Eutelsat Konnect VHTS will provide fixed broadband and mobile connectivity across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Arianespace launched the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite to support Eutelsats expansion in the broadband business.
The satellite was launched into Geostationary Transfer Orbit using an Ariane 5 rocket that lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, at 9.45 pm Universal Time (11.45 pm CET) on September 7.
Eutelsat Konnect VHTS, a very high throughput satellite built by Thales Alenia Space, will provide fixed broadband and mobile connectivity across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Delivering 230 beams over Western Europe and with a Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, Eutelsat Konnect VHTS is the largest geostationary satellite ever ordered to date in Europe.
This state-of-the-art satellite, offering a capacity seven times that of its parent 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 testify to the ability of geostationary satellites to provide an attractive solution for bridging the digital divide, at a time when access to connectivity plays a crucial role in both economic and social development.
Commenting on the launch, Eva Berneke, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “Our congratulations to Arianespace and the Guiana Space Center teams for successfully launching our Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite into geostationary orbit. Thanks to this fine-tuned collaboration between three French players of excellence, Eutelsat, Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace, we are able to bring connectivity to the next level in Europe and participate in bridging the digital divide everywhere on the continent.”
Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, added: “With yet another successful launch, Arianespace is proud to have placed in orbit, for the 37th time since 1983, a satellite for the operator Eutelsat. Eutelsat Konnect VHTS, built by Thales Alenia Space, offers a capacity that will be able to connect underserved zones throughout Europe, providing them with Internet access, which underscores how Arianespace uses Space to achieve a better life on Earth. Another success to the credit of both the European team of launchers and Ariane 5, which only has three more missions left before retirement.”
André-Hubert Roussel, CEO of ArianeGroup, stated: “Ariane 5 is the champion of dual-launch and this evening performed the single launch of a telecommunications satellite to geostationary orbit for only the third time in its illustrious career. Ariane 5 thus demonstrated how versatile it is. The Ariane 6 will be even more so, able to adapt to all missions to all orbits, for the benefit of Arianespaces customers.”
The Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher is an ESA programme carried out in cooperation between public institutions and industry across 12 European partner states. The launches are operated by Arianespace.