Thales, a global leader in space, avionics, and connected inflight entertainment, announces two milestone agreements with SES, the world’s leading satellite operator. With these agreements, Thales will offer airlines and their passengers FlytLIVE, the most efficient inflight connectivity experience over the Americas. FlytLIVE by Thales will start operating mid 2017 using in-orbit satellites.
To meet the needs of a growing market, SES will procure a new satellite specifically designed for the needs of FlytLIVE and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space to be launched in 2020. The satellite’s architecture is based on Thales Alenia Space’s all-electric version of the Spacebus NEO platform, the highest performing satellite in the global connectivity market.
“Thales works together with its customers to help drive digital transformation across a broad range of sectors; whether it be aviation, ground transportation, aerospace, defence or security. Through this partnership with SES, and by leveraging Thales Alenia Space’s expertise, we are developing a satellite uniquely optimized for the fast moving aviation and mobility market. This will enable us to offer airline customers, a simple and seamless connectivity solution with unmatched performance,” said Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO, Thales Group.
Airlines will take advantage of Thales’s full end-to-end solutions including products such as the modular antenna and multi-frequency radome, in-cabin Wi-Fi and portal platform. The offering also provides bandwidth and session management, content delivery, operational support tools, line maintenance and turnkey service and support with high Service Level Agreements.
FlytLIVE services will use the SES unsurpassed connectivity network of Ka-band High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) services optimized for airlines who want the best connection speeds for their customers.
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.” Karim Michel Sabbagh, President & CEO of SES.
Thales InFlyt Experience, Thales Alenia Space and SES specifically developed the network and satellite architecture for the unique connectivity requirements of commercial aviation customers resulting in better services, more efficient operations and cost savings. SES will operate the satellites and the ground network. The services will be ready for airline and passenger use by summer of 2017 and will be provided by two satellites that are currently in-orbit.
The third satellite in the network to be launched, SES-17, will be optimized for the fast-moving aviation and mobility market over the Americas. It will provide new Ka-HTS bandwidth over this region to meet current and future speed, coverage and quality expectations of crowded skies and increasing passenger service demands as regional airline passenger traffic is forecasted to nearly double by 2030.
The satellite will be equipped with close to 200 spot beams of mixed size for more flexible allocation of capacity over high-traffic airline routes and field-of-view beams to enable the most efficient delivery of Internet, live broadcast television and real-time content delivery. SES-17 will cover North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic ocean. The network will provide substantial gains over today’s broadband connections, ensuring ultra-high speeds, capacity, coverage and quality.
NOTE: The growth projection for the Americas is derived by year-over-year passenger increases into 2030 compared with current passenger numbers and assumptions on market trends. [International Air Transport Association and Tourism Economics. (2015). “Air Passenger Forecasts – Global Report.” Retrieved from: https://www.iata.org/pressroom/media-kit/Documents/air-passenger-forecasts-summary.pdf.]