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to deploy industry-leading capacity to any area of the globe,” says
Michael Small, Gogo president and CEO.
Likewise, Panasonic Avionics is on a constant planning cycle to
ensure its satellite capacity meets the needs of its ever-growing
IFC customers. Last year it booked additional capacity on Eutelsat’s
172A satellite to support its connectivity and live television services
to airline customers over the Pacific Ocean. Located at 172 degrees
East, the Eutelsat 172A allows Panasonic to bridge the West coast of
North America to Asia and down to Australia and the Pacific islands,
supporting rapid traffic growth in the region, says Panasonic. The
service provider also has capacity on Eutelsat’s recently launched
high-throughput 172B serving the Asia-Pacific region, which is due
to enter service this quarter.
Eutelsat 172B, which will provide reach across Asia-Pacific, will
replace 172A in the 172 degrees East position, providing increased
capacity, more power and improved coverage via C-band and
Ku-band payloads. It features a new Ku-band multi-beam payload
delivering 1.8Gbps of throughput to serve the world’s fastest-growing
region for air traffic.
Intelsat holds the leading share of aeronautical broadband ser-
vices powering IFC, with customers Global Eagle, Gogo and Pana-
sonic, says Mark Rasmussen, vice president and general manager
for mobility. Intelsat estimates that its current share of contracted
capacity for commercial aeronautical broadband applications is
44 percent of the global market. Aero mobility represents a huge
opportunity for growth across all regions, says Rasmussen, point-
ing to a Euroconsult report estimating that total revenues from
passenger connectivity services will rise from $700 million in 2015
to nearly US$5.4 billion by 2025.
“ The fastest growing customer application in our network servic-
es business is mobility services for the aeronautical and maritime
sectors,” says Rasmussen, adding that Asia-Pacific is expected to
contribute significantly to future growth, with the Airline Passenger
Experience Association (APEX), for example, expecting there to
be 5,193 connected aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region in 2025 from
333 in 2015.
Intelsat currently has 11 satellites serving the Asia-Pacific region
from geostationary orbits above the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
“For aero customers, our combination Intelsat Epic and traditional
satellites provide density of coverage, with overlapping beams and
the resilience to deliver high performance to highly trafficked aero
routes,” he explains.
Intelsat’s future is with high-throughput satellites (HTS) like Intelsat
Epic. The second Intelsat Epic satellite, Intelsat 33e, has been serving
Asia since January, providing coverage over the Indian Ocean, South
Asia, Southeast Asia and reaching into parts of Europe, the Middle
East and Africa. “Customers in the Asia region experienced a 60 per-
cent improvement in efficiency immediately,” he says. Horizons 3e is
set to complete Intelsat’s global coverage at the end of 2018, providing
service from the West coast of the US to Asia, he adds.
Fellow satellite operator SES serves the Asia-Pacific region
through seven GEO satellites that are dedicated to the region,
complemented by a fleet of 12 O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)
satellites that circle the Earth 8,000km from its surface, delivering
high-throughput connectivity with fibre-like low latency, says SES.
SES says it works closely with its customers on the design of its
satellites and capacity needs to ensure it meets their long-term re-
quirements. SES-12, for example, combines traditional wide beams
with high throughput spot beams to deliver increased flexibility for
customers. “ These concentrated spot beams facilitate the delivery
of massive amounts of data at a much lower cost per bit to cus-
tomers. This opens up new monetisation opportunities for airline
operators and IFC providers, enabling them to widen their range at
the same time as significantly lowering the cost of IFC offerings for
passengers,” says SES.
The first of such hybrid satellites for the Asia-Pacific, SES-12, will
be launched in the first quarter of 2018, to be located at 95 degrees
East. “ The satellite will expand our ability to provide data connectiv-
ity services, including IFC, across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East
regions,” says SES. Four MEO satellites will also be launched in the
second half of next year, with a further four satellites set for launch
in the second half of 2019.
From 2021, SES will also have its new O3b mPOWER network
comprising seven satellites, equipped with more than 30,000 formed
beams and intelligent beam-forming capabilities to deliver a tai-
lor-made bandwidth virtually anywhere. “ They can also bring the
benefits of low-latency MEO-based service to the aero market,
providing unprecedented bandwidth to satiate growing connectivity
demand in the air,” SES adds.
▲ SES serves the Asia-Pacific region through seven GEO satellites
that are dedicated to the region, complemented by a fleet of 12 O3b
Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites that circle the Earth 8,000km
from its surface.
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