In the Spotlight

Thales Alenia Space @ SATELLITE 2024

In the Spotlight

Thales Alenia Space @ SATELLITE 2024

Available in

    From March 18 to 21, Thales Alenia Space will showcase its latest technologies for space-based telecommunications systems during the 2024 Satellite Washington international conference and exhibition, held in Washington DC.

    A fast-changing telecom market


    Space INSPIRE & Spacebus Neo © Thales Alenia Space

    Today, the civil telecommunications market is undergoing major changes with the entering of new business models and services to customers. On the one hand, the number of geostationary telecommunications satellites available on the open civil telecommunications market is getting lower. On the other hand, new actors are proposing huge constellations. In the middle of all that, satellite operators are thinking about adapting and re-inventing their business models. The question is: how can a prime manufacturer remain in the front seat in such a fast-evolving environment? To our mind, the answer is simple: maintaining our innovation towards competitive differentiation, leveraging its longstanding proven expertise, being always trustful, reliable, agile, being customer-centred, understanding the evolution of business needs, introducing new technologies, accelerating partnerships with the space ecosystem including SMEs and startups, challenging itself and above all, being adaptable.

    Telecommunications market needs


    © Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes

    The satellite communications market is in constant flux, with manufacturers developing made-to-measure solutions to keep pace with operators’ new needs. End-users’ expectations are well known: anywhere, anytime connectivity—including on the move—and access to increasing amounts of data through secured and trustful solutions that guarantee the end-to-end integrity of the connection. There is still the unresolved problem of underserved and often remote areas without sufficient communications infrastructure on the ground, where fiber most likely has yet to reach. Bridging the digital divide remains a key societal issue. Telecommunications and digital communications systems in particular, are clearly the best solution to match demand in a competitive and fast-moving market.

    Thales Alenia Space offers a range of product lines to meet the new expectations of the telecom market. Our proven Spacebus 4000 B2 platform is ideally suited to the regional requirements of telecoms operators. Successfully launched in 2022, the SES-22 C-band satellite built around this spacecraft bus was delivered in only 22 months. Using electric thrusters increases payload capacity, affording more flexibility for operators. Spacebus NEO is the perfect fit for very high throughput satellites (VHTS), helping bridge the digital divide across the globe. Providing fiber-like connectivity, EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS satellite, for instance, is the most powerful telecommunications satellite ever built in Europe. It contributes to bridging the digital divide, providing Very High Speed Internet, especially in European isolated areas dubbed the white zones. Not talking as well of SATRIA that is covering South-East Asia and connecting people everywhere and anytime in the region with high-throughput secured services.

    EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS © Thales Alenia Space/Imag[IN]

    Our latest Space INSPIRE product line—an extremely flexible software-defined digital solution that can be reconfigured in orbit—will also be real revolution. Major operators entrusted Thales Alenia Space concerning this solution that will be able to adapt to the evolution of a mission. For example, an operator could ask to have Europe as a coverage zone for several years and then decide to distribute telecommunications services over Africa and the Middle-East. The satellite product line is on its way. The solution embeds numerous new technologies at the same time, such as a very powerful sixth generation processor, active antennas, enhanced avionics and ground-breaking solar panels. The spacecraft will also be more compact while its platform will be equipped with a full-electric subsystem, as for Spacebus NEO satellites. This solution is a real game changer and our teams are dedicated to deliver the first 6 birds ordered by major telecom operators.

    Zoom on 5G from Space

    5G from space

    5G © Thales Alenia Space

    5G was first introduced in 2019 and has since been adopted by leading economies around the world. More powerful than fourth generation (4G), 5G via terrestrial networks is limited however by the need to install terrestrial infrastructure. So, if they are not installed, entire geographic regions can be left with no connectivity solution. By combining 5G technology withad hoc telecom satellites in Low Earth Orbit, this problem is solved: cellular connectivity is widely extended, allowing access to the 5G network anywhere on Earth, complementing the coverage provided by existing terrestrial networks.

    Satellites also support a dense network of simultaneously connected devices, like cargo planes with sensors making transoceanic flights, or cars fitted with modems. In short, satellites are an ideal resource to meet the huge challenges inherent in the IoT revolution. In a world of ever-growing demand for telecommunications, 5G via satellite is emerging as a new accessible, reliable, enabling solution, delivering ATAWAD connectivity (Any Time, AnyWhere, Any Device).


    5G © Thales Alenia Space

    We have played a crucial role in the standardization of non-terrestrial 5G and are currently implementing it as a solution. Initial ground tests have been completed, with promising results. Several satellites will be tested to verify the viability of connections. This 5G connectivity constellation is designed to be a long-term sustainable part of the satellite market, with adaptation solutions to allow future technology insertion and upgrades. The resulting flexibility will enable the progressive integration of innovations linked to future-generation connectivity, such as 6G.

    How to remain trustful and sustainable in this changing landscape?

    Image of Space Inspire Paysage

    Space INSPIRE © Thales Alenia Space

    Our teams deliver satellites for exceptional missions. Our Space Inspire solution is fully reprogrammable in orbit. Embracing the next frontier, we extend to 5G and Cloud capabilities from space. On the civil telecommunications market for example, we have also noticed that customers were more and more interested in cybersecurity that would enable them to ensure the sovereignty of their solution and the integrity of their services.

    Our products combine high-tech with high-quality. Every satellite must perform flawlessly in space, respecting rules and environment.

    We guarantee the reliability of our products with a commitment to investigate, learn, solve, and correct, even in challenging times. We're continually evolving production processes and speeding up timelines. We also value partnerships andprioritize trust and sustainability. The technologies created today will shape how we live tomorrow. For example, in another space domain, we are offering a new Earth observation ALL-IN-ONE solution that combines the best of our radar and optical sensors to offer high revisit for near-real time surveillance.

    No matter the situation (COVID period, supply chain disruptions, complex geopolitical situation), our company always remained committed to serve our customers.

    Our aim is to support and accompany our customers in their new approaches and transformation plans. Our customers have been relying on us for numerous decades. As prime manufacturer, our job is also to work hand-in-hand with long-term suppliers and new actors in the ecosystem, including SMEs and startups, to propose brand new pioneering solutions.

    Being a partner of trust


    Euclid © Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programmes

    Over the last ten years, space has steadily accelerated its appetite for new technologies. In Thales Alenia Space, we are part of creating the future of space since the early times, learning from one project to create the next. To adapt to the growing needs and the faster development of technology, we are accelerating innovation, production and cost-efficiency while always ensuring the quality of our products.

    Thales Alenia Space teams will be, more than ever, proud to spotlight our newest solutions during the 2024 SatShow! Let’s build together a sustainable future, respectful of the space environment, in which we can all trust.