It has simultaneously entered into a long-term commercial agreement with Thales to offer FlytLIVE, a new inflight connectivity service over the Americas and Atlantic Ocean.
SES will operate the satellite infrastructure for FlytLIVE, as well as the complementary ground network.
SES-17 is expected to be launched in 2020 and will operate in geostationary orbit in the Ka frequency band. It will extend the company’s global capabilities for inflight connectivity and deliver high-powered capacity and managed services for data customers over the entire Americas and the Atlantic Ocean.
Meanwhile, Thales will launch FlytLIVE in 2017, operating it prior to the launch of SES-17 in 2020 on two existing Ka-band multi-beam satellites from SES.
Karim Michel Sabbagh, president & CEO of SES, said: “SES-17 is another keystone in our unique satellite architecture and a major milestone in the execution of our strategy to build a differentiated portfolio of high throughput systems for very distinct customer needs. The new satellite will further strengthen our network capabilities to deliver unmatched next generation connectivity services. SES-17 is tailor-made for customers who demand globally flexible, scalable, future-proof and resilient solutions in the aeronautical sector, but also in other demanding data markets. The procurement of SES-17 also illustrates our long-standing relationship with Thales Alenia Space, which has built 12 satellites for O3b and is in the midst of building another eight.”
Patrice Caine, chairman and CEO of Thales Group, added: “Thales works together with its customers to help drive digital transformation across a broad range of sectors; whether it be aviation, ground transportation, aerospace, defence or security. Through this partnership with SES, and by leveraging Thales Alenia Space’s expertise, we are developing a satellite uniquely optimized for the fast moving aviation and mobility market. This will enable us to offer airline customers, a simple and seamless connectivity solution with unmatched performance.”