Eutelsat Communications has announced the successful entry into service of its new-generation Eutelsat Konnect High Throughput Satellite at the 7° East orbital position
Launched aboard the Ariane rocket on 16 January 2020, the availability of Eutelsat Konnect had been delayed due to COVID-related interruptions in the roll-out of the ground segment, but having now completed its testing, this spacecraft is now operational and will gradually increase its service capacity by 80% by the end of the year and 100% by March 2021.
Eutelsat Konnect is an all-electric satellite built by Thales Alenia Space and the first to use the new Thales Alenia Spacebus Neo platform. With a capacity of 75 Gbps across a network of 65 spot-beams, it provides significant resources for broadband services and sets a new benchmark for flexibility in high throughput satellites, leading to optimised fill rates. Eutelsat Konnect also comes with compelling economics, with a cost per sold Gbps substantially lower than the current in-orbit assets.
Coverage will initially be divided between Europe with around 55% of the capacity allocated to high-demand areas, namely France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the UK and Africa, where it will significantly complement and gradually replace the capacity leased from a third-party operator.
The availability of Eutelsat Konnect marks a major step in Eutelsat’s Connectivity Strategy, which contributes to making 2021 a turning point for fixed broadband. The entire French satellite capacity has already been contracted on a wholesale basis by Orange.
In addition, Eutelsat’s recent acquisition of BigBlu Broadband adds a retail pillar to its distribution network, which will accelerate the launch of the satellite and prepare the ground for the entry into service of Konnect VHTS during the fiscal year 2022-23.