Eutelsat today announced the commercial entry into service of its KA-SAT High Throughput Satellite, marking the official launch of its new-generation Tooway broadband service.
The high-capacity all Ka-band system, opens a new chapter in the market for satellite-based IP services with the world’s most powerful spotbeam satellite. It delivers up to 10 Mbps for consumers, about ten times the speed of previous satellite internet solutions.
Europe’s broadband map shows that at least 13 million households are still beyond range of ADSL, and 17 million access the Internet at speeds below 2 Mbps, which closes the door to many media-rich applications that users today expect to use on a daily basis.
The USA will soon get a sister satellite, ViaSat-1. The ViaSat-1 launch was delayed until late this summer following a factory incident where a small amount of hydraulic fluid leaked onto the spacecraft.
Carlsbad, Calif.-based ViaSat’s WildBlue competes with Hughes’ HughesNet service in providing satellite broadband to consumers in the United States. Hughes will get their own high capacity satellite next year, called Jupiter.
Both ViaSat and Hughes are using Space Systems/Loral to manufacture their new satellites.
Hughes reported that as of March 31, its HughesNet consumer broadband service had 613,000 subscribers, a 6 percent increase from Dec. 31. Revenue per subscriber held steady at $75 per month.
Intelsat’s new Ku-band communications system, called New Dawn, is not so lucky. The spacecraft’s wireless communications and broadcasting payload remains sidelined by a stuck antenna, a company spokesperson said Thursday.
Built by Orbital Sciences, the Intelsat New Dawn project is valued at approximately $250 million. It carries 14 active C-band transponders and 16 Ku-band transponders to serve customers in Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan and Western Europe.
The company has not disclosed potential insurance claims or the financial implications of the C-band reflector anomaly, reports SpaceFlightNow. Intelsat New Dawn was built to replace capacity on the Galaxy 11 satellite, which Intelsat expects to continue operating until 2015. New Dawn was one of ten Orbital STAR GEO communications satellites ordered by Intelsat.
SingTel says the usage cost is going to come down for the 20,000 vessels that it currently supports with the advent of more advanced satellites, cheaper base stations and wider coverage. At present, each sea-faring vessel pays about US$3,000 to US$4,000 for unlimited broadband access per month. SingTel is looking at a market worth up to S$620 million when it launched its ST-2 satellite earlier this month from French Guiana. The ST-3 satellite will launch in 2013. There are now six satellites in orbit using Mitsubishi’s DS2000 standard satellite platform, said Hiroyuki Inahata, General Manager of Space Systems Division, Mitsubishi Electric.
Susan Irwin, President of Euroconsult USA, predicted robust growth in emerging markets for satellite broadcasting in the next decade.
“By 2019 we expect an additional 10,000 television channels will be delivered via satellite, largely thanks to growth in HD and additional DTH platforms,” she said.
Northern Sky Research predicts broadband access revenues to skyrocket to over $5 billion in 2020, a net gain of over $3.8 billion.
Use of High Throughput Satellites, like KASat, ViaSat-1 and Jupiter, will increase total capacity strongly within a few years, but the Ku band terminals will still dominate.
The move to “High Throughput Satellites” will be key to success in broadband access around the world, says Northern Sky.
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