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Audacy receives FCC license to operate the first commercial inter-satellite data relay network

June 7, 2018

Audacy announced today that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted Audacy a license to operate the first commercial inter-satellite data relay network. Audacy will use the spectrum to provide real-time downlink, continuous monitoring, and always-on command services to customers' LEO spacecraft.

The space industry spends around $10 billion USD annually on communications solutions. Currently, most satellite operators use ground antennas to communicate with their spacecraft. However, satellites are rarely visible from an individual ground site, resulting in long periods of radio silence and missed revenue opportunities. With the first license to provide commercial space-to-space data relay services, Audacy will build a relay network that provides spacecraft operators with continuous, real-time connectivity - anywhere from the launch pad to lunar distance.

"Securing commercial spectrum is one of the biggest obstacles to deploying a new satellite constellation and takes years of technical work, collaboration with regulators, and industry discussions," said Dr. Ralph Ewig, CEO of Audacy. "Every part of the proposed system is rigorously scrutinized by regulators and existing space operators. Imagine you bought a phone and found a note that says: 'Due to network constraints, this device can only be used for 1 hour per day.' Replace the $600 phone with a $6M satellite and you have the current state of the commercial space industry. With this spectrum approval, Audacy will now fundamentally change space communications."

Audacy is pre-selling capacity on its relay satellites in anticipation of service launch in 2020, and on its Silicon Valley and Singapore ground station teleports which will come online early next year.