Northgate Investment Offers US, Latin American Expansion Opportunities For Elara

From Via Satellite

Mexican telecommunications company Elara Comunicaciones has recently struck a partnership with private equity firm Northgate Capital that will enable the company’s “aggressive” growth plans over the next five years. In exchange for a control stake in the teleport, Northgate will invest up to $38 million in the company through primary and secondary transactions so as to facilitate Elara’s continued expansion of its satellite-delivered voice and data communications services throughout Mexico, its home market, as well as the U.S. and Latin America.

“Over the last 10 years we have been growing at a very rapid pace. We have, in our first 10 years, grown an estimated 35 to 40 percent compound growth, yearly,” Jorge Villarreal, Elara’s founder and chief executive officer, told Via Satellite. As resources to support this rapid organic growth began to wear thin, in 2013 the company began to analyze the requirements to continue the swift expansion. Elara reached out to investment funds, eventually striking a deal with Northgate for a control stake in late 2014, which was approved by regulators earlier this month.

Northgate will now act as a major financial and corporate arm for Elara, and will take part in strategic decisions for the commercial plans and objectives, as well as with the expansion, growth and organizational initiatives of the operator. “The partnership will allow the company to continue growing with ambitious objectives for the next five years,” Villarreal added. Continue >

Arianespace Dual Launch Lofts Intelsat 34, Eutelsat 8 West B

From Via Satellite

Arianespace launched two satellites on Aug. 20, one for Intelsat and one for Eutelsat, aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. Eutelsat 8 West B, riding in the upper payload position, deployed first, 28 minutes into the flight. Intelsat 34 deployed second, 40 minutes into the mission.

Built by Thales Alenia Space, Eutelsat 8 West B carries a Ku-band payload primarily for Direct-to-Home (DTH) markets in North Africa and the Middle East, and a C-band payload for coverage of Africa, reaching west out to South America. The satellite is on its way to the 7/8 degrees west video neighborhood and is expected to enter full commercial service in early October.

Space Systems Loral (SSL) built Intelsat 34, which supports C- and Ku-band payloads over the Americas, the North Atlantic, and Western Europe. The new satellite replaces Intelsat 805 and Galaxy 11 at 304.5 degrees east. It will join Intelsat 11 and Intelsat 21 as the third satellite in Intelsat’s Latin America, pan-regional video distribution neighborhood. Intelsat 34 supports DTH customers as well as broadband for maritime and aeronautical services. Continue >

Indigenous Children In Remote Global Regions Get Connected Via NewCom International And Kidnected World

From Satnews

NewCom International has teamed with Kidnected World, an NGO that provides online creative tools to connect young people globally as a catalyst for greater humanity, to bring satellite-based internet access to indigenous children throughout the Americas and Africa.

The partnership combines NewCom’s satellite communications technology and engineering expertise with Kidnected World’s worldwide interactive youth network to provide the global connectivity necessary to improve the standard of living for indigenous tribes while celebrating and preserving their culture and way of life.

For the first collaboration, NewCom—working in conjunction with Peru-based NGO Willka Yachay—brought Internet access to schools servicing the indigenous Q’eros Nation in Qocha Moqo, a village located high in the Andes Mountains. NewCom donated a year’s worth of satellite-based Internet connectivity, while Kidnected World provided their ecosystem of tools, spaces and experiences where the Q’eros kids can celebrate their culture and actively contribute to a new sense of global belonging. Continue >

Up To The Task Of Providing Greater Resiliency In HTS

Nikola-KromerBy Nikola Kromer, Senior Director Product Marketing, iDirect

The need for greater resiliency to your High Throughput Satellite (HTS) network is apparent: Just ask Denis Sutherland, who pointed to five reasons in his last blog.

As he outlined, HTS satellite architectures oftentimes drive a higher concentration of hub equipment at the central gateway site. Higher throughputs on HTS drive larger scale and service complexities resulting in massive networks with thousands of remotes managed by fewer gateways. Scaling many more networks and customers from fewer gateway locations introduces a greater need for network resiliency, and more specifically, teleport and gateway reliability.

Protecting the network from service degradation, service interruptions or even catastrophic events is key to ensuring a very high availability and reliability of the HTS network. And since quite a few HTS constellation leverage Ka-Band, where its frequency has a higher susceptibility to rain fade compared to Ku-band and C-band, maintaining consistent network availability under all weather conditions requires special features.

Final final HTS blog picture

The Reliability of the Network and its Components
At iDirect, we have designed our platform to have built-in high availability on all aspects of the hub infrastructure ranging from superior line card availability and hub component redundancy, to rain diversity and all the way to complete gateway redundancy. Read More

Panasonic Dials Up Inflight Wi-Fi With 800th eXConnect Installation

From Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Panasonic Avionics has delivered its 800th aircraft equipped with its market leading, global broadband connectivity service, eXConnect. The company expects to deliver its 1,000th connected aircraft by the end of 2015.

The system, which was installed on a B757-200 aircraft, was delivered mid-July to United Airlines. In addition to being the 800th aircraft equipped with eXConnect, the B757-200 was also the 332th connected aircraft that Panasonic has delivered to United.

Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics said, “We committed to the connected aircraft vision a decade ago and now, it’s a reality. Our goal remains the same – use connectivity to deliver business value to airlines and increase their bottom line, while delighting passengers. The numbers confirm the majority of airlines trust us to do that.”

Since 2008, over 50 percent of all commercial airlines have chosen eXConnect for inflight connectivity. Last year alone, Panasonic increased its backlog to over 2,300 aircraft, and is expected to have over 12,000 aircraft connected to its global network within the next 10 years.

David Bruner, Vice President, Global Communications Services for Panasonic Avionics added, “The demand for connectivity onboard commercial aircraft has grown exponentially. In the past 90 days alone, we have delivered more than 1.2 terabytes of traffic over our network each day. Today’s passengers today are consuming from 1.3 to 20 gigabytes of data per flight using eXConnect.” Continue >

5 Reasons HTS Networks Need To Be More Resilient

By Denis Sutherland, Director of Business Development, iDirect

It has always been critical to ensure that satellite communications infrastructure remain online, and operational. High Throughput Satellites (HTS) introduce many reasons for redundancy and resiliency—five reasons, to be exact. Let’s take a look.

HTS 5 reasons final

1)      Gateway Architecture

One of the critical factors that impact satellite operators and service providers is the architecture of a high throughput satellite. Centrally located hub infrastructure accessing a gateway beam, a feeder link, leads to an increased amount of traffic generated from a single teleport, which equates to greater risk of network failure or service impact from uplink degradation. This is particularly relevant in the case of Ka-band, as its frequency has a higher susceptibility to rain fade compared to Ku-band and C-band. Since Ka-band frequencies are particularly prone to rain fade, a network must also leverage adaptive modulation techniques, such as Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) and Adaptive TDMA, to achieve the maximum data throughput and optimized traffic in changing weather conditions.

In many cases satellite operators that are managing the teleport will make provision for service degradation such as for weather so severe that ACM can’t protect the link, or for a failure in the teleport. This will also drive operators to consider smarter gateway diversity, ensuring that failure in one gateway, will be backed up in a different location. This is the case with Telenor’s Thor 7, as explained here, which has two uplinks in Norway to achieve carrier-grade availability.

2)      Scale of Networks

In a previous blog I considered how HTS networks will increase in scale. There will be additional network infrastructure with HTS, due to increased numbers of beams, more terminals, and higher data rates. As the networks grows the need for reliable network infrastructure increases. Read More

Airbus Defence And Space Moves Skynet 5A Satellite 41,631 Miles: Better Asia Pacific Protection And Secure Military Satcom

From Satnews

Airbus Defence and Space has announced that the planned 67,000 km (41,631.9 miles) move of the Skynet 5A satellite over the Asia Pacific region is on track. The move from 6 degrees East to 94.8 degrees East will expand Airbus Defence and Space’s capability to provide protected and secure military satcom services to allied governments in the Asia-Pacific region. The satellite will be on station at its new location in the autumn this year.

Airbus Defence and Space announced the planned move of Skynet 5A military communications satellite at the Satellite 2015 Conference in March 2015. At the conference in March UK Defence Minister, Philip Dunne, said, “Today’s announcement that Airbus will be moving one of the UK’s Skynet 5 satellites to the eastern Asia-Pacific region is clear proof of how much our relationships with our international allies matter. This is the first time that we have had a secure communications capability in the region, and shows the depth of our commitment to our allies and partners in the region, including Malaysia, in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.”

Additional thoughts that were shared at the conference came from Evert Dudok, Head of Communications, Intelligence and Security at Airbus Defence and Space, “The move of Skynet 5A will enhance MILSATCOM capabilities where our customers need it, offering unique solutions for international security and humanitarian missions, and other coalition operations.” Continue >

Northgate Capital Acquires A Majority Stake In Elara Comunicaciones

Northgate Capital has acquired a majority stake in Elara Comunicaciones, S.A.P.I. de C.V. through a transaction in which Northgate will invest up to US$38 million in both primary and secondary transactions.

Elara is the leading teleport telecommunications company in Mexico and Latin America providing its clients mission critical satellite connectivity. The Company’s solutions allow its clients to send and receive voice, bulk data, and provides Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity through satellite access in regions where traditional terrestrial telecommunications is neither accessible nor feasible. The Company’s target segments include fixed line and mobile carriers, government and diverse industries such as the oil & gas industry.

Northgate’s investment in the company will be used to further develop Elara’s product portfolio and execute its expansion plan. Several initiatives are currently underway to grow the firms’ operations in Mexico and in Latin America.

“The creation of this partnership is exciting as Elara continues on its path of aggressive growth,” said Jorge Villarreal, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Elara. “We are excited to work closely with Northgate Capital to drive our market leading position in providing connectivity in our target sectors. With Northgate’s support, we will further expand our product offerings and geographic coverage with the highest service level in the industry.” Read More

Airbus Defence And Space UK Delivers Sentinel-5 Precursor For Testing

From Space Newsfeed

The Sentinel-5 Precursor platform and the TROPOMI instrument have been integrated together to form the satellite which will be leaving the UK for testing.

Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, will deliver the spacecraft to Intespace in Toulouse, France, for final system level testing. The spacecraft is scheduled to be launched in April 2016 by a Eurokot rocket from Plesetsk, Russia.

Sentinel-5 Precursor is a low-cost, highly technical satellite that will provide atmospheric chemistry data to the Copernicus programme before the Sentinel-5 instrument becomes operational in 2021 on the MetOp Second Generation satellite. Sentinel-5 Precursor is carrying the TROPOMI (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) instrument, developed by Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands for the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Netherlands Space Office. TROPOMI will take measurements of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, methane and other atmospheric pollutants at a higher resolution than previous instruments. Having more accurate atmospheric data will enable improved climate models and weather forecasting to be made.

Sentinel-5 Precursor is part of the global monitoring programme for environment and security (Copernicus), a joint European Commission–ESA undertaking which aims to supply geo-information products and services based on the use of data from space that will help European institutions and public authorities to fulfil their mission of safeguarding the civil population, managing risks, and protecting the environment. Continue >

Mobil Satellite Technologies Offers Win-Win When On The Go-Go: RV-ers Enjoy Self Provisioning Insta-Sat Service

From Satnews

This innovative system gives RV owners access to broadband anywhere in the USA, even in places where cellular doesn’t work…

Mobil Satellite Technologies is proud to announce that after over a year of development and testing that the new RVDataSat840 automatic satellite antenna system and  Insta-Sat on-demand consumer broadband satellite Internet service are both now available.

The RV DataSat840 is a fully automatic satellite antenna system that includes a one-touch controller, .84 meter dish for increased signal strength, iDirect Evolution X5 satellite modem and 6 Watt transmitter. This system has all of the professional-grade components of a Government or Commercial system, but is engineered as a consumer platform. The Insta-Sat broadband service was designed by Mobil Satellite Technologies specifically to support the new RV DataSat840 automatic satellite antenna system. This innovative system gives RV owners access to broadband anywhere in the USA, even in places where cellular doesn’t work.

The Insta-Sat broadband service delivers up to 4 Mbps of data for lightning fast downloads, and has no monthly fee, no contract, and no term commitments.The Insta-Sat service is self-provisioning through a web portal, the user simply pushes a button to deploy the antenna, opens a browser and selects a service plan, enters their account information and the service activates itself automatically. The antenna can connect to the web portal any time that the antenna is deployed, whether there is a current service plan in place or not. Continue >