April 18 2019  |  Connectivity & Satellites

SES business goes into orbit with new satellite system

By Mary Jane Pittilla

Aditya Chatterjee, Senior Vice President of Aero Market Solutions for SES

“A dramatic, disruptive concept for airlines.” That’s the description given by Aditya Chatterjee, Senior Vice President of Aero Market Solutions for SES, about a next-generation medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellite-based system that’s set to be introduced by the Luxembourg-based satellite operator in 2021.

This new satellite system – known as O3b mPOWER, positioned at approximately 8,000 kilometers away from the Earth – will enable next-generation aircraft connectivity services such as virtual gaming, chat and other live streaming applications for passengers onboard.

SES is building a global multi-band, multi-orbit network of smart, seamless coverage by bringing a game-changing combination of Ku- and Ka-band capacity to the market, which is “very advanced tech”, said Chatterjee, who joined SES from Global Eagle in 2017 to spearhead the company’s efforts in providing cost-effective satellite connectivity solutions to the aviation industry.

SES is currently one of the leading connectivity providers to cruise ship operators, providing high-powered capacity up to 1 Gbps to a single vessel, thanks to the combination of its MEO and GEO satellite system. “We disrupted the system in the cruise sector, and SES is poised to do the same in aero,” he said.

“We aren’t just a satellite operator – we’re in the business of selling speeds and capacity as a network operator,” explained Chatterjee. “As a provider of global managed data services, we provide more value, and it’s more efficient for our customers for business reasons. Customers want more than capacity and we can provide end-to-end pipes to an aircraft for our ASP customers.”

In the aviation space, SES’s key customers are service providers such as Panasonic, Gogo, Global Eagle and Thales Avionics.

The company aims to introduce this global, multi-band, multi-orbit network of smart, seamless coverage to the aviation marketplace with the launch of O3b mPOWER in 2021.

“It’s an opportunity and a challenge. Our service must be reliable, global, intelligent and highly available,” he told PAX.

On April 4, the company launched four new MEO satellites, bringing the number of O3b satellites to 20 and making the transition into its next-generation MEO system. It now operates more than 70 MEO and GEO satellites worldwide.

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