WASHINGTON — SES says its constellation of medium Earth orbit O3b satellites now has the power to broaden from an equatorial system to a world system because of new approvals from U.S. telecom regulators.
On June 8, SES stated the U.S. Federal Communications Fee authorised the Luxembourg firm’s request to promote satellite tv for pc connectivity companies within the U.S. with 26 further O3b satellites. These satellites would function in each inclined and equatorial orbits, increasing O3b’s protection from its current 50 levels out from the equator all the way in which to the poles.
With 16 satellites already in house, SES’s new authorization will allow it to function a complete of 42 satellites in medium Earth orbit. The brand new satellites will embody 4 extra first-generation satellites constructed by Thales Alenia House for launch subsequent yr on an Arianespace Soyuz, 10 satellites in inclined orbits, and 12 satellites in equatorial orbits.
SES stated the FCC approval permits the corporate to “triple its next-generation O3b mPOWER fleet” for which Boeing is constructing the primary seven satellites in anticipation of a 2021 launch. Every O3b mPower satellite tv for pc has greater than 10 occasions the capability of the first-generation satellites, in line with SES. The primary seven are estimated to offer some 10 terabits of whole throughput.
SES, when saying O3b mPower final September, stated the primary seven satellites would cowl 80 p.c of the Earth’s floor, however wouldn’t be restricted to that protection footprint.
“We designed O3b mPower as a system, not as a bunch of satellites, and never as restricted to the primary seven satellites that we launch,” Steve Collar, then CEO of SES Networks and now CEO of all of SES, stated at a press convention. “O3b mPower might be and is conceived as being a totally world system.”
SES operates the O3b satellites in 8,000-kilometer orbits, roughly a fourth of the gap to Earth in comparison with geostationary satellites, enabling considerably decrease sign lag.
Thus far all of SES’s O3b satellites function in Ka-band, utilizing high-throughput spot beams for broadband connectivity and community companies. The FCC’s approval included rights to 6 satellites with greater frequency V-band — a area of spectrum satellite tv for pc operators have been testing for industrial use. SES is the second firm to acquire FCC approval for V-band satellite tv for pc communications following Hughes Community Techniques in March. Different corporations together with Boeing, Viasat, SpaceX, OneWeb, Theia Holdings and Telesat have additionally requested authorization for V-band satellite tv for pc methods.
SES’s utility for brand new O3b satellites confronted opposition from Iridium, Telesat and Viasat.
Iridium petitioned the FCC to disclaim SES’s utility as a result of it included entry to some frequencies designated for cellular satellite tv for pc companies operators like Iridium.
Cell satellite tv for pc companies operators and stuck satellite tv for pc companies operators are shedding their distinction as operators of each varieties search to offer information companies to the identical platforms akin to plane, cruise ships and oil rigs.
The FCC sided with SES’s view that O3b’s cellular satellite tv for pc companies operations “have the identical traits as its [fixed satellite services] operations.”
Canada-based Telesat requested the FCC to provide precedence to operators who’ve earlier spectrum filings with the Worldwide Telecommunication Union. Such prioritization would give Telesat, which is planning a low Earth orbit constellation of 117 satellites, first rights to sure Ka-band frequencies over SES. The FCC rejected Telesat’s proposal, however stipulated that SES adjust to the fee’s spectrum-sharing guidelines.
Viasat voiced concern about O3b sign energy ranges and the chance they may intrude with geosynchronous satellites. The FCC stated a newly adopted rule requires satellites exterior of the geostationary arc not trigger unacceptable interference to geostationary satellites offering fastened information or broadcast tv companies, and conditioned SES’s authorization on obeying this rule. SES’s O3b satellites should additionally adhere to any future energy limitations the FCC — and to an unspecified extent, the ITU — units on V-band, the company stated.