Toulouse: A satellite being launched in November could close the digital divide in the UK by helping citizens and companies currently underserved by the cable broadband market to get online with vastly improved services.
The KA-SAT satellite, developed by Eutelsat, will provide broadband to regions where services such as cable and DSL have failed to penetrate, the firm claimed.
"This will be the most powerful satellite in space. It offers 35 times more throughput than traditional KU-band satellites, and can fulfil a crucial role in meeting the broadband needs of some 30 million underserved EU citizens," said Guillaume Benoit, project manager at KA-SAT, at an event in Toulouse Thursday.
"Using spot beam technology we will be able to provide dedicated coverage in 80 set areas across the EU, the Middle East and Africa, delivering speeds of 10Mbit/s download and 2Mbit/s upload to users in current broadband not-spots."
The satellite communicates with 10 ground satellites, with two set aside as backup, that sit on a fibre-optic ring connected to the internet, through which a user's request is transmitted via the KA-SAT.
The satellite will orbit on a longitude of nine degrees east, which the firm said should ensure that it is always visible to a customer's ground satellite, and will offer overall throughout put of 70Gbit/s, a huge increase on industry norms of around 20Gbit/s.
Jean-Francois Fremaux, director of business development at Tooway, the firm that will offer the service to resellers, gave some more details on the types of services that could come to market.
"We expect basic packages that would cover emailing, browsing and some uploading, to retail at around €30 (£25), going up from here to higher level packages leading to services for business users and firms," he said.
Fremaux expects the service to be of particular benefit to small companies with up to 10 employees, but did not detail any pricing structures.
Tooway is keen to enter into partnerships with train and boat companies that could use the ubiquitous nature of a certain spot beam to provide broadband on the move.
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