LEO Broadband Special Report Series

Part II: LEO Systems Analysis


While our Part I report provided a historical retrospective on failed LEO efforts of the 1990s, our Part II report focuses squarely on the here-and-now, providing a comprehensive overview Amazon, OneWeb, SpaceX, and Telesat.

Our ~80-page report breaks down the opportunities, risks, and leading players across five major spheres.  A narrow sampling of considerations and takeaways includes:

  • Spectrum. OneWeb and Telesat are in the drivers’ seat.  Amazon is still working on a strategy.
  • Space Segment. Space segment price per bit varies widely. And despite the universal appeal of optical inter-satellite links (O-ISLs), Telesat is the only company today to baseline the technology on Gen1 satellites. Do O-ISLs have implications for a key LEO competitive advantage, latency?
  • Launch. SpaceX’s order of magnitude cost advantage and its launch cadence control gives it design freedom (both satellite and
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Is the U.S. National Security Space “Launch Market” only big enough for two launch providers?

In October 2018, the US Air Force selected four companies (Blue Origin, Northrop, SpaceX, ULA) to compete for the newly established National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program that replaces the 1990s vintage EELV program. The Air Force has… Read the rest