Eutelsat Communications’ all-electric Eutelsat 172B satellite has begun full commercial service, promising greatly enhanced flexibility, power and connectivity for users from the West coast of the Americas to Asia, Oceania and across the Pacific.
The transfer of services from Eutelsat 172A to Eutelsat 172B was completed seamlessly in a series of overnight maneuvers, releasing Eutelsat 172A for an alternative orbital position to serve customers in the Asia-Pacific region.
Launched in June this year, Eutelsat 172B sets a new benchmark as the fastest satellite to reach geostationary orbit using electric propulsion – a process that only took four months, said Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer.
“In addition to taking our 172° East location to a new level of performance for clients in the Asia-Pacific, Eutelsat 172B further validates the value of electric propulsion for high-capacity satellites that are core to providing cost-competitive services in the telecoms marketplace,” he said.
The satellite is also the first to be optimized for in-flight connectivity across the Pacific, Eutelsat says. Its high-throughput payload of 11 spot beams enables power to be dynamically allocated as aircraft fly high-traffic routes in Asia-Pacific. This will allow Panasonic, the major client of the HTS payload, to better meet passenger demand and cost-effectively ensure consistently high levels of service to airlines.
In addition to the HTS payload, Eutelsat 172B significantly increases regular bandwidth at the 172° East position, with C-band capacity as well as flexible Ku-band capacity spread across five interconnecting wide beam service areas. Beyond maritime, video, enterprise, cellular backhaul and government services, the Ku-band capacity will serve as an overlay to economically deliver live television to passengers in flight.