AT&T exec retiring • Kacific to use ABS teleport • Gogo secures $30 million credit line
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John Donovan, the CEO of AT&T Communications, is stepping down after two years in the position. Donovan oversaw AT&T’s mobile and internet networks, as well as the company’s video streaming platforms. His departure takes place as AT&T shifts away from satellite broadcasting and begins rolling out 5G mobile infrastructure. [Engadget]
Kacific, in anticipation of its first satellite launch months from now, has partnered with fleet operator ABS to use its teleport in the Philippines. Kacific will install a gateway hub at ABS’s primary space operations center in Subic Bay on the island of Luzon. ABS’s teleport will support Kacific-1, a Ka-band payload that shares a spacecraft bus with Sky Perfect JSAT’s JCSAT-18, launching on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Kacific-1 will reach all of the Philippines as part of its coverage of the Pacific region. ABS has arranged a backup teleport for Kacific at the nearby Clark Freeport Zone that will host a second gateway hub, meant to ensure service if rain degrades signal quality at Subic Bay. [Kacific]
In-flight connectivity provider Gogo has secured a $30 million revolving credit line, enabling the company to keep a minimum of about $100 million in total liquidity. Gogo said it shouldn’t need to seek additional capital, except if needed to refinance debt obligations that mature in 2022 and 2024. CEO Oakleigh Thorne said the $30 million credit line “provides additional buffer capital and represents another important step in the strengthening of our balance sheet and liquidity without equity dilution.” [Gogo]
Video broadcasting company Globecast has leased additional capacity from Eutelsat. Globecast said the capacity increases its ability to broadcast in high definition and ultrahigh definition across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Samuel Lemercier, strategic projects director at Globecast, said customers are migrating television channels from standard definition to high definition, creating a need for more capacity. Globecast’s new lease is on Eutelsat’s Hotbird platform, which consists of three broadcast-focused satellites. [Broadband TV News]
Colombian satellite connectivity provider Axesat has selected Hughes Network Systems to provide capacity for businesses and other enterprise-grade customers. Axesat will use capacity on Hughes 63 West — a payload Hughes leases from Eutelsat — for broadband connectivity in Colombia. Hughes 63 West covers 96 percent of the population of Colombia. Axesat is also a reseller of HughesNet satellite internet for consumers and small businesses across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. [Hughes]
Small GEO satellite company Astranis will launch its first spacecraft on a Falcon 9. The company announced Monday that its satellite will be a secondary payload on a Falcon 9 launching in the fourth quarter of 2020, with the primary payload yet to be identified. The Astranis satellite, weighing 300 kilograms, will provide broadband internet services for Alaska. [SpaceNews]
Astranis will also use components from Cobham for its first satellite. Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions is supplying its LeanREL electronics, including microcontrollers and transceivers. Astranis’ first satellite is designed to bring 7.5 gigabits per second of Ka-band capacity to Alaska. Cobham says its new line of low-cost LeanREL integrated circuits last well beyond typical off-the-shelf components. [Cobham]
A U.S. senator is seeking a change in policy regarding launches of hosted payloads. In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that government hosted payloads should launch on American rockets. Current policy, dating back to 2013, allows government hosted payloads on commercial satellites to launch on foreign vehicles without the need for a formal approval process required for government satellites. Rubio argued that the U.S. launch industry is robust enough to accommodate hosted payloads, but some in industry worry that a change in policy could exacerbate existing challenges in finding rides for hosted payloads. [SpaceNews]
The British space industry is calling on the country’s new prime minister to back up his rhetoric on space policy with action. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in his first speech since becoming the head of government a month ago, endorsed development of new navigation and remote sensing satellite systems, saying they would provide “long-term strategic and commercial benefits for this country.” Johnson has not yet taken action on those proposed satellite systems, and members of the British space industry organization UKspace say it’s now time for him to “put his money where his mouth is” with measures such as a national space innovation fund. [Financial Times]
SpaceNews Senior Staff Writer Jeff Foust contributed to this newsletter.