Eutelsat Communications (Paris:ETL) has successfully mated the platform and payload of the KONNECT satellite this week at Thales Alenia Space's facilities in Cannes — this operation is a major step in the construction of the satellite in preparation for launch by the close of this year.
KONNECT is a next-generation High Throughput Satellite (HTS) that offers operational flexibility. With a mass of 3.5 metric tons, this an all-electric satellite, the first to use Thales Alenia Space's new Spacebus Neo platform, which will provide 75 Gbps of capacity covering Western Europe and Africa.
With capabilities for a large-scale service to address the demand on both continents, KONNECT is a major pillar of Eutelsat's strategy of return to growth, enabling the company to bolster its presence in the fast-growing broadband market. On a wider scale, this satellite program supports the Group's ambition to contribute to reducing the digital divide with a view to building a more inclusive digital society. By leveraging existing satellite resources, Eutelsat strives to achieve this ambition and sets the stage for the arrival of this satellite through the launch of new broadband services in these regions, such as in several African countries in the past months.
Yohann Leroy, Deputy CEO and CTO of Eutelsat, said this mating operation represents a key step in this significant satellite program; one that will enable to deliver high-speed broadband services at affordable prices, with a view to complementing terrestrial networks in Western Europe but also in Africa where the drive to increase Internet penetration is a key priority.