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Rivada confirms plans for LEO constellation

March 25, 2022

By Chris Forrester

Germany-based Rivada Space Networks says it will start launching a mega-constellation of 600 low Earth orbiting satellites in 2024. Full deployment will take place by mid-2028.

The company says it is currently undertaking an RFI with major satellite manufacturers to finalise the system design and manufacturing plan, paving the way for the production and deployment of the entire constellation.

Rivada Space Networks was established by US wireless communications innovator Rivada Networks. The company says that recognising that the business world is increasingly data-driven, cloud-based and cybersecurity conscious and that existing systems do not and cannot meet these needs, wireless technology entrepreneur Declan Ganley formed Rivada Space Networks to deliver a unique solution for secure, global, end-to-end enterprise and government connectivity – responding to specific customer needs that are not being met by today’s technology.

Ganley co-founded Broadnet which in 1999 won 42 German licences. He later sold his shares in Broadnet to Comcast. Entrepreneur Peter Thiel is reported to be involved in financing the businesses. Rivada is derived from the acronym, “Radio Interoperable Voice and Data Applications”.

For the first time, claims the company, Rivada Space Networks will offer access to secure satellite networks with pole-to-pole reach, offering end-to-end latencies similar or better than terrestrial fibre. The Rivada network will operate like an optical backbone in space using lasers to interconnect satellites to deliver an ultra-secure and highly reliable global data network for business operations in the telecom, enterprise, maritime, energy and government services markets.

The constellation’s unique architecture, high speed and low latency, combined with Rivada’s dynamic pricing and open access technology, will also make it possible to bring internet access to remote and underserved areas where no backhaul is currently available, adds the company’s statement.

“Rivada Space Networks will leverage the unique terrestrial wireless technologies of parent company Rivada Networks Inc. to optimise network utilisation and facilitate the buying and selling of broadband capacity. The company’s patented technologies including Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage and Open Access platform will enable efficient use of spectrum and provide customers with ultimate flexibility,” says the company.

Rivada Space Networks Founder Declan Ganley said: “Our goal is to leverage the unique strengths of low-latency satellite communication to provide an enterprise-grade on demand experience anywhere in the world from any platform. Rivada Space Networks will not only provide a competitive advantage, it will help to expand these markets by enabling new opportunities through previously unavailable levels of performance combined with global reach. When wireless technologies converge with satellite over a single, highly secure network – you are going to get the best of both worlds.”

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