Australia’s NBN Co. on May 31 said it will use the full capacity of its second Ka-band spot-beam satellite, scheduled for launch this year, to accommodate the faster-than-expected rise in bandwidth demand rather than keep it as an in-orbit spare.
As has been the case with U.S. consumer satellite broadband providers, NBN’s challenge is to assure a guaranteed minimum throughput for all subscribers.
ViaSat Inc. on Nov. 9 said it is likely to order the first of what is intended as a three-satellite constellation of ViaSat-3 Ka-band broadband satellites covering the globe with throughput capacity of 1 terabit per second each.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell on Oct. 27 downplayed the company’s 4,000-satellite broadband Internet constellation, saying the project remained “very speculative” pending a deeper assessment of its business case.
PARIS — Europe’s largest commercial airliner, Lufthansa, on Oct. 20 contracted with mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat to use Inmarsat’s Ka-band Global Xpress satellite service on Lufthansa’s European fleet.
The lease of capacity on the Amos-6 satellite — about 18 gigabits per second of throughput — can be extended for up to two years at a reduced rate.
The fixed-cost nature of buying satellite capacity argues so heavily for fewer and larger service providers that some see consolidation as inevitable.
The Spanish maritime satellite communications provider said it would deploy the capacity on its existing fleet of more than 250 ships and would explore ways to work with Panasonic in aeronautical broadband delivery as well.
The company says the $130,000 in annual revenue it receives per connected plane now is likely to rise to close to $1 million per plane in 20 years.
Right now, several companies, notably OneWeb and SpaceX, are working to launch massive satellite constellations into space to provide super-fast Internet virtually anywhere on Earth. It remains a question whether the path to the new era of space-based connectivity will be spurred by healthy commercial competition or regulatory turf wars over satellite spectrum.
Current and would-be providers of Ku- and Ka-band satellite broadband on March 18 said they have no concern that the high-throughput spacecraft on the way will cause a glut of in-orbit capacity.
Gogo’s decision to go all-in on satellite capacity is the latest sign that 2015 and 2016 will be breakout years for satellite-delivered aircraft broadband.
EchoStar Corp. said its Hughes consumer satellite broadband service provider reported a slowdown in net subscriber additions in the three months ending Dec. 31 as it reaches the saturation point on several of its satellite beams.
What began as a small but promising nexus between space and the sprawling technology incubator known as Silicon Valley has exploded into something much larger with the rush of filings for bandwidth to deploy large constellations of low-orbiting broadband satellites.
ViaSat Chief Executive Mark Dankberg discusses his company’s relative success in bringing in-flight broadband connectivity to commercial airline passengers with CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer Dec. 23. Dankberg also touches upon ViaSa…