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Eutelsat Reveals New 100Mbps UK Broadband Satellite Plans

Saturday, November 21st, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 5,928
eutelsat_konnect_satellite_broadband_uk

European space firm Eutelsat has released details of what their new KONNECT based satellite packages will look like for UK consumers, which will offer a top download speed of 100Mbps and “unlimited” data usage. But admittedly there are a few caveats to consider.

The packages are being powered by Eutelsal’s new KONNECT satellite, which this week entered into commercial service (here) after being launched at the start of this year (here). The 3.6 metric ton spacecraft – sitting in a Geostationary Orbit at 7° East – is capable of sharing 75Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spotbeams using the Ka-band spectrum.

At present the only way to see the new UK accessible plans is to go directly to Eutelsat’s own ISP outlet – Konnect, but other resellers will follow. The good news is that “all standard installations within the UK are offered free of charge, as is the hardware,” (this would normally cost hundreds of pounds!) said a spokesperson to ISPreview.co.uk.

Otherwise the packages being offered look a bit like this and all come attached to a 12-month minimum contract term. However, despite the mention of free installation and hardware, there is in fact a £49 one-off activation fee for these, but it only pops-up when you try to make an order.

NOTE: New customers are being given free rental if they sign-up now, but only until 31st December 2020.

Konnect Easy (£29.99 pcm inc. VAT)
Max download speeds of up to 30Mbps and 5Mbps upload
Average download speed of 22Mbps
Average upload speeds of 3Mbps

Konnect Zen (£44.99 pcm)
Max download speeds of up to 50Mbps and 5Mbps upload
Average download speed of 37Mbps
Average upload speeds of 3Mbps

Konnect Max (£69.99 pcm)
Max download speeds of up to 100Mbps and 5Mbps upload
Average download speed of 75Mbps
Average upload speeds of 3Mbps

In being a GEO satellite platform there are a few big caveats to consider here. Firstly, latency times will be extremely slow and so this service is no use if you enjoy playing fast paced online multiplayer games or for that matter, using any other internet service that significantly benefits from or requires fast latency times.

The packages also claim to include “unlimited” usage, “with no data threshold,” but they add a warning: “If a large number of customers are using the service at the same time, the speed may be adjusted, but each month you receive a prioritised amount of data, which varies depending on the deal you have chosen. This amount of data is protected against any adjustment.”

Satellite ISPs often have a wonky understanding of the term “unlimited,” as confirmed via Konnect’s legal text: “With the[Easy, Zen and Max] packages, once you reach 20Gb, 60Gb and 120Gb of data consumption respectively, your data consumption may be reduced in favour of other users on the network during peak times, and your download speed may be affected. Your consumption is not counted at night (01:00 to 06:00 in the morning – local time).” We assume they mean GB for GigaBytes there and not Gb for Gigabits.

One other issue we came across is that the only addresses we could find on the Konnect website were in France, which could make it difficult to get protection under UK rules and regulations (especially after Brexit). Suffice to say that it may be better to wait until UK resellers start offering such packages.

Overall, this could be a good – if hopefully temporary – option for those in very remote rural communities with lower than average usage demands, who in some cases might otherwise be left to wait years for better mobile broadband or fixed broadband connectivity to arrive. Even then, some of the most remote homes might never see it.

The biggest challenge for Eutelsat is that their new service arrives at a time before great change, not least from the imminent arrival of additional competition via the new generation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) mega constellations – SpaceX, Amazon and OneWeb etc. Unlike GEO satellites, LEOs can offer significantly faster latency and early speedtests are already well into the same sort of “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) territory (here).

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

    When both 4G and 5G “should” deliver 100Mbps at lower latency anyway, what is the point of sending Satellites up to provide a similar service which is more expensive to deliver and for the customer too???

    Don’t make much business sense to me.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Because not everybody in the world is covered by 4G/5G and even 5% of the UK’s landmass (probably more) will not be reached by mobile, while some will also be excluded via a lack of fast fixed line solutions. Satellite can fill that niche for some, until a better solution arrives. Remember satellites are global, so this isn’t just a UK centric issue.

  2. Avatar Bolo Tie says:

    Why bother. Seems like a half arsed attempt to match oneweb/starlink.
    Eutelsat have lived off of selling europeans slow expensive broadband for decades. They’re finally worried.

  3. Avatar NE555 says:

    The beam footprints are here: https://www.satbeams.com/satellites?norad=45027

    Scotland, Ireland, Wales/Western England, and Eastern England have one spot beam each (EU01 to EU04)

    “75Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spotbeams” equates to about 1.2Gbps per beam. That’s how much you’ll be sharing between *all* the users in your region.

    The priority quotas are pretty low. It’s easy to burn through 20GB – after that, you’ll be fighting for any scraps of left-over bandwidth with everyone else who’s over quota and on the same beam as you.

    Therefore, I think this should be thought of as a way to get E-mail and web access in not-spots. If you want entertainment, then you’d be better off with a Sky dish and Sky+ than doing Netflix over this.

  4. Avatar Aimee says:

    Having installed and used a satellite system in mainland Europe a few years ago I can tell you the following
    Kit 199 euro’s
    Monthly charge 29 Euro’s
    Installation 0 Euro’s (DIY)
    DL speed 8Gbs
    DL Limit 8 GByte pm
    Telco comparison
    DL speed .5 Mbs (512 kbs)
    DL cost 30 Euro pm
    Fault service Rubbish, 14 days with no internet/phone
    Mobile coverage Rubbish.

    Sat up time > 98% ( Heavy Rain or Snow did affect communications, not very often)
    Skype OK
    Games dont do games

  5. Avatar NE555 says:

    Of the 65 spotbeams, only 4 cover the UK: 1 each for Scotland, Ireland, Wales/West England and East England. (Google “eutelsat konnect beams” for the details, first hit)

    The beams are 1.2Gbps each, so you’ll be sharing that bandwidth with *everyone* in your region. Once you’ve exceeded your monthly quota, you’ll be fighting for the left-over scraps.

    This is really for low-bandwidth E-mail and web browsing. If you want entertainment, better to get a satellite TV + DVR system.

  6. Avatar Andy says:

    What a price to pay..I would rather load up a 4g SIM card than pay that.

    1. Avatar Aqx says:

      This is mostly beneficial to those who live in areas where 4/5G isn’t really serviced or has missed entirely.

  7. Avatar Neil says:

    For those who talk about 4g/5g, you need to consider geography. A hill or mountain will block the output of a mast.

    You still have to cable to the mast with power and data.

    And in big countries, the range of those masts isn’t sufficient.

    You don’t spend billions of your don’t think there is a market there. Some will fail, but hopefully enough will succeed to make internet available to all. Ideally at a price they can afford.

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