More than 20,000 satellites are forecast to enter service in the next five years and Ewig said that everyone was currently in a “fierce fight” to secure radio spectrum in order to transmit data to and from Earth.
“In space, everybody is out there essentially arranging their own phone line and there is a limit to how many you can have. The idea is to build something in space that allows multiple people to use it simultaneously in an efficient way,” he said.
The development is priced at $300 million and investment has been sourced from a mix of equity investment, project financing and customer deposits for future services.
Ewig said typical demand for the service would come from firms running Earth observation satellites.
“If you have mobile-type access to the information then you can provide information to critical applications such as shipping safety, weather information, iceberg movement or disaster information,” he said.
The Audacy boss said other users would include space firms that want to maintain constant contact with launch vehicles. He also claimed the data transfer would allow people in their homes to watch astronauts in real-time.
“We are doing this as a commercial business and money is important as that’s what attracts investment. But what is really driving me to do this to bring space closer to everyone and not just the small number of people going to space every once in a while.”