Press Release

ASI Signs Memorandum of Understanding With Skylogic to use Eutelsat’s KA-SAT High Throughput Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
July 4, 2011
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ASI, the Italian Space Agency today announced an agreement with Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) to use the new KA-SAT High Throughput Satellite in order to develop broadband connectivity for public administrations in Italy. The agreement was signed by Enrico Saggese, President of ASI, and Arduino Patacchini, CEO of Skylogic, the Eutelsat affiliate that provides broadband services through KA-SAT.

Eutelsat’s high-capacity KA-SAT infrastructure is a powerful new platform for extending broadband access to users beyond range of terrestrial networks. ASI is planning the progressive use of 550 Mbps of KA-SAT capacity across 10 spotbeams that together provide full coverage of Italian territory. The capacity will mainly be deployed to deliver broadband to Italian public administrations beyond range of terrestrial networks so that the benefits of ICT can be extended to citizens located in previously underserved regions.

A Public Private Partnership will be set up by ASI with the private sector to deploy broadband services for Italian institutional and government entities. These will include the Tooway(TM) service, which is delivered through KA-SAT, and offers users broadband speeds of up to 10 Mbps downstream and 4 Mbps upstream. In addition, ASI will cooperate with Skylogic to access KA-SAT and to define integration schemes between Tooway(TM) and the capacity that ASI foresees to have on its own satellites in the future.

Enrico Saggese, President of ASI, said: “ASI is looking carefully after the overall Italian satellite telecommunications strategy, with the objective of deploying state-of-the-art infrastructure to cover the needs of institutional customers. We think that exploiting the public-private partnership in this field will be very beneficial, for both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the relevant programmes. This agreement with Eutelsat and Skylogic is fully consistent with our objectives and opens wide cooperation perspectives, for the benefit of the Italian institutions and citizens.”

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, added: “This agreement with ASI is a new example of how our powerful and flexible KA-SAT infrastructure can be used to efficiently and quickly equalise access to the benefits of broadband. We are delighted to build this new relationship with Italy’s National Space Agency, which is committed to exploiting the strengths of satellite telecommunications for increasing knowledge and developing a culture of high technology in Italy.”

In service since May 2011, Eutelsat’s high-capacity all Ka-band system, combining satellite and on-ground infrastructure, opens a new chapter in the market for satellite-based IP services. Its revolutionary concept is based on a payload with 82 narrow spotbeams connected to 10 ground stations. This configuration enables frequencies to be reused 20 times and takes total throughput to beyond 70 Gbps. The ground network uses ViaSat’s SurfBeam(R) 2 technology, an advanced version of the technology already powering broadband connectivity for 500,000 satellite homes in North America. The combination of KA-SAT’s exceptional capacity and SurfBeam(R) 2 enables Internet connectivity to be delivered at speeds comparable to ADSL for more than one million homes in Europe and large parts of the Mediterranean Basin.

About ASI

The Italian Space Agency was founded in 1988. Its purpose was to coordinate all of Italy’s efforts and investments in the space sector that had begun in the 1960s. In 20 years, ASI became one of the most significant players in the world in space science, satellite technologies and the development of mobile systems for exploring the Universe. Today, ASI has a key role at the European level where Italy is the third contributor country to the European Space Agency. It also is involved at the international level. For example, ASI has a close working relationship with NASA, which has led to its participation in many of the most interesting scientific missions of recent years. One of the most fascinating projects has been the construction and activities of the International Space Station where Italian astronauts are by now at home. Thanks to ASI’s efforts, the Italian scientific community has had unprecedented successes in recent years in astrophysics and cosmology, contributing among other things to reconstructing the first moments of life in the universe or making essential steps towards understanding the gamma ray bursts phenomenon. Furthermore, ASI has contributed significantly to space exploration by building scientific instruments that are aboard NASA and ESA probes bound for discovering the secrets of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. In all of the major missions planned for future years-from Venus to the comets, up to the outer limits of our solar system-there will be a piece of Italy.

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A. With capacity commercialised on 27 satellites that provide coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, Eutelsat is one of the world’s three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues. At March 31, 2011, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 3,800 television channels to over 200 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Group’s satellites also serve a wide range of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, TV contribution markets, corporate networks, and broadband markets for Internet Service Providers and for transport, maritime and in-flight markets. Eutelsat’s broadband subsidiary, Skylogic, markets and operates access to high speed Internet services through teleports in France and Italy that serve enterprises, local communities, government agencies and aid organisations in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat and its subsidiaries employ 700 commercial, technical and operational employees from 28 countries.

SpaceRef staff editor.