Former O3b chief to be COO of Rivada Space Networks start-up

Former O3b chief to be COO of Rivada Space Networks start-up

Declan Ganley Rivada.jpg

Wholesale satellite company Rivada Space Networks has appointed Mark Rigolle, former head of O3b, as COO and acting CFO.

Chairman Declan Ganley (pictured), who set up Rivada Space Networks (RSN) earlier this year, announce the appointment of Rigolle and other members of the leadership team, this morning at a satellite conference in Paris.

Ganley said: “The expertise of this leadership team in the space sector combined with our experience in wireless technology gives us the ability to deliver on our mission to provide a highly disruptive new connectivity network for enterprise and government communications. I am excited to work with the team as we develop a communications network like no other.”

Former Belgacom executive Rigolle was CFO and then CEO of O3b, now owned by SES, from 2010 onwards. He was also a co-founder of Kacific, which delivers satellite broadband to isolated islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Ganley told Capacity in March 2022 that RSN plans to offer wholesale services using 600 satellites connected by lasers.

RSN has a licence for 4,000MHz of spectrum, which will be used to connect low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to data centres, telecoms operators and enterprises, Ganley told Capacity. He said that customers will have their own dishes. “Signals won’t be relayed via terrestrial networks. That vastly improves security.”

For his satellite project he has continued a name he first used for his former North American projects. Rivada Networks, aimed to commoditise wholesale spectrum. This was also involved in bidding for the US emergency services network, FirstNet, a contract won by AT&T. It also bid unsuccessfully for a wholesale 4G contract from Mexico, a deal won by Altan’s Red Compartida.

Ganley describes the satellite project as “a unique high-speed, low-latency and highly secure infrastructure for enterprise and government”.

The low Earth orbit satellites (LEO) will be designed to enable gateway-less, point-to-point, global connectivity for governments and enterprises.

Based in Germany, RSN is undertaking a request for proposals (RFP) with major satellite manufacturers, said an RSN statement, to finalise the system design and manufacturing plan, paving the way for the production and deployment of the entire constellation.

The CEO of RSN is Severin Meister, Leichtenstein-based former head of a large multinational single-family office.

Acting CTO and chief programme officer is Clemens Kaiser, former COO at Kayser-Threde and former director of programme development at Eumetsat, the European meteorological satellite organisation.

Diederik Kelder, formerly with SES, New Skies Satellites, Eutelsat and KPMG, will be chief strategy officer of RSN.

Ann Vandenbroucke, Former chief regulatory officer at Avanti Communications and former senior director at Inmarsat will be RSN’s chief regulatory officer.


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