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New KA-SAT broadband satellite goes live over Europe


June 6, 2011

Eutelsat has announced that its new KA-SAT broadband satellite has now gone into service, offering over a million Europeans the option of high speed internet access wherever they are located

Eutelsat has announced that its new KA-SAT broadband satellite has now gone into service, offering over a million Europeans the option of high speed internet access wherever they are located

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Happily, the days of painfully slow dial-up internet speeds are now but a distant memory to many city and town dwelling broadband users throughout Europe. But for the estimated 13 million households living beyond the reach of ADSL or the even greater number who suffer from slow broadband connection speeds, waiting a good while for web pages and media to load into a browser is still the source of daily angst. One solution for surfers eager to grab more bandwidth is to install a satellite service and Eutelsat has just announced that its new KA-SAT high throughput broadband satellite launched in December of last year has just gone into service.

Eutelsat says that its KA-SAT multi-spotbeam satellite - which was built for the company by Astrium - is the world's most powerful spotbeam satellite. Ten ground stations using ViaSat's SurfBeam 2 technology have 82 narrow spotbeams aimed at them in a configuration that's claimed to be capable of handling a total throughput of 70Gbps. The broadband internet by satellite service is being offered to consumers and business users via Tooway, operated by Skylogic.

By no means the only satellite broadband provider in Europe, the new-generation Tooway broadband service does look to be quite the performer. Over a million homes throughout Europe and across the Mediterranean Basin can choose from four packages offering speeds up to 10Mbps down and 4Mbps up. Customers will also need to purchase a small (77cm) satellite dish and a modem, with the dish, which can be correctly aligned by the customer using a sound beeper, pointing 9 degrees East.

Businesses wanting to use the service for such things as private networks or remote monitoring, as well as for internet access, can currently sign up for a 40Mbps down/10Mbps up package, with an advanced system shortly becoming available that will add another 10Mbps onto both down and up speeds.

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Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

This satellite is also being used to provide TV coverage to some countries, for example Ireland (google Saorsat) The higher frequency of Ka band (vs Ku) and better antenna allows coverage over very controlled geographic areas without the need for encryption. One spot very neatly covers the island of Ireland. Satellite enthusiasts have already reported reception of the Saorsat suite of channels (RTE 1/2/TV3/TG4/3e et al) on the ground in Ireland about 2 weeks ago.

Pat O'Leary

Will this be available in the US??


Bandwidth sounds good, competitive, but what about latency, which has always plagued satellite Internet connectivity? This KA-SAT must orbit synchronously (stationary relative to a continent like Europe), so it\'s in a pretty high orbit. And since they cannot do much about the speed of light/signals, round-tripping (latency) for an \'interactive web experience\" could be not-so-good.

Lorin Ricker

what frequency? you know we are having questions about a U.S. sat broadband rollout that might interfere with GPS!

Walt Stawicki

G\'Day Guys - FYI: The same technology will be available over the US when the ViaSat 1 satellite launches in July 11. If all things go well with the launch and in-orbit testing, it should be available to customers around the end of the year. The software in the ViaSat Surfbeam2 modems has been optimised to significantly reduce latency as far as the laws of physics will allow [Considering what that Canadian guy said with a Scottish accent on that cult TV show]. I\'ve seen some of the capabilities of ViaSat\'s acceleration software over some of their Ku & Ka band satellite links using email and web browsing and the almost lack of latency is surprising. The Ka band frequencies [Tx: ~20GHz & Rx: ~30GHz] are way higher than the GPS frequencies [~1.227GHz & ~1.575 GHz] so there shouldn\'t be any interference problems.

Peter W.

@Pat I certainly agree with you. Nowadays satellite is widely used for tv connectivity like the your local cable connection and take note its DIGITAL. If you want to see the comparison between satellite TV and direct TV check this satellite tv comparison

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