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5G, Transforming the Satellite Industry from the Ground - NSR Jan 2020
5G has generated tremendous expectations from a customer-oriented capabilities point of view (ultra-fast speeds, latency, etc.), but one must not forget that 5G also represents a completely different way to conceive telecom infrastructure. In fact, the biggest short-term impact, at least for satcom, will be felt on the backend of networks. Standardized seamless integration with terrestrial, adoption of SDN/NFV technologies, cloudification, network slicing, etc, are all concepts that will transform the satellite industry leveraging 5G.
NSR  satellite  5G  SDN  NFV 
6 weeks ago by pierredv
WRC-19: summary of key decisions - PolicyTracker: spectrum management news, research and trainingPolicyTracker: spectrum management news, research and training
Agenda Item 1.13: mmWave bands for 5G. This was by far the most controversial and difficult item on this year’s agenda. Discussions, which have dragged on for months, concluded with three main outcomes:

The high-profile 26 GHz band received a global 5G identification through a groundbreaking time-delay mechanism. The idea is to help spur the development of 5G in the near term while protecting passive services in the long term once 5G networks become denser.
The whole range from 37 to 43.5 GHz has been globally identified for IMT, as well as 66-71 GHz
Two underrated frequency bands (45.5—47 GHz and 47.2—48.2 GHz) also received a 5G identification in some countries worldwide.

AI 1.6 looked at the coordination mechanisms for GSO (geosynchronous orbit) and non-GSO systems operating and/or planning to operate within the FSS (fixed satellite service) allocations in bands in the 37.5—51.4 GHz range, while 9.1.9 was seeking a new allocation for FSS. The main results were as follows:
AI 1.6 reached a compromise solution on the aggregate value of degradation of throughput as high as eight per cent.
New limits will ensure the protection of GSO networks while allowing non-GSO in Q/V bands.

WRC-19 introduced a milestone-based approach for the deployment of non-GSO satellite systems to guard against spectrum speculation.
PolicyTracker  WRC-19  mmwave  satellite  HAPS  ESIM  NGSO 
12 weeks ago by pierredv
GEO vs. Non-GEO: Who Wins the $90+ Billion Consumer Broadband Opportunity? - NSR Nov 2019
"Considering the above factors and The Inclusive Internet Index data, NSR estimates the global total addressable market (opportunity) for satellite broadband to be 433+ million households where the current SATCOM service penetration is only 0.63%. The big question is: how much revenue can the SATCOM industry achieve out of this massive addressable market?"

"lthough the Non-GEO players’ business model is primarily based on the consumer broadband segment, it will be the GEO-HTS camp that will capture 89% market share of total service revenues."

"the yet-to-prove Non-GEO business model must contend with the ground segment as their main bottleneck. Current Non-Geo ground segment prices are nowhere near the needed consumer broadband segment pricing."

"Looking at Non-GEO service pricing, it is too early to determine their entry level service pricing in a region. Also, current Non-GEO equipment pricing is far from the reach of consumer broadband customers."

"during the forecast period it is highly unlikely that a Non-GEO player will capture a leadership position in the consumer market owing to their current financial, infrastructural and technology state/challenges. Undoubtedly, GEO-HTS players will have better penetration with most suitable pricing in the segment resulting in 89% revenue share."
NSR  market-research  satellite  business-models  NGSO  GEO 
12 weeks ago by pierredv
LEO constellation operators OneWeb, Iridium announce collaboration - SpaceNews.com, Sep 2019
"Iridium and OneWeb, two companies pursuing different types of telecommunications businesses from low Earth orbit, said Sept. 17 that they would work together on a combined service offering. "

"Iridium CEO Matt Desch has long said that his company’s 66-satellite constellation doesn’t compete with broadband startup OneWeb because the companies use two different frequencies. "

"Iridium’s recently completed Iridium Next constellation uses L-band, a robust, but lower throughput frequency. . . . OneWeb has six of a planned 650 initial satellites in orbit using Ku-band, a higher frequency with a slightly weaker signal but the ability to carry significantly more throughput."

"Dylan Browne, OneWeb’s vice president of government, said . . . maritime will likely be an early focus area for collaboration"
SpaceNews  Iridium  OneWeb  satellite  NGSO  business 
september 2019 by pierredv
Hacking Iridium Satellites With Iridium Toolkit - RTL-SDR, Sep 2019
"Over on YouTube TechMinds has uploaded a video showing how to use the Iridium Toolkit software to receive data and audio from Iridium satellites with an Airspy. Iridium is a global satellite service that provides various services such as global paging, satellite phones, tracking and fleet management services, as well as services for emergency, aircraft, maritime and covert operations too. It consists of multiple low earth orbit satellites where there is at least one visible in the sky at any point in time, at most locations on the Earth.

The frequencies used by the older generation Iridium satellites are in the L-band, and the data is completely unencrypted. That allows anyone with an RTL-SDR or other SDR radio to decode the data with the open source Iridium Toolkit."

Cf. https://www.rtl-sdr.com/talk-decoding-data-from-iridium-satellites/ : "they discuss how Iridium security is moderate to relaxed, pointing out that Iridium claims that the majority of ‘security’ comes from the complexity of the system, rather than actual security implementations"
RTL-SDR  Iridium  hacking  satellite 
september 2019 by pierredv
5G - Real Satcom Opportunity or Trojan Horse? - NSR May 2019
"Can satellites participate in the 5G ecosystem? Are there tangible market opportunities for satcom in 5G, or is it just a continuation of an endless fight for spectrum?"

"5G can certainly become the next driver of growth for satcom and, according to NSR’s Wireless Backhaul and 5G via Satellite, 13th Edition report, 1 out of every 3 new $ in capacity revenues for Backhaul in the next 10 years will be directly attributed to 5G."

"All in all, satellite can meet 5G requirements. In fact, 5G won’t realize its full potential without satellite as it will be a key enabling technology in use cases like mobility or ubiquitous connectivity. The true benefit of 5G for satellite is that it opens the opportunity to seamlessly integrate with ground networks."

"C-Band reassignment is a double-edged sword. While the windfall can be very generous (if governments really let it happen), there is certain contagion risk and, more importantly, it can add further instabilities to a market with enormous pressure already."
NSR  satellite  5G 
may 2019 by pierredv
FPAs: Moving Parts Still Have the Upper Hand - NSR Apr 2019
"Given the number of Non-GEO HTS constellations announced, from early "launch, full production, and those in early development, it is safe to say the skies will be filling up fast with more satellite capacity than ever before. On the ground, development of next-generation, electronically-steered terminals continues with announcements such by Kymeta, Phasor, and OmniAccess among others. Given this, all signs indicate that electronically-steered antennas (ESAs), which will inherently decrease the number of moving parts, are key to the future of satcom. However, delays are quite common, from Kymeta requiring 5 years to ship their first product, and Phasor postponing their ESA deployment, to name just a few.

Meanwhile, mechanically-steered antennas (MSAs) are on the market now, with developed supply chains and partnerships, doing the job with a host of moving parts."

"According to NSR’s Flat Panel Satellite Antennas, 4th Edition, annual shipments of mechanically-steered antennas (MSA) FPAs will grow to over 48,000 units by 2028, with over 7,000 shipped last year. MSAs are forecasted to represent only 3% of all future shipped FPAs, yet they represent 95% of the market today. In fact, despite ESA development, MSAs are expected to retain leadership in key verticals."

"Advanced capabilities are desired, but reliability is required."
NSR  satellite  antennas  Kymeta  Phasor  market-research  ESA 
april 2019 by pierredv
Amazon lists more than 70 jobs for Project Kuiper satellite operation – GeekWire
"Boy, that escalated quickly: Just hours after GeekWire revealed that Amazon is planning a 3,236-satellite constellation to provide global broadband access, code-named Project Kuiper, the company posted scores of job openings for the new space venture."

"Meanwhile, the Secure World Foundation’s Brian Weeden voiced concern over Project Kuiper’s potential impact on orbital debris."
Virtually all of the 73 Kuiper-related jobs listed on Amazon’s website are in Bellevue, Wash. One exception is a Seattle opening for a senior corporate counsel specializing in international trade and export control.

The timing is notable given Amazon’s decision to relocate its worldwide operations team from Seattle to Bellevue — a decision that seems to signal that the tech giant is cooling on its hometown.
GeekWire  space  Amazon  satellite  Seattle  Bellevue  employment  space-debris  orbital-debris 
april 2019 by pierredv
4 Big Challenges for Emerging Space - NSR - Mar 2019
"With companies moving beyond the R&D phase into operations (48% of total companies founded today, up from 43% in 2016), a healthy market dynamic exists, but on the road to success, there are 4 critical elements common to most emerging space players that NSR identified across all segments."

1. funding
2. regulatory barriers
3. market readiness
4. technology development

"3 segments of the market, namely:
Earth-to-Space (E2S): infrastructure/services developed on Earth to facilitate the use of space (manufacturing and launch)
Space-to-Earth (S2E): services delivered from assets in space for use on Earth (satcom services, downstream geospatial analytics etc.)
Space-to-Space (S2S): including services delivered in space (space tourism, in-orbit servicing etc.)"
NSR  space  satellite  business 
march 2019 by pierredv
How OneWeb plans to make sure its first satellites aren't its last - SpaceNews.com
Jeff Foust's paraphrase:

"Despite the work ahead to build and launch its satellites, many see OneWeb's biggest risks as financial rather than technical. . . . The company, which once pegged the cost of the constellation at $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion, no longer provides estimates of its cost, and some industry experts project the system will cost as much as $7.5 billion. That could create financial difficulties, especially if initial revenue growth is slow. "
OneWeb  satellite  business 
march 2019 by pierredv
Air Force experiment NTS-3 could point the way to the next generation of GPS - SpaceNews.com Mar 2019
"As an immediate response, the Air Force has begun deploying more-advanced GPS satellites, called GPS 3, designed to be more resistant to jamming and spoofing.

The Air Force also is looking for ways to shore up the PNT capabilities provided by GPS. One approach the Air Force believes could work is to supplement its medium Earth orbiting GPS constellation with an additional layer of smaller satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit.

To test that idea, the Air Force Research Laboratory in 2022 will launch an experimental PNT satellite called NTS-3, short for Navigation Technology Satellite 3."

"As the U.S. military’s first Navigation Technology Satellite mission in 40 years, NTS-3 is intended to test new hardware including a digital signal generator that can be reprogrammed on orbit, enabling operators to quickly deploy new signals as they encounter electronic threats."

"The Air Force still has 31 GPS 2 satellites in service and has only just begun to deploy its GPS 3 constellation. "
SpaceNews  GPS  satellite  USAF  DoD 
march 2019 by pierredv
Satcom Future Hinges on Electronically-Steered FPAs - NSR Mar 2019
"When the term “flat panel antenna” (FPA) is mentioned, most envision a completely flat, non-moving piece of communications technology. These systems, specifically electronically-steered antennas (ESAs), capable of faster tracking and pointing than parabolic ones, are seen as an impending necessity for satcom, especially given the soon-to-be full skies of LEO constellations. Interest and development in this technology has grown significantly in recent years, from Kymeta shipping the first commercial ESAs in 2017 to large contracts signed, pending product release.

However, ESA technology is still under-developed, mostly unavailable, expensive to engineer and suffering numerous delays. Currently, only 4 manufacturers (Kymeta, hiSky, SatCube, and SatPro) have ESAs for broadband-via-satellite available on the market, and given the importance of this technology for LEO networks, one wonders just when will this technology take off, and what happens if it does not?"

"NSR’s Flat Panel Satellite Antennas, 4th Edition report forecasts the market to transition strongly after 2020, with ESAs accounting for 97% of FPAs shipped in 2028. While mechanically-steered antennas (MSAs) currently dominate the FPA market, at 95.5% of shipped units, non-GEO networks, competition, and improved technology are expected to strongly pivot market take-up once LEO constellations are launched and operational. However, MSAs have begun to make successful inroads, and in some cases are expected to continue to provide competition to ESAs even after the technology becomes more available."
NSR  satellite  antennas  FPA  ESA  market-research 
march 2019 by pierredv
FPAs: From a Niche to a Necessity - NSR Feb 2019
"While the goalposts for the greater take-up of FPAs keep moving further out, the networks of tomorrow may set requirements that are too demanding for parabolic antennas. This in turn, pressures flat panel technology to come to fruition sooner rather than later in the hope of moving it from a niche product to a necessity. Given the state of play today, how likely is it that FPAs will serve the networks of tomorrow and star in that lead role?"

"NSR’s recently published Flat Panel Satellite Antennas, 4th Edition report considers it likely, but very challenging to get the role. The report forecasts over 1.5 million units to ship in 2028, growing at a strong CAGR of 71.2%. Mobility will continue to dominate equipment revenues, with complex capabilities keeping terminals expensive. Volume will be driven by Fixed Applications, specifically Consumer Broadband, but only if manufacturers are given more incentives to drive down prices to target the largest addressable markets."
antennas  satellite  NSR  market-research 
february 2019 by pierredv
Smallsat Growth on Shaky Foundations - NSR Feb 2019
"While the relative simplicity and the associated low-cost architecture are enabling (the much needed) easier access to the space applications, the challenge lies in the readiness of the existing infrastructure to support this rapidly growing market."

"A market that has historically been relatively slow to develop will now experience an accelerated expansion. This is bound to put immense pressure on the existing infrastructure and the different stakeholders in the supply and value chain."

Challenges:

= Satellite Manufacturing Constraints - "Tier 2 and Tier 3 components such as electronic systems and subsystems are expected to create considerable bottlenecks."

= Launch Constraints - "launch segment is expected to remain one of the biggest bottlenecks of the small satellite market over the next decade"

= In-Orbit Challenges - "lack of adequate space traffic tracking and management regime"
NSR  satellite  smallsats  market-research 
february 2019 by pierredv
Will Satellite Operators Become (Rural) Mobile Operators? - NSR, Feb 2019
"Connecting the “other 3 billion” is a recurring motto for the satcom Industry. Unfortunately, the reality is that the impact on mitigating the digital divide is still modest. Mobile is the de facto way of getting online for “the bottom of the pyramid” but here, satellite can still find enormous opportunities by complementing the gaps of terrestrial networks. Given this trend, are Wi-Fi hotspots over satellite the key way for satcom to bring the unconnected online?"

"Numerous actors in the satcom space are launching Wi-Fi hotspot offers to serve the low-end segments of the market. The addressable market for these kinds of solutions is massive given the billions living in underserved areas. According to NSR’s VSAT and Broadband Markets, 17th Edition report, Wi-Fi hotspot annual service revenues will reach $7.5 billion by 2027, representing 43% of total satellite consumer broadband revenues."

"With HTS becoming the norm, satellite broadband offers can now meet UN Broadband Commission affordability targets of 1 GB of data for less than 2% of the monthly GNI per capita"

"Today, a satellite terminal that supports double-digit Mbps with 10s of concurrent sessions combined with a Wi-Fi smallcell is below the $1,000 USD threshold, which is within the reach of local businesses."

"Selecting the right locations to set up the Wi-Fi hotspot is not trivial. It needs a reliable local microentrepreneur with appropriate technical skills to maintain the equipment and run the network. The village must be big enough with adequate disposable income to generate demand but not too large that it will shortly be targeted by terrestrial alternatives. In the same line, the hotspot should be far enough from terrestrial alternatives to avoid being cannibalized by terrestrial solutions, but penetration of mobile devices is crucial to ensure customers can access the network."
NSR  satellite  rural  Wi-Fi  hotspots  broadband  HTS 
february 2019 by pierredv
Are Satellite Handhelds Still a Growth Market? - NSR Feb 2019
"Because of this trend towards event driven usage, handhelds as a share of satellite land mobile will continue to decline long-term."

"With increased terrestrial and 5G networks around the corner, handheld unit sales have suffered, and so offering hybrid solutions and services will characterize ecosystems for land-mobile connectivity in the coming decade. While these networks have already significantly impacted both growth usage of handhelds, cellular compatibility can boost usage with other device types"
NSR  satellite  market-research 
february 2019 by pierredv
Satellite Flat Panel Antennas: An $11 Billion Opportunity by 2028 - NSR Feb 2019
"NSR’s FPA4 finds aeronautical equipment will drive revenue growth for manufacturers, while fixed broadband applications on Non-GEO satellites will be the main volume market."

"The complexity of staying connected on the move is expected to keep antenna prices and revenues high over the next decade"

"While mobility drives revenues, fixed applications drive volume, with NSR expecting more than 1.4 million FPA terminals to ship for satellite broadband in 2028."
NSR  satellite  antennas 
february 2019 by pierredv
Telesat signs New Glenn multi-launch agreement with Blue Origin for LEO missions - SpaceNews.com Jan 2019
"Canadian fleet operator Telesat has agreed to launch satellites for its future low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation on multiple New Glenn missions, Blue Origin announced Jan. 31.

The agreement, for an unspecified number of launches and satellites, makes Telesat the fifth customer to sign up to use the reusable launcher, which is slated for a maiden flight in 2021. "

"Blue Origin already has eight other New Glenn missions in backlog: one each for Paris-based Eutelsat, Sky Perfect JSAT of Japan and Thai startup Mu Space, plus five launches for low-Earth-orbit megaconstellation company OneWeb. "

"Telesat is preparing a constellation of roughly 300 communications satellites for global internet connectivity services. The satellite operator plans to select a manufacturer — either Airbus Defence and Space or a team comprised of Thales Alenia Space and Space Systems Loral — later this year. "

"In a separate Jan. 31 announcement, Telesat said Loon has agreed to deliver a network operating system design that Telesat can use to support its LEO constellation. Loon, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, said last fall it sees non-geostationary satellite operators as customers for a variation of the software-defined network it uses to deliver mobile connectivity via high-altitude balloons."

"The rocket can carry 45 metric tons to low Earth orbit, and features a payload fairing twice the size of any other rocket on the market, according to Blue Origin."
space  satellite  SpaceNews  launch  BlueOrigin  Telesat  Loon  Alphabet  Google 
january 2019 by pierredv
Wyler claims breakthrough in low-cost antenna for OneWeb, other satellite systems - SpaceNews.com Jan 2019
"OneWeb founder Greg Wyler says a self-funded side project of his has developed an antenna module costing $15, paving the way for user terminals priced between $200 and $300.
Wyler, in an interview, said he invested just under $10 million into Wafer LLC, a Danvers, Massachusetts-based company that has created a prototype antenna. After three to four years of effort and more than 500 iterations, the antenna could be commercially available as soon as 2020, he said. "

"Wyler said the Wafer antenna is designed first to work in Ku-band — the same frequency as OneWeb’s first satellites — but could also work in Ka-, X-, V- and other bands with little change in cost. "
satellite  SpaceNews  antennas 
january 2019 by pierredv
Can Satellite Broadband Support the Streaming Wave? - NSR Jan 2019
Nice chart of tech vs. customer bandwidth expectations

"Today, a mid-range satellite Internet plan is able to satisfy users generating traffic from Web browsing and Social Media, but data caps are still too low to support multiple hours of streaming per day. Consequently, satellite is unable to engage the mainstream consumer, leading to slow take up rates and high levels of churn."

"At capacity prices of $200 USD/Mbps/month, the plan for a $50-subscriber would be capped at ~10 GB, insufficient to satisfy today’s video-centric customers. If the industry wants to unlock the potential of this market, capacity prices need to decline below the $100 USD/Mbps/month threshold, where data allowances could grow rapidly and boost subscriber satisfaction."
NSR  satellite  broadband 
january 2019 by pierredv
Europe hoping to overcome C-band satellite interference | PolicyTracker, Jan 2019
There has been a clear push by national regulators across Europe to release 3.5 GHz spectrum. However, mobile deployments in the region’s primary capacity band for 5G could be at risk due to potential satellite interference from neighbouring countries and military services.
C-band  3.6GHz  5G  Interference  PolicyTracker  Finland  Netherlands  satellite  military 
january 2019 by pierredv
Boeing leads $14M funding round for Isotropic Systems to boost satellite links, GeekWire Jan 2019
London-based Isotropic Systems<https://www.isotropicsystems.com/>, a startup that is developing flat-panel antennas and high-throughput terminals for satellite communications, says it has raised $14 million in a Series A financing round led by Boeing HorizonX Ventures.
GeekWire  satellite  VC  antennas 
january 2019 by pierredv
Connected Buses & Trains: In the Express Lane? - NSR
"NSR’s recently published report, Land Mobile via Satellite, 6th Edition found total retail revenues for connected vehicles in 2027 will exceed $650 million, with 32% driven by trains and 45% by buses, indicating significant demand driven by intercity passenger journeys. Nearly half of this is derived from equipment revenues, signifying a large ground segment opportunity in this market, which will be almost entirely captured by flat panel antenna (FPA) manufacturers and associated hardware and installation."

"Hispasat, through a partnership with Phasor, have realised this and are trialling connected buses in Latin America, where long distance, intercity bus travel is the norm."
NSR  satellite  business  antennas  market-research  Phasor 
january 2019 by pierredv
Satcom in 2019: Leasing vs. Services & the Year Ahead - NSR Jan 2019
"2018 emerged as an understatement compared to the hype generated by satellite operators. Revenue didn’t rebound according to expectations, pricing and backlog both declined across operators, and video finally showed no signs of further growth, as multiple operators posted revenue declines in video even with marginally increasing demand.

"Looking downstream, suffice it to say that service providers had a marquee year, extending growth into crucial aero and consumer broadband segments, with maritime and backhaul a close second."

"Based on strong market forecasts in segments such as Broadband, Aero, and Maritime, global service providers can be expected to approximately double their revenues in the next 4-5 years, considering the current growth strategy, via organic or inorganic means. Lease markets strongly contrast this trend, with most operators expecting a decline in lease revenues in the near to medium term, owing to the latest fleet renewal that cannibalizes legacy FSS fleets on a pricing basis in both video and data verticals."
NSR  satellite  business  market-research 
january 2019 by pierredv
Swarm, after FCC blunder, hires satellite regulatory veteran Kalpak Gude - SpaceNews.com Jan 2019
"Swarm Technologies, a satellite communications startup infamous for launching four satellites without regulatory approval last year, has hired Kalpak Gude, a well-known spectrum and regulatory expert, to lead its global regulatory activity."

"The FCC fined Swarm $900,000 last month, and stipulated that the startup designate a regulatory compliance director to prevent similar missteps. "
SwarmTechnologies  SpaceNews  FCC  enforcement  satellite  EB 
january 2019 by pierredv
AT&T will not launch any more satellites for DirecTV, Analysys Mason Dec 2018
"AT&T will not launch any more satellites for DirecTV: is the writing on the wall for satellite TV?"

"AT&T’s acquisition was motivated by an appetite for DirecTV’s content rights (notably for National Football League (NFL) American football matches) as much as its subscriber base, but the recent announcement indicates just how quickly the US pay-TV market is evolving."

"One of the reasons why the move to OTT is so rapid in the USA is that traditional pay-TV bundles are expensive. "

"What does this mean for satellite TV providers? Analysys Mason agrees that IP-delivered TV and video services will eventually dominate the market, but it will be a long time before direct-to-home satellite services disappear entirely. "
AnalysysMason  AT&T  satellite  TV  OTT 
january 2019 by pierredv
NSR Report: Satellite Broadband & Enterprise VSAT to Generate $159 Billion in Next Decade - NSR Jan 2019
“Satellite Consumer Broadband is just scratching the surface of the opportunity, capturing less than 1% of the potential addressable market,”

"Even with these measures, data caps are still very restrictive with the current balance between ARPUs and capacity pricing. However, once prices decline below 100 USD/Mbps/Month, data allowances can grow generously, activating demand elasticities."

"At the service level, value is climbing to higher layers, like security or app-specific tools, as connectivity commoditizes."
NSR  satellite  broadband  market-research  press-release  VSAT 
january 2019 by pierredv
Earth Observation: Not Just Imagery - NSR, Jan 2019
"In an industry dominated by optical and radar imaging satellites, it is not surprising to see diversification into non-imagery assets, such as the recent announcements from Spire, GeoOptics, and GHGsat. Radio occultation, greenhouse gas monitoring, infrared, the market is expanding, looking for new ways to monitor human activity and the changing world.

NSR’s Satellite-Based Earth Observation, 10th Edition report forecasts the revenue opportunity from non-imagery data to grow to almost $255M by 2027, at a CAGR of 45.7%. Early investment from Public Authorities, Weather, and Energy customers is expected to drive the market, until supply and data pipelines are matured, when Services and Industrial verticals especially will show more interest."

"... NSR forecasts the opportunity to shift in the favor of these downstream services, from 5% of total non-imagery EO revenues coming from IP and Big Data analytics in 2017 to 74% by 2027."
NSR  satellite  remote-sensing  EarthObservation  EO  market-research 
january 2019 by pierredv
EO SAR Imagery Prices Limit Opportunity - NSR Dec 2018
"In theory, radar imagery for Earth Observation is far superior to optical. With imagery capable of capturing scenes at night and penetrating clouds, SAR overcomes many challenges inherent to imaging the Earth with passive optical sensors.

"It would seem that investors are banking on these capabilities for increased coverage and insights from SAR imagery given recent funding announcements from Iceye, and Ursa Space. Revisit and analytics are cited as key drivers, with many working to develop algorithms for analyzing and monitoring assets, even across traditional vertical markets.

"However, in practice, SAR revenues and market penetration remain relatively low, and NSR does not expect radar to overtake or greatly outpace the optical opportunity anytime soon."

"When examining EO data adoption, one must consider resolution, revisit, and pricing as key customer-decision factors."
radar  remote-sensing  satellite  NSR  EO 
december 2018 by pierredv
FCC fines Swarm $900,000 for unauthorized smallsat launch - SpaceNews.com Dec 2018 Dec 2018
Swarm Technologies will pay $900,000 to settle an investigation by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission into the startup’s launch of four picosatellites on an Indian rocket this January without regulatory approval, the FCC announced Dec. 20.
space  FCC  enforcement  Enforcement-Bureau  EB  Satellites  SwarmTechnologies  satellite 
december 2018 by pierredv
Here Are the Odds That One of SpaceX’s Internet Satellites Will Hit Someone - IEEE Spectrum Dec 2018
"The chance that SpaceX’s planned Starlink satellite constellation will cause an injury or death is 45 percent every six years, according to an IEEE Spectrum analysis of figures submitted by the company to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission."

"When that fuel runs low, after around six years, the satellites will use the remainder to nudge themselves into the denser atmosphere below. Each satellite, just a little smaller in size than a Tesla Model 3, will then swiftly burn up. Except that some of it won’t. "

"When SpaceX plugged the numbers into NASA’s Debris Assessment Software, the package calculated that there was, at most, a 1 in 18,200 chance that an individual satellite in its LEO orbital shells would hurt or kill someone. VLEO satellites were generally slightly riskier, with up to a 1 in 17,400 chance. All figures are handily less than the 1 in 10,000 figure that NASA has adopted as a standard, and that U.S. and European space agencies require for space missions."
IEEE-Spectrum  SpaceX  orbital-debris  risk-assessment  satellite  constellations 
december 2018 by pierredv
[pdf] ELROI: A License Plate For Your Satellite, Feb 2018, arXiv
Palmer & Holmes
Abstract
Space object identification is vital for operating spacecraft, space traffic control, and space situational awareness, but initial determination, maintenance, and recovery of identity are all difficult, expensive, and error-prone, especially for small objects like CubeSats. Attaching a beacon or license plate with a unique identification number to a space object before launch would greatly simplify the task, but radio beacons are power-hungry and can cause interference. This paper describes a new concept for a satellite license plate, the Extremely Low Resource Optical Identifier or ELROI. ELROI is a milliwatt-scale self-powered autonomous optical beacon that can be attached to any space object to transmit a persistent identification signal to ground stations. A system appropriate for a LEO CubeSat or other small space object can fit in a package with the area of a postage stamp and a few millimeters thick, and requires no power, data, or control from the host object. The concept has been validated with ground tests, and the first flight test unit is scheduled for launch in 2018. The unique identification number of a LEO satellite can be determined unambiguously in a single orbital pass over a low-cost ground station.
satellite  identity  tracking  arXiv 
december 2018 by pierredv
OneWeb scales back baseline constellation by 300 satellites - SpaceNews.com, Dec 2018
"Greg Wyler, OneWeb’s founder, said the company will need only 600 satellites or so instead of 900 after ground tests of the first satellites demonstrated better than expected performance."

"OneWeb had been under increased scrutiny within the satellite industry amid speculation that its satellite costs had grown well beyond their initial $500,000 target. Wyler confirmed the satellites had passed $500,000 a unit, but said the exceedance was minimal. "

"Wyler said 600 is the minimum needed for global coverage. Beyond that, OneWeb is deciding whether it will add 300 first-generation satellites or shift to a second-generation constellation designed to layer on more capacity. "
SpaceNews  OneWeb  NGSO  constellations  satellite  business  Greg-Wyler 
december 2018 by pierredv
Sorry LEOs, but FPAs Have No Incentive to Go Low-Cost - NSR Dec 2018
"According to NSR’s Commercial Satellite Ground Segment, 3rd Edition report, antennas will generate $44.9 billion cumulative revenues in the next 10 years. Requirements are wide and varied, from low-cost, fixed parabolic dishes for DTH (can be as cheap as $10 USD), to highly sophisticated antennas for mobility or Earth Stations that can cost several $100k USD. Consequently, antenna vendors adapt their products to the most lucrative markets. LEO constellations have a particular set of requirements that favor FPAs, especially in the low-end markets, but are FPA incentives aligned with LEO Constellations?"

"Today, SAC in Consumer Broadband is around $700-1,000 USD where the modem might be in the $300 range, antenna itself around $50, installation contributing $100 and the rest being marketing, credit validation and others. Consequently, an FPA priced in the $200-300 range could compete with traditional parabolics considering lower installation and marketing costs (product placement). Even considering these factors, prices for FPAs are still far from this benchmark, and only the architectures that have no other option (LEOs, Aero) will choose FPAs in the short to medium term."

"It will be impossible to see FPAs beating low-end parabolics in a direct cost comparison but, when including other elements of SAC, the equation is not so unfavorable. With continuous technology development, greater traction from LEOs and stagnation in verticals like Aero, we could see consumer-grade FPAs by the mid-2020s, at the earliest."
NSR  antennas  LEO  business  satellite  broadband  aviation 
december 2018 by pierredv
NSR’s Satcom Financial Index 2018- Dissecting the Trends - NSR Dec 2018
"Recent (Q2 or Q3) financial results have been a mixed bag for the industry. Video revenues have consistently declined on a YoY basis for most operators including Intelsat, Eutelsat, SES and EchoStar Satellite Services, while most operators have posted gains in network connectivity – most prominently in Government and mobile connectivity verticals, including ViaSat. To say that the latter two verticals remain the growth story in the near term is a massive understatement – while one must also take into consideration significant progress in consumer broadband by Hughes and in mobile backhaul by SES (MEO)."

"Though, barring equipment sales by the top two integrated operators, overall growth looks to be lagging in 2018. Many satcom operators seem to be missing targets, especially on video, with capacity prices continuously falling even in developed markets of the world. There is likewise high regional competition, as well as the terrestrial pressure, and given that video still forms the bulk of the GEO industry revenues today, overall growth is stagnating in the near term."
NSR  satellite  market-research  business 
december 2018 by pierredv
AI for Weather Forecasting – In Retail, Agriculture, Disaster Prediction, and More
"This article will look at how big data and machine learning are transforming weather forecasting and what it means for businesses and governments. In this article we’ll explore:

How companies and government agencies are using AI to improve weather forecasting (including IBM, Panasonic, and the US Government)
Sector-specific machine learning applications for improving business performance (including Retail, Agriculture, Transportation)

Weather forecasting is a strong fit for machine learning. The incredible volume of relevant information — historical data and real-time data — that can be analyzed is simply too great for any group of unaided humans to even begin to process on their own. "

"GE Current has installed smart street lights in several cities that can monitor things like light, humidity, and air quality."

"Panasonic has been working on its own weather forecasting model for years, and it stepped up its effort with the purchase of AirDat in 2013. The company makes TAMDAR, a speciality weather sensor installed on commercial airplanes. "

"According to IBM, 90 percent of crop losses are due to weather events and 25 percent of weather-related crop losses could be prevented by using predictive weather modeling."
TechEmergence  AI  ML  weather  forecasting  IBM  Panasonic  satellite  GE  IoT  NOAA  Monsanto  agriculturevideo 
november 2018 by pierredv
A Price War Coming for Satcom IoT? - NSR Nov 2018
"on the horizon are many competing IoT network deployments that promise to significantly lower the cost of hardware and airtime costs associated with IoT and to open new markets. Given these new cut-price alternatives, where does that leave existing M2M operators, which have a higher cost base and higher service price?"

"New competition in this space includes the rise of small satellite constellations for IoT (despite some questionable business cases), Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, and 5G connectivity, which is just around the corner. These new smallsat operators and LPWA networks intend to offer ARPUs of $1 per month, or even just a few euros per year. Low prices are also available on the terrestrial side, with Unabiz also announcing offerings as low as $1 per year. Sigfox even demonstrated a 20 cent terminal, which could bring in a new large market of disposable devices and tracking packages."

"By comparison, Iridium’s commercial IoT service ARPU was an order of magnitude higher at $13 per month in 2017, compared to $18 in 2012, indicating a decline in ARPU. "

"Will mass price cuts be unveiled once smallsat IoT constellations and LPWA networks are fully rolled out? The short answer: No"

"Like-for-like ARPUs will remain significantly higher than smallsats and terrestrial competitors, but taking into account MoUs and dual mode connectivity, overall satcom ARPUs will be lower."
NSR  satellite  IoT  Sigfox  Iridium  M2M  Globalstar  Orbcomm 
november 2018 by pierredv
Turning the Satellite Business Model Upside-Down - NSR Gagan Agrawal, Nov 2017
The traditional satcom industry can be argued to be entering its third transition phase, after the FSS video boom until 2010 and the HTS influenced pricing decline more recently. With languishing growth in 2018, alongside declining EBITDA margins and backlog, the operator industry remains uncertain on video, while debating on the merits of going fully downstream in the long term. Several factors such as high regional competition, video demand absorption through higher compression, supply-demand mismatch impact on pricing, pressure from OTT, and commoditization of capacity have driven the market to a stagnation point. However, no trend is bigger than the continuous manufacturing innovation to pack more Mbps per unit of million dollars cost. By pushing CAPEX per Gbps to ever more efficient levels, operators are able to undercut competitors on lease pricing, forcing many to sell at or below break-even profit margins, creating a zero-sum effect overall.
NSR  satellite  business  finance  * 
november 2018 by pierredv
Viasat shrinks MEO constellation plans - SpaceNews.com Nov 2018
"... another satellite operator is reducing the size of its proposed constellation. Viasat of Carlsbad, California, modified its design for a medium-Earth-orbit constellation that would consist of 20 telecom satellites instead of 24 as originally envisioned, the FCC said Nov. 2."

The smaller constellation would orbit in four orbital pathways in 8,200-kilometer orbits, with five satellites per pathway"

"Viasat is one of several operators to have modified its constellation plans since 2016. The new approvals SpaceX is seeking cover an additional 7,518 satellites in V-band, a rarely used spectrum.

Telesat wants to double its approval, adding another 117 satellites that, like SpaceX, would use V-band spectrum.

OneWeb also asked the FCC to OK 1,200 more satellites in March, although its new request has not yet been scheduled for a vote. "
Viasat  NGSO  satellite  MEO  FCC  constellations 
november 2018 by pierredv
Musk shakes up SpaceX in race to make satellite launch window: sources | Reuters Oct 2018
"Within hours of landing [in June 2018], Musk had fired at least seven members of the program’s senior management team at the Redmond, Washington, office, the culmination of disagreements over the pace at which the team was developing and testing its Starlink satellites, according to the two SpaceX employees with direct knowledge of the situation. "

"But the program is struggling to hire and retain staff, the employees said"

"Among the managers fired from the Redmond office was SpaceX Vice President of Satellites Rajeev Badyal, an engineering and hardware veteran of Microsoft Corp and Hewlett-Packard, and top designer Mark Krebs, who worked in Google’s satellite and aircraft division, the employees said."

"The management shakeup followed in-fighting over pressure from Musk to speed up satellite testing schedules, one of the sources said."
SpaceX  Reuters  satellite  NGSO 
october 2018 by pierredv
In-flight connectivity will be main driver of high-data-rate satellites, AnalysysMason Oct 2018
"Wi-Fi on board passenger aircraft will become the main driver of demand for next-generation high-data-rate satellites."

"We were asked to develop new regional market forecasts to 2025 for the following markets.
= Service provider trunking. Traditional point-to-point connectivity for telecoms service providers and mobile backhaul.
= High-bandwidth enterprise services. Both land-based and offshore services.
= Mobility platforms. In-flight connectivity (IFC) for passenger aircraft; connectivity for cruise ships, ferries and other large vessels; passenger connectivity on railway trains."

"We forecast that the worldwide market for high-speed satellite trunking services will grow in value from EUR1.9 billion in 2017 to EUR4.7 billion in 2025. We believe that the fastest-growing segment will be in-flight connectivity for passenger aircraft, where wholesale revenue will grow from EUR278 million in 2017 to EUR1.9 billion in 2025."
AnalysysMason  satellite  Wi-Fi  market-research 
october 2018 by pierredv
FCC to create new 6 GHz unlicensed band | PolicyTracker, Oct 2018
"The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would allow unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band. The band, which is also being studied in Europe, is widely seen as the world’s next major band for unlicensed applications.

"Under the terms of the proposals, unlicensed access to the 850 MHz of spectrum would be controlled by a lightweight database. This approach, often described as automated frequency control (AFC), is designed to prevent interference to incumbent fixed links. "

"Satellite earth stations use the band for uplinks throughout the band, but particularly within the U-NII-5 frequencies. The FCC does not think these applications should be taken into account by AFC databases because the receivers (satellites) are located so far away from Earth."

"Cable lobbyists the NCTA, as well as Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel, have recently promoted the possibility of a Further NPRM (FNPRM) for the 5875–5925 MHz range. ... That band has been reserved in the US for Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), ... FCC chair Ajit Pai would not commit to an FNPRM, but ... This did not impress Commissioner Rosenworcel."
PolicyTracker  6GHz  unlicensed  FCC  satellite  DSRC 
october 2018 by pierredv
Satellite antenna companies divided on near-term feasibility of cheap flat panels - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"Builders of satellite antennas disagree on whether flat panel antennas — widely considered a necessity for planned broadband megaconstellations — can be produced cheaply enough to address the mass consumer market in the near term. Antenna makers say so much enthusiasm exists for such antennas that sorting fact from wishful thinking among buyer expectations and seller claims has become a difficulty all its own. "

"“We’ve all heard the crazy requests from some operators asking for millions of antennas for multiple hundreds of dollars,” said Drew Klein, director of international business development at C-Com Satellite Systems, a company that builds dish antennas and is working on a flat panel antenna with the University of Waterloo. Such prices are achievable “within the next decade” — and have to be, he said, in order to address new markets. "

"Some antenna companies, like Israel-based Gilat Satellite Networks, are focused first on building flat panel antennas for customers who are willing to pay higher prices than consumers. "

“I think we are a long ways away from seeing a consumer flat panel antenna in the couple-of-hundred-dollars price point, which is where it needs to be to compete with consumer terminals that we have today for [high-throughput] satellites,” said Andre Jones

"In the absence of commercial flat panel antennas, SES has been forced to rely on two dish antenna systems with mechanical steering to keep constant links with O3b satellites in 8,000-kilometer medium Earth orbits, but this approach is very expensive. "

"John Finney, Isotropic CEO, said his company is making progress on an antenna designed to fit within a $300 to $700 price range stipulated by OneWeb"

"Kymeta antennas are priced up to $39,000 today, though the company plans to drive those prices down to below $1,000 through volume."
satellite  antennas  SpaceNews  Phasor  SES  O3b  Kymeta  Isotropic  AvL  Gilat  C-Com 
october 2018 by pierredv
NSR Report: Earth Observation Markets to Generate $54 Billion in Revenue by 2027 - NSR, Oct 2018
"NSR’s Satellite-Based Earth Observation (EO), 10th Edition report, released today, projects Earth Observation satellite data and services will represent a $54 billion cumulative opportunity over the next ten years, growing to $6.9 billion annually in 2027"

"The market’s evolution toward more on-demand data and services will be driven by satellite constellations, high-volume imagery platforms, and subscriptions"

"As the EO industry continues to shift from imagery to insights, ... a greater opportunity for downstream Information Products and Big Data analytics, than for the sale of data."

"the market is expected to face aggressive consolidation"
NSR  EO  remote-sensing  EarthObservation  satellite  business  market-research  data-analytics  analytics 
october 2018 by pierredv
C-band Spectrum Reallocation: Too Lucrative to Ignore? - NSR Oct 2018
"While various countries have already implemented several measures to either purchase or forcefully take the band from satellite operators and auction off to telecom operators, the case in U.S. has been more uncertain until last year."

"The majority rights holders to 3.7-4.2 GHz of spectrum in the U.S. are Intelsat and SES, two major, global satellite operators in terms of in-orbit satellites and transponders leased. They account for almost ~90% of the U.S. C-band spectrum and service various cable customers across the U.S. for video distribution. However, with spectrum rights expected to expire in mid 2020s and YoY performance on the C-band U.S. business declining fast"

"with the new compression HEVC using DVB-S2X, almost all video distribution channels could fit in under 30% of Ku-band satellite capacity."
NSR  satellite  cellular  C-band  Intelsat  SES 
october 2018 by pierredv
Does the satellite industry have antenna deficit disorder? - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"To connect the masses, megaconstellations will need mega antennas mega cheap. Antenna makers need mega orders to make that happen."

David Hartshorn: “There are business plans, big ones, hanging out there that depend if not entirely then at least to a very large extent on the availability of high-performance, low-cost, high-volume, low-profile antennas,”

"Northern Sky Research expects companies to ship 1.8 million flat panel antennas between now and 2027 with revenues topping $8 billion for the decade."

"For years, antenna manufacturers have produced high-performance alternatives to gimbaled parabolic antennas pointed at geostationary communications satellites. Price tags range from a few thousand dollars to $250,000 depending on the application."

"To work with low Earth orbit constellations, the antennas need to track two or more satellites simultaneously — something parabolic dishes can’t do. They also need to be small and durable, prevent signal interference, instantly find satellites and secure links, degrade gracefully and have great signal efficiency.

“It turns out that according to the laws of physics, you cannot do all those things at the same time,” said Ralph Brooker, president of SatProf"

John Finney, Isotropic: “What OneWeb wants in terms of target price is in the very low hundreds of dollars. We see a way to get there.”
satellite  constellations  antennas  NGSO  SpaceNews  business  NSR 
october 2018 by pierredv
Antenna builder ThinKom makes push for constellation market - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"ThinKom tested a phased array antenna with SES in August, practicing links with O3b satellites in medium Earth orbit as they rose over the horizon and then tracking them for 30 minutes each.

"Last month, ThinKom and Telesat announced plans to test an antenna with a Telesat prototype satellite in low Earth orbit (LEO) and to collaborate on business-grade terminals for Telesat’s planned 120-satellite LEO constellation. "

"The absence of such flat-panel antennas, as constellations start launching and high-throughput geostationary satellites grow in number, has satellite operators “all pretty much desperate to see somebody bring a solution to market,” according to Chris Quilty, president of Quilty Analytics. "

"ThinKom is best known for its ThinAir Ku3030 antennas that inflight connectivity provider Gogo builds into its 2Ku airplane Wi-Fi terminals. ... Bill Milroy, ThinKom’s chairman and chief technical officer, said his company intends to use the same phased array technology it has used for antennas on aircraft "

"SES is attempting to cultivate commercially viable flat-panel antennas for O3b mPower, its next-generation constellation, having contracted with Viasat, Alcan Systems and Isotropic Systems last year to build electronically steered antennas. "

"ThinKom’s approach differs from SES’s other three partners in that its antennas don’t use electronic steering, despite being relatively flat. The aeronautical antenna it is testing with SES is 20 centimeters thick and uses mechanical systems to track satellites. "

"Whereas a ThinKom antenna requires around half a second to switch satellites, an electronically steered antenna has the potential to switch in microseconds"

"ThinKom is targeting $10,000 for enterprise, or business-grade, terminals. ... For consumer terminals, ThinKom is targeting “sub-$1,000” prices."
ThinKom  SES  MEO  NGSO  satellite  antennas  Telesat  O3b  LEO 
october 2018 by pierredv
LeoSat and partners put satellites on a diet - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"“If we can get the number of required launches down from 14 to seven or from 12 to six, we could make savings that take the $3.5 billion plus down to close to $3 billion,” Rigolle said. “If the per unit cost of building the satellites could be pushed down by a few million a piece, it chips at the cost and improves the total viability of the project.”"
LeoSat  business  satellite  SpaceNews  NGSO  constellation 
october 2018 by pierredv
Analysts see demand for two or three megaconstellations - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"While there may be enough customer demand for two or three megaconstellations, it will be difficult for the ventures to attract enough financing, according to analysts speaking at the Satellite Innovation conference here."

Chris Quilty, president of Quilty Analytics, a financial services firm based in St. Petersburg, Florida, sees demand for two or three constellations serving distinct markets like broadband and machine-to-machine communications."

"Nick Flitterman, co-founder and telecommunications head for Portland Advisers, a financial advisory firm based in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, sees global demand for two or three megaconstellations but said it will be difficult to finance that many."
SpaceNews  satellite  NGSO  constellations  investing  finance  business 
october 2018 by pierredv
Satellite Big Data 3L’s: Location, Location, Location — NSR's Big Data Analytics , Satnews Daily Sep 2018
Article by Shivaprakash Muruganandham, NSR Analys

"NSR’s Big Data Analytics via Satellite, 2nd Edition report identifies seven vertical markets as growth areas, and more than 70 percent of the share is held by the Transportation, Government and Military (Gov/Mil) and Energy markets throughout the forecast period."

Transportation

"The mobile nature of the transportation segment ensures that it remains important throughout the next decade, with nearly 1 out of every three dollars spent on SBD coming from land, maritime and aeronautical transport segments."

Government & Military

"NSR finds growth in this sector to be largely driven by the rise of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT), with EO applications growing at nearly twice the rate of M2M/IoT SATCOM applications"

Energy

"M2M/IoT SATCOM will continue to play a major role in Energy, due to the remote nature of asset locations and the absence of terrestrial solutions."

"NSR’s considers that EO satellite-based analytics services are expected to grow in importance for this vertical, despite competition from unmanned aerial system (UAS) alternatives. This growth will be fueled by the rise of new sensing capabilities such as methane tracking and emissions monitoring solutions for O&G companies looking to mitigate financial risks."
NSR  market-research  satellite  data-analytics  Satnews  EO  remote-sensing  UAS 
october 2018 by pierredv
The ROI Challenge of IoT Smallsats - NSR, Oct 2018
"In the recently released M2M and IoT via Satellite, 9th Edition report, NSR projected over 3.7 million smallsat IoT in-service units by 2027; this will generate approx. $133 million in retail revenues during the same year, but it only represents an overall share of only 5% of total satellite M2M/IoT revenues. ARPUs will be low on smallsat IoT networks"

"To turn a profit on these small satellite constellations purely from IoT, millions of IoT devices will be required. On each constellation. With only several million connected devices to come online on smallsats over the coming decade, competition will be extremely fierce between the 15+ constellations for this purpose, with most either merging or never actually launching."

"Further, satellite renewals must be considered, as the average life span for these satellites is up to 3 years. Any launch failure would significantly impact latency and IoT performance. Nonetheless, NSR expects a few smallsat IoT constellations to reach positive ROIs within the next 10 years, assuming additional financing is available to maintain positive cash flow over the first few years of launch."

"Low data rates (a few bytes) per packet transferred are fine for now; however, this fails to consider the growth of data requirements coming from big data analysis. This results in additional levels of data that will be transmitted, despite more analysis being done at the ‘edge’ and not transmitted via satellite. This is where ‘bigsat’ constellations such as Iridium NEXT and Globalstar’s second generation network come into play."

Bottom line: "the ROI on comparatively low-cost CAPEX of smallsats is depressed by even lower ARPUs and end-user demand."
NSR  market-research  business  satellite  smallsats  IoT  M2M  investing  Kepler  Iridium  Globalstar 
october 2018 by pierredv
Audacy customer MOUs top $100 million - SpaceNews.com Oct 2018
"Customers for Audacy, a Silicon Valley startup, have signed memoranda of understanding to spend more than $100 million annually on the company’s proposed inter-satellite data relay network"

"Audacy plans to send satellites into medium Earth orbit in 2020 to provide data relay services for satellites, human spaceflight missions and launch vehicle operators. The Mountain View, California, company has raised about $11.1 million to date"

"Audacy is constructing two ground stations, which it plans to begin operating in April 2019. One is near the firm’s Mountain View headquarter. The second is in Singapore"
SpaceNews  Audacy  NGSO  satellite  business 
october 2018 by pierredv
Insight-as-a-Service for Satellite Networks - NSR Sep 2018
"The terrestrial telecom industry is fast shifting towards 5G networks, with Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) forming key parts of major strategic efforts. This is seen in multiple market movements where organizations such as Verizon, AT&T and Ericsson have begun to shift towards adopting SDN/NFV approaches to manage increasingly complex networks. But what does this mean for satellite players, and how can they remain competitive?

With satellite operators beginning to unlock value behind pixels and bits, the industry is moving downstream towards a data-driven application business. Earth Observation (EO) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) / Internet-of-Things (IoT) satcom stand at an inflection point. While most of the opportunity will remain in the application layer, a parallel story is emerging in the network layer as well."

"NSR’s Big Data Analytics via Satellite, 2nd Edition report establishes the revenue potential for satellite big data lies largely in the Transportation, Gov/Mil and Energy markets."

"A major driving force of this growth is the increasing complexity of networks."

"... in late 2017, SES used dynamic bandwidth allocation based on SDN principles on its O3b fleet."
NSR  satellite  5G  SDN  NFV  EO  remote-sensing  M2M  IoT  market-research  SES  O3b 
september 2018 by pierredv
Capella Space raises $19 million for radar constellation - SpaceNews.com Sep 2018
"Capella Space, a startup planning a constellation of radar imaging satellites, has raised an additional $19 million to fund continued development of its system. ... has raised approximately $35 million to date...

That funding will support development of what Capella Space ultimately plans to be a 36-satellite constellation providing synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery with hourly revisit times. "

"SAR offers the benefit of being able to collect imagery regardless of time of day or amount of cloud cover, unlike optical imagery. However, it’s also had a reputation for being more difficult to work with, an issue Banazadeh said is fading with the rise of automated systems to interpret the imagery and extract the desired information."

Matt Ocko of DCVC: “Commodity trading, urban development, critical infrastructure, shipping and security: businesses across the board realize that milliseconds matter in today’s global economy, and a steady stream of reliable, easily accessible Earth information just does not exist.”

"Commercially, he said major customers will likely come from the infrastructure monitoring, maritime and agricultural markets."
SpaceNews  remote-sensing  EO  CapellaSpace  satellite  SAR  radar 
september 2018 by pierredv
M2M and IoT via Satellite, 9th Edition - NSR - Sep 2018
From press release in email 9/23, dd 9/25, "NSR Report: Smallsats to Accelerate M2M/IoT Satcom Market"

"NSR’s M2M and IoT via Satellite, 9th Edition report forecasts smallsat M2M/IoT constellations are set to propel market growth via low latency, low cost, albeit low ARPU, service. NSR’s first time forecast for this emerging smallsat market shows tremendous potential with 3.7 million M2M/IoT in-service units projected by 2027, representing 37% of overall satcom terminals."

"constellations such as Astrocast, Hiber, Kepler Communications and many more will target satcom M2M/IoT applications with ARPUs set to $1 per month or even lower"

"viability of new smallsat constellations in this market is more likely than their large LEO telecom counterparts due to much lower system CAPEX"
NSR  satellite  market-research  IoT  M2M  business 
september 2018 by pierredv
Astrocast on satellite mission to fill in coverage for IoT | FierceWireless Sep 2018
"Astrocast, a Lausanne, Switzerland-based company, is preparing to launch a constellation of satellites that could be used to “fill in” areas that cellular IoT technologies don’t cover."

“We are very low speed, low data rate, small data packets and designed for battery-operated small form factor devices,” said Bryan Eagle, U.S.-based vice president at Astrocast, in an interview with FierceWirelessTech. “That’s really our sweet spot. We’re much more an extension of NB-IoT, LoRa, Sigfox, than we are any relation to the OneWeb” or something of that nature.

"Fabien Jordan, CEO and founder to Astrocast, said the goal eventually is to have 64 operational nanosatellites to offer global coverage, and that likely will be complete in the end of 2020 timeframe."

"The company is using the L-Band, with spectrum ascertained through the Swiss national regulator."
FierceWireless  IoT  satellite  nanosatellites  smallsats 
september 2018 by pierredv
Can OneWeb Cross the Valley of Death? - NSR Sep 2018
Blog doesn't answer the question the headline poses - but hints No.

"OneWeb has accomplished a significant feat by raising the most funding – $1.7 billion – offering it a tremendous benefit over other similar LEO constellations. However, despite this notable amount, the question remains – is it enough to support and sustain this mega constellation, or is it just buzz and hype?"

"NSR considers OneWeb is currently placed between the technology transfer and product launch phases and will soon enter the said valley [of death]."

"NSR estimated a total CAPEX of over $5 Billion for OneWeb- which is $2 billion over the originally expected total CAPEX of around $3 billion. Considering this CAPEX value, a total available funding amount of $1.7 billion to date and a valuation of capacity as well as service revenue streams from various applications, NSR estimates a negative ROI over the next 10 years, which is attenuated further with the recently announced (and later retracted) confusing news of a $6 billion associated CAPEX."

"The dismissal of landing right requests (such is the case in Russia) also poses a significant threat to the success of OneWeb, as does the heavy recurring cost of fleet replenishment every 7-10 years."

"Market readiness, however, is a probable barrier for OneWeb."
NSR  OneWeb  business  satellite  NGSO  LEO 
september 2018 by pierredv
NSR Report: Non-GEO Satellites to Dominate Supply, Adding over 25 Tbps in Next Decade - NSR
"NSR’s Global Satellite Capacity Supply & Demand, 15th Edition report finds Non-GEO Satellite (NGSO) annual capacity revenues will skyrocket to $4 billion by 2027. These networks offer a new set of attributes for customers such as low latency, full mesh connectivity, or high-bandwidth per terminal, and will be key to unlocking new greenfield markets. However, CAPEX exposure is massive, and new revenue drivers might not be enough to pay back initial investments. Consequently, there is a risk of price disruption for the entire industry if these new players dump capacity to poach customers from legacy verticals."
NSR  market-research  satellite  business  NGSO 
september 2018 by pierredv
The FSS sector and the LEO-GEO stalemate - SpaceNews.com Sep 2018
"Orders for traditional geostationary satellites have fallen precipitously over the past three years. Industry counts show orders dropped from 26 GEO orders in 2014, to 15 in 2016 and seven in 2017. Most observers don’t believe 2018 will be much better. There are many reasons for the decline, ranging from a plateau in satellite video distribution to rapidly evolving high-throughput satellite (HTS) and digital payload technology that has created overcapacity in some segments and makes operators anxious about ordering long-life satellites that may soon be obsolete. These risks might be manageable if not for the planned low Earth orbit (LEO) constellations, with their promises of lower pricing, amplifying pricing and capacity concerns."

"The lack of clarity over the satellite industry’s future has led to an incredible standoff. On the one hand, the satellite industry is in a situation where investment in geostationary satellites is stalled due to uncertainties over the long-term industry outlook, particularly when LEO constellations enter. On the other hand, investment in LEO constellations is stalled due to shorter-term concerns about the availability of affordable consumer hardware."

"Will a LEO antenna manufacturer emerge to meet the performance and price targets needed to break this deadlock or will there be a realization that the technical challenges are insurmountable? "
LEO  GEO  opinion  NGSO  satellite  antennas  Armand-Musey 
september 2018 by pierredv
LEO-HTS Constellations Present Great Promise but Challenging Business Cases - NSR May 2018
"NSR’s industry-first Satellite Constellations: A Critical Analysis report, released today, forecasts a mixed outcome for large HTS constellations. NSR predicts two, out of the five Non-GEO HTS constellations analyzed, do not have a viable business case and will not be sustainable, if launched. The remaining three will generate 12% of overall satcom market revenues over the next decade. Costly systems and replenishment cycles, matched against funding challenges, demand questions, and extraordinary technical and regulatory complexity, will separate contenders from pretenders in the high stakes constellations market."

“The reduced launch and manufacturing costs are indeed enabling trends; however, there are still many challenges, like those associated with ground infrastructure costs and acquisition of landing rights, that must be overcome to build a feasible business model. The benefits from economies of scale, which mega-constellations rely upon, are generally not enough to counter these other challenges,”
NSR  market-research  business  satellite  HTS  NGSO  satellite-constellations 
september 2018 by pierredv
The battle for more satellite bandwidth - POLITICO
Tom Stroup pushes for satellite:

"... in some of the working groups there seems to be a disconnect between space policy and the role we play in 5G services and the spectrum that will be made available for 5G services and the need for harmonization throughout the world."
Politico  space  5G  satellite  SIA  interviews 
september 2018 by pierredv
Amid concerns, OneWeb gets vague about constellation’s cost - SpaceNews.com
Jeff Foust's summary: "Speaking at World Satellite Business Week, Eric Béranger, president and COO of OneWeb, would no longer affirm that the company's satellites would cost $500,000 each, instead saying the satellites would cost less than $1 million. Other analysts project the satellites to cost $700,000 to $900,000 each once large-scale production gets underway. OneWeb, meanwhile, has assigned the CEO role that Béranger prevuously had to Adrian Steckel, making Steckel OneWeb's fourth CEO is as many years. "

"OneWeb in 2015 set the goal of building 900 satellites for $500,000 each or less, with the total estimated cost of building, launching and operating the constellation at $3.5 billion. ... Asked by SpaceNews if the satellites could still come in under $500,000 each, Béranger said only that they were now “below $1 million” per unit. Industry analysts who follow OneWeb said as recently as August that OneWeb is looking at roughly $700,000 to $900,000 per satellite"

"OneWeb has raised $1.7 billion in equity since 2015, with Japanese tech giant SoftBank providing $1 billion of that total."
SpaceNews  OneWeb  satellite  NGSO  business  investing 
september 2018 by pierredv
Kepler, Phasor test flat panel antenna with LEO cubesat - SpaceNews.com Sep 2018
"Startups Kepler Communications and Phasor said Sept. 10 that they successfully demonstrated a link between Kepler’s cubesat and a Phasor flat panel antenna."

The test, according to the companies, “represents the first example of a wideband [low-Earth orbit] satellite to have been auto-acquired, auto-tracked, and communicated with, by a commercial flat panel, electronically-steerable antenna.”

"the tests show the company should be able to achieve a 10 Mbps downlink, 10 Mbps uplink connection with a 30-square-centimeter Phasor antenna."
SpaceNews  Kepler  Phasor  satellite  NGSO  antennas  LEO 
september 2018 by pierredv
47 U.S. Code § 765f - Satellite auctions | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission shall not have the authority to assign by competitive bidding orbital locations or spectrum used for the provision of international or global satellite communications services. The President shall oppose in the International Telecommunication Union and in other bilateral and multilateral fora any assignment by competitive bidding of orbital locations or spectrum used for the provision of such services.
satellite  auctions  legislation 
september 2018 by pierredv
Orbcomm - Wikipedia
ORBCOMM (NASDAQ: ORBC) is an American company that offers industrial Internet of things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M)[1] communications solutions designed to track, monitor, and control fixed and mobile assets in markets including transportation, heavy equipment, maritime, oil and gas, utilities and government. The company provides hardware devices, modems, web applications and data services delivered over multiple satellite and cellular networks.
Wikipedia  LEO  satellite 
september 2018 by pierredv
Using Satellite Data to Scale Smallholder Agricultural Insurance | CGAP Sep 2018
"This paper looks beyond the excitement of the vast possibilities for satellite data applications to promote scale in smallholder agricultural insurance. It documents lessons learned from using these data to reduce the costs and improve the quality of smallholder agricultural insurance in Nigeria and Kenya. "
CGAP  development-assistance  finance  insurance  satellite  agriculture  Nigeria  Kenya  remote-sensing  EO 
september 2018 by pierredv
Kepler Communications opens launch bids for Gen-1 LEO constellation - SpaceNews.com, aug 2018
"Kepler Communications announced Aug. 28 it is accepting bids from launch providers to orbit its first-generation constellation of up to 15 cubesats, but with the stipulation that the launches must happen within two years."

"Kepler plans to operate 140 satellites in low Earth orbit to provide Internet of Things connectivity to devices on the ground and to act as a relay network for other satellites by using intersatellite links. Mitry said Kepler intends to scale up fast, with the Gen-1 constellation in service by late 2020 or early 2021, a second generation of up to 50 satellites by the end of 2021, and the full 140-satellite constellation operational by the end of 2022. "

"Kepler has yet to sign a manufacturing agreement for the full 140 satellite constellation."

"Each satellite will have a mass of 12 to 15 kilograms ... the Gen-1 satellites will be slightly heavier than the prototypes because those lack intersatellite links"

"Kepler has also yet to determine if its fleet will have on-board propulsion, he said. From an altitude between 520 and 600 kilometers, Kepler’s satellites will have a design life of three to five years, he said. "
Kepler  NGSO  launch  satellite  IoT 
august 2018 by pierredv
Milking the “Cow” or Shooting for the “Stars” - Northern Sky Research Aug 2018
"While HTS attracts the hype and promises rapid revenue growth, the truth is that today, FSS, and most specifically video, continues to be the bread and butter of satellite operators. According to NSR’s Global Satellite Capacity Supply and Demand, 15th Edition report, cumulative satellite capacity revenues over the next 10 years will surpass $189 billion, with widebeam FSS still driving 53% of these revenues. How should satellite operators balance growth and revenues?"

"Several HTS payloads have been slow in attracting customers as the operators underestimated the effort to develop sales channels. Similarly, network management for a widebeam satellite is much simpler than for an HTS satellite."
NSR  satellite  HTS  GEO  FSS  business  market-research 
august 2018 by pierredv
Cruising for Higher Throughputs - Northern Sky Research Aug 2018
"From 300 Mbps to MSC cruises announced by Marlink in June 2017 to the most recent 3.2 Gbps of throughput delivered to a Carnival Cruise Line Ship in May of 2018, there are few satellite sectors that are seeing such record levels of growth to a customer’s single location . With over 570 Gbps of throughput growth expected between 2017 – 2027 according to NSR’s Maritime SATCOM Report, what applications are driving this growth? "
NSR  satellite  broadband  maritime  GSO  NGSO 
august 2018 by pierredv
Viasat’s Dankberg explains medium Earth orbit thinking, global expansion strategy - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"Viasat is still working on a medium-Earth-orbit satellite constellation idea revealed almost two years ago, but has not finalized what that system would look like, Mark Dankberg, CEO of Viasat, said Aug. 9. Viasat is “putting a bunch of work” into optimizing a 24-satellite system disclosed in a 2016 application to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission that would provide connectivity using Ka-band and the lesser used V-band spectrum. "

“The direction we’ve been looking at is really looking at the non-GEO and the GEO as an integrated system, and that relieves that constraint. We don’t have to use the non-GEO to provide coverage everywhere.”

Viasat’s approach to globalization is to “really understand each market and be able to deliver services to end users in those markets, not just sell to intermediaries,” [Mark Dankberg] said.
SpaceNews  Viasat  MEO  NGSO  satellite  business 
august 2018 by pierredv
Small satellite sector grapples with cybersecurity requirements, cost - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"For cybersecurity experts, it’s clearcut: smallsat operators should take the same precautions as large satellite operators, including encrypting uplinks and downlinks, safeguarding ground stations and monitoring network activity."

"In many cases, however, small satellite developers and operators are not focusing on cybersecurity. Many of the hallmarks of the rapidly growing sector — low-cost satellites, lean operations and continual hardware and software improvements — are the same characteristics that make cybersecurity challenging."

"Gregory Falco, a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center Cyber Security Project, underscores the threat posed by internet connections. Falco, who has focused extensively on the Internet of Things, equates cubesats to IoT devices."
SpaceNews  smallsats  satellite  cybersecurity 
august 2018 by pierredv
Smallsat developers focus on improving reliability - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"As cubesats and other smallsats transition from technology demonstration and student projects to operational missions supporting a growing array of applications, companies large and small are working to improve their reliability. ... The on-orbit performance of cubesats has long been a sore point."

[Jeroen Cappaert, a co-founder] said Spire is now considering providing mission services to companies, who they would fly their payloads on Spire satellites. “We think of Spire today as a data provider, but we’re also a mission provider,” he said. “We’ve built all this infrastructure and we think we can provide value to other companies that don’t necessarily want to spend the time and capital building all this from scratch.”

"[NanoRacks] has, to date, deployed 223 satellites from the ISS"
SpaceNews  satellite  Spire  business  smallsats  NanoRacks 
august 2018 by pierredv
Iridium posts sharply higher revenue, forecasts decade-long capex holiday - SpaceNews.com Aug 2018
"With seven of eight launches completed for Iridium Next, its $3 billion second-generation constellation, Iridium is poised to begin a 10-year “capex holiday,” CEO Matt Desch said during a call with investors, projecting a reduction to $35 million in annual spending after the final launch. McLean, Virginia-based Iridium spent $132 million in capital expenditures the past three months, most of it on Iridium Next."

"... reiterated that Iridium is on track to complete the full constellation of 75 in-orbit satellites this year. "

"Desch said 80 percent of Iridium’s telecom traffic is traveling over Next satellites, of which 65 are in orbit. ... The full Iridium Next constellation consists of 66 operational satellites, nine orbiting spares and six ground spares."

"Iridium subscribers totaled 1,047,000 at the end of June, up 15 percent year over year, with commercial IoT subscribers counting for 576,000, up 25 percent from the same time in 2017. "

"Desch declined to describe pricing for the new contract Iridium is working on, but hinted that Iridium is pitching Certus, its new higher throughput broadband offering, to the government in addition to traditional services of secure voice, push to talk, and IoT narrowband connectivity."
Iridium  business  space  satellite  broadband  IoT 
august 2018 by pierredv
MEO startup Methera plans “high density” HTS constellation - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"In medium Earth orbit, the only system providing satellite broadband today is SES Networks’ constellation of 16 O3b satellites. A British startup with its own 16-satellite constellation idea wants to change that. Methera Global Communications estimates it needs $500 million to build and launch a constellation of satellites each equipped with 40 gigabits of capacity to beam down Ka-band connectivity to highly concentrated areas. If successful, Methera will launch its first spacecraft in 2022, with service starting that same year."

" “Instead of trying to put a thin veneer of coverage around the globe, what we’re doing is looking at a small number of targets where we will put lots of capacity,” [CEO Chris McIntosh] said. Methera’s 700-kilogram satellites — the same mass as the first-generation O3b satellites — will hone capacity on extremely specific locations, targeting a small number of high-value customers "

"But positioning the satellites in medium Earth orbit means customers of Methera’s system will need advanced antennas that can track the satellites as they move relative to the Earth’s surface. ... O3b faced the same challenge and, finding flat panel, electronically steerable antennas commercially unavailable, started service in 2014 with terminals using two dishes ensuring a constant link for uninterrupted service. ... Methera is focusing initially on parabolic antennas as well"

"Methera has a pending application with the U.K.’s telecom regulator Ofcom to license its low-latency satellite system, McIntosh said. The company has not applied for market access in the U.S. with the Federal Communications Commission because the U.S. is not an area of initial focus, he said. "

"16 satellites in 18,000-kilometer polar orbits — about 2,000 kilometers below the U.S. Air Force’s GPS satellites"
SpaceNews  Methera  UK  NGSO  MEO  satellite  broadband  O3b  antennas  Ofcom 
august 2018 by pierredv
Satellite Constellations: Too Much of a Good Thing? - Northern Sky Research, Aug 2018
"LEO constellations, theoretically, benefit from economies of scale [but] it is crucial to recognize the point where the variable costs start to outweigh the fixed cost benefits, and the cost save turns into cost disadvantages, also known as diseconomies of scale."

"To support the production of satellite constellations ... will most definitely result in bottlenecks within the industry with further increase in internal diseconomies of scale for operators as well as for the suppliers."

"At a certain point, the additional satellites for the larger constellation continue to increase the costs but are unable to produce revenues at the same rate, resulting in a lower ROI for the 4,425-satellite [SpaceX] constellation."
NSR  space  satellite  constellations  economics  business  SpaceX 
august 2018 by pierredv
Telesat picks Airbus Defence and Space as second constellation design partner - SpaceNews.com aug 2018
"Telesat awarded a second constellation design contract Aug. 1, choosing Airbus Defence and Space to begin studies on the company’s proposed system of 117 low Earth orbit communications satellites.

The contract follows a similar deal awarded July 30 to a team of Maxar Technologies and Thales Alenia Space."

"Airbus is already under contract to build 900 small telecom satellites for OneWeb, producing the first 10 in France before shifting production to a new $85 million factory in Florida."

"It is not clear what role OneWeb Satellites could play in building satellites for Telesat. Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO, told SpaceNews earlier this summer that the satellites Telesat envisions will be materially larger than the 145-kilogram satellites OneWeb plans."

“They are more substantial, larger, more complex satellites than some of the other LEO constellations because we’ve got phased array antennas and onboard processing in addition to the [inter-satellite link] terminals,” Hudson said of Telesat LEO.
SpaceNews  Telesat  Airbus  space  broadband  satellite  business  antennas 
august 2018 by pierredv
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