- Laurence Russell
New satellite EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS built by Thales Alenia Space heading to Kourou launch site
EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS satellite, the state-of-the-art and largest satellite ever put into orbit by international operator Eutelsat Communications is now on its way to Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, by boat, for a launch planned 6 September 2022 on board an Ariane 5 rocket.
EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS, a very high throughput satellite built by Thales Alenia Space, is to deliver high-speed broadband and mobile connectivity across Europe. With a Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS is the largest geostationary satellite ever ordered to date in Europe and will embark the most powerful on-board digital processor, offering capacity allocation flexibility and an optimal spectrum use.
This new-generation satellite, offering a capacity seven times that of its brother satellite EUTELSAT KONNECT launched in 2020, comes with several major firmly committed customers for satellite broadband connectivity, namely Orange via its Nordnet affiliate for the French coverage, Telecom Italia Mobile over Italy and Thales Alenia Space to serve notably the government connectivity services. These commitments showcase the ability of satellites to provide an attractive solution for bridging the digital divide, at a time when access to connectivity plays a major role in both economic and social development.
Pascal Homsy, Chief Technical Officer at Eutelsat, said: “With EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS we are bringing connectivity to a next level. Defying the odds, it is the most powerful satellite to join the Eutelsat fleet. It will deliver 230 beams over Western Europe and is equipped with a Digital Transparent Processor of 5th generation which will give a considerable advantage in terms of frequency flexibility onboard. A state-of-the-art piece of the finest technology built by our partners Thales Alenia Space that I would like to hereby acknowledge as EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS sets off for the Guiana Space Center.”
Marc Henri Serre, EVP Telecommunications at Thales Alenia Space, added: “EUTELSAT KONNECT VHTS is the satellite of all superlatives for a crucial mission aiming to bridge the digital divide by providing connectivity everywhere in Europe. It is the most capacitive satellite ever built by Thales Alenia Space and our teams provided all the state-of-the art technologies to make it possible. We are really proud to see it ready for shipment to the launch pad and are eager to start the launch campaign.”