EchoStar XVII Broadband Satellite Launched

Space Systems/Loral, today announced that EchoStar XVII with JUPITER high-throughput technology was launched yesterday (pdf), and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers.

The all Ka-band satellite deployed its solar arrays following its launch aboard an Ariane 5. Tomorrow, the satellite will begin firing its main thruster in order to start maneuvering into geostationary orbit.

Like competitor ViaSat, which launched it’s new generation Ka-band satellite, ViaSat-1, in October, 2011, these new generation High Throughput Satellites offer far more broadband capacity than previous generations.

Both ViaSat-1 and EchoStar XVII should make satellite broadband access more competitive with 4G wireless and provide broadband access where DSL or Cable Modems aren’t available.

Previous satellites had extremely restrictive download caps since their transponder capacity was limited. While the new high throughput satellites still have download caps, the prices and speeds can now be more competitive with 700 MHz 4G services, such as those offered by AT&T and Verizon.

High throughput is enabled by using higher frequencies (20/30 GHz) that allow multiple spotbeams to use the same frequencies without interference.

At the time of its launch, ViaSat-1 was the world’s highest capacity communications satellite with a total capacity in excess of 140 Gbit/s, more than all the satellites covering North America combined. ViaSat’s WildBlue, their previous broadband satellite, will supplement ViaSat-1’s coverage.

ViaSat’s broadband service called Exede, has one-time set-up fee of $149.99 and $9.99/month equipment lease fee, plus the monthly service fees and taxes, which range from $50-$129/month.

The Hughes SPACEWAY 3 was previously the world’s largest traffic-carrying Ka band commercial satellite system, according to Hughes, with 10 Gbps throughput. ECHOSTAR XVII will provide over 100 Gbps.

Hughes says their unique mix of the world’s first switch-in-the-sky, SPACEWAY 3, which enables single-hop, site-to-site connectivity, and ECHOSTAR XVII’s enormous capacity will provide satellite broadband throughout North America.

Weighing 6,100 kg at launch, EchoStar XVII was injected into geostationary transfer orbit, and will then be moved to its orbital position at 107.1 degrees West. The spacecraft is designed to deliver service for 15 years or more. With this launch, there are 70 SS/L-built geostationary satellites currently on orbit.

Loral also owns 64 percent of Telesat, the Canadian provider of satellite services, which provides broadcast video, direct-to-home video, and broadband data services.

On June 26, 2012, Loral announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell Space Systems/Loral to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates. The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory and other customary closing conditions.

Rural broadband provider Xplornet Communications has purchased 100 per cent of the EchoStar XVII’s Canadian capacity, enabling it to reach roughly 2 million of the 2.4 million rural Canadian households. Xplornet had about 150,000 subscribers across Canada at the end of 2011. The satellite’s U.S. capacity is owned by Hughes Network Systems, now a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar.

Among its various broadband packages, Xplornet plans to offer a three Mbps package for $50 per month. That compares to a two Mbps plan for $174.99 on one of its older satellites.

Meanwhile, Eutelsat, which launched the world’s first High Throughput Satellite, says its Tooway satellite service now offers download speeds of up to 18 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 6Mbps, with consumption profiles of up to 50 Gigabytes per month. The top of the range consumer package has been boosted to 18Mbps from 10Mbps, while pricing levels remain the same. A new entry level package is also being launched, offering download speeds of up to 2Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1Mbps for an expected retail price from €19.90.

Related DailyWireless Space and Satellite News includes; Hughes/EchoStar: Broadband Satellite Prepared for Launch, ViaSat Announces Commercial Satellite Operation, ViaSat-1 Passes Test, ViaSat-1 Launched, High Throughput Satellite Goes Live, Dish Talks Up Terrestrial LTE, EchoStar Closes $2B Hughes Deal, ViaSat Buying Wild Blue, New High Capacity Satellites for North America, EchoStar to Buy Hughes, Charlie’s Big Play, Eutelsat Launches Ka Band Internet Satellite

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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