Thursday, April 5, 2018

Eutelsat plans next gen sat for European fixed broadband and in-flight

Eutelsat Communications unveiled plans for a next-generation VHTS satellite system named KONNECT VHTS for its European fixed broadband and in-flight connectivity businesses.

The KONNECT VHTS satellite is due to enter into service in 2021. Thales Alenia Space will build the satellite along with the ground segment solution. The satellite will have Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, making it the most powerful on-board digital processor ever put in orbit.

Eutelsat also announced that it has secured firm multi-year distribution commitments from Orange and Thales, two key European players and leaders in their businesses. A retail partnership was signed with Orange to address the fixed broadband market in European countries where the Group has a retail presence, and a distribution partnership was inked with Thales to serve the government connectivity services market.

Commenting on the contract, Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with global partners, Orange and Thales, which confirms the place of satellite-based solutions in the drive for enhanced high-speed internet coverage. As a core complement to terrestrial broadband networks, high-speed broadband will be a critical driver of Eutelsat’s growth from 2020 onwards. Over the next decade, VHTS satellites will bring enough capacity to serve high speed internet and in-flight connectivity markets at scale, offering fiber-like services both in terms of price and speed.”

The investment in KONNECT VHTS replaces the project of a joint investment with ViaSat in a ViaSat 3 satellite for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and is covered by Eutelsat’s capex objective of an average of 420 million euros per annum.


Eutelsat faces pressure in its traditional video business, seeks new opportunities


Eutelsat, originally known as the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization, is known for being the first satellite operator in Europe to broadcast television channels direct-to-home beginning in the 1980s with its first generation of Hot Bird satellites. The company was founded in 1977, has its headquarters in Paris, and now operates ground stations in every region of the world.  Its business interests have diversified to include...


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