Spacecom charts maritime expansion after landing first customer

TAMPA, Fla. – Israeli satellite operator Spacecom is adjusting its business to serve maritime customers as the market shows signs of recovery from the pandemic.

Spacecom said on May 12 that it has redirected a Ku-band beam on its AMOS-17 satellite to the Indian Ocean for future growth opportunities after securing its first maritime customer.

This customer is using AMOS-17’s Ka band to connect superyachts in the Indian Ocean, according to a Spacecom executive, who said the redirected Ku band allows the operator to provide up to 2 gigabits per second of capacity in the region.

The Ku-band transponder is one of 18 aboard AMOS-17 and previously offered services in eastern and southern Africa by land and sea, said Ofer Asif, Spacecom’s senior vice president of business development, strategy and marketing.

“With increasing demand for maritime services in East Africa and the Indian Ocean, we moved terrestrial customers to the AMOS-7 satellite and re-pointed the AMOS-17 beam to cover the Indian Ocean region,” Asif said. Space news.

AMOS-17 is Spacecom’s newest satellite and was launched in 2019 to provide broadcast and broadband services in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia.

AMOS-7 is a Spacecom satellite is leasing from AsiaSat, based in Hong Kong under a deal forged in 2016 to fill a coverage gap left by AMOS-6, which was destroyed after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket preparing to launch it exploded during a fuel test.

“Spacecom is working on all aspects of the maritime market, from superyachts and commercial vessels, to container ships, oil and gas platforms, regular shipping and also for security applications.” Asif added.

Large cruise ships and more than 60% of passenger cruise ships resumed service in 2021 after being forced aground by pandemic-related travel restrictions, according to an annual report on the maritime market published on April 20 by analysts at Euroconsult.

More maritime traffic helped the number of active very small aperture terminals (VSATs) increase by 32% to 31,100 terminals in 2021 compared to 2020.

However, the market still has “a long way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels,” Euroconsult added, as the industry continues to feel pressure from long-standing international travel restrictions.

Spacecom’s diversification strategy comes after 4iG, a Hungarian IT and communications company, announced plans in June to buy 51% of Spacecom and expand its service portfolio.

Israeli government concerns about Spacecom satellites being under foreign control and 4iG’s ties to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban have delayed closing the deal. the jerusalem post reported in January.

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