Articles on the topic : Satellite Broadband News
Avanti Communications has switched the launch rocket for its satellite broadband supplying Hylas spacecraft.
The Hylas spacecraft is expected to provide 2Mbps satellite broadband speeds to some rural locations and could help with the Government’s Digital Britain plan for 2Mbps broadband speeds for all UK homes by 2012.
As part of the switch, Avanti has signed a contract with Arianespace which will allow them to use either the Arian 5 or the Soyuz launcher. It was originally supposed to launch on the Falcon 9, a US rocket.
David Williams, the Chief Executive of Avanti said, “We’re a classic example of a scrappy British start-up company. A couple of years ago we had very little money. It’s turned out that our market was very much bigger than many of us thought and I now have a blue-chip shareholder base that is prepared to pay for the certainty and reliability of the world’s best launch vehicle”.
The Hylas-1 satellite has had significant investment from British government and is due to be launched next year.
It is thought that around 350,000 households will benefit from the Hylas-1 satellite broadband service with Hylas-2 also in the pipeline.
The current gaps in the UK where broadband cannot be accessed are set to be covered through the use of satellite broadband.
The Chief Executive of Avanti, David Williams, said, “Satellite broadband used to be expensive and bad, but it is set to become cheap and good”.
It has already been reported that Avanti are set to launch their first satellite “Hylas” later on this year. It will use the Ka-band radio frequency to provide up to 2Mbps broadband access speeds to 350,000 homes in the UK. If it is successful then the company plans to launch two bigger spacecraft known as Hercules.
The Hercules satellite project is being backed by the European Space Agency who have already showed their support by funding part of the costs. Avanti, however, still need to find £500 million for the project.
The Hercules satellites will provide broadband to the 2.5 million UK homes which currently cannot get broadband access. It will mainly offer speeds of up to 2Mbps, though they have the potential to deliver much higher speeds of up to 50Mbps.
Satellite broadband access is set to be recommended as an option to fill the UK’s broadband ‘not spots’ in today’s Digital Britain report.
Eutelsat has launched a 2Mb satellite broadband service in the UK that offers hope for those people living in rural areas who are unable to get fixed line home broadband.
The service, known as Eutelsat TooWay, is reported to be able reach any home in the UK and provides both a download and upload stream.
The TooWay download and upload streams are handled via a satellite signal received through a dish installed on the side of a customers home – quite similar in fact to Sky’s satellite dish.
At £29.99 per month, Eutelsat’s satellite broadband service is quite pricey, though this is offset by the fact that customers do not need a telephone line aswell, meaning they could save on their phone line rental costs.
Another potential downside is the Eutelsat hardware and software costs, with prices reported to be as high as £600 for the satellite hardward and £200 for the software. This will not come as welcome news to most rural customers.
On the launch, the Eutelsat Director of Multimedia said, “We are mainly targeting consumers who are underserved by other broadband providers, but packages for professional users can be provided by our partners.”
Overrall, there has been a lot of excitement in the broadband industry over the last few months after various ISP’s promised their customers super fast broadband speeds.
BT are implementing a brand new fibre optic broadband network that will reportedly achieve speeds of up to 100Mbps while Virgin Media has upgraded many of its 2Mbps customers to 10Mbps. However, rural areas that do not currently get any broadband access have been left out in the cold – until today.
Satellite broadband provider Avanti Communications Group has won 2 year contracts for the provision of satellite broadband products to 4 UK telecommunications suppliers.
This is good news for the 10% of UK homes that cannot currently get an acceptable broadband service as the satellite broadband services of these four companies, Avonline PLC, Broadbandwherever, Coview Solutions and KBR IT & Networking Solutions Limited could fill this void.
Avanti is currently developing its first satellite, known as Hylas, which will be launched later this year. It provides its current EU customers with broadband services through a leased satellite. The launch of its own satellite will enable it to broaden its customer base to the UK and Ireland.
The Chief Executive of Avanti explained, “Our wins in the UK are also important in the light of the British Government’s “Digital Britain” study. When the final report is published in June, Avanti expects it to recommend the use of satellite to address the 10% of the UK population which does not have access to acceptable terrestrial broadband services. We now have the distribution in the UK to cope with large scale and rapid deployment.”
However, satellite broadband is not as reliable as consumers would like it to be. In fact, it can sometimes be even less reliable than mobile broadband.
For example, it is thought that multiplayer gaming would be difficult to do with a satellite connection, but obviously that won’t affect everybody.
Overall whether it is slightly unreliable or not, customers who currently fit into the 10% of UK homes that can’t access broadband will no doubt welcome the news that this could soon change.