Advanced Television

Mangata wins UK satellite licence

February 13, 2023

By Chris Forrester

UK communications regulator Ofcom has given MangataEdge, part of Mangata Networks, a licence to operate satellite-based frequencies for fixed and mobile communications.

Mangata has already announced it will build a factory to build its satellites in Prestwick, Scotland, and which will employ up to 575 jobs. The company raised $33 million (€30.9m) in funding a year ago with some of the cash coming from Intellectual Ventures’ Invention Science Fund, which is backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and IV’s co-founder, Nathan Myhrvold.

Brian Holz is CEO. Holz was CTO at O3b Networks (now owned by SES) and headed up OneWeb for two years.

The idea behind Mangata Networks is to create an Earth-orbiting constellation with some satellites in highly elliptical orbit, or HEO, plus others in medium Earth orbit, or MEO. Those satellites would optimize connectivity with an Earth-based system of MangataEdge micro data centres, extending the power of cloud computing to edge networks that would be close to network users.

The current timetable calls for an initial launch of eight HEO satellites to open the way for the start of service in the Northern Hemisphere in 2025. Eventually, the constellation would grow to 791 satellites providing global coverage.

The Ofcom licence, issued on February 9th, followed an examination to ensure that Mangata’s transmissions would not be a problem for other satellite operators.

“Mangata has confirmed that it will operate under UK filings,” Ofcom said. “This means we can direct Mangata to change or cease transmissions under our procedures, if necessary.”

Mangata is not targeting consumers at home but corporate, enterprise and governmental clients.

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