Hiber in deal with Shell for remote IoT monitoring of wells via HiberHilo

Dutch satellite asset tracking start-up Hiber has signed an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to provide worldwide well monitoring systems. The global framework agreement will allow all Shell entities and subsidiaries to use the HiberHilo product worldwide for Industrial IoT applications.

HiberHilo, launched in October 2020, is an end-to-end IoT system that makes adds data and security to monitoring. Based on satellite technology, the system will enable oil and gas companies to measure real-time well temperature and pressure at disconnected wells in remote and offshore locations. HiberHilo is already installed in Shell operations in the North Sea. Shell is considering using HiberHilo for various operations in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

“After testing HiberHilo, the opportunity was clear,” said Ian Taylor, Global Principal Technical Expert for well integrity at Shell. Operations in South-east Asia, the Middle East, and Africa are considering HiberHilo.

“HiberHilo is a simple solution to help oil and gas companies improve safety, optimize operations, and reduce their environmental footprint,” said Coen Jansen, Hiber’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We’re thrilled to be working with Shell toward a technologically cleaner future. Hiber’s mission is connecting everything everywhere to deliver productivity and sustainability in global industrial IoT,” he added.

Shell plans to use HiberHilo to reduce travel to and from wells in remote locations. The system will also let the company to gain more data on their well performance and better monitor well integrity issues, improving the safety of remote and offshore oil and gas wells.

Image Credit:  Hiber Global

Hiber, founded in 2016 in the Netherlands, designs, builds and operates end to end solutions for the Internet of Things, focused on industrial uses such as well integrity or heavy equipment monitoring.  The company is working on a network of 50 satellites aimed at making the ‘Internet of Things’ available all over the world.  Its Hiberband network is described on their webpage as follows:

Hiberband is the world’s first LPGAN (Low Power Global Area Network) and it changes everything. It’s low cost thanks to using tiny nano satellites at a low orbit of just 600km above Earth. Unlike traditional satellite and cellular operators who launch gigantic, super expensive satellites at 60x higher with much higher costs.

Low orbit also means low power with modem batteries lasting 5-10 years. Just one of many factors that make experimenting with Hiberband-enabled devices a developer’s dream. We’ve even secured priority on our own dedicated frequency. Which is why everyone at Hiber believes Hiberband is the future of IoT connectivity.

Hiber acquired a new space permit in July 2020. On 29 February, the company launched a second-generation satellite into orbit through a SpaceX launch. A second Soyuz rocket launch followed in March. At the end of March, Hiber received an investment of  26 million EUROs to further expand its IoT satellite network.  The funding came from the European Innovation Council Fund (EIC Fund), the EU’s innovation agency, which has a €278 million Innovation Fund. The EIC co-invested with an innovation credit provided by the Dutch government and existing shareholders. Other investors include Finch Capital, Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Hartenlust Group. Hiber’s satellite constellation tracks and monitors machines and devices in harder-to-reach places.

References:

https://hiber.global/

https://hiber.global/press/hiberhilo-shell-deal/

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/hiber-signs-iiot-agreement-with-shell–1397276

Hiber signs deal with Shell for remote IoT well monitoring system

 

Shell hands major IoT contracts for oil well and refinery monitoring to Dutch startups

IoT satellite network startup Hiber secures €26M in funding round led by EU’s innovation agency

https://hiber.global/press/hiberhilo-wts-venture/

 

 

SpaceX and KDDI to test Satellite Internet in Japan

KDDI, Japan’s second-largest mobile provider, has emerged as one of SpaceX’s partners in rolling out high-speed wireless Internet coverage via satellites, according to Nikkei Asia.  It’s all part of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s goal of connecting the entire world to the internet via satellites.

SpaceX has launched hundreds of Starlink telecommunications satellites with the goal of fully starting services in Japan by the end of the year. KDDI and SpaceX will begin a network proving test in Japan this month, and coverage is expected to be commercially available next year.

The two companies will start by offering internet service to customers living in mountainous regions and islands for no additional charge. The satellite network will also serve as backup in case terrestrial telecom lines are disrupted during natural disasters or blackouts.

Once Satellite Internet service coverage increases, Starlink could field a network for smart devices, which would be used for data collection in sparsely populated places or for drone operation in otherwise hard-to-access areas.

The transmission of visuals and other large pieces of data will allow officials to remotely monitor volcanic eruptions or floods or inspect bridges and electrical towers.

For farmers, Starlink will allow them to monitor weather and crop conditions so they are better informed of when to fertilize or harvest.

Terrestrial telecom infrastructure involves a web of base stations, switching stations, fiber optic cables and backbone networks. Starlink will connect data transmissions between phones and base stations to backbone networks via satellites.

The new service is expected to provide a low-cost communications infrastructure for low-population areas because it renders fiber optic cables unnecessary. KDDI will add satellite communication antennas to base stations and install a new SpaceX transmission station at the Yamaguchi Satellite Communication Center.

Japan still has a few areas with incomplete telecom networks. At the end of March, about 9,900 people lived in locations with no mobile coverage. Even in areas with wireless coverage, it is often hard to connect with devices on islands.

KDDI covers over 90% of the population with 4G communication, but so-called platinum frequency band only extends over 60% of the land area.

A Starlink satellite can exchange signals across more than 1,000 km with low latency. The satellites orbit at lower altitudes than conventional communication satellites, which hover about 36,000 km above ground. The lower altitudes are said to enable faster communication compared to normal satellite services.

Such satellite networks services need approval from Japan’s communications ministry before operations can begin. The ministry amended rules in August that opened the doors to SpaceX launching internet services in Japan. Both SpaceX and KDDI plan to obtain licenses by the end of the year.

Back when KDDI has been strong in satellite control signals ever since the company was known as Kokusai Denshin Denwa. The carrier has collaborated with SpaceX on the technological front since last year.

This current partnership entails SpaceX providing the satellites while KDDI takes care of terrestrial telecom connections.

Musk mentioned “two quite significant partnerships with major country telcos” in June during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Although Musk did not disclose the companies’ names, it turns out that KDDI is one of them.

SpaceX will use the service rollout in Japan, where customers expect high-quality connections, as the model for a global network.

SpaceX has been launching Starlink satellites at a rapid pace. About 400 units alone were sent into space in 12-month period starting May 2019, according to NASA. More than 1,500 of the satellites are believed to be currently in orbit.

Musk’s company will continue launching satellites until it forms a constellation of over 10,000 units. There are over 3 billion people worldwide without internet access. The expansion of services would enable the global spread of digitalization.

A satellite network will be essential for making sixth generation communication a feasible reality. Driverless vehicles and similar applications will use 6G. To prevent latencies and disruptions in service, terrestrial base stations will need to work together with satellites and aerial communication drones.

Other players are jumping into the satellite telecom business. Amazon.com is spending $10 billion to create a network of over 3,000 satellites. Japanese counterpart Rakuten Group has partnered with a U.S. startup with the goal of launching satellite-powered mobile services in the next fiscal year.

NTT, Japan’s leading telecom group, has teamed with Sky Perfect JSAT Holdings on developing what are essentially data processing centers in space. Those services are expected to go live in 2026.

References:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Telecommunication/SpaceX-and-KDDI-team-up-to-eliminate-wireless-blind-spots-in-Japan

AT&T and OneWeb: Satellite Access for Business in Remote U.S. Areas

AT&T Communications has signed a strategic agreement with OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, to harness the capabilities of satellite technology to improve access for AT&T business customers into remote and challenging  geographic locations. The new connectivity will complement existing AT&T access technologies.

Why is this important? AT&T’s leading business fiber network enables high-speed connections to over 2.5 million U.S. business customer locations. Nationwide, more than 9 million business customer locations are within 1,000 feet of AT&T fiber.  However, there are still remote areas that existing networks can’t reach with the high-speed, low-latency broadband essential to business operations.

Who can use this: AT&T will use this technology to enhance connectivity when connecting to its enterprise, small and medium-sized business and government customers as well as hard-to-reach cell towers.

Where will it work: AT&T says that more than 9 million business customer locations are within 1,000 feet of its fiber network, but that there are remote areas that remain out of reach. By riding OneWeb’s LEO-based broadband satellite constellation, AT&T believes it will be able to deliver high-speed, low-latency services to small, medium and enterprise-sized business customers in those locations.

The AT&T service will be supported by OneWeb’s network of satellites. OneWeb has launched 288 satellites and expects to attain global coverage with a total fleet of 648 satellites by the end of 2022. AT&T business and government customers in Alaska and northern U.S. states will be covered later this year.

Image source: Roscosmos, Space-Center-Vostochny and TsENKi

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What are people saying:

“Working with OneWeb, we’ll be able to enhance high-speed connectivity in places that we don’t serve today and meet our customers wherever they are,” said Scott Mair, President, Network Engineering and Operations, AT&T. “We’re expanding our network with one more option to help ensure that our business customers have the high-speed, low-latency connectivity they need to thrive as the nation recovers from COVID-19.”

“OneWeb’s enterprise-grade network has a unique capability to serve hard-to-reach businesses and communities. Our work with AT&T will focus on how satellite technology can support improved capacity and coverage in remote, rural and challenging geographic locations,” said Neil Masterson,  OneWeb Chief Executive Officer. “Today’s agreement with AT&T demonstrates OneWeb’s execution momentum and the confidence customers such as AT&T have in its services and offering.”

About OneWeb:

OneWeb is a global communications network powered from space, headquartered in London, enabling connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities. It is implementing a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites with a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals to provide an affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications service, connected to the IoT future and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere. Find out more at http://www.oneweb.world

Light Reading – Satellite Internet Competition:

OneWeb’s win with AT&T also surfaces amid growing competition in the satellite broadband sector.

Enterprise and business customers are among the targets for Viasat, which is in the process of providing global coverage with a growing fleet of high-power geosynchronous (GEO) satellites. SES also focuses on the business and government services market, and intends to hit those markets harder as it moves ahead with O3b mPower, a new global connectivity platform that will ultimately comprise a constellation of 11 medium Earth-orbit (MEO) satellites. Starlink, SpaceX’s LEO-based satellite broadband service, has largely focused on the home broadband market, but has hinted at ambitions to serve connectivity to planes, trucks and other moving vehicles.

OneWeb recently landed a $300 million investment from South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Systems, which secured an 8.8% stake in OneWeb and a board seat. Other investors include India’s Bharti Airtel (35% stake), the UK government (almost 20%), and Japan’s SoftBank Group, France’s Eutelsat and Hughes Network Systems.

Earlier this month, OneWeb inked a $1 billion-plus insurance agreement through broker/risk advisor Marsh as it prepares for its next phase of deployments.

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About AT&T Communications:

AT&T helps family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we @ATT innovate to improve lives. AT&T Communications is part of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). For more information, please visit us at att.com

References:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/att-and-oneweb-plan-satellite-access-for-business-in-remote-areas-across-the-us-301371306.html

https://www.lightreading.com/satellite/atandt-will-tap-into-onewebs-satellite-network-to-reach-remote-areas-/a/d-id/771944?

Ookla: Starlink’s Satellite Internet service vs competitors around the world

Starlink’s broadband internet speeds continue to outpace those of competitive satellite broadband internet providers Viasat and HughesNet, according to telecom speed tracker Ookla.

Given that satellite internet is often the only solution for folks in rural or underserved areas with little to no fixed broadband access, the Speedtest® results from HughesNet, Starlink and Viasat during Q2 2021 were encouraging.   HughesNet was a distant second at 19.73 Mbps (15.07 Mbps in Q1 2021) and Viasat third at 18.13 Mbps (17.67 Mbps in Q1 2021). None of these are as fast as the 115.22 Mbps median download speed for all fixed broadband providers in the U.S. during Q2 2021, but it beats digging twenty miles (or more) of trench to hook up to local infrastructure.

Moreover, Starlink was the only satellite internet provider in the United States with fixed-broadband-like latency figures, and median download speeds fast enough to handle most of the needs of modern online life at 97.23 Mbps during Q2 2021 (up from 65.72 Mbps in Q1 2021).

Starlink’s median download speeds in the U.S. are starting to rival those of fixed-line broadband networks, according to Ookla’s latest round of Speedtest data.

While Starlink’s U.S. download speeds are “fast enough to handle most of the needs of modern online life,” they do trail the 115.22 Mbit/s median download speed for all U.S. fixed broadband providers, Ookla explained in its report.

In some areas, Starlink’s U.S. download median speed has surpassed those of fixed wireline network providers.

In its analysis of the Ookla data, PCMag (Ookla and PCMag are both owned by Ziff Davis) notes that Starlink’s median download speed in Morgan County, Alabama, reached 168 Mbit/s. Starlink’s slowest median download speed for the U.S. in the quarter, at 64.5 Mbit/s, appeared in Madison County, Indiana.

There’s only a slight difference between Starlink and broadband wireline networks in the upstream direction.  Ookla said Starlink’s median upload speed for Q1 2021 was 13.89 Mbit/s, compared to a median upload speed of 17.18 Mbit/s among U.S. fixed wireline broadband networks.  Meanwhile, both Viasat and HughesNet trailed with median upload speeds of 3.38 Mbit/s and 2.43 Mbit/s, respectively.

Starlink’s growing network of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites continued to deliver relatively low latencies, important for apps such as online gaming and videoconferencing, when compared to geosynchronous (GEO) systems. Ookla said Starlink’s median latency in Q1 2021 was 45 milliseconds. While that was well behind the 14 milliseconds of latency found on fixed-line networks, it was considerably better than the median latency for Viasat (630 milliseconds) and HughesNet (724 milliseconds).

saw sufficient samples during Q2 2021 to analyze Starlink performance in 458 counties in the U.S. While there was about a 100 Mbps range in performance between the county with the fastest median download speed (Morgan County, Alabama at 168.30 Mbps) and the county with the slowest median download speed (Madison County, Indiana at 64.51 Mbps), even the lower-end speeds are well above the FCC’s Baseline performance tier of at least a 25 Mbps download speed. We also saw many more counties qualify for analysis during Q2 2021 than we saw in Q1 2021.

United Kingdom: Starlink beats fixed broadband providers

Starlink showed a much faster median download speed in the U.K. during Q2 2021 (108.30 Mbps) than the country’s average for fixed broadband (50.14 Mbps). Starlink’s upload speed was also slightly faster (15.64 Mbps vs. 14.76 Mbps), and the latency was pretty good, given the distance traveled (37 ms vs. 15 ms). This brings Starlink closer to contender status for consumers across the U.K., not just those stranded in internet-free zones in Northern Scotland, once the service interruptions are under control. It also shows that because satellite internet is not constrained by the infrastructure of a given country, there is the potential to radically outperform fixed broadband.

This data is changing rapidly as satellite internet providers launch new service locations and improve their technology. Ookla will be excited to see if Starlink is still the satellite provider to beat next quarter and in what other countries satellite internet provides a viable alternative to fixed broadband.

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References:

https://www.speedtest.net/insights/blog/starlink-hughesnet-viasat-performance-q2-2021/

https://www.pcmag.com/news/starlink-moves-closer-to-matching-or-even-beating-fixed-broadband-speeds

https://www.lightreading.com/satellite/starlink-speeds-accelerate-in-q2-ookla-says-/a/d-id/771322?

Starlink now covers all of UK; Plans to connect vehicles with satellite Internet service

OneWeb Launches 36 LEO satellites, 254 in orbit, funding deals & UK coverage too!

OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, announced the successful launch of another 36 satellites to mark the completion of its ‘Five to 50’ mission.

The latest launch takes OneWeb’s in-orbit constellation to 254 satellites, or 40% of OneWeb’s planned fleet of 648 LEO satellites that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. OneWeb intends to make global service available in 2022.

With this major milestone, the company is ready to deliver connectivity across the United Kingdom, Canada, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, and the Arctic Region.  Commercial satellite Internet service should be rolled out by the end of 2021 with a global service following next year, the company said.

Service demonstrations will begin this summer in several key locations – including Alaska and Canada – as OneWeb prepares for commercial service in the next six months. Offering enterprise-grade connectivity services, the Company has already announced distribution partnerships across several industries and businesses including with BT, ROCK Network, AST Group, PDI, Alaska Communications and others, as OneWeb expands its global capabilities.

The company continues to engage with telecommunications providers, ISPs, and governments worldwide to offer its low-latency, high-speed connectivity services and sees growing demand for new solutions to connect the hardest to reach places.

The launch of the latest 36 satellites was conducted by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrom. Liftoff occurred on 1 July at 13:48 BST. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in 9 batches over a period of 3 hours 52 minutes with signal acquisition on all 36 satellites confirmed.

Image Source: Source: Roscosmos, Space-Center-Vostochny and TsENKi

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The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson, MP, said: “This latest launch of OneWeb satellites will put high-speed broadband within reach of the whole Northern Hemisphere later this year, including improving connectivity in the remotest parts of the UK.

“Backed by the British Government, OneWeb proves what is possible when public and private investment come together, putting the UK at the forefront of the latest technologies, opening up new markets, and ultimately transforming the lives of people around the world.”

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, Executive Chairman of OneWeb, said: “Today’s momentous milestone demonstrates that OneWeb is now a leader in LEO broadband connectivity, serving a wide range of stakeholders across the Northern Hemisphere. This fifth launch amid the unprecedented global pandemic is truly remarkable and I congratulate the management team and fellow shareholders on the success.

“Bharti’s doubling of its investment earlier this week is testament to the commitment to OneWeb’s mission. We now look forward to the next chapter in OneWeb’s story, preparing the company for commercial service in the less than six months to deliver our global connectivity solutions to communities around the world.”

The Rt. Hon. Kwasi Kwarteng, MP, Secretary of State, BEIS, added: “Today’s launch is an exciting milestone in providing some of the world’s most remote locations with fast, UK-backed broadband less than a year since British government investment made this possible. With yet another successful mission, the people of the UK can be proud that this country is at the heart of the latest advances in small satellite technology.

“OneWeb’s coverage across the Northern Hemisphere now puts the United Kingdom at the forefront of the latest developments in Low Earth Orbit technology, and we will capitalise on the company’s unique position within this growing market to build a strong domestic space industry and cement our status as a global science and technology superpower.”

Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, said: “This is a truly historic moment for OneWeb, the culmination of months of positive momentum in our ‘Five to 50’ programme, increased investment from our global partners and the rapid onboarding of new customers. We are incredibly excited to start delivering high-speed, low-latency connectivity first to the UK and the Arctic region and to see our network scale over the coming months as we continue building to global service. Thanks to all our incredible partners who have been with us on this journey and are instrumental to making OneWeb’s mission a success.”

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Funding Deals:

OneWeb resumed satellite launches in December 2020 after emerging from bankruptcy protection with $1 billion in equity investment from a consortium of the British government and India’s Bharti Enterprises.  It has also received investment from Japan’s Softbank and Eutelsat Communications, and further financing from Bharti. OneWeb said on Tuesday it was fully-funded and had secured $2.4 billion in total.

Earlier this week, OneWeb secured another $500 million in funding, bringing its total funding to $2.4 billion. This new cash injection came from Bharti under a Call Option agreement and is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.  According to the BBC, the funding will see Bharti take a 39% stake in OneWeb, making it the company’s biggest shareholder. The UK government, Eutelsat and SoftBank will each own 19.3% of the firm.

“In just a year and during a global pandemic, together we have transformed OneWeb, bringing the operation back to full-scale,” said Bharti Global’s managing director Shravin Mittal. “With this round of financing, we complete the funding requirements.”

The funding announcement came on the heels of news that OneWeb had struck a deal with BT as the UK incumbent operator looks to improve its coverage of more remote areas.

References:

https://www.oneweb.world/media-center/oneweb-completes-its-five-to-50-mission

https://www.reuters.com/technology/oneweb-launches-satellites-roll-out-northern-internet-service-2021-07-01/

https://www.lightreading.com/satellite/oneweb-new-chapter-with-northern-hemisphere-push/d/d-id/770647?

Webcast playback Launch highlights available View on OneWeb YouTube

Launch Imagery Launch #8 Media Kit

Launch Partner Arianespace and Glavkosmos

Launch Facility Soyuz Launch Complex, Vostochny Cosmodrome

OneWeb receives investment from Eutelsat Communications; LEO satellite constellation for global internet service

Viasat realizes major milestone for its global satellite broadband plan

Viasat Inc. today announced the first satellite in its ViaSat-3 global constellation has reached a major milestone with completion of payload integration and performance testing, and shipment to the Boeing Satellite Systems facility in El Segundo, Calif.   That satellite constellation will serve the Americas and the surrounding oceans regions. Launch is targeted for early calendar year 2022.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Viasat as the first of the three high-powered ViaSat-3 satellites in our global constellation enters the final stages of production,” said Dave Ryan, president, Viasat Space & Commercial Networks. “Once complete, we will be ready to put the world’s highest-capacity single satellite into geostationary orbit to serve the world by delivering broadband to the hardest-to-reach areas anywhere — on the ground, in the air and at sea.”

Each ViaSat-3 satellite is expected to generate over 20kW of payload power, making it among the highest-power commercial satellites ever built. Just three of these satellites will cover nearly the entire globe, and are expected to deliver over 3,000 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of capacity — or 3 Terabits per second (Tbps) total — for 15 years or more.

The ViaSat-3 constellation is anticipated to have roughly eight times more capacity than Viasat’s current fleet combined. Vast amounts of bandwidth are needed to address increased demand for high speed internet access — particularly in the video streaming realm. ViaSat-3 represents a major advancement in Viasat’s mission to extend broadband internet service to the many places around the world that don’t have it.

Ryan added, “While the payload was assembled at Viasat’s Tempe, AZ facility, the effort was company-wide. From Tempe, to the antenna expertise in Duluth (GA), to Germantown (MD) for their software and systems engineering know-how and other offices around the world from Chennai, India to Lausanne, Switzerland as well as at our Carlsbad headquarters, all of these teams worked together to come up with a totally unique way to not only build this spacecraft, but to test it in record time.”

Viasat plans to launch and operate two more ViaSat-3 satellites that will serve Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the Asia Pacific (APAC) regions. The ViaSat-3 EMEA payload is expected to be delivered to Boeing in the latter part of the company’s fiscal 2022.  That will help Viasat push ahead with plans for a new set of satellites that have been slowed by the pandemic.

“I can’t predict that there won’t be any other COVID impacts,” Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s president and CEO, said on the company’s recent fiscal Q4 2021 earnings call regarding the ViaSat-3 program, noting that the second payload (for the EMEA) region is running about six months behind the first payload for the Americas. “It has definitely hit us pretty hard this last year on that payload.”

Together, the trio of ViaSat-3 satellites is expected to deliver more than 3 Tbit/s of capacity over an anticipated lifespan of at least 15 years. The ViaSat-3 constellation is expected to support about eight times more capacity than Viasat’s current satellite broadband fleet combined, the company said.

That will also be coming together amid a race to deliver satellite broadband services on a global scale. SpaceX’s Starlink service, still in beta, is progressing with a plan to launch and operate thousands of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

Last month, Viasat asked the FCC to stay an April 27 order granting SpaceX’s application to modify its LEO system until a court reviews Viasat’s request for an environmental review of Starlink’s expanding constellation of broadband satellites.

“The Commission has violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing even to assess the environmental impact of both deploying thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO) and then having those satellites ultimately disintegrate into the atmosphere,” Viasat argued in its filing. “Because the Order will allow SpaceX to cause immediate and irreparable harm to Viasat and the public at large, the Commission should stay the Order until judicial review is complete.”

About Viasat:

Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For 35 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. To learn more about Viasat, visit: www.viasat.com, go to Viasat’s Corporate Blog, or follow the Company on social media at: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitter or YouTube.

References:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/viasats-first-viasat-3-satellite-achieves-major-milestone-viasat-3-americas-currently-at-boeing-undergoing-final-spacecraft-integration-and-testing-in-preparation-for-launch-301306532.html

https://www.lightreading.com/satellite/viasats-pushes-ahead-with-global-satellite-broadband-plan-/a/d-id/770045?

 

OneWeb receives investment from Eutelsat Communications; LEO satellite constellation for global internet service

OneWeb, the satellite communications network provider [1.], announced today that it has secured $550 million in funding from Eutelsat Communications (one of the world’s leading satellite operators). That brings OneWeb’s total funding to $1.9 billion in fresh equity since it emerged from bankruptcy.

Note 1.  OneWeb is a global communications network powered by a constellation of 650 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. Headquartered in London, OneWeb is enabling high-speed, low latency connectivity for governments, businesses, and communities everywhere around the world. OneWeb’s satellites, together with a network of global gateway stations and a range of User Terminals, will provide an affordable, fast, high bandwidth, low-latency communications service connected to the IoT future, and a pathway to 5G for everyone, everywhere.

This investment is a vote of confidence in OneWeb and underscores the arrival of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites into mainstream long-term growth planning for major operators.

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OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. It’s partnership with Eutelsat, a global geostationary satellite operator, will enhance both companies’ commercial potential, leveraging Eutelsat’s established commercial reach to governments and enterprise customers in addition to its strong institutional relationships, recognized technical expertise and global fleet.

OneWeb’s ability to address multiple applications requiring low latency and ubiquity will also allow both companies to explore GEO/LEO configurations for future service integrations and packages.

OneWeb’s mission is to deliver broadband connectivity worldwide to its customers, to bridge the global digital divide by offering data connectivity, facilitating linkage to the Internet of Things (IoT) future and a pathway to 5G. OneWeb’s LEO satellite system includes a network of global gateway stations and a range of user terminals for different customer markets capable of delivering affordable, fast, high-bandwidth and low-latency communications services.

Yesterday, OneWeb successfully launched another 36 satellites into its constellation bringing the system to 182 satellites. The company has only two more launches left in its ‘Five to 50’ programme that will cement the company’s ability to start connectivity services to the United KingdomAlaskaNorthern EuropeGreenlandIceland, the Artic Seas and Canada, with global service available next year.

After OneWeb completes the full deployment of the constellation, the company anticipates annual revenues of approximately $1 billion in year three or soon thereafter, thanks to its partnership driven, wholesale business plan.

OneWeb Mini-satellite Constellation for Global Internet Service

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Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises said: “We are delighted to welcome Eutelsat into the OneWeb family.

“As an open multi-national business, we are committed to serving the global needs of governments, businesses and communities across the world. Together we are stronger, benefitting from the entrepreneurial energy of Bharti, the extensive global outreach of the UK Government and the expertise in the satellite industry at Eutelsat. OneWeb, with its innovative and disruptive approach, is poised to take a leading position in LEO broadband connectivity.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Today’s investment is another giant leap forward for OneWeb in realising their ambition to provide global broadband connectivity around the globe.

“Eutelsat brings over forty years of experience in the global satellite industry and this exciting new partnership puts OneWeb on a strong commercial footing, and the UK at the forefront of the latest developments in low Earth orbit technology.

“This comes alongside yesterday’s exciting news that a further 36 satellites were launched into space and demonstrates the momentum behind OneWeb and the promising efforts to provide connectivity to some of the world’s most remote places.”

Neil Masterson, Chief Executive Officer of OneWeb, said: “We are delighted with the investment from Eutelsat, which validates our strategy, technology and commercial approach. We now have 80% of the necessary financing for the Gen 1 fleet, of which nearly 30% is already in space. Eutelsat’s global distribution network advances the market entry opportunities for OneWeb and we look forward to working together to capitalise on the growth opportunity and accelerate the pace of execution.”

Commenting on the agreement, Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are excited to become a shareholder and partner in OneWeb in the run up to its commercial launch later in the year and to participate in the substantial opportunity represented by the LEO segment within our industry. We are confident in OneWeb’s right-to-win thanks to its earliness to market, priority spectrum rights and evolving, scalable technology. With over 40 years’ expertise in the global satellite industry, we look forward to working alongside the UK Government, Bharti and the other shareholders to open new opportunities and market access to ensure OneWeb maximizes its potential.”

Editor’s Notes:

  • OneWeb, based in the UK, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of March 2020 after failing to secure $2 billion financing from lead shareholder SoftBank.
  • In January, Japan’s SoftBank Group and Hughes Network Systems LLC had invested $400 million in OneWeb.
  • The UK government and Bharti Global invested $500 million each to acquire OneWeb under a bankruptcy resolution process.
  • OneWeb plans to start high-speed internet services in India by mid-2022.
  • In November, Mittal told Mint that OneWeb will boost rural broadband connectivity in India and other developing countries, including those in Africa.
  • For 5G wireless service, satellite network could play an important role as it will reach areas where fiber and radio airwaves cannot penetrate.  However, there are no standards for satellite based 5G networks (IMT 2020 and 3GPP specs are for terrestrial wireless operation).
  • Also, the cost of using a satellite network is the highest among the three mediums, and thus, fiber and terrestrial wireless spectrum will be the preferred modes of transmission of data wherever they will be available, he added.

References:

https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/oneweb-secures-550-million-in-new-funding-eutelsat-to-take-significant-equity-stake-in-the-company-863239352.html

https://www.livemint.com/companies/news/eutelsat-communications-invests-550-million-in-oneweb-11619542837285.html

 

India’s BSNL Selects NOVELSAT Hub System for Remote Islands Connectivity

NOVELSAT’s High Performance Hub Will Enhance Broadband Connectivity to Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The contract was awarded by System Integrator Precision Electronics Ltd (PEL) on behalf of BSNL.  

State-run telecoms provider (BSNL) selected Israeli satellite transmission company Novelsat to provide high-capacity satellite-based backhaul and broadband services to Lakshadweep, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands under a Universal Service Obligation (USO) project funded by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).   The contract was awarded by System Integrator Precision Electronics Ltd (PEL) on behalf of BSNL.

Under the partnership, BSNL will use Novelsat’s Xnet Data Hub system [1.] for flexibility in its growing network.  BSNL will also use Novelsat’s DynamiX technology for dynamic allocation of network resources in MCPC/Point-to-Multi-Point networks on top of Novelsat’s NS4 waveform for improved network economics, the company said.

Note 1. The Xnet Data Hub is for Point-to-Multi-Point satellite network data applications requiring high performance connectivity. Addressing multiple applications including enterprise, backhaul & trunking, government & defense, aero and maritime, NOVELSAT Xnet Data Hub delivers highly integrated and optimized and efficient hub solution.

 

Satellite backhaul more practical than fiber backhaul for remote islands:

Satellite has always been the advantageous solution for remote and hard to reach locations. As cost of satellite capacity continues to sharply decrease, satellite connectivity cost now rivals terrestrial solutions in a growing number of use cases, making satellite connectivity a viable and economical solution for providing connectivity to more locations and more users. Offering compressive point-to-point and point-to-multi-point solutions, NOVELSAT provides high data rate broadband connectivity for demanding telecom and enterprise applications including: backhaul, trunking, backbone networks, enterprise networks, maritime and aero connectivity.

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BSNL is looking to increase its network capacity to address growing demand for broadband amidst sharp rise in data consumption across users and locations. PEL along with its technology partner NOVELSAT addressed the BSNL requirement, and in turn their customer BSNL selected NOVELSAT’s Xnet Data hub system for the exceptional efficiency and flexibility it offers for growing BSNL network.

Designed to support the growing needs of hub network operators, NOVELSAT’s Xnet optimizes and maximizes both performance and usage of satellite and network resources. Utilizing NOVELSAT’s DynamiX technology for dynamic allocation of network resources in MCPC/Point-to-Multi-Point networks on top of the most bandwidth-efficient waveform, NOVELSAT NS4™, significantly improves network economics.

NOVELSAT partnered with Precision Electronics Limited, a listed company in India to offer its solution to BSNL. Precision Electronics Limited brings in network elements like networking gear, antenna & indoor/outdoor electronics, and overall systems integration beyond the core satellite hub and remote solution from NOVELSAT.

“BSNL’s network requires the highest levels of network quality and flexibility. NOVELSAT’s proven track record, combined with its leading-edge technology, allow us to rapidly expand our network and offer better services to our customers,” said Sh. Sanjay Kumar, GM (Radio) at BSNL. “NOVELSAT has been selected to meet our challenge of providing highly efficient and reliable broadband connectivity between our country’s islands and the mainland. With this solution we are supporting the goal of accelerating the economic growth and bettering the life of the islands population”.

“We are honored to play a part in the rollout of enhanced broadband connectivity to the people of Lakshadweep, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands, and we are committed to supporting BSNL during these challenging times, as it implements its network development,” said Gary Drutin, CEO of NOVELSAT. “The BSNL deployment is a great example of the benefits offered by NOVELSAT’s Xnet data hub system, delivering a high capacity, scalable solution with maximum performance and efficiency.”

Last month, U.S.-based ST Engineering iDirect inked a partnership with BSNL to provide satellite broadband to the Indian islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

About BSNL

BSNL is an Indian state-owned telecommunications company, headquartered in New Delhi, India. It was incorporated by the Department of Telecommunications (DOT), Ministry of Communications, Government of India in 2000. It provides mobile voice and internet services through its nationwide network across India. It is the largest government owned telecom company in India offering variety of services in retail and enterprise segment.

About PEL

Precision Electronics Ltd. (PEL) is a listed company that is focused to provide customized mission critical solutions to its customers. Backed by a strong Design & Engineering team and a state of art manufacturing infrastructure, PEL designed products are being used by the Indian defence/paramilitary forces, TSPs, Railways, Healthcare sector to name a few. It is strongly poised to garner substantial business in the near future.

About Novelsat

NOVELSAT is an innovator and a leading provider of next-generation content connectivity solutions over satellite. Powered by our innovative technology, our solutions are transforming network capabilities to drive new experiences and expand growth potential.

Our leadership foundations are built around our proprietary waveform and premier system architecture, combined with cutting-edge video capabilities and best-in-industry content security. Pioneering, expanding and enhancing core and end-to-end capabilities, we outperform competitive solutions and products, delivering new levels of performance, efficiency and flexibility. Our high-performance solutions are setting the industry standards in spectral efficiency, transmission performance, media processing, video delivery, and content protection, powering mission-critical and demanding applications for the broadcast, cellular, government, and mobility markets.

World’s leading service and content providers have recognized the unique value of our state-of-the-art technology, selecting our solutions for their most demanding applications, including: Video transmission for the world’s leading broadcasters and content rights holders, as well as for the world’s major sports events; Broadband connectivity for backhaul/trunking networks of leading network operators and services providers; Mission critical communications for military, defense, security and emergency organizations; and Earth observation connectivity for leading earth observation constellation.

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References:

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/bsnl-selects-novelsat-for-satellite-broadband-backhaul-services/81583946

 

BSNL Selects NOVELSAT Hub System for Remote Islands Connectivity

Omnispace Demonstrates 5G Satellite Capability with U.S. Navy & Marine Corps

Omnispace, the company that is building a global hybrid network, today announced the successful demonstration of 5G satellite capability with the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN), along with the Navy and Marine Corps. Omnispace was selected by NSIN in 2020 to pilot its technology in connection with Verizon’s new 5G “Living Lab.”

This week, Omnispace successfully tested an initial 5G-via-satellite capability in a LinQuest lab demonstration for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. A number of commercial-off-the-shelf 5G devices successfully communicated voice and data services via an emulated 5G radio access network (RAN), to Omnispace’s on-orbit satellite, leveraging LinQuest Corporation’s lab facility in Northern Virginia.

“Omnispace is honored to have been selected to work with the U.S. Navy and Marines to demonstrate 5G capability from space,” said Campbell Marshall, Vice President, Government and International Markets, Omnispace LLC. “The development of standards-based 5G non-terrestrial network (NTN) technology powered by Omnispace’s S-band spectrum will allow small tactical 5G devices to communicate directly and seamlessly with 5G-capable satellites and terrestrial networks, giving our warfighters ubiquitous global connectivity and true comms-on-the-move.”

“5G will be a critical technology for our military operations in the very near future, and those operations aren’t limited to dense urban environments where most 5G infrastructure is being deployed,” said Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Brandon Newell, Director, SoCal Tech Bridge, Naval X, a driving force behind some of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) 5G initiatives. “Truly global, mobile 5G connectivity in aero, maritime and remote areas will be essential across a broad spectrum of our government and military operations.”

Omnispace is continuing the development of a global hybrid 5G communications network based on 3GPP standards, which will the ensure security and interoperability of devices all over the world for a wide array of enterprise and government customers.

The company plans to make its direct-to-satellite 5G NTN connectivity solutions available through its ‘one global network,’ which will utilize the company’s existing 2 GHz priority spectrum rights. Initial elements of the Omnispace network will enter into service in 2022.

About Omnispace
Headquartered in the Washington D.C. area, and founded by veteran telecommunications and satellite industry executives, Omnispace is redefining mobile connectivity for the 21st century.  By leveraging 5G technologies, the company is combining the global footprint of a non-geostationary satellite constellation with the mobile networks of the world’s leading telecom companies to bring an interoperable “one network” connectivity to users and IoT devices anywhere on the globe.

Learn more at: Omnispace.com and follow on LinkedIn or Twitter @omnispace.

Starlink now covers all of UK; Plans to connect vehicles with satellite Internet service

Starlink has expanded to all regions of the United Kingdom.  The SpaceX owned company’s satellite Internet service is still in beta and was previously available in only the southern England part of the UK.  Today, the company announced an expansion to cover parts of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and northern England.   Starlink says users should currently expect data speeds to vary between 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s over the next several months, with brief periods of no connectivity whatsoever.

Starlink’s Email:

Starlink is now available in parts of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, in addition to existing service areas in southern England.

During beta, users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all.

As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.

To check availability for your location, visit starlink.com and re-enter your service address. If Starlink is not yet available in your area, you can place a deposit to hold your space in line for future service.

The UK’s average download speed across all broadband providers is around 67.23Mb/s, but climbing as the rollout of full-fiber starts picking up pace again following a pandemic-induced slowdown.

Starlink wants to quickly deliver decent broadband connectivity to rural locations which have been left underserved due to the difficulties and cost of laying traditional fiber.

“This will transform rural WiFi,” says Compare Fibre’s co-founder Nathan Hill-Haimes. “We are really keen to stress the impact this can have on connecting rural locations with high-speed internet.”

A Starlink user from Devon told the Press Association: “If you need connectivity to run a business and if you need connectivity for communication, particularly in Covid times, £90 a month is quite justifiable.”

Starlink was issued a UK “Earth station network license” in November, an Ofcom spokesperson told CNBC. The £200 ($272) a year license allows Starlink to sell satellite dishes and other communications equipment in the U.K. so that people can pick up signals emitted by Starlink’s network of satellites.

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Separately, SpaceX wants to begin connecting large vehicles – from trucks to jets to ships – to its Starlink satellite Internet network, according to a request the company filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

“This application would serve the public interest by authorizing a new class of ground-based components for SpaceX’s satellite system that will expand the range of broadband capabilities available to moving vehicles throughout the United States and to moving vessels and aircraft worldwide,” SpaceX director of satellite policy David Goldman wrote in a letter to the FCC filed on Friday.

Starlink is the company’s capital-intensive project to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites, known in the space industry as a constellation, designed to deliver high-speed internet to consumers anywhere on the planet.

To date SpaceX has launched more than 1,100 satellites for Starlink. In October, SpaceX began rolling out early service in a public beta to customers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., with service priced at $99 a month. Additionally, in a late January update, SpaceX told the FCC that its Starlink beta now has more than 10,000 users.

The Starlink service also includes a $499 upfront cost for the hardware needed to connect to the network. Known as the Starlink Kit, it includes a user terminal (the small, dish-like antenna) and a Wi-Fi router.

SpaceX did not indicate in its filing Friday whether the Starlink user terminals for moving vehicles will have a different design than the dishes currently being shipped to early customers. But SpaceX said each “ESIM,” or Earth Station In Motion, is “electrically identical to its previously authorized consumer user terminals,” with added “mountings that allow them to be installed on vehicles, vessels and aircraft.”

The company also noted that it “will ensure installation” of the vehicle terminals through “qualified installers.” While SpaceX did not say whether those installers would be company employees, it continues to expand Starlink manufacturing and operations – including plans for a new equipment factory in Austin, Texas.

Over 1,000 Starlink satellites are currently in orbit of the total 12,000 satellites which have been authorized. Filings have been submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) requesting permission to launch 30,000 additional Starlink satellites.

Increasing competition:

Starlink is, by far, the biggest satellite broadband deployment. However, rivals such as Amazon’s “Project Kuiper” will be looking to challenge the titleholder in the coming years.

Project Kuiper was given the green light by the FCC last year to launch 3,236 of its own satellites.

“We are doing an incredible amount of invention to deliver fast, reliable broadband at a price that makes sense for customers,” Rajeev Badyal, Vice President of Technology for Project Kuiper, said at the time.

SpaceX is currently launching around 60 satellites at a time and aims to have deployed 1,440 by late 2021 to provide near-global service.

“As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically,” the company wrote in a release announcing Starlink’s expansion in the UK.

Starlink and Kuiper will also be competing against promising satellite broadband firm OneWeb.

OneWeb nearly collapsed after crucial funding was pulled last-minute during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, the company was rescued following a $1bn (£800m) investment from the UK government and Bharti Global Ltd of India.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, said: “Our investment in OneWeb is part of our continued commitment to the UK’s space sector, putting Britain at the forefront of the latest technological advances.”

Since the UK and Bharti’s investment, OneWeb has continued to receive large investments. In January, the company announced that it has raised $1.4 billion in total funding after securing investments from SoftBank Group and Hughes Network Systems.

Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank, commented: “We are excited to support OneWeb as it increases capacity and accelerates towards commercialization. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Bharti, the UK government, and Hughes to help OneWeb deliver on its mission to transform internet access around the world.”

OneWeb is the smallest of the three satellite broadband firms but has launched 74 of its innovative ultrafast broadband satellites to date and plans to launch a total of 648 by the end of 2021.

Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb, said: “OneWeb’s mission is to connect everyone, everywhere. We have made rapid progress to re-start the business since emerging from Chapter 11 in November.”

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References:

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/03/starlink-extends-leo-satellite-broadband-coverage-in-the-uk.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/08/spacex-wants-to-connect-starlink-satellite-internet-to-moving-vehicles.html