What if satellites alone are not the best solution to mobile connectivity demand? Under its newly announced Orchestra initiative, Inmarsat wants to take a different tack. The company plans to layer multiple communications technologies, adding terrestrial services and LEO satellites to the existing GEO satellite footprint. Traffic will route via the best available network at any given time.
How does a major satellite connectivity company solve the problem of congestion at crowded (air)ports without disrupting billions of dollars in existing infrastructure? It is an answer that, much like the network (and ogres), comes with lots of layers.
Another small satellite constellation is coming, this time from a rather unlikely source. Inflight entertainment and connectivity middle-man Anuvu (formerly Global Eagle) will bring MicroGEO satellites into service, launching its first constellation in partnership with next-generation satellite manufacturer Astranis.
Chapter 11 is disappearing quickly from the rear view mirror. Satellite launches resumed and the constellation continues to grow. And earlier this month a new deal regarding an in-flight connectivity terminal and antenna solution helped buoy the company’s position further. To say that OneWeb is on a roll lately might be a massive understatement.
Viasat reported its annual results Tuesday afternoon with record revenue. The company also announced a couple surprises, with a new wide-body airline customer for its inflight connectivity solution and a change of plans for its future satellite constellation.
The (re)relaunched Eastern Airlines wants to deliver on its promise of a broad geographic footprint. The carrier applied for DoT permission to grow its scheduled service fleet from one aircraft to three, allowing it to bring new routes to market. Following its recent approval to operate flights to Mexico it announced its intentions to serve Cabo San Lucas from its JFK home in March 2020.
United’s newest aircraft type takes flight this week and the CRJ550 interior really is as special as the company has been hyping. Airbus orders and Boeing delays plus some fancy new wifi and upgraded airports on the horizon. Another busy PaxEx week.
Blending GEO and MEO satellites delivers a hybrid of coverage, performance, and cost that is hard to beat. SES, Thales, HughesNet, and Thinkom are on the cusp of delivering a commercially-viable solution in this space.
Cutting the cost for delivering satellites into space is a key factor to increasing capacity and improving coverage in the inflight connectivity market. SpaceX and Arianespace both announced programs today that will help on this front.
ThinKom’s new Ka2517 aero satcom antenna is the latest to prove its viability for mixed orbit satellite constellations. The company successfully tested with the Telesat Phase 1 LEO satellite from June 10-14 at Telesat’s Allan Park facility in Ontario, Canada.