July 22, 2016 Community

The Week in Space: Business Digest, July 15-22

A digest of last week's developments in space business.

European Commission greenlights ASL takeover of Arianespace.

On July 20th, the European Commission had approved the takeover of Arianespace by Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL). ? The decision is expected to be followed up by a transaction between ASL and the French space agency, CNES. ASL is expected to pay about $166 million to CNES, which has previously said that the money will be invested into their programs without going into the French general treasury.

The commission was tasked with determining whether Arianespace has a monopoly on global commercial launch services. However, as both SpaceX and ILS (International Launch Services) provide significant competition, the commission concluded that the global launch market is highly dynamic and Arianespace does not have a monopoly on launch services.

According to the commission report, “the commitments offered by ASL address the commission’s concerns in full as they will prevent any exchange of sensitive information between Airbus and Arianespace to the detriment of competing satellite manufacturers and launch service providers.”

Nearly two dozen new countries expected to invest in space programs in the next decade.

Euroconsult, a leading global consulting firm that specializes in space markets, has released a report, which names twenty-four countries as emerging space programs (ESPs). The Trends & Prospects for Emerging Space Programs report estimates that in the next decade, the number of ESPs will increase to 47 countries, including 23 new ones, who are expected to make their first investment in a space program between 2016 and 2025.

Euroconsult has created an index which models the likelihood of a new country investing in a satellite system. The ESP Index is a three-stage process that includes data collection, analysis and ranking of 148 countries.

"Based on their score in Euroconsult's ESP Index, some countries show a high profile regarding potential investment in satellite solutions and acquisition; four countries show very high potential as they rank in the top 20 countries while not having yet procured a satellite," said Steve Bochinger, COO of Euroconsult and editor of the report. "Five other countries rank between 20th and 30th position."

SES announces collaboration with Tomorrowland music festival

SES S.A., a leading satellite operator, has announced its collaboration with Tomorrowland, the largest electronic music festival in the world. The three-day long festival, which takes place in Belgium, will be broadcast live to seven countries in high definition, using SES satellites.

Tomorrowland is held in Boom, Belgium, and is expecting about 180,000 attendees this year. The second night of the festival, the UNITE global event, will be simultaneously held in Mexico, India, Japan, Colombia, Germany, South Africa and Israel.

“Satellite remains the ideal platform for the transmission of live events in high picture quality to a large audience,” said Laurent Petit, Vice President, Global Accounts & Occasional Use at SES. “We are proud to partner with Tomorrowland and bring the magic of the festival to thousands of music lovers across the world. For the event to be successful, the festival’s madness needs to be constantly on, and for that a seamless live connection is key. Contributing to UNITE is a logical activity for us, as the event’s goal is the same as ours: connecting the world, beyond borders.”

Thales Alenia Space completes construction of EAN satellite.

This is a key milestone the comes after a rigorous two-year-long building process. The complete S-band payload module had been in testing at Thales Alenia Space since early July. The satellite is currently undergoing further testing before it can be declared ready for flight (scheduled for 2017).

The European Aviation Network (EAN) is the first integrated satellite and air-to-ground network in the world, the goal of which is to provide in-flight broadband for Europe's aviation industry. The satellite is designed to provide mobile satellite services to aircraft flying over European routes, with the S-band spectrum allocated to all 28 EU states, as well as Norway and Switzerland.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “The European Aviation Network has been specifically engineered to meet the connectivity needs of the aviation industry and is a cornerstone in our expanding worldwide mobile cellular network. It will offer unprecedented high-speed capacity at 75Mb/s with near zero latency while flying over Europe, so passengers can enjoy an easy-to-use true broadband experience for internet streaming, gaming and other online services direct to their personal smart devices. In addition, with no moving parts on the aircraft, the solution is not only lightweight, but also easy to install, very robust and low maintenance. The on-time construction of our multi-beam satellite, as well as Deutsche Telekom’s ground network of approximately 300 new LTE sites across Europe, highlights the rapid progress we are making with the European Aviation Network. The coming together of Inmarsat and market-leaders across Europe, including Thales, Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Cobham SATCOM and OTE, on this ground-breaking development will strengthen Europe’s position as a global technology innovator and support the continued growth of its aviation industry.”

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