The Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC), Russia’s state satellite operator, and Eutelsat, Europe’s version of Intelsat, today announced they will launch a new satellite in 2015 to 36 degrees East, the most popular neighborhood for satellite TV in Russia.
The new spacecraft will be designed to optimise capacity with multiple satellites, delivering new resources to both RSCC and Eutelsat within a footprint of European Russia to the Urals.
It will also carry a payload with a footprint over sub-Saharan Africa to provide long-term continuity for services currently supplied at 36 degrees East by W4, and capacity for further expansion.
Financing of the new satellite will be ensured by Eutelsat, with the launch provided by the Russian Federal Space Programme. In-orbit operations will be managed by RSCC from its Dubna satellite centre.
Hot Bird is the name of a popular family of satellites operated by Eutelsat, located at 13°E, with a transmitting footprint over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Only digital radio and television channels are transmitted by the Hot Bird constellation.
The HOT BIRD family of satellites, stacked at 13 degrees East, forms the largest satellite broadcasting location in geosynchronous space. Multiple satellites at that location deliver over 1100 television channels to more than 120 million TV homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Direct-To-Home reception in the center of the beam is possible with antennas smaller than 70 cm, and with slightly larger antennas, throughout Europe, North Africa and as far East as Moscow and Dubai.
Eutelsat’s next-generation Tooway service will be delivered via Eutelsat’s innovative KA-SAT satellite, launched in December 2010. It’s hoped that full commercial service will be available by mid-2011. KA-SAT is the world’s first High-Throughput Satellite (HTS).
Ka-Sat is Eutelsat’s first broadband-dedicated satellite. Each spotbeam (coverage map above) delivers a total capacity of 900 Mbps, shared between the forward and return paths. It will be positioned at nine degrees east and has a total throughput of some 70Gbps. Some 82 spot beams will deliver internet service to different market areas stretching from North Africa to southern Scandinavia and a small segment of the Middle East.
In the United States, WildBlue currently delivers satellite internet access to nearly 400,000 customers. It is accessible to virtually every home and small business in the contiguous U.S., including the estimated 20-25 million homes and small offices that are not wired for terrestrial (DSL or cable modem) service. Wildblue was acquired by ViaSat last year.
ViaSat-1, a sister satellite to KaSat, is expected to have more capacity than the combination of all other satellites in operation over the United States, providing 2-10 Mbps download speeds at retail prices competitive with terrestrial services, says the company. ViaSat-1 is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2011.
Both WildBlue (ViaSat) and HughesNet have earlier 14 Ghz Ku satellite broadband, but most subs now use their first generation Ka-band internet services. Ku-band internet access was never cost effective. Without spot beams, a million dollar a year transponder lease could be saturated by a few thousand users. The Ku band is now being repositioned as a premium internet service for trains and planes.
Both Hughes and Viasat plan to upgrade with Ka-band spotbeam satellites, providing up to 10 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up. WildBlue is expected to launch ViaSat-1 in a few months and Hughes will launch Jupiter-1 sometime later. Both satellites have hundreds of spotbeams with 10 times the capacity of current (fixed) internet satellites.
High-Throughput Satellites like KaSat and ViaSat-1 are broadband satellites. They are differentiated from mobile satellite services like Lightsquared and Terrestar that deliver mobile phone connectivity. KaSat and ViaSat-1 deliver fixed 10 Mbps service to small, two-way satellite dishes on residential rooftops using the Ka band (20/30 GHz), and do not overlap satellite mobile phone service which use the 1.6 and 2.1 GHz bands.
Inmarsat will also begin rolling out a new generation of L-band spacecraft that offers more throughput than the exiting Inmarsat 4 system. The first satellite, I-XL, will be orbited in 2012 to 28 deg. E. Long., a high-government-use neighborhood. It will include Laser Communications for GEO to LEO communication links.
Inmarsat also ordered three big Ka-band satellites for its new high-speed Global Xpress network. The Inmarsat-5s, with operations expected to start in 2014, will target a $1.4 billion incremental market for broadband VSAT services, especially in the maritime market.
A heavy-lift Arianespace mission scheduled for May 19 from French Guiana, will launch ST-2 and GSAT-8. The ST-2 will be the second Mitsubishi-built satellite orbited by Arianespace and marks the Japanese manufacturer’s first entry in the commercial telecommunications satellite market. It will be used by ST-2 Satellite Ventures, a joint company of Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom Company for Ku- and C-band service across the Middle East, Central Asia, India and Southeast Asia.
The Indian GSAT-8 multi-role spacecraft carries 24 transponders to augment India’s Ku-band capabilities, and also is equipped with the two-channel GAGAN (GPS and GEO Augmented Navigation) system. INSAT or the Indian National Satellite System is a series of multipurpose Geo-stationary satellites launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In total, 13 Indian satellites have been lofted by Ariane launchers.
India’s GAGAN system is expected to save airlines time and money by managing aircraft climb, descent and engine performance profiles, much like the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), is intended to do for the United States.
As of January 2011, the US WAAS space segment consists of two commercial satellites, Inmarsat-4 F3 and Telesat’s Anik F1R, with Intelsat’s Galaxy 15 expected to resume service after it’s rouge flirt with freedom, creating havoc along the geosynchronous arc. On 27 December 2010, Intelsat reported that the satellite had rebooted as per design and the command unit was responding to commands again.
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