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Eutelsat 10Mbps Capable UK Broadband Satellite Given a December Launch Date

Posted: 22nd Nov, 2010 By: MarkJ
Eutelsat Tooway satellite dishEuropean satellite operator Eutelsat has announced that its new KA-SAT broadband Satellite, which will offer internet speeds of up to 10Mbps download (4Mbps upload) and become part of their TooWay consumer broadband service in the EU and UK next year, is now in the final stages of readiness for launch by a Proton rocket on 20th December 2010.

The KA-SAT satellite was flown into the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan just before the weekend, on 19th November, and is now being prepared for launch. It follows word last week that Avanti's competing 8Mbps capable HYLAS1 Satellite was being integrated with an Ariane 5 rocket ahead of its own launch on Friday 26th November 2010 (here).

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat’s CEO, said:

"KA-SAT’s multi-spotbeam design, use of Ka-band frequencies and proven systems deployed in North America by our technology partner, ViaSat, will transform the volume of bandwidth available through a single satellite and the scope and economics for new services.

With this pan-European infrastructure complementing our Ku-band resources that will be progressively expanded and modernised with six new satellites, Eutelsat is uniquely positioned to further push back the boundaries of satellite-delivered services across the markets we serve."

KA-SAT has been built for Eutelsat by Astrium and weighs in at 6.1 tonnes. It hopes to become the cornerstone of a new European infrastructure which includes eight main gateways and two back-up gateways located across Europe and connected to the Internet by a fibre backbone ring. It has a total capacity of more than 70Gbps, ranking it as the "world's most powerful spacecraft."

According to the PR spin, KA-SAT will be powerful enough to handle IPTV and emerging video applications.. "needing ultra high-bit rates such as HD digital cinema". However the practical feasibility of that statement will surely depend on usage allowances, which for Eutelsat's existing 3.6Mbps service start at a measly 2.4GB (no enough for real-world HD video viewing beyond a single movie).
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