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, but having now completed its testing, this much anticipated 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 significant resources for broadband services and sets a new benchmark for flexibility in High Throughput Satellites leading to optimized 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 focused 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 fiscal year 2022-23.