FIRST UP Satcom | SmartSky raises $104M • SES picks Halliwell successor • Netflix tops satellite, cable in US
SmartSky has raised close to $350 million. Its network of towers across the United States is scheduled to begin commercial service later this year.
Travel bans barring passengers from bringing laptops and tablet computers onboard airplanes aren’t much cause for concern for satellite operators who provide airlines with internet connectivity, executives said May 25, but protecting those devices from hackers and cyber criminals is.
SmartSky Networks, a startup building cellular towers for in-flight connectivity — a market coveted and dominated by satellite operators — says it is fully funded to build out ground-based network thanks to a new $170 million Series B funding round.
A six-year-old company headquartered near Charlotte, North Carolina’s busy international airport raised $66 million this February as it nears completion of an air-to-ground network of 250 cellular towers. When finished, those towers will point close to 20,000 beams at passenger planes crossing the continental United States.