SES and Thales unveil next-gen connectivity plan

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April 5, 2017 – SES and Thales Alenia Space (TAS) have announced the addition of a SpaceFlex digital transparent processor (DTP) onboard the SES-17 satellite, which is claimed to enable SES to offer its mobility customers greater efficiency and flexibility in bandwidth management capabilities. SES-17’s next-generation fully digital payload has been jointly optimized by SES and Thales Alenia Space over the past year. SES-17, which was procured in September 2016, will cover North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, and is expected to be delivered in 2020.

Equipped with close to 200 spot beams of mixed sizes, the fully digital SES-17 spacecraft will enable mobility customers to efficiently and flexibly modify their networks in real time in response to changing bandwidth demands, either on a daily schedule or in response to unanticipated changes such as weather. According to SES, this harmonization of management of services and optimization of service quality will enable customers to deliver high-speed broadband in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

Additional claimed capabilities made possible by the addition of the SpaceFlex DTP include an improved ability for SES and its customers to implement mesh, broadcast and multicast network configurations; improved efficiency in throughput and bandwidth use, resulting in greater price competitiveness; and new redundancy features that will deliver reliable and robust networks. Through the DTP-enhanced satellite, SES-17’s anchor customer, Thales InFlyt Experience, is expected to enjoy enhanced flexibility and efficiency to deliver industry-leading speed and capacity.

“Consumption of data has evolved dramatically over the years and will continue to do so. Our first geostationary Ka-band satellite with this next-generation DTP is a keystone in SES’s unique satellite architecture. It is designed to provide unrivalled flexibility in terms of capacity allocation so that our customers’ connectivity needs of tomorrow are fulfilled,” said Martin Halliwell, CTO at SES. “Through Thales Alenia Space’s expertise, we are excited to be providing a satellite that will deliver seamless connectivity of unmatched performance for our customers.”

Dominique Giannoni, CEO at Thales InFlyt Experience stated, “Adding the latest-generation processor onboard SES-17 dramatically increases FlytLIVE’s coverage, capacity and redundancy, enabling Thales to provide the connected inflight experience that our customers and their passengers expect, today and well into the future. With FlytLIVE, passengers will enjoy full internet connectivity, including the ability to stream internet services for video, games, social media and live television, creating an immersive and engaging experience in the air.”

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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