Eutelsat Communications has announced the successful entry into service of its new-generation Eutelsat Konnect Throughput Satellite at the 7° East orbital position.
Launched aboard an 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. Now that it has completed its testing, the spacecraft is now operational and will gradually ramp up with 80% of the capacity in service by year-end and 100% by March 2021.
Eutelsat Konnect is an all-electric satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space and the first to use Thales Alenia Space’s new Spacebus Neo platform. With 75 Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spot-beams, it delivers 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-sellable Gbps substantially lower than for existing in-orbit assets.
Coverage will initially be split between Europe with circa 55% of the capacity focussed on high-demand areas namely France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the UK, and Africa where it will considerably supplement 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, contributing to making 2021 a turning point in fixed broadband. The entire French capacity on the satellite has already been contracted on a wholesale basis by Orange.
Moreover, Eutelsat’s recent acquisition of BigBlu Broadband adds a retail pillar to its distribution network which will accelerate the ramp-up of the satellite and prepare the ground for the entry into service of Konnect VHTS in the course of the fiscal year 2022-23.