Northern Sky Research

The Bottom Line

Archive: August 2012 (X)

  • HTS Paradigm Shift

    Aug 28th, 2012 by NSR

    Sometimes it seems like change in the commercial satellite industry only occur at a snail’s pace. Yet, since NSR first began promoting its concept of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) as the most effective way (from a market development point of view) to categorize the emerging class of multi-spot beam, high frequency reuse satellites and payloads, the pace of change in how the industry views HTS has changed quite quickly by the standards of our modern, Internet-driven world.

    When NSR…

  • Banking on Pre-Paid Subs?

    Aug 27th, 2012 by Claude Rousseau   More from this Analyst | Profile

    Inmarsat’s Q2 2012 earnings showed it reached 65,000 handheld subscribers and was growing its base by over 1,000 units a week.  It later announced a pre-paid service for voice and data transactions originating in the U.S. and its territories that will help push subscriber numbers. For a business that cost it nearly $100 million to establish, Inmarsat is hard-pressed to show a positive bottom line for its handheld business, and pre-paid usually grows the number of subs quickly.  But…

  • Is SpaceX Cash Flow-Fatigued?

    Aug 20th, 2012 by NSR

    The renegotiation of the SpaceX/Iridium launch services agreement (LSA), announced in early August, may signal cash-flow difficulties for SpaceX and could create challenges for the company in the short term.  Fortunately, better days may only be a few months away.

    On August 2, Iridium announced a modification of its LSA with SpaceX. Initially calling for 72 satellites over 8 rockets (cost of $492 million), the LSA now calls for 70 satellites over 7 rockets (cost of $453.1 million). Cost…