Leosat is planning to place between 78 and 108 satellites into orbit at 1400 kms high. The first satellites are due for launch in 2021. The company says it already has around $700 million in client commitments. Japan’s JSAT and Spain’s Hispasat have invested in the company.
The satellites will work uniquely by transmitting signals directly from satellite to satellite using optical laser-type links. Leosat says partially due to physics and partially due to its unique design, the Leosat High Throughput Satellite (HTS) network will provide faster high-throughput links than existing satellite systems and outperform terrestrial fiber links in speed on long-distance network routes.
Satellite Evolution magazine has carried an interview with Ronald van der Breggen, CCO of Leosat, who says that Leosat’s technology will make it competitive against fibre communication as in space bits travel at the speed of light, i.e., 50 per cent faster than in a fibre optic cable. The fastest cable connection between London and Singapore requires 192ms while Leosat claims its technology can connect both cities in 120ms.”
In a note to investors issued by equity analyst Sami Kassab from bankers Exane/BNP, he says: “Leosat says its technology is able to compete against fibre and hence considers its market as the global data communications market, which Van der Breggen claims is 200 times bigger than the current satellite market. He also argues that its rooftop-to-rooftop connectivity offers a more secure network environment than traditional terrestrial networks.”
“In the context where OneWeb, Leosat and other LEO constellation projects have yet to close their financing, the Leosat CCO makes an attractive case for taking share from global telcos in the multi trillion communication market,” says Kassab. “However, the oversupply of HTS capacity and related pricing pressure makes us sceptical about the economic success of all these upcoming constellations. In our view, consolidation or failure are also plausible outcomes in the LEO segment.”