Eutelsat Communications (Paris:ETL) (Euronext Paris: ETL) has announced the order of a next-generation VHTS satellite system named KONNECT VHTS, to support the development of its European fixed broadband and in-flight connectivity businesses, the company said.
The satellite, which is due to enter into service in 2021, will be built by Thales Alenia Space which will develop a satellite and ground segment solution that is the most competitive on the market today. With a weight of 6.3 ton and a Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, KONNECT VHTS will embark the most powerful on-board digital processor ever put in orbit, offering capacity allocation flexibility, optimal spectrum use, and progressive ground network deployment.
The project will be launched with firm multi-year distribution commitments from Orange and Thales, two key European players and leaders in their businesses. A retail partnership was signed with Orange to address the fixed broadband market in European countries where the Group has a retail presence, and a distribution partnership was inked with Thales to serve the government connectivity services market.
Founded in 1977, Eutelsat Communications is one of the world´s satellite operators. With a global fleet of satellites and associated ground infrastructure, Eutelsat enables clients across Video, Data, Government, Fixed and Mobile Broadband markets to communicate effectively to their customers, irrespective of their location. Over 6,800 television channels operated by media groups are broadcast by Eutelsat to one billion viewers equipped for DTH reception or connected to terrestrial networks. Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat assembles 1,000 men and women from 44 countries who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of service.
Orange is one of the world´s telecommunications operators with sales of 41 billion euros in 2017 and 152,000 employees worldwide at 31 December 2017, including 93,000 employees in France. Present in 29 countries, the Group has a total customer base of 273 million customers worldwide at 31 December 2017, including 211 million mobile customers and 20 million fixed broadband customers. Orange is also a provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.