SES has launched 03b mPower, a combination of space and ground telecommunications capabilities that will serve airliners and private jets. The space-based network will consist of seven medium Earth orbit (MEO) satellites, which are being manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems.
Launches are expected next year and in 2019, with full 03b mPower network service beginning in 2021. The system will cover four-fifths of the Earth’s surface, to +/-50 degrees latitude, according to SES, “with 30,000 fully shapeable and steerable beams that can be shifted and switched in real time.”
SES already operates a network of 12 MEO satellites. According to the company, SES and 03b mPower partners “will invest in significant ground infrastructure innovations that converge storage, computing and routing resources with software intelligence and application-specific antennas” and also develop a “small, fast and easy-to-install O3b mPower Customer Edge Terminal.”