Satellite Communications, Data & Internet Services

LEO Satellite Constellations: Understanding Strengths and Limitations

LEO constellations can be a complementary, rather than competing, offering to GEO satellites

There are benefits to using satellites in LEO or GEO orbits.  The key for network operators is to choose the right satellite design, technology, and orbit for the application and market they serve. 

U.S. Air Force moves toward common satellite control system

Several options under discussion would free up money to focus on the sensors on different satellite systems

Reuters

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force is studying how to develop a common ground system to track, communicate with and control all the satellites it operates, a move that would save money and improve cybersecurity, the head of Air Force Space Command said on Thursday.

General John Hyten said in an interview that several options were under discussion that would free up money to focus on the sensors on different satellite systems that are used for communications, navigation, missile warning and other missions.

Boeing eyes satellite deal with tech giant this year

Aims to drive down the cost of satellite comms to compete with terrestrial price points

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co on Monday said it could clinch a deal this year to build a high-throughput communications satellite for top technology companies such as Google Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc or Apple Inc.

Jim Simpson, vice president of business development and chief strategist for Boeing Network and Space Systems, told Reuters the big technology firms were keen to expand Internet access around the world to help them grow.

Satellite startup Planet Labs raises $95 million

One of several startups aiming to harness technology allowing satellites to become smaller and less expensive

Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based private satellite operator founded by former NASA scientists, said on Tuesday it had raised $95 million to help build its business of selling satellite images and data to customers.

Data Collective, whose partner Zachary Bogue will join Planet Labs' board, led an equity funding round of $70 million. Western Technology Investment provided a debt facility of $25 million. All existing investors, including SpaceX backer Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, participated in the latest equity round.

Dish tells U.S. FCC will participate in 2015 spectrum auction

Plans may include a partnership with another broadband player to build a wireless network

Reuters

(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp said it plans to take part in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's large sale of low-frequency airwaves planned for mid-2015, according to a filing disclosed on Wednesday.

Dish's Chairman Charlie Ergen and other executives met with the FCC's Chairman Tom Wheeler, four commissioners and numerous wireless officials on Monday, giving the most explicit pledge so far by the satellite TV provider to "meaningfully participate" in the so-called "incentive" auction.

AT&T tells lawmakers DirecTV deal won't guarantee lower prices

Advocates worry consolidation might result in fewer choices and higher cost

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers grilled AT&T Inc and DirecTV on Tuesday over a proposed merger that some Democrats and public interest groups fear will result in higher costs and less competition.

The chief executives of the No. 2 wireless carrier and the largest U.S. satellite TV service provider testified about their proposed $48.5 billion deal at hearings in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and said the scale the merger would allow them to save on the high costs of negotiating rights to video content.

Satellite Ecosystem Alignment Improves Broadband Bottom Line

Satellite operators and service providers develop technology to meet rising broadband demand

In the telecommunications sector, there are two things of which we can be certain.  The first is that change is constant.  The second is that we will consume more data tomorrow than we did today.

The exploding popularity of entertainment options – combined with the increased availability of smart phones, tablets and laptops – has dramatically transformed how we consume content and communicate with one another. 

AT&T-DirecTV merger may hinge on NFL agreement

Reuters

If DirecTV is unable to strike a deal with the National Football League to renew the satellite TV operator's contract to offer the popular NFL Sunday Ticket football package, AT&T Inc can pull out of the merger, according to a regulatory filing.

In a filing related to the merger, the companies said, "the parties also have agreed that in the unlikely event that the Company's agreement for the 'NFL Sunday Ticket' service is not renewed on substantially the terms discussed between the parties, AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) may elect not to consummate the merger."

M2M adoption helps Iridium to grow profits

Satellite operator Iridium says growing interest in M2M services boosted sales and profits during the first three months of the year.

The company’s revenues rose by 10%, to $98 million, compared with the first quarter of 2013, while net income increased from $14.9 million to $16.5 million over the period.

Iridium (McLean, VA, USA) also ended the quarter with 674,000 billable subscribers, compared with 621,000 in March 2013, and said the strength of its M2M offerings was partly responsible for the increase.

Orbcomm, Savi win five-year Dept of Defense contract

Satellite player Orbcomm and analytics specialist Savi have won a five-year US Department of Defense contract as the sole providers to the $204 million RFID-IV program.

Under the deal, the two companies will provide satellite and RFID tags as well as other sensor technologies using Orbcomm’s (Rochelle Park, NJ, USA) global communications network.

The technologies will allow government customers to monitor the location of their cargo and send real-time alerts if there is a security breach or other anomaly.

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