Connectivity Business

Although the US Treasury was pleased to clear US $94B in the closely-watched C-Band auction, the ‘winning’ bidders may find their opex and capex will need to be paired as they absorb the latest spectrum investments on their balance sheets.

The debt-laden C-band winners may now need to review their financial position and evaluate…

Spectrum prices force austerity in 5G investments

2020 proved to be a banner year for deals and the outlook for 2021 remains robust for the data center segment. Seemingly limitless demand for data capacity and global expansion are spurring dealflow from private equity and strategic acquirers.

Funding for rural connectivity providers from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) has flowed to nearly 200 companies that provide broadband through wired, wireless, and satellite infrastructure.

SpaceX picked up US$855m, but the company faces challenges on two fronts from….

Investments in rural broadband fuel battle between terrestrial and orbital connectivity providers

Recent SPAC announcements from Astra and Rocket Labs focused investors’ attention on the satellite launch segment as both companies filed disclosures to merge with public shell companies. 

These companies may provide investors with a chance to get in on the next SpaceX and serve a fast growing and supply constrained market, but investors will be asking some hard questions including…

Investors in launch SPACs Astra and Rocket Labs face significant risks

The FCC adopted an order for an Emergency Broadband Benefit program for low-income households that will last only six months past the U.S. COVID emergency or until demand outstrips the $3.2 billion allotted by Congress under last December’s Congressional Appropriations Act of 2021. 

Getting the right subsidy structure in place is a national policy issue, AT&T CEO John Stankey said during a recent policy forum. He wants incentives that give low-income customers better access to fixed broadband to 

FCC orders Emergency Broadband Benefit program targeting low-income households

More costly spectrum auctions without sharing mechanics appear to be in store for the connectivity industry, as plans for the FCC’s next sale look in line with those seen for C-band. The move comes despite network quality and deployment concerns following the C-band’s record-breaking price tag.

Acting FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel has…

Select 5G auction results

The flood of special purpose acquisition vehicles (SPACs) poses new considerations for deal-makers as they impact the M&A landscape and in some areas drive up valuations.

The connectivity industry is going to be watching closely AST & Science, Momentus, Astra, and most recently BlackSky to monitor….

The growing number of large satellite operators investing billions of dollars into LEO broadband constellations is reshaping the ground segment. After developing GEO-based antennas for more than 20 years, C-COM Satellite Systems is testing an electronically steered device for LEO that promises to transform its business.

Unlike many rivals that are also rushing to the opportunity, C-COM CEO and founder Leslie Klein sees value in shunning vertical integration and…

Land mobile segment

A year into the expansion of Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) regulations, connectivity investors and operators are gaining more visibility into the impact of the expanded Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA).

Dealmakers report a rapid uptick in the number of CFIUS reviews as the body’s staffing levels increased in the past year and its remit widened to include…

CFIUS steps up the pace of connectivity infrastructure reviews

COVID-19 has heightened awareness of how critical telecoms infrastructure is for enabling economic growth, and how a lack of access disadvantages communities. It means funding is no longer the main constraint to deploying digital infrastructure in countries like the US, according to Sam Pratt, CEO of fibre deployment solutions provider Render Networks.

Amid a spike in demand for connectivity and supply, the challenge has..

Infrastructure deal value and volume

Regulatory and spectrum challenges threaten to disrupt a satellite-to-device connectivity market that has been attracting billions of dollars to create new revenue streams. After the C-band auction in the US reaped record proceeds, added pressure on finite spectrum resources could make it more difficult to open new markets.

Direct and affordable satellite connectivity to mobile…

Total number of mobile subscribers

In stark contrast to frontier space, many traditional satellite companies have been under distress from a pandemic that has hit key markets such as aero and maritime.

However, those that fell into bankruptcy in 2020 are beginning to emerge with healthier balance sheets that position them to invest in high-growth parts of the connectivity ecosystem.

“I would expect to see some industry consolidation,” Mark Boggett, CEO of VC firm Seraphim Capital, told Connectivity Business. “The acquisition of…

Seraphim Capital LTM investment snapshot Mandate Table CB249

Connectivity Business compiles the most notable M&A and financing deals across the various segments of the industry including mandated bankers and advisors.

Mandate Table CB249

Talk of SPACs and investor hype around satellite connectivity was prevalent during this year’s Smallsat Symposium, with late-stage funding routes becoming clearer for a sector that has for years fretted at conferences about a lack of exits.

But as a sense of urgency runs through the industry to avoid missing out on the action, caution needs to be taken to ensure the…

LTM core satellite and space versus indices

Surging satellite investment and financing activity helped push Telesat to officially enter the LEO broadband arena with a US$3bn commitment. The biggest procurement contract in the Canadian satellite operator’s 50-year history went to Thales Alenia Space, which aims to begin delivering the constellation they call ‘Lightspeed’ for launch in 2023.

Years behind its initial schedule as…

Smallsat market by 2029

Although increasingly inward-looking regimes are complicating market access for global broadband constellations, governments are also spending more in a satellite sector they see as a source of economic development.

The US$42m raised by broadband terminal maker Isotropic Systems includes equity and grant funding from the UK, which took joint ownership of LEO broadband operator OneWeb last year. The funding should help ease…

Ground equipment revenues