LeoSat Constellation Explores Bringing Data Connectivity to the Stratosphere


27 October 2016

Today’s business world is more data driven than ever before. This is evidenced by the record number of organisations moving to the cloud in an effort to collect and share information among global customers, collaborators and branch office networks.

For certain industries like finance or oil and gas, however, the enterprise data connectivity solutions currently available do not support the full range of flexible connectivity scenarios that their infrastructures require, including access to remote locations and real-time intercontinental transactions. As such, there has been stagnant innovation and productivity for organisations with unique connectivity challenges, despite the rest of the world growing increasingly interconnected.

To keep these businesses from missing out, LeoSat Enterprises is developing a constellation of communications satellites that will provide the first commercially-available, enterprise-grade satellite data service. This constellation of 108 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites has been designed to provide high-speed connectivity to overcome the shortcomings in existing terrestrial infrastructure.

Shifting the Paradigm in Choice of Connectivity

The goal of LeoSat is to enable the use of satellites for data connectivity as a solution of choice, rather than a gap filler or last resort where no terrestrial alternative is available. This technology would be unique in the telecom industry, as there are no other commercial-grade competitors with similar systems.

The LeoSat Constellation would provide full global coverage over the mesh network via polar orbits to deliver point-to-point connectivity with no terrestrial touch points in between each satellite. Once uplinked to the constellation, data will travel directly from satellite to satellite via a laser before being transmitted back to the ground.

Having completed the design feasibility study, LeoSat is now working on the framework for production and deployment of the constellation. The company hopes to launch two early bird satellites offering GigaByte Store & Forward Services in 2018, then begin the full constellation launch in 2019 with the goal of worldwide service availability by 2021. When this technology take flight, Interxion data centres would potentially serve as the terrestrial gateways to the constellation via antenna attachments atop our facilities that communicate with the LeoSat network.

A Solution of Choice that Spans Industries

The benefits this constellation will have for customers is staggering. For oil and gas companies, LeoSat would help the flow of the enormous amounts of data that modern oil rigs produce by providing voice, video and cloud-based enterprise applications for digital oilfield communications.

At the same time, LeoSat’s system of LEO communications satellites would achieve lower latency and stronger end-to-end security thanks to data encryption when compared to traditional terrestrial solutions, which is critical in financial markets where, speed advantages of milliseconds are worth millions in potential profits.

Even for existing and emerging market telecom operators, LeoSat could offer latency, timing and transport that complies with the network standards of newer 4G, 5G and LTE cellular systems. With the continued growth in Internet use, streaming media, mobile apps and IoT, the low latency of the LeoSat system could become an attractive alternative to the high latency of geosynchronous systems.
Should the LeoSat constellation follow the existing timeline for introduction with Interxion as a gateway, our data centres will have connectivity capabilities that build on our already vast interconnection network of European campuses. While our facilities already act as gateways to and from Europe, they may soon act as data links to the stars.


By Caroline Puygrenier

Director Strategy & Business Development, Connectivity