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UPD Avanti UK Successfully Launch HYLAS2 Broadband Satellite into Orbit

Friday, Aug 3rd, 2012 (6:51 am) - Score 737

Avanti Communications UK last night achieved a major victory after it confirmed the successful launch of a second Ka-band HYLAS (“Highly Adaptable“) broadband satellite (HYLAS 2) into space and orbit around the Earth.

The spacecraft, which was insured for £208m last year and carried aloft aboard Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket from the Spaceport in French Guiana at just after 11pm yesterday (the Intelsat 20 satellite was also onboard for the trip), claims to have “almost three times the bandwidth capacity” of their first ‘up to’ 10Mbps capable HYLAS 1 satellite that launched at the end of 2010 (here).

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace’s Chairman & CEO, said:

Thanks to all you in Europe and French Guiana, Ariane 5 is something that works…works very well…and will continue to work for a long time. Following tonight’s launch, and with all of the contracts we’ve signed since the start of this year, our order book effectively covers no less than 19 firm Ariane 5 launches, which guarantees us more than three years of activity. Therefore, thank you and bravo to everyone!”

However, while HYLAS 1 was designed to serve the rural parts of the UK and Europe, HYLAS 2 was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Virginia, and is more intended to expand Avanti’s coverage into the Middle East and Africa. Thankfully it will also boost Europe’s existing coverage and add some much needed redundancy into Avanti’s network. It’s also worth taking a quick look at the specs of both spacecraft.

HYLAS 1 (33.5º West) has a lift off mass of 2300Kg, payload power of over 2.0kW and is designed with 8 Ka-band beams to serve 350,000 customers. By comparison HYLAS 2 is a bigger beast with a lift off mass of 3200Kg, payload power of 5.0kW (that’s enough to break through most weather conditions) and features 24 fixed Ka-band beams with one steerable beam; it is designed to serve a whopping 700,000 customers!

ariane flight va208

As usual Avanti intends to wholesale access to its Satellite service out to various ISPs, which will be able to deliver domestic internet download speeds from around 8Mbps+ for just £20 per month. But rival spacecraft from Eutelsat (KA-SAT) and SES (ASTRA) still appear to dominate, at least in the UK.

It will now take several months before HYLAS 2 is ready to enter commercial service and in the meantime Avanti have already begun work on a third spacecraft, HYLAS 3, which will be developed alongside the European Space Agency (ESA) and is targeted to launch sometime in 2015 (this is also the final year of HYLAS 2’s approach to full utilisation).

HYLAS 3 will have “overlapping geographic coverage” with HYLAS 1 / 2 and aims to add “further capacity in the EMEA region” (i.e. Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

UPDATe 7:35am

Added a picture of the launch.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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