Executives from SES and Eutelsat said they are watching as SpaceX deploys its own Starlink constellation of broadband satellites, which could make SpaceX one of their competitors.
Amazon on Dec. 18 said its Project Kuiper team will move in 2020 to a permanent research and development headquarters with state-of-the-art facilities for designing and testing its planned megaconstellation of broadband satellites.
An inflection point is coming in the next six to twelve months for the multibillion dollar satellite megaconstellations, when it will become apparent which ones are likely to succeed and which ones “will take a pause or exit,” Chris Baugh, Northern Sky Research president, said Oct. 9 at the Satellite Innovation 2019 conference.
No near-term satellite orders for ABS • Amazon joins SIA • Speedcast, Australian Space Agency team up
Fleet operator ABS expects to wait until 2021 before planning additional satellites.
Amazon released more details on its plan to deploy 3,236 broadband satellites, telling U.S. telecom regulators the constellation can start service in limited areas with less than a fifth of the total constellation.
Ground stations in Ohio and Oregon mark the first two of a planned 12 stations spread out globally to enable communication with satellites, allowing operators to downlink data such as imagery and weather. The stations also enable operators to control their satellites.
Lockheed Martin’s Verge ground station network should have coverage for satellites passing over the continental United States next year, with the timeline for a global build out determined by what antenna technology the company chooses next.