Press Release

Eutelsat’s High-Throughput KA-SAT Satellite on Track for December 20 Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2010
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The KA-SAT satellite of Eutelsat Communications’ (Euronext Paris: ETL) was flown into the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 19 and is now in final stages of readiness for launch by a Proton rocket on December 20.

Breaking new barriers in capacity

Built for Eutelsat by Astrium, and weighing in at 6.1 tonnes, KA-SAT will be the cornerstone of a new European infrastructure which includes eight main gateways and two back-up gateways located across Europe and connected to the Internet by a fibre backbone ring. With its total capacity of more than 70 Gbps ranking it as the world’s most powerful spacecraft, Europe’s first High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) will usher in a new era of competitively-priced satellite-delivered services. From direct Internet access, to enterprise networks and local broadcasting, it will tap into some of the fastest-growing and most-promising applications in the commercial satellite sector.

Pushing back the boundaries of satellite-based digital services

With ubiquitous coverage of Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, the KA-SAT programme represents a versatile platform for data communications, local and regional broadcasting, IPTV and emerging video applications needing ultra high-bit rates such as HD digital cinema. It will also provide a powerful new infrastructure to support the take-up of Eutelsat’s Tooway(TM) broadband service. Delivery speeds of Tooway(TM) will be boosted to 10 Mbps download and 4 Mbps upload, meeting expectations of current and future domestic Internet users and making a core contribution to bridging the digital divide for consumers and also businesses beyond range of terrestrial broadband.

“KA-SAT’s multi-spotbeam design, use of Ka-band frequencies and proven systems deployed in North America by our technology partner, ViaSat, will transform the volume of bandwidth available through a single satellite and the scope and economics for new services,” said Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat’s CEO. “With this pan-European infrastructure complementing our Ku-band resources that will be progressively expanded and modernised with six new satellites, Eutelsat is uniquely positioned to further push back the boundaries of satellite-delivered services across the markets we serve.” * Photo material available on request.

About Eutelsat Communications

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is the holding company of Eutelsat S.A.. With capacity commercialised on 26 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 30 September 2010, Eutelsat’s satellites were broadcasting more than 3,700 television channels. More than 1,100 channels broadcast via its HOT BIRD(TM) video neighbourhood at 13 degrees East which serves over 120 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, the Middle East and North 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 nearly 661 commercial, technical and operational employees from 28 countries

SpaceRef staff editor.