Say hello to the next generation of L-band satellite connectivity. Inmarsat ELERA, unveiled this week, promises a dramatic increase in bandwidth, smaller terminals, and lower costs for the narrow-band market. This should drive a significant boost in aircraft safety, among other facets.
Geosynchronous Earth Orbit
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.
The OneWeb constellation moved significantly closer to completion this week, with a successful launch and a $550 million investment secured from Eutelsat.
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.
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.