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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 service.

“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 Basin.



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 communication infrastructure

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- West Asia.

“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.


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