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Eutelsat KONNECT Satellite Enters into Service

By | November 16, 2020

Artist rendition of the Eutelsat KONNECT satellite. Photo: Eutelsat

Eutelsat Communications revealed Monday that its KONNECT High Throughput Satellite (HTS) entered into service at the 7 degrees East orbital position. This is the first Eutelsat satellite that will provide fixed broadband.

Arianespace launched Eutelsat’s KONNECT from French Guiana in January earlier this year. The availability of KONNECT was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic-related interruptions in the ground segment rollout. The satellite is now operational and will gradually ramp up with 80% of the capacity in service by the end of the year, and 100% by March 2021.

The KONNECT satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space and the first to use Thales Alenia Space’s new Spacebus Neo platform. The satellite is all-electric, and has 75 Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spot-beams. Coverage will initially be split between Europe with approximately 55% of the capacity focused on high-demand areas such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the U.K., and Africa. The satellite will supplement, then gradually replace, the capacity leased from a third-party operator.

The availability of KONNECT marks a major step in Eutelsat’s fixed broadband connectivity strategy. Orange purchased all available French capacity of the satellite in July, and its subsidiary Nordnet will begin broadcasting fixed broadband services in January 2021. Additionally, Eutelsat’s recent acquisition of BigBlu Broadband adds a retail pillar to its distribution network.