Satellite Communications, Data & Internet Services

OneWeb sets record launch plan after $500 million funding

648 small satellites orbit to provide global broadband and mobile telephone services

Reuters

MUMBAI/CAPE CANAVERAL (Reuters) - Privately owned OneWeb announced what it called the world's largest commercial rocket deal on Thursday after raising $500 million from a group of global investors to support its plans to bring broadband to billions of people via satellite.

The fund-raising attracted backing from Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Europe’s Airbus Group, which will also build 900 "micro-satellites" designed to extend the reach of the Internet to remote corners of the world.

Airbus to build satellites for OneWeb to beam Internet from space

$1.5-2 Billion project bankrolled in part by London-based Virgin Group and Qualcomm

Reuters

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - Europe's Airbus Group will design and build about 900 satellites for privately owned OneWeb Ltd, which plans to offer high-speed, space-based Internet access to billions of people worldwide, company officials said on Monday.

About 700 of the satellites, each of which will weigh less than 330 pounds (150 kg), will be launched into orbit around Earth beginning in 2018. The rest will stay on the ground until replacements are needed, said OneWeb, based in Britain's Channel Islands.

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."

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