Press releases

Eutelsat steps up African broadband plans with new-generation High Throughput Satellite ordered from Thales Alenia Space

Press releases

Eutelsat steps up African broadband plans with new-generation High Throughput Satellite ordered from Thales Alenia Space

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    All-electric satellite, to launch in 2019, to set new standards for satellite broadband in Africa

    Cannes, 28 October 2015 – Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) today unveiled the next step in its broadband strategy for Africa with the order from Thales Alenia Space of a new-generation High Throughput Satellite offering unprecedented operational flexibility. To be launched in 2019, the all-electric satellite will be the first to use Thales Alenia Space's new Spacebus Neo platform.
    Eutelsat’s order of a high-capacity broadband satellite follows its recent announcement of the lease of Ka-band capacity on the AMOS-6 satellite that will enable broadband services to be delivered in Sub-Saharan Africa from the end of 2016.
    With the follow-on standalone satellite, Eutelsat will broaden its African footprint, deliver significant resources for broadband services and set a new benchmark for flexibility in High Throughput Satellites. By using the all-electric Spacebus Neo platform, that combines high efficiency and light weight, Eutelsat will also benefit from competitive launch conditions.
    The baseline mission of the new satellite is to provide 75 Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spotbeams that together provide quasi-complete coverage of Sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite will address direct-to-user consumer and enterprise broadband services using dishes from approximately 75 cm. It will also be used for community networks connected to Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile phone backhauling and rural connectivity.
    Eutelsat has the option in the coming months to upscale the satellite to significantly increase overall throughput and service areas. Eutelsat’s African broadband business, including sales, will be managed by a newly created London-based affiliate.
    Commenting on the contract, Michel de Rosen, Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are excited by the opportunity to bring the most advanced satellite broadband technologies to Africa. With the Spacebus Neo platform proposed by Thales Alenia Space we are pushing back new boundaries in High Throughput Satellites in order to deliver quality and affordable broadband services in the many countries in Africa where increasing Internet penetration is a key priority.”
    Jean Loic Galle, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space, added: "We are very proud of our selection by Eutelsat to deliver the first all-electric Spacebus Neo satellite. Spacebus Neo combines proven heritage with innovation to offer a fully modular platform with a smart Ka-HTS payload for unrivalled flexibility and maximum throughput. This selection reflects the productive teamwork between Thales Alenia Space and Eutelsat to develop the solution that best addresses user needs and HTS market expectations. This contract is also a concrete result of the support by the European and French space agencies for the development of Neosat as well as by the French Very High Throughput section of the French Investment Plan called PIA, “Plan d’Investissement d’Avenir”.

    Spacebus NEO video

    About Thales Alenia Space
    Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%), is a key European player in space telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, exploration and orbital infrastructures. Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio form the two parent companies' “Space Alliance”, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Because of its unrivalled expertise in dual (civil/military) missions, constellations, flexible payloads, altimetry, meteorology and high-resolution optical and radar instruments, Thales Alenia Space is the natural partner to countries that want to expand their space program. The company posted consolidated revenues in excess of 2 billion euros in 2014, and has 7,500 employees in eight countries.

    Thales Alenia Space Press Contacts

    Sandrine Bielecki
    Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94

    Chrystelle Dugimont
    Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06

    About Eutelsat Communications
    Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL, ISIN code: FR0010221234) is one of the world's leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 39 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location. Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 37 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service. For more about Eutelsat please visit


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