SES: O3b a “top priority”

Satellite giant SES looks as if it is modifying its expectations. For a start it North America revenues are flat, according to its results released on Oct 31st. It is also suffering a downturn in its ‘governmental’ business now that the US military business is being trimmed because of US budget cuts.

SES CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh, speaking to analysts on Oct 31st, made his wishes clear that he wants to see further expansion at O3b, the satellite constellation that will serve the ‘other 3 billion’. However, O3b has technology issues on its first 4 satellites which will mean a $315 million insurance claim. The troubled satellites are still flying but will have shorter lives than expected. Four other satellites are working well, and the final batch of 4 in the initial constellation of 12 will launch next month.

Sabbagh said that last week’s emergency aircraft landing of its Astra 2G satellite had not created any problems for the satellite which is in good shape and ready for launch.

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