Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Telesat begins testing low-Earth orbit satellite Internet service

SpaceX and OneWeb get a lot of publicity and have ambitious plans, but Telesat is the first low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite Internet service provider to begin testing with potential resellers.

Last January, Telesat launched a demonstration satellite and it is now ready for testing. Maritime connectivity provider OmniAccess and Australian ISP Optus had committed to testing the system previously and this week they were joined by in-flight entertainment company Global Eagle Entertainment.

Global Eagle CEO Josh Marks said he was persuaded to collaborate with Telesat by their planned coverage over oceans, polar regions and high-latitude routes and their "open architecture" business model. In addition to testing, they "will collaborate with Telesat on both the technology and commercial model for their new LEO platform.”

OneWeb and several airlines have formed the Seamless Air Alliance, which is developing standards for in-flight Internet connectivity through LEO satellites. I wonder whether Telesat and Global Eagle will join the alliance or go their own way.



Click here for a survey and updated progress report on Telesat and other potential LEO-satellite based Internet service providers.