The all-electric KONNECT communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), for the international operator Eutelsat Communications (Paris:ETL) is now undergoing final preparation prior to being shipped to the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, for a launch planned mid-January 2020, the company said.
KONNECT will provide high-speed Internet services for markets in Africa and Western Europe. Offering total capacity of 75 Gbps, by next autumn this satellite will allow the operator to provide Internet access services for both companies and individuals at up to 100 Mbps. In Africa, it will also allow several users to share an Internet connection via public Wi-Fi hotspots; a service sold via coupons that can be paid on their mobile phones.
A pivotal part of Eutelsat´s strategy to restore its growth, centered around connectivity, the KONNECT satellite will also play a lead role in bridging the digital divide in Africa and Europe. The next major step forward will come in 2022 with the introduction of the KONNECT VHTS (very high throughput satellite), also under construction by Thales Alenia Space.
The new KONNECT satellite features all-electric propulsion and operates in Ka-band. It is the first to use Thales Alenia Space´s all-electric Spacebus NEO platform, developed under the Neosat Partnership Project conducted by the European and French space agencies (ESA and CNES).
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. Around 7,000 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 46 countries who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of service. For more about Eutelsat go to www.eutelsat.com
Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures.