Last week, I repeated my prediction that eventually Ka-band Internet connectivity would become cheap enough to allow small portable terminals to be used as a substitute for large truck-mounted Ku-band satellite antennas (under the right weather conditions, of course). Eutelsat has now reported Eutelsat's KA-SAT satellite successfully lofted into orbit by ILS Proton Rocket. The Ka-band satellite will be located at 9 degrees east longitude. It has 82 narrow spotbeams and a network of 10 ground stations that enables frequencies to be reused up to 20 times, taking the total throughput of KA-SAT beyond 70 Gbps.
Eutelsat said the combination of KA-SAT's exceptional capacity and ViaSat's SurfBeam technology will make it possible to deliver Internet connectivity for more than one million homes at speeds comparable to ADSL. After testing is completed, deployment of commercial service is planned at the end of May 2011.
"We are delighted to confirm that our KA-SAT satellite is now on its way to 9 degrees East, and thank ILS and Khrunichev for this new launch success," said Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO. "KA-SAT will be the cornerstone of a breakthrough infrastructure deployed by Eutelsat for users across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. By combining a satellite equipped with more than 80 spotbeams and a network of ground stations, this new program will deliver more capacity than any other satellite program deployed worldwide."
He stated that Internet service providers would benefit from the new implementation, as it would allow them to open up broadband service to potential users in areas without terrestrial connectivity.
Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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