Category: Video

Region: Asia

2 min read

How SES Is Leading the Industry in Space Innovation

Written on 22 Nov 2018

The global space economy is set to grow to USD 1.1 trillion by 2040, up from just USD 329 million in 2016.[1]  Satellite operators have a key role to play in this future space ecosystem, and SES is constantly forging ahead to raise the bar for innovation.

Here are some ways SES is pushing the boundaries of space technology further out into the frontier.

Flight-Proven Rocket Launch
On 30 March 2017, SES became the first in the world to launch a satellite on a flight-proven rocket - that is, a rocket that had gone into space once before and was making a second trip. The launch of the SES-10 satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket marked a milestone in the space race towards reusable rockets.[2]  Reusable rockets could revolutionise the space industry by allowing for more frequent launches and driving costs down further.

The longevity of satellites is further compounded by the fact that they can now re-fuel while in orbit, allowing operators to fully maximise their potential like never before.

On-Orbit Refuelling Services
In 2017, SES also became the first commercial satellite operator to contract on-orbit refuelling services for its satellites. Many satellites are in good operating condition while in orbit, limited not by their 15-year design life but the remaining fuel on board. On-orbit refuelling provides a new lease of life for these satellites, by maintaining revenue streams and granting operators with ample time to develop an optimal fleet management strategy.[3]

Advances in technology also mean that satellites are now able to take on bigger payloads despite consuming much less energy.

Electric Propulsion
Our satellites are much more efficient as they are propelled electrically. Compared to chemical propulsion, an all-electric satellite can weigh 50% less. This frees up space on the spacecraft, which can be used either to pack more payload, or to allow for larger satellites with more functionalities to be launched. In short, electric propulsion provides greater flexibility and maximises efficiency, resulting in less wastage.[4]

Multi-Purpose Satellites
Most satellites today are purpose-built with a specific mission to carry out.

But soon that will change. SES is looking to develop multi-purpose satellites that can deliver a range of solutions, including direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting, video satellite, or even mobility and data connectivity services, among others. This will in turn make satellite technology more cost efficient, productive and boost access to space flight.[5]

Video-streaming services in particular, have received a major boost as a result of advanced satellite technology.

In fact, a report by Statista indicates that the number of people signing up for video streaming services are set to rise 45% from 283 million in 2018 to 411 million by the year 2022.

Pioneering Innovative Video Solutions Via Satellite Technology
SES has been one of the pioneers of end-to-end video solutions through the use of its advanced satellite technology. It provides some of the most innovative solutions for pay-TV, internet service providers (ISPs), cable and mobile network operators (MNOs) to provide differentiated video experiences to existing consumers.

The company was the first satellite operator to broadcast a commercial Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) channel, and it broadcasts the largest share of High Definition (HD) channels of any satellite operator.[6]

SES has over 50 satellites in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO), which means content owners, platforms, and viewers can benefit from the rock-solid reliability and global coverage of the SES fleet. The company serves 145 million satellite homes, 147 million cable homes and 40 million IPTV homes.[7]  The reason for the company’s massive reach across the globe is simple—its satellite technology. A single satellite can deliver television broadcasts to an unlimited number of antennas within its wide beam. And when a satellite is directed towards a region, antennas in the location will pick up the signal.[8]

To find out more about how SES is reimagining the future of video through satellite technology, contact us today.


[1]SES: How SES is driving Space Innovation

[2] Engadget: SpaceX is saving a ton of money by re-using Falcon 9 rockets

[3] SES: Refuelling On-Orbital Satellites

[4] SES: Electric Propulsion: Revolutionising the Satellite Industry

[5] Broadband World News: Multi-Use Satellite RFP on Near-Horizon for SES Networks

[6] SES: How SES’s Differentiated Solutions are Empowering Customers

[7] SES: SES Monitor 2017

[8] SES: Transforming Video Services

Written on 22 Nov 2018