Eutelsat has announced the successful mating of the platform and payload of the KONNECT satellite conducted earlier this March at Thales Alenia Space’s facilities in Cannes, France.
KONNECT is Eutelsat’s next-generation high throughput satellite (HTS). With a mass of 3.5 metric tons, this all-electric satellite, the first to use Thales Alenia Space’s new Spacebus Neo platform, will provide 75Gbps of capacity covering Western Europe and Africa.
With capabilities for a large-scale service to address the demand on both continents, KONNECT has been labelled as a “major pillar” of Eutelsat’s strategy of “return on growth”, enabling the company to bolster its presence in the fast-growing broadband market.
On a wider scale, this satellite programme is said to support the group’s ambition to contribute to reducing the digital divide with a view to building a more inclusive digital society.
Yohann Leroy, deputy CEO and CTO of Eutelsat, commented: “This mating operation represents a key step in this significant satellite programme; one that will enable us to deliver high-speed broadband services at affordable prices, with a view to complementing terrestrial networks in Western Europe but also in Africa where the drive to increase Internet penetration is a key priority.”
And by leveraging existing satellite resources, Eutelsat aims to achieve this ambition and sets the stage for the arrival of this satellite through the launch of new broadband services in these regions, such as in several African countries, in recent months.
According to Eutelsat, the KONNECT satellite will be launched before end-2019.