Satellite operator SES has ordered SES-17, a high throughput satellite to be built by Thales Alenia Space.
SES has 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 new satellite SES-17, which is expected to be launched in 2020, will operate in geostationary orbit in the Ka frequency band.
SES has entered into a separate commercial agreement with Thales, a leader in inflight entertainment and connectivity for airline passengers over the Americas. As SES-17’s first large anchor customer, Thales will be using the satellite’s next generation high throughput coverage to provide FlytLIVE 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.
The satellite will have close to 200 spot beams of different sizes, designed to provide coverage the Americas and over the Atlantic Ocean. The orbital position and the intended launch vehicle have not been disclosed yet.
Karim Michel Sabbagh, President and CEO of SES, said, “SES-17 is another keystone in our unique satellite architecture and a major milestone in the execution of our strategy to build a differentiated portfolio of high throughput systems for very distinct customer needs. The new satellite will further strengthen our network capabilities to deliver unmatched next generation connectivity services. SES-17 is tailor-made for customers who demand globally flexible, scalable, future-proof and resilient solutions in the aeronautical sector, but also in other demanding data markets. The procurement of SES-17 also illustrates our long-standing relationship with Thales Alenia Space, which has built 12 satellites for O3b and is in the midst of building another eight.”