Global-IP picks SpaceX to launch its Boeing-built satellite
COLORADO SPRINGS — Global-IP Cayman, a Cayman Islands-based startup, has picked SpaceX to launch a high-throughput satellite it has under contract to Boeing.
In an April 3 statement, Global-IP said the launch will take place in the last quarter of 2018 on a Falcon 9 rocket.
“We are pleased to partner with Global-IP for this important mission,” SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in a written statement. “Once fully deployed, this satellite will expand Internet services across Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting both consumers and businesses.”
Global-IP ordered GiSat-1, a 150-Gbps, Ka-band spot beam satellite from Boeing Satellite Systems International of El Segundo, California, in September. According to Boeing, the 702-model satellite’s digital payload will have twice as much capacity as previous digital payload designs.
Global-IP CEO Bahram Pourmand, the former executive vice president and general manager of Hughes Network Systems’ international division, co-founded Global-IP in 2016 with Emil Youssefzadeh and Umar Javed of STM, a VSAT hardware manufacturer acquired in 2013 by EMC (which is now part of Global Eagle Entertainment).
GiSat-1 is scheduled to enter service in 2019. Global-IP says the satellite will operate with more than 10 gateways in Europe and multiple additional gateways within Africa.
“We envision our investment in this project will increase the Internet penetration across the region and contribute significantly to the economic growth of all the countries we will serve,” Youssefzadeh, chief technology officer, said in a prepared statement.
Global-IP is entering a crowded market that has more high-throughput capacity on the way. In addition to the many operators that already have capacity over Africa, Avanti’s Hylas-4, Yahsat’s Al Yah 3, Spacecom’s Amos-17 and Fibersat’s hosted payload Fibersat-1 are all expected to bring more Ka-band capacity to the continent before GiSat-1 is in orbit.