Faltering satellite company NewSat has suffered another blow after a United States bankruptcy court sided with Lockheed Martin and cancelled the pair’s contract to build the $600 million Jabiru-1 satellite. NewSat’s administrators PBB Advisory could not provide absolute certainty that the Australian satellite company would succeed with refinancing, leading to the bankruptcy court in Delaware to rescind the Lockheed contract.
Satellite broadband is an option for people who live in rural areas where traditional fixed-line internet services aren’t available. It uses a satellite dish to provide two-way access, and connectivity speeds, which used to be lower, have improved. Download speeds via satellite hookup can now even reach up to 20 megabytes per second. In the US, people who live on farms, or well outside major cities, sometimes resort to satellite internet because fixed-line options don’t make sense.
In Beijing’s newly released comprehensive industrial development program titled “Made In China 2025,” work will be accelerated in the promotion of space infrastructure construction, and the development of new types of satellites and an air-and-space broadband internet systems so that the country can develop the ability to provide constant and stable services in terms of satellite remote sensing, telecommunications and navigation.
Indonesian satellite service provider BigNet announced today that it signed a US$78 million, long-term agreement with Singapore-based Kacific Broadband Satellites. The goal is to bring a new form of high-speed broadband service to Indonesia starting in 2017. Kacific aims to beam signals from its satellites to cover the entire archipelago, with emphasis on providing good quality, affordable internet to developing areas in East Indonesia.
A government research bureau has suggested a new levy on Australia’s biggest telcos to help fund the satellite and wireless components of the national broadband network. In its response to the Vertigan review last December, the federal government said it would task a newly-formed research group within the Department of Communications with looking into alternate ways to fund the rollout of the NBN to unprofitable regional and remote areas.
The first of Inmarsat’s high-capacity GlobalXpress satellites is being used in Nepal after the country was hit by an earthquake and ahead of a global launch for the technology set for later this year, the company said. “We were able to rush terminals into Nepal, and the feedback from that has been great,” chief executive Rupert Pearce said following release of the British satellite maker’s first-quarter earnings.
Vietnam has been using GPS (Global Positioning System), a space-based satellite navigation system created by the US government. If the negotiations succeed and Russia can place Glonass, a GPS-like system, in Vietnam and three other countries, Cuba, Nicaragua and China, this will benefit Vietnamese users because it offers more choices for them. Dr. Doan Minh Chung, head of the Institute of Space Technology Institute, said so when asked if Vietnam could get any benefits from the placement of the satellite in the country.
The national broadband network builder is proposing to charge service providers for instances when end-users miss appointments, make late cancellations or want to reactivate their service. NBN today released a list of proposed charges for the LTS – which is scheduled to launch commercially in the second quarter of next year – as part of industry consultation on the fees. A $15 reactivation fee will be charged to cover the cost of each individual reactivation.
Australian satellite company NewSat has been placed into court-appointed administration in a bid to save its $600 million flailing Jabiru-1 satellite project. NewSat’s secured creditors today appointed PPB Advisory as administrators and McGrathNicol as receivers. Both have been tasked with taking control of NewSat’s assets, urgently assessing its financial position and progressing recently commenced capital raising activities as an immediate priority.
Over the past few years, China’s largest tech companies – Tencent, Alibaba, etc. – have been on a massive investment kick. For example, in 2014 Alibaba invested in everything from maps to apps to soccer teams, and Tencent bought into a litany of new industries including virtual reality and film production. And individually, China’s wealthiest tech CEOs – guys like Lei Jun and Jack Ma – have also been splashing a lot of cash over the past few years. But there’s one area they haven’t really touched: space.
NewSat’s Jabiru-1 satellite project is facing potential collapse after one of the company’s lenders pulled its financial support. The company has been battling to get the project off the ground for the past year after it revealed that financing had been put on hold over “alleged technical or documentary breaches of financial facilities” related to the drawdown of its loan from Ever Tycoon. Debt funding from its US and French financiers was to recommence after NewSat met a number of conditions for a waiver of the breaches.
NewSat has been forced to halt trading on the Australian Stock Exchange as it continues to battle to have funding for its Jabiru-1 satellite project reinstated. The company revealed mid-last year that financing for the satellite project had been put on hold over “alleged technical or documentary breaches of financial facilities” related to the drawdown of its loan from Ever Tycoon.
The United States and Russia announced a joint effort to construct a new space station to replace the International Space Station (ISS), but festering geopolitical tensions might yet undo this plan. The announcement made March 28 in Moscow by the Russian Federal Space Agency or Roscosmos is being hailed as a welcome move despite stubborn tensions between Russia and the U.S., especially over the war in Ukraine.
The Australian Government has signed off on $180 million to pay for a fleet of new satellite receiver terminals for the nation’s Defence Force, with Raytheon and subcontractor L-3 Communications set to take the lion’s share of earnings. The Raytheon/L-3 partnership will deliver ground-based transportable satellite receiver terminals throughout Defence’s Australian sites. The large terminals will have the transmission capacity to support deployed ADF headquarters.
Australia’s aviation services body Airservices Australia has partnered with mobile satellite comms provider Inmarsat and two local airlines to trial improved flight tracking services on commercial flights. Airservices started working with Inmarsat, Qantas and Virgin last month to develop the operational concept for the trial, which uses Inmarsat’s automatic dependant surveillance – contract (ADS-C) satellite-based positioning and messaging technology on flights within Australia’s oceanic regions.
Experts said that Vietnam has learned from countries with developed aerospace technology to choose its own suitable direction for the national aerospace development. It resulted from the Party and State’s decision to invest in the key project for the VAC establishment, aiming to fulfil the national aerospace development strategy towards 2020.
Defence’s satellite communications overhaul has been formally added to its project blacklist, with the expected completion now an anticipated five years behind schedule. The Defence Materiel Organisation yesterday revealed phase 3F of the satellite upgrade, known as joint project 2008, had been added to its ‘project of concern’ list as a result of “significant technical, schedule and cost risks”.
Astroscale, a Singapore-based startup developing satellites to remove space debris from Earth’s orbit, has raised a US$7.7 million series A round, it announced last week. Founded by Japanese entrepreneur Mitsunobu Okada, the company’s new round also consists of investors who are heavyweights in the Japanese tech industry.
NBN Co has ordered all retail service providers on the interim satellite service to enforce a 50GB four-week usage threshold for customers to combat ongoing congestion on the service. In communications sent to RSPs late last month, sighted by iTnews, NBN Co warned any customer who breaches the 50GB limit during any four-week period will have their speed slowed to 128Kbps for two weeks from when they first exceeded the limit.
Vietnam plans to send a nano-satellite weighing 10kg to orbit in 2016, Associate Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, Director of the Vietnam National Satellite Centre (VNSC) has revealed. The NanoDragon satellite will be entirely designed and manufactured by Vietnamese experts, said Tuan. Last year, VNSC also successfully launched a micro satellite called Pico Dragon weighing 1kg.