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Kepler and Cobham to deliver high-capacity data services in new partnership

Cobham’s SAILOR 600 steerable VSAT and Kepler’s Ku-band high-throughput nanosatellite Cobham’s SAILOR 600 steerable VSAT and Kepler’s Ku-band high-throughput nanosatellite

Kepler Communications and Cobham SATCOM have announced a strategic partnership aimed at eliminating barriers to widespread adoption of high capacity data services over Kepler’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network. 

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} Under the new arrangement, organisations evaluating Kepler’s ability to cost-effectively move multiple gigabytes of data per day around the globe can experience a fully managed trial of the service anywhere on the planet with no upfront CAPEX spend, no lengthy service commitment, and certified installation & support executed through Cobham SATCOM’s global Technical Service Partner network.

The Kepler-Cobham partnership offers a ‘User Terminal-as-a-Service’ (UTaaS) and centres on three core principles: shifting equipment costs to a monthly operational fee from a more traditional one-time capital expense; embedding installation, technical support, terminal maintenance, warehousing, and transport services into the monthly fees with future capabilities for add-on services; and exchanging technical know-how to improve the delivery of LEO wideband services going forward.

“Proven, reliable ground segment is a critical piece for delivering wideband services from LEO,” said Jeffrey Osborne, co-founder and VP of business development at Kepler. “The cost of today’s tracking antennas as well as the complexity of coordinating setup, installation and support are understandable roadblocks for those wishing to test drive our Global Data Service. At Kepler our goal is to deliver the most frictionless customer experience possible so that anyone with a potential use case for this ground-breaking capability can simply say ‘yes’ and keep their focus on the really important elements of their application. Our partnership with Cobham enables us to create exactly that experience where we can scalably execute demonstrations anywhere on the planet all for a manageable monthly OPEX fee that includes hardware, setup, support, and airtime.”

The companies have confirmed that Cobham’s full range of SAILOR and Sea Tel antenna systems are both fully capable of tracking LEO satellites both on land and at sea.

Kepler and Cobham successfully deployed a field trial recently of two augmented Sea Tel antennas aboard the Polarstern research vessel. Currently, the system is undergoing trials in the central Arctic well beyond the range of traditional geostationary satellites and has demonstrated up to 40 Mbps downlink and 120 Mbps uplink.

“Kepler’s creative approach is unique for our industry,” said Matt Galston, sr. director global market strategy & development, Cobham SATCOM. “By starting with a small number of satellites in operation, they are able to focus more directly on solving problems for the end-user. Our collaboration demonstrates how some solutions come through partnerships, new commercial models, and a shared goal of delighting end users while being able to scale that delight to many more in the future. It’s exciting to be a part of this journey, and we are confident Kepler’s future is very bright.” {/mprestriction}

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