navy has yet to come to decision on deployment.
[National Defense Magazine – May 2011]

NSR upcoming – HTS and KA-SAT: “Changing the European Telecom Landscape” – An Interview with Eutelsat.
[gotomeeting – May 24, 2011]

WBMSAT PS satellite communications systems services

Satcom’s Responsibility

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

The scale of the disaster in Japan, who some have compared to “four Katrinas,” is as mind-boggling today as it was a week ago. The automatic reaction in the satcom community was one of “ready, set, go” — let’s get our satcom systems turned up to help with communications efforts. The ITU cobbled together a bunch of satellite phones and terminals, et. al. as quickly as it could…

Among material already deployed are 78 Thuraya satellite phones equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to facilitate search and rescue efforts, along with 13 Iridium satellite phones and 37 Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network terminals. An additional 30 Inmarsat terminals are ready for dispatch. The equipment can be charged by car batteries and are supplied with solar panels to enable operations during power outages.

This may seem as if it’s not nearly enough to help, but you should also consider the response inside Japan. Only yesterday did the Ofunato City Hall get a much-needed satcom connection via the KIKU No. 8 (ETS-VIII) mobile satellite system…

On March 24, JAXA set up a ground antenna and the movable test communication terminal for the KIKU No. 8 at the Ofunato City Hall to connect the communication line of up to 768 Kbps between the City Hall and the Tsukuba Space Center via KIKU No. 8 in cooperation with the National Institution of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) based on a request from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which received a petition from Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture.

With this communication line installation, Ofunato City Hall workers began collecting information by PCs through the Internet. Apart from city hall, local fire departments and other offices can also now use the Internet and IP telephones to share information for strengthening their cooperative activities.

In addition, as one of the special features of the KIKU No. 8 is communications with a small movable test terminal, which was installed at Ofunato City, information dispatch from evacuation centers and other places through the Internet became possible, because it is easy to move around and install it. Therefore, the connection this time is expected to further contribute to a smooth recovery from the disaster.

Simply getting these terminals out to where they were needed took time — and to find power sources. Most can be powered by a car battery, but they weren’t easy to find. Having a handheld unit is wonderful, until you need to recharge. As many found during last winter’s storm and subsequent power outages in the U.S., you could maintain your Internet connection/communication with an iPhone — only you’d be charging it in your car. In Japan, you car may have been washed away or buried under tons of debris, miles away. So that’s not an option.

Nobody could have predicted this type of utter destruction of property and the communications and power-transmission systems failures. The challenge of preparing satcom systems to respond effectively is to make sure there’s capacity available to meet the demand. As with the REDiSat Network, developed by SES Americom in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2006, nobody wants to pay for capacity that’s not needed. Full-time customers are ready to today, so they fill up the spectrum for their businesses. You can’t simply bump them to make room for emergencies when they have hundreds of customers depending on it for their livelihood.

That’s when the government needs to step in and  help foot the bill. Help the satcom operators keep satcom inventory ready to deploy in case of emergency, only not at the target 80% EBITDA margins. A reluctance to part with capacity at a lower profit margin caused the  REDiSat Network to fade away. Designing, building, testing, launching and operating a satcom spacecraft is expensive and they do serve the public well.

Broadcasters’ reliance on — and willingness to pay for — satcom systems is a wonderful arrangement.  It’s magic: an infinite number of receivers for video and a good source of cash flow for the satellite operators. Keeps a lot of rocket scientists employed, too.  As good corporate citizens, shouldn’t some of the profits be set aside to provide satcom capacity when needed?

I’m sure the accountants can find a way to pay for it.

Anybody who has capacity available in the region is likely booking it for TV news. Only SKY Perfect JSAT has any meaningful response (opens in PDF) …

As a measure for supporting post-disaster recovery, we are allocating necessary transponders capacity to anti-disaster organs, etc. and preparing for aid measure one by one. At present, the number of applications for subscription is increasing steeply. We are dealing with it as follows: For recovery assistance, we will immediately conduct what we can do with our communication satellite. We hope that the devasted area will be restored soon.

About the use of satellite communication services

  • We will first distribute transponders to the institutions for post-disaster recovery, such as National Police Agency, the Ministry of Defense, related ministries, Telecommunication carriers and the U.S. military.
  • As for the use of bands by electric power companies, including TohokuElectric Power, we will assist them proactively and give priority to them to allocate the cacant bands of Superbird-B2 owned by SKY Perfect JSAT
  • As for the steep increase in the use by media organizations, we will deal with it thoroughly, and as for new subscriptions, we will allocate the band of JCSAT-5A, which has some room.

Where are the “we’re helping” press releases from the major satcom players?

Angry Satellites

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Who would dare compete for the attention of hip techies with SXSW in Austin? Quite a few, actually, and none of them are hip.

There’s the Indiana Flower & Patio Show and the NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education annual conference in Philadelphia. There’s also the PITTCON Conference & Expo (laboratory science),  International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction and one in Seattle: the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.  Wait, there’s one more: Satellite 2011.

That’s right: satcom has yet to come across as being “hip.” OK, so investors may want to stick with traditional, risk-minimizing returns from the major player. That good for now. What about the future? Who will be making the decisions whether to use satellite technology in the future?

Ed Horowitz was alluding to the coming change in the marketplace in his pre-conference luncheon speech yesterday…

There is an impending conflict between media distributors and media providers. New media is growing faster than traditional media. It is about carrying your content around with you. New media consumers want to do more than just consume available information. They want to create it. Five out of the 10 fastest growing websites have user-generated content. Very soon, 50 percent of the workforce will be Generation X and Generation Y. 2011 marks a new rubicon for our business. Traditional media connections are changing. The new model is an open model with a direct connection between the consumer and media.

The concept of prime time is gone. Prime time is all the time. You have Google, Apple, Netflix, etc. TVs are becoming Web browsers. The revolution is global. The convergence of the TV and the PC is happening. Lastly, this generation that has grown up with this empowerment. If you don’t serve them what they want, you die (AOL and MySpace). Satellite must be ready to serve customers on the move. It has to be at the network’s core. This will require the industry to team up with new players.

TV Everywhere. Who’s on it? TimeWarner’s CNN, according to a piece by Staci Kramer in

The launches are still months away but CNN Digital has a pair of announcements from SXSW tonight that mark significant advancements for the network’s online and mobile video offerings. In early summer, CNN plans to flip the switch on its version of Time (NYSE: TWX) Warner’s CEO Jeff Bewkes’ TV Everywhere, making it possible for subscribers of Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) Xfinity, Dish, Cox and Verizon FiOS to watch CNN live across platforms and devices. Other Turner Broadcasting networks, including TNT and TBS are likely to offer authenticated live streaming of linear channels at the same time.

CNN also will launch a new video player taking full advantage of the native HD being used for nearly all its footage now, the first major update for CNN’s online video experience in three years. KC Estenson, SVP and GM of, showed me the new player on multiple bank of screens during a practice session before I left Austin; the quality of the video being streamed over WiFi in 19:9 format to the large screen array doing double duty as a computer monitor was stunning. Equally important, the player is designed to work across platforms, including Google (NSDQ: GOOG) TV. Eventually Estenson, who calls the new player a “quantum leap,”  expects it be to be available through any internet-connected TV.

In addition to various technical improvements, the player features a playlist that moves with the user from device to device. Start watching on a computer, switch to an iPhone or iPad, pick it up later on a connected TV and the player will know where the user left off and what is in the queue. One hitch: at launch, it will only work with internet access. Eventually, CNN hopes to make offline viewing possible. Estenson is striving for the quality of Vimeo, the serendipity of YouTube, the experience of Hulu and the portability of Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX).

Meanwhile, back at satcom ranch, the most exciting news is SES signing with SpaceX for a Falcon-9 launch. That’s a good one, compared to other news surrounding Satellite 2011.

The SPPI Gala is going hip? Yeah, no more black-tie attire.  Let me make a bold prediction: nobody will dress like the partygoers at the Angry Birds event at SXSW…

How about on-site promotion? Have you ever seen anything resembling this at the satellite show? A Nokia N8 promotion in Austin. Why? Because they’re competing for relevancy and satcom should do likewise.

Dextre in Space

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011



STS-133 and Canada’s Dextre.  Photo courtesy of NASA, naturally.