Inmarsat ready to launch 'one of the largest and most sophisticated telecommunications spacecraft ever built'

22 December 2021

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The I6-F1 will serve Africa and Asia

Inmarsat is set to launch the I6-F1, which has been described as 'one of the largest and most sophisticated telecommunications spacecraft ever built'.

The new platform will serve Inmarsat's many on-the-move customers - from ships and planes to armed forces and broadcasters - across Africa, Asia and Australia.

Today's launch will put the 5.5-tonne F1 satellite on a path to reach an orbital position some 36,000km above the Indian Ocean and it will betaken to orbit by a Mitsubishi H-IIA rocket from Japan. Lift-off from the Tanegashima spaceport is expected at 23:33 local time (14:33 GMT).

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Eutelsat and Vodacom to deliver connectivity in Tanzania

20 December 2021

Connectivity is on its way to underserved regions of Tanzania.

Connectivity is on its way to underserved regions of Tanzania.

Eutelsat Communications and Vodacom Tanzania have signed a deal for packaged services to deliver connectivity to underserved regions of Tanzania.

Using the Eutelsat Konnect high-throughput satellite and following a successful Proof of Concept trial, Vodacom will sell services on the satellite under its own brand. Vodacom will expand its service offering to customers previously unreached by its existing infrastructure, particularly in the B2B and hospitality space. Konnect Africa will carry out installation services on behalf of Vodacom.

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SA revises space programme to accelerate satellite development

14 December 2021

The South African government has initiated a review of the national space programme to accelerate the development of telecom and location satellites, according to the country’s minister of communications and digital technology.

Speaking November 22 at the 23rd Southern African Telecommunications Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC), held from 21 to 23 November, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said “we are currently working on accelerating the development of South African-owned satellites and are looking at ways to condense an eight to ten year project into three to four years, but this depends on access to finance, which I hope will be from telecommunications, mining, etc”.

The minister added that “companies will participate” in the project and co-finance this development. “Of course, we cannot afford to deploy a single satellite and as a government we will coordinate with South African industry and other interested investors to also deploy South African-owned low earth orbit satellites,” she added

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Satellite Orbits to 2022… Looks back at 2021

08 December 2021

Martin Jarrold, chief of international programme development, GVF

Martin Jarrold, chief of international programme development, GVF

Since the Covid-19 pandemic came to necessitate international travel restrictions and the postponement of satellite industry conference events, GVF has been setting a much-lauded high standard for virtual discussion fora.

On 18th November our programme brought together a panel comprising Dr Vagan Shakhgildian, president, Comtech Satellite Network Technologies Commercial Group; Dr Onur Karabey, founder & CEO, Alcan Systems; Tony Taylor, chairman & CEO, Global Invacom Group; and Dr Leslie Klein, President & CEO, C-COM Satellite Systems, and moderated by Jose Del Rosario, consultant with Northern Sky Research to discuss ‘Ground Segment: All Change for a New Satcoms Era’. The dialogue was a continuation of GVF’s long-standing webinar series examination of the satellite communications ground segment. The premise upon which the event was founded is that the ground segment has for too long been considered the less interesting, non-identical twin, to the satellites we place into orbit. Launches and the orbiting of spacecraft are major, attention grabbing, spectacles; outdoor and indoor units of equipment down here on Earth do not offer the same visual excitement. The question is, isn’t this all this is changing, as reflected in the industry having already coined the name “New Ground” to parallel and complement the now familiar term “New Space”?

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