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Avanti UK Updates HYLAS1 Broadband ISP Satellite Status

Posted: 05th Feb, 2010 By: MarkJ
ku band satelliteUK Avanti Communications has revealed that its next generation broadband Satellite - HYLAS 1 - is now undergoing final testing in Bangalore prior to being shipped on to its launch site in French Guyana. Testing is on target to be completed in Q2 2010 and will be followed by the launch.

Under ideal conditions HYLAS 1, which is primarily designed to serve the UK and Europe, should be able to deliver download speeds of up to 8Mbps. It is expected to be used in a number of countries, such as remote parts of the UK and Scotland, to help bridge the digital divide and deliver minimum speeds of 2Mbps to everybody by 2012.

John Brackenbury CBE, Avanti's Chairman, said:

"Our order book and sales pipeline for HYLAS 1 is strong with over 14% already committed for the first year of HYLAS 1 operations. We have several new large contracts with major telecommunications customers under negotiation which should enable us to exceed our own internal targets for launch pre-sales.

The management team have also been very encouraged by the strength of inbound enquiries resulting from the announcement of HYLAS 2, particularly in the Middle East and have a number of significant contracts under negotiation for that region which we hope to announce during the current financial year.

Whilst the launch of HYLAS 1 is the major near term event, the financing of HYLAS 2 greatly strengthens Avanti’s market leadership and minimises business risks. With an intercontinental satellite network now fully financed, I have great confidence in our ability to grow shareholder value substantially during 2010."

It's claimed that HYLAS 1 will be the first "superfast" broadband satellite launched in Europe, though Eutelsat already has one offering speeds of up to 3.6Mbps. Hughes Network Services has shown its support for this by purchasing an initial £7.5m of capacity on the Satellite. The Scottish Government is also known to have an investment in place.

However it remains to be seen whether the services HYLAS 1 can deliver are viable, as opposed to being a quick fix. Consumer broadband Satellite services in the UK have a bad reputation for poor customer support, high costs, meagre usage allowances, unreliable download speeds, slow upload speeds and high latency. Suffice to say, HYLAS 1 still has a lot to prove.
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