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By: MarkJ - 31 May, 2011 (9:11 AM)
UK <a href=http://www.eutelsat.com target=new>Eutelsat</a> Tooway satellite DishEuropean Satellite operator Eutelsat has today officially announced the first live commercial availability of consumer broadband internet access services via its new 'up to' 10Mbps download (4Mbps upload) speed capable KA-SAT (Tooway10mb) Satellite. Several UK ISPs, such as Broadband Wherever and AVOnline, have already announced their intention to offer related services for rural homes and businesses.

The satellite itself was successfully launched into space during late December 2010 (here) and is currently on station at 9° East. It has a Ka-band capacity of over 70Gbps and aims to serve more than 1 Million people. Customers will need a costly 77cm satellite dish and modem, which is connected to a PC or Mac via an Ethernet connection, to access the service.

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat's CEO, said:

"The entry into service of KA-SAT, the world’s most powerful spotbeam satellite, turns a new page in affordable and immediately available IP solutions, and places Europe at the forefront of high-capacity satellite technologies that can serve to quickly close the broadband gap. We look forward to working with our service and technology partners to unleash the huge potential of this new pan-European wireless infrastructure."

Eutelsat's existing TooWay service offers download speeds of around 3.6Mbps with prices starting from £25 per month for a 2.4GB usage allowance. By contrast the new service will deliver 6Mbps download speeds (1Mbps uploads) and a 4GB allowance for a similar price. We conducted a more detailed price comparison of the new satellite solutions during mid-May.

On top of that the KA-SAT spacecraft can also respond to professional requirements for higher bandwidth, such as from private networks, broadband access for businesses, back-up services and remote monitoring (SCADA). For this type of use KA-SAT can deliver speeds of up to 40Mbps downstream and 10Mbps upstream. An advanced system, which will shortly be available, will increase speeds to 50Mbps downstream and 20Mbps upstream.

Eutelsat's new service will go head to head with services delivered via SES ASTRA and Avanti (HYLAS 1), which all claim to offer similar speeds and usage allowances.
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