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HYLAS satellite launch today to improve satellite broadband
Friday 26 November 2010 14:37:07 by John Hunt

Europe's first dedicated satellite to offer broadband services across Europe is to launch this evening at 18:39 from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana aboard an Arianne 5 rocket. The satellite, HYLAS, is a commercial venture by Avanti Communications, a London based company with funding from the UK government.

HYLAS will be able to deliver up to 10Mbps broadband throughout its coverage area through satellite services in the Ka-band, and could provide this to 350,000 subscribers. Prices are expected to start from around £25 per month for a basic 2Mbps service.

"This is a landmark day for the many consumers and businesses across Europe, who have been frustrated by lack of access to adequate broadband, it means that finally there is the opportunity to solve the digital divide.

The launch of our satellite today means that access to broadband in remote areas is no longer on the distant horizon.

For Avanti it is a proud achievement to launch the first broadband satellite in Europe. There is a real double benefit here, providing a solution for communities, companies and Governments who need effective broadband, and for our investors who, with us, know there is significant unmet demand which we can tap into. But this is just the beginning for us with our further satellites in the pipeline."

David Williams (Chief Executive), Avanti PLC

The company will also be launching a second satellite in spring 2012, HYLAS 2, which will be able to offer similar services to 700,000 customers further across Europe, the Middle East and parts of Africa.

Avanti won't be alone for long however, as rival company Eutelsat will be launching their own dedicated satellite for broadband services offering similar 10Mbps capabilities to Europe on the 20th of December.

For those interested, the launch can be watched live online.


Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Let's hope it's not too spectacular :-)

USC for £299 and £25/month anyone ?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Great news, Satellites are grand for downloading. They are quick deployments for rural areas sick of waiting for decent access. They are a brilliant stop gap until fibre gets to everyone, and a much better investment than running more copper for the crap BET solution. A few people can even share a satellite to share the high cost. Once fibre gets to a place the satellite can be re-deployed somewhere else, unlike the expensive copper. ;)
good luck avanti.
Posted by spetznaz over 6 years ago
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"the satellite can be re-deployed somewhere else"

- Mars ?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
nope herdwick, in the next notspot on the fibre route. whereas BT deploying more copper and BET is a total waste of time and money.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
Doesn't compare badly on price with our 3G service - we spend about £20 to £25 per month for 2 to 3 Mbps. Hardware costs have dropped it seems, no £700 for the dish if the £299 is right (where did you find that?). Wonder when the pricing for the 10Mbps will be posted... and when the 50Mbps is coming onstream.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Well the launch went fine. Just watched it all, amazing tech.

We had one of the 1st gen Avanti sats, it was very good in its time. I wonder if the next gen one will be able to keep up with demands? It will be interesting to see what the upload is like from Hylas1 service.
Most sats I know about are sub £300 now. Dunno what avantis will be though.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
your going to move the satellite ? wow, the power.

The thing will have fallen out of orbit by the time fibre arrives.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
oooh, cyber. if you take this up does it then make your future proof fibre strung between your local mast and properties a bit redundent?

Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Posted by timmay over 6 years ago
@otester at least 500ms probably more like 700ms. The same laws of physics affect the new satellite as the current ones.
Posted by timmay over 6 years ago
USAGE LIMIT is another important thing! If it is as low as currently at only 2.4GB it almost useless for anything other than basic web and e-mails. That's not what people expect from the internet these days!
Posted by timmay over 6 years ago
Current services are advertises as 3.6Mbps so 2Mbps is a downgrade and 10Mbps is not a massive improvement. Although actual throughput might be better on the new sat even on the 2Mbps package until it is congested.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@cd:There was almost nothing in your post that matched reality. About the only thing that was is your suggestion that satellites are better than BET. But even that's debateable and more down to questionable BT pricing than the technology.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
Wondering what the uplink is on this (it's not immediately obvious from the media coverage)?

According to
the uplink is via satellite - better for bandwidth than using a phone/modem but obviously it doubles the latency vs the landline uplink.

Bit of a niche offering, I think. Ocean-going aircraft and ships, maybe war/disaster zones. Surely even a WiMax/mesh-WiFi setup ought to beat this for rural notspots, except it requires thought, whereas any old Sky driller can fit a dish.
Posted by RepairExpert over 6 years ago
Be interesting to know the uplink power required and dish size (have an 8ft one on the garage roof that I was thinking of disposing of; think I'll keep it).

The Ka band is 26.5-40GHz for those who don't know. But who can guess the price of the equipment needed though; and what happens when it gets saturated with users at peak times?

A good idea for those in outlying areas miles from a phone line though who have no other choice.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I find the lack of understanding simple astounding.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
hey captain, I can couple the sat up to the fibre you know.
AndrueC, I had an avanti sat for 3 yrs and fed 5 homes from it. I know it works. do you know better than someone who has tried it? It only started to fail once people wanted more uploads and websites got video... the new one is purpose built for broadband. may make a difference. dunno.
c-j - we can't get a decent feed for our wifi network- that is what a notspot is. somewhere that can't get broadband... Sats are expensive, but not as bad as a bt leased line?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
cd - I think people are ribbing you on your redeployment line, you seem to believe a sat is dedicated to a village and hovers over it and you can send it to another village when you get fibre.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
i just like to wind her up ;P he he.
it's just that she comes on her with limited information and claims fibre is the answer, and only answer to everything, any bit of fibre running nar her village, she should have a right to tap in to, and believes that will the give her fast internet
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
oh, and that copper was created by the devil, and the devils brother BT wants to do all they can to keep using the copper??? if they could flick a switch and overnight change all copper to fibre, and scrap in all the old copper £££££ they would do it in an instance, fibre network is so much more reliable, easier and cheaper to maintain
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
cd - 'in the next notspot on the fibre route'. Please explain what you mean by this.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Regarding usage, they only guarantee the speed you pay for up to the amount you get, after that you share bandwidth other exceeding users, only competition that beats this policy is cable/LLU.
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
The Eutelsat satellite launching in December can support up to 4Mbps upstream so HYLAS1 might be similar..
Posted by greemble over 6 years ago
CD, just one thing. You rather optimistically state "a brilliant stop gap until fibre gets to everyone". I'd agree, except for the idea of fibre getting to everyone.

Once these go live, you can pretty well count on HM Gov declaring they have succeeded in getting their aim of 2Mb broadband to the whole country. Any further fibre roll-out will be down to BT et al. and that'll be placed where they can make the fastest RoI followed by the highest profit margin.
Anywhere else can pay Openreach (or any one else willing) to install it - at full price.
Posted by ssanyal over 6 years ago
Satellite d/l speeds, even in Ka band will never be >10 Mbps. Even if capped @10 Mbps, end users will only get ~256 kbps d/l & slow u/l (using typical 20:1 - 50:1 contention). Plus, the initial investment for new sat. infra/receiver tech is significant. Given the low total capacity, it will be difficult to achieve economies of scale for reduced pricing on CPE. Upping capacity will require £££ launches. The OPEX/CAPEX costs for the poor QoS offered associated w/ a predictable low take-up rate won't offer a viable biz case for carriers, or enough value for consumers.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
In the short term the capacity of the satellite is not likely to be reached, unless millions buy it immediately. So just like LLU that had a few years of no traffic management, the same cycle will repeat.

Satellite is a useful addition, but here's to hoping that BDUK only use it as a last resort.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
BT have signed up to use it.
Posted by rainman100 over 6 years ago
Wow ! can't wait, NOT!
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