Industry News — Sept. 8

OneWeb Tests LEO System With Kymeta u8 Antenna

OneWeb and Kymeta have tested the Kymeta u8 antenna with OneWeb’s Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. The companies reported Tuesday that in demonstrations in Toulouse, France, the single aperture antenna achieved downlink and uplink speeds of more than 200 Mbps down, and more than 40Mbps up over repeated testing. They also reported the u8 offered good user experience during beam and satellite handover.

The Kymeta u8 land mobile antenna is commercially available, and Kymeta is planning an updated version for improved compatibility with LEO networks. Neville Meijers, Kymeta chief Strategy, Product and Marketing officer talked with Via Satellite about the tests.

“We tested through sunshine and rain, tracking the acquisition of the actual satellite, the throughput. All of that went off hugely successfully. Even during some of the larger thunderstorms, we were able to continue to track the satellites and give pretty good service,” Meijers said. “It is a validation that the technology is extremely mature. We see that today with the uptake of the u8 antenna terminal, our sales are going extremely well.”

Kymeta also announced Tuesday that Walter Berger and S. Douglas Hutcheson have been named co-CEOs.

Eutelsat Selects Hughes Jupiter 3 System for KONNECT VHTS Ground Segment

Eutelsat Communications has selected the Hughes Jupiter System Series 3 to enable services on the new KONNECT Very High-Throughput Satellite (VHTS).

Hughes Network Systems will design, manufacture, and deliver gateways, end-user terminals, and a network management system for KONNECT VHTS, expected to launch in 2022. The satellite will provide fixed broadband and mobility connectivity across Europe and has a flexible payload that can reallocate capacity.

This is further award for Hughes, which previously completed the ground system for Eutelsat’s KONNECT satellite, with JUPITER System gateways and user terminals.

“Jupiter 3 technology allows [Eutelsat] to be able to dynamically move capacity between beams based on time of day or capacity requirements,” Ramesh Ramaswamy, Hughes general manager of International Division told Via Satellite. “It also allows a private, cloud-based architecture for gateways, so it's primarily centralized. With this capacity you want to be able to provide highly resilient services and this satellite architecture allows it.”

Arabsat Board of Directors Replaces CEO

Khalid bin Ahmed Balkheyour has resigned as CEO of Arabsat, and the company’s board of directors has assigned Dr. Badr bin Nasser Al-Suwaidan to head the organization. The Arabsat board announced the change on Monday.

Al-Suwaidan is the former CTO of Arabsat. He has participated in several programs and space missions, including working on the first Saudi Geostationary satellite SGS-1 with Arabsat, and Saudi-Sat4 in cooperation with the US Space Agency NASA. Before joining Arabsat, Al-Suwaidan worked as a director of the Institute of Research and Space in King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Haitham Al-Ohali, vice minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology for Saudi Arabia, has been named chairman of the board.

Balkheyour became president and CEO of Arabsat in 2003, and received the Via Satellite Executive of the Year award for 2013. The company carries over 500 TV channels to more than 80 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Europe. VS

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