|Photo credit: Eutelsat
Eutelsat’s KA-SAT goes live
Bringing broadband to households in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin
Eutelsat announced on 31 May 2011 the commercial
entry into service of its KA-SAT highthroughput
satellite, marking the official launch
of its new-generation “Tooway” broadband
“The entry into service of KA-SAT, the world’s most
powerful spotbeam satellite, turns a new page in affordable
and immediately available IP solutions, and
places Europe at the forefront of high-capacity satellite
technologies that can serve to quickly close the broadband
gap. We look forward to working with our service
and technology partners to unleash the huge potential
of this new pan-European wireless infrastructure,” commented
Eutelsat CEO Michel de Rosen.
Europe’s broadband map shows that at least 13 million
households are still beyond range of ADSL (asymmetric
digital subscriber line), and 17 million access
the Internet at speeds below 2 Mbit/s. Operated by
Eutelsat’s Skylogic affiliate, Tooway can provide homes
with an always-on service delivering speeds of up to
10 Mbit/s downstream and 4 Mbit/s upstream.
For private networks, broadband access for businesses
and institutions, back-up services and remote
monitoring, the Tooway terminal can deliver speeds of
up to 40 Mbit/s downstream and 10 Mbit/s upstream.
KA-SAT’s high throughput Ka-band capability also opens
opportunities for cost effective satellite news gathering
using lightweight easily transportable uplink antennas
connected to the basic Tooway modem.
Built for Eutelsat by Astrium, KA-SAT’s payload with
82 narrow spotbeams connected to 10 ground stations
enables frequencies to be reused 20 times and
takes total throughput to beyond 70 Gbit/s. This satellite’s,
combined with on-ground network technology,
will make it possible to deliver Internet connectivity at
speeds comparable to ADSL for more than one million
homes in Europe and large parts of the Mediterranean
|Photo credit: 2011 ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Photo Optique vidéo du CSG—S. Martint
|An Ariane 5 ECA launcher placed two telecommunication satellites into geostationary orbit, the United Arab Emirates
satellite Yahsat Y1A built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, which will supply high-definition television to the
Middle East, Africa, Europe and South-West Asia, and the Intelsat New Dawn satellite, built by Orbital Sciences
Corporation, which will offer a range of services to Africa, including Internet, media and data networks.
Arianespace launch a success: Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn in orbit
On 22 April 2011, Arianespace orbited two
communication satellites: Yahsat Y1A, built by
Astrium and Thales Alenia Space for Al Yah Satellite
Communications Company (Yahsat) of the
United Arab Emirates, and Intelsat New Dawn,
built by Orbital Sciences Corporation for New
Dawn Satellite Company Ltd., a joint venture
between Intelsat and Convergence Partners.
The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA
launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou,
French Guiana (see photo).
Intelsat New Dawn to expand Africa’s
The satellite’s 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz
transponder units are designed to supply critical communications
infrastructure to African customers and
meet the needs arising from the exceptional growth
and development of the region.
“Intelsat and the African continent share a 40-year
history in the development of Africa’s telecommunications
infrastructure,” said Dave McGlade, Intelsat CEO.
“Intelsat New Dawn will be integrated with the resilient
Intelsat fleet, allowing us to expand and enhance the
vital communication services that are provided by our
customers to business consumers throughout Africa.”
Operating from a geostationary orbital slot at 32.8°
East, Intelsat New Dawn will be ideally positioned to
serve Africa through a payload optimized to deliver
new capacity for voice, wireless backhaul, fixed line and
wireless infrastructure, broadband and media – the fastest
growing satellite-based applications in Africa.
Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners,
said, “The satellite will not only deliver crucial services
specifically tailored for Africa, it will also herald the
dawn of a new era where Africans enjoy far greater involvement
in the space communications industry.”
Yahsat Y1A to provide public telecommunications network
Yahsat’s first satellite has successfully arrived at
its point of operations, 52.5°E, roughly above the
United Arab Emirates. In this operational position,
the Yahsat Y1A satellite now has a service area that
includes Africa, Europe, the Middle East and South-
“This is a very significant step as we move towards
activating Yahsat’s services for our customers across
the coverage regions,” said Jassem Mohamed Al Zaabi,
CEO of Yahsat and Executive Director of Mubadala
Information, Communications and Technology.
After its successful launch, the satellite performed a
series of manoeuvres which brought it from an elliptical
transfer orbit to its final circular geostationary orbit
some 35 786 km above Earth. It will provide both government
and commercial customers innovative broadband
solutions and high-definition television (HDTV)
services. It has a design life of 15 years.
Since the start of the first commercial satellite systems
in the 1960s up to the recent launches of the
Yahsat and New Dawn satellites, ITU has been a partner
of the satellite industry, performing the vital technical
coordination and oversight functions essential to the
ongoing growth of the industry, said François Rancy,
Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, speaking
at the Global Space and Satellite Forum 2011, held
on 9 May 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“Satellites have emerged as one of the key enablers
of economic and social development. Vast distances,
geographical challenges, the high-speed demands of
new technologies and increasing pressure to realize
economies of scale make satellites the obvious, and often
the only, choice,” he added. Efficient and equitable
use of spectrum and orbit resources requires a coordinated
and transparent international approach. But effective
management of these resources also requires the
goodwill and cooperation of industry and governments.
For satellite communications to continue to flourish,
everybody must play by the rules, said Rancy.