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By: MarkJ - 21 April, 2009 (1:05 PM)
Avanti Communications, a UK satellite broadband operator, has signed four major new supply deals with Avonline plc, Broadbandwherever, Coview Solutions and KBR IT & Networking Solutions. The total worth of the deals is believed to be in the region of at least £400,000 over the next two years.

David Williams, Chief Executive of Avanti said;
"I am pleased to report strong momentum in consolidating our lead in European satellite broadband. We now have 42 service providers around Europe which puts us in a great position to fill our first satellite, HYLAS, quickly when it launches."

"Our wins in the UK are also important in the light of the British Government's "Digital Britain" study. When the final report is published in June, Avanti expects it to recommend the use of satellite to address the 10% of UK population which does not have access to acceptable terrestrial broadband services. We now have the distribution in the UK to cope with large scale and rapid deployment."

Avanti's first satellite, called Hylas, is currently under construction and due for launch sometime this year. It will be the first broadband satellite launched in Europe, albeit obviously not the first to cover Europe. Avanti typically provides services to customers in the EU using leased satellite capacity.

However satellite is not a perfect technology, often even less so than Mobile Broadband ('Can a 2Mbps mobile broadband USO Solve the Digital Divide?'). Performance can be highly variable, not to mention costly data rates and very high latency that rules out the use of some services, such as fast paced multiplayer gaming. Using satellite as a pure solution feels a lot like a quick-fix, as opposed to spending the money needed to develop proper fixed-line or wireless coverage.
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