Two months after International Eagle rebranded as Anuvu, the cell connectivity and passenger expertise supplier is engaged on the launch of the Anuvu Constellation beneath a brand new partnership with microGEO excessive throughput satellite tv for pc producer Astranis.
Beneath the brand new partnership, Anuvu plans to launch a complete of eight microGEO satellites, with the primary two on monitor for early 2023. Astranis describes its satellites as microGEO as a result of in contrast to conventional heavy geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) satellites, they’re one meter cubed, weigh lower than 400kg, and could be in-built months quite than the standard years-long improvement cycle required for brand new satellites.
Mike Pigott, Anuvu’s govt vice chairman, instructed Avionics Worldwide that he sees the partnership introducing a disruptive and extra agile methodology of offering in-flight connectivity (IFC) service to airways.
“We expect it is a full revolution and a game-changer within the IFC house. Our new accomplice Astranis has developed a satellite tv for pc platform that’s able to quickly being personalized to an software, quickly being constructed and quickly being launched into service,” Pigott stated. “So as a substitute of the standard five-year cycle of deterring whether or not we must always construct a satellite tv for pc and what ought to go on that satellite tv for pc, we will do all of that in 24 months and get a satellite tv for pc that’s targeted on our mobility functions.”
In accordance with a July 27 press launch, the primary two satellites being developed for the Anuvu constellation will primarily serve their aviation and maritime operators in North America and the Caribbean. Anuvu is utilizing the brand new partnership so as to add the microGEO satellites onto its present constellation of the 5 fully-leased GEO satellites that it operates in the present day.
Pigott sees the Astranis partnership as probably the most smart subsequent step for Anuvu, an organization that beneath its former International Eagle Leisure model has by no means really developed or operated its personal satellite tv for pc community, selecting as a substitute to buy payloads on satellites and handle them in orbit. The community administration system that they’ve developed will permit them to simply combine the brand new smaller Astranis satellites into their present operation.
The timing of the primary two microGEO satellites coming on-line in 2023 is right for International Eagle as effectively, as the corporate will even look to reap the benefits of Telesat’s Lightspeed Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation. Telesat expects its LEO constellation—initially that includes as much as 298 Ka-band satellites—to be prepared to start business companies by the second half of 2023.
“The Anuvu constellation is our addition of micro GEO on prime of our GEO belongings. We nonetheless plan on utilizing legacy heavy GEO satellites, micro GEO dietary supplements, after which we’ve carried out quite a lot of testing with Telesat’s Lightspeed LEO constellations. We’re one of many pioneers with that, we did the primary LEO to GEO handover exams with one in all our antennas on our testbed plane. The rationale we’re ready to try this basically is that once we entered the GEO market, we entered it with third-party satellites and constructed a community administration system that’s simply ready so as to add capability from a various set of satellites as new generations develop into accessible,” Pigott stated.
As Anuvu strikes towards the launch of the brand new constellation, Pigott stated the corporate will proceed to compete throughout the airline IFEC enterprise whereas serving its present base of International Eagle airways. Airways utilizing older and newer generations of Anuvu’s present satellite tv for pc IFC embrace Southwest Airways, Icelandair, Turkish Airways, Air France, and flydubai amongst others. In accordance with Pigott, all of Anuvu’s present in-service gear helps in-flight streaming and bandwidth-intensive IFC functions, though the corporate leaves the choice as much as the airline on whether or not or to not allow that characteristic for passengers. Pigott, who labored for Anuvu beneath the previous International Eagle Leisure model all through its submitting for Chapter 11 chapter and emergence from that submitting earlier this yr, stated the partnership with Astranis will even assist them meet a shift in airways wanting elevated flexibility within the IFC enterprise fashions they use.
“I might say we’re seeing in a submit COVID world, the precise issues that we predict we excel at, and that is further flexibility. We’re seeing airways need further flexibility, not only for actually dramatic conditions like COVID, however simply normal enterprise market modifications,” Pigott stated. “I believe the airways world wide are recognizing that buyer demand is barely going up and so they want some technique to meet that buyer demand on a enterprise mannequin that doesn’t break their funds. We’ve a wide range of enterprise fashions we use with airways, corresponding to flat pricing, session pricing, consumption pricing and we normally can discover a great path based mostly on the financial state of affairs of the airline and the kind of buyer expertise they need to allow.”