SES, Thales to provide FlyLIVE in-flight broadband

Monday 12 September 2016 | 09:09 CET | News

SES has contracted Thales Alenia Space to produce SES-17, a powerful high throughput satellite that will extend SES’ capability for inflight connectivity and which will deliver capacity and managed services for data customers over the entire Americas and the Atlantic Ocean. The satellite is expected to launch in 2020. Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (33%).

SES also entered into a long-term commercial agreement with Thales to offer FlytLIVE, a new inflight connectivity service over the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean region. SES will operate the satellite infrastructure for FlytLIVE, as well as the complementary ground network. The service will include full internet services, including video streaming, games, social media and live television to passengers traveling over North America, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean. Thales will launch FlytLIVE in 2017, operating it prior to the launch of SES-17 in 2020 on two existing Ka-band multi-beam satellites from SES.

Built on an all-electric version of Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus NEO platform, SES-17 will weigh more than six metric tons at launch and will offer payload power in excess of 15 kW, with a design life of 15 years. Its highly flexible payload, with close to 200 spot beams of different sizes, will be designed to provide optimal coverage for the densest data corridors in the Americas (North America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America) and over the Atlantic Ocean. The orbital position and the intended launch vehicle have not been disclosed yet. The procurement of SES-17 fits within SES's existing CapEx guidance.

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