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Kymeta has demonstrated that its flat, portable satellite antenna can connect to two-way Internet satellites, steering a beam without moving parts, reports Geek Wire.

The demonstration was held on December 10, 2013 at Telesat’s teleport in Vancouver, B.C., using Ka-band capacity on Telesat’s Anik F2 satellite. Kymeta’s technology is based on metamaterials. It expected to improve broadband access on planes and other moving vehicles as well as cell towers.

After spinning out of Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures last year with initial funding of $12 million, Kymeta announced an additional $50 million in funding this summer. In addition to Bill Gates, who sits on the Kymeta board, investors in the company include Liberty Global, the investment fund led by cable veteran John Malone.

The company says it will have prototypes ready for field trials in 2014, and expects its first wave of commercial products ready for the market in 2015.

O3b Networks — which is launching a medium orbit satellite constellation — announced an agreement to develop flat panel satellite antennas for the O3b network. The cost is expected to drop over time to accommodate a mass market.

O3B’s new medium orbit constellation is expected to bring a surge of lower cost capacity that will be especially beneficial for the satellite trunking and backhaul markets. But it requires tracking antennas on the ground.

O3b returned its second group of four spacecraft to their manufacturing facility in Italy after calling off a planned late-September launch because of a signal power anomaly on the first four satellites. They should be ready for launch in March, 2014. O3b has a third set of four satellites under construction at Thales Alenia Space which had been scheduled for a mid-2014 launch aboard a Europeanized Soyuz.

NSR’s Broadband Satellite Markets 12th Edition, forecasts the entire broadband satellite market’s installed base of VSAT sites will increase by just over 5 million by 2022 and generate US$9.9 billion in revenues.

Some 87% of this growth will come from new subscribers to satellite broadband access services with the North American, Western European and Latin American markets leading the way.

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