back to article This ain't over, Viasat snarls as tribunal rules in satellite rival's favour

US satcom provider Viasat has declared it will appeal a British tribunal ruling that rival European operator Inmarsat had not breached its licence by becoming part of an EU-wide satellite broadband network. Not only did Ofcom in October 2017 brush aside the American firm's challenge against Inmarsat's use of its 2GHz spectrum …

  1. Frederic Bloggs

    I'm confused...

    How is an aircraft, flying at 30000ft+, going to select a base station on the ground from the several 1000 that have been lit up by its broadcasts? It never used to work. has LTE got some magic that allows this to happen now?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I'm confused...

      "How is an aircraft, flying at 30000ft+, going to select a base station on the ground from the several 1000 that have been lit up by its broadcasts? "

      You're assuming the density of base stations that goes with a _terrestrial_ network.

      550 airliners spread across europe @ 5 miles up giving a 100 mile or so horizon means _BIG_ LTE cell sizes (1-300 miles across). It's not exactly a densely populated operation so they don't need to be closely packed like you do for ground-based comms with short horizon distances and much higher user densities.

  2. lglethal Silver badge

    Not sure if i followed this article correctly...

    My reading of the article was along the following lines, can someone confirm i have it right?

    So, Europe decides to create a framework for an EU wide Satellite access network for aircraft. As part of that Ofcom provides a tender for a UK wide network at 2GHz which Inmarsat wins. Viasat doesnt even apply.

    After Inmarsat starts selling a service which then competes with Viasat, Viasat sues Ofcom under the principle that Ofcom didnt have the rights to sell a UK wide network. I assume this is because Viasat expected the network to be sold off at european level rather than national level. They lost that case, appealed and have now had this appeal also rejected.

    If i have that correct, then either Viasat didnt pay attention to how the plan to build the EU network was created (i.e. each nation opening a tender) and made an assumption it would be done at the european level, OR it was communicated that there would be a single EU wide tender and they were waiting for that, in which case their fight shouldnt really be with Ofcom but with the false communication from the relevant EU body. OR (and probably more likely), they didnt think anyone else could come up with a competing product, and so didnt bother to get involved until after their competition was already in the game and had spent a ton of money. That last one is definitely the American way...

    Have i got this all correct or am i missing sometihng?

    1. JohnG

      Re: Not sure if i followed this article correctly...


      "Viasat first aimed a legal kick at Inmarsat after the latter won an EU contract in early 2017, the European Aviation Network (EAN)..."

      Procurements funded by the European Commission are typically open only to entities from EU member states, which would exclude Viasat.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "The high load scenario was expressed as 50 per cent of passengers"

    50% ?

    Have they seen people with mobile phones who don't care about talking to people around them ?

    I wonder what they consider an ultra-high load . . .

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