SES Develops In-House Air Traffic Analysis, In-Orbit Reconfiguration Capabilities

Global satellite operator SES announced at the annual APEX Conference that it has developed in-house air traffic analysis processes and in-orbit reconfiguration capabilities to help airlines and in-flight entertainment (IFE) service providers get the most from their satellite bandwidth during flights around the world.

SESLogoSES also announced that it is designing a strategic mix of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) and wide beam Ku-band technologies into its global fleet to meet the worldwide demand among airline passengers for in-flight connectivity.

Two SES satellites are already under construction with next generation designs to serve the growing IFE, maritime and mobility markets across the Asia-Pacific region. Under construction by Boeing Satellite Systems, SES-9 features expansive mobility beams designed to provide both airliners and ships travelling through Asia, including the busy Indian Ocean Region, with high-speed broadband quality video services.

Being built by Airbus Defence and Space, SES-12 is a hybrid communications spacecraft capable of enabling IFE providers to reallocate high-powered capacity on the fly, to meet evolving airline entertainment and communications demands.

“SES and the leading in-flight entertainment service providers are innovating new IFE solutions through collaborative partnerships that really begin when the satellite is in the early design phase. We listen to our customers and build into our hybrid satellites exactly what the airline industry needs to connect passengers everywhere, whether it calls for HTS or wide beam technology,” explained Steve Corda, vice president of business development for SES in North America. “IFE providers will be able to reconfigure their SES capacity in orbit to meet the ever-changing demands of the global airline industry.”

SES-9 is scheduled to be lifted into orbit in 2015 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket – the second SpaceX launch for SES. The Ku-band satellite will reside at the prime location of 108.2 degrees East. SES-12’s powerful 14 GHz HTS payload will deliver up to 24 gigabits per second of data connectivity for a diverse mix of applications, while the spacecraft’s wide beam Ku-band capacity will provide high-quality television services.

SES-12, set for launch in 2017, will be located in the coveted orbital location of 95 degrees East, with seamless coverage from Europe to the Pacific Rim, and will expand SES’s capabilities to deliver both broadband and broadcast services to airline passengers travelling domestic, transcontinental and transoceanic flights across Asia and beyond.

“There is a proliferation of airlines across Asia, now one of the busiest air traffic regions in the world,” noted Corda. “The global SES fleet is well positioned to meet the developing and increasing demand for in-flight entertainment and communications services worldwide,” Corda explained. “Our SES-9 AND SES-12 satellites are great examples of the combination of high throughput satellite and wide beam satellite capabilities SES is bringing to the aeronautical, maritime, and global mobility markets.”

SES and Kiora Partner to Develop Wi-Fi Content Hotspots For Sub-Saharan Africa
SES Broadband Services is to partner with content platform developer Kiora on a content distribution and connectivity platform in Sub-Saharan Africa. This platform is to enable a very cost effective delivery of content and Internet access through a network of Wi-Fi Content Hotspots planned to be located at retail outlets and in public spaces.

The solution combines Kiora’s end-to-end service platform for the delivery of media content via Wi-Fi Content Hotspots and the SES Broadband satellite network, used for Point-to-Multipoint backhauling and end-to-end managed Internet access.

Patrick Biewer, Managing Director of SES Broadband Services, commented: “The predominance of smart phones and tablets in the Sub-Saharan market is driving more and more users to watch content, creating a surge in the consumption of on-demand media and a need to be connected to the Internet anytime, anywhere. Costly Point-to-Point backhauling and a lack of terrestrial connectivity remains a problem that prevents devices from obtaining content. With this new solution we aim to solve the bottleneck.”

Prasad Sanagavarapu, CEO Kiora Inc., said: “Kiora is a content distribution platform specifically designed for emerging markets, providing a mobile data offloading solution for premium video. The platform provides a cheaper alternative to users than traditional mobile content delivery networks. We are very excited about the partnership with SES Broadband Services, whereby we will create a compelling offering for service providers in these markets to address the large and growing mobile user base. We are pleased to be bringing much needed satellite Internet connectivity and a mobile content delivery platform together as one bundle.”