Eutelsat Communications says it has successfully launched Eutelsat 172B, a new high throughput satellite (HTS) for Asia-Pacific that is also billed as the first high-power all-electric satellite built by Airbus.
Designed to replace Eutelsat 172A at 172° East, Eutelsat 172B will provide increased capacity, more power and improved coverage via C and Ku-band payloads to deliver increased capacity for fast-growing applications that include in-flight and maritime connectivity, cellular backhaul, corporate networks, video and government services.
Eutelsat 172B also features a new Ku-band multi-beam payload delivering 1.8 Gbps of throughput to serve the world’s fastest-growing region for air traffic. The Asia Pacific represents the largest opportunity for in-flight entertainment and connectivity services, with over 8,000 aircraft to be delivered to the region by 2034.
Eutelsat said the HTS payload will be a major growth platform for in-flight connectivity, particularly Panasonic Avionics. Eleven elliptical beams will enable Panasonic to bridge the West coast of North America to Asia, and down to Australia, supporting rapid air traffic growth in the region and surges in bandwidth use across densely used flight paths. Panasonic will also use the satellite’s widebeam Ku-band coverage as an overlay to deliver live TV to aircraft.
Eutelsat’s new satellite is scheduled to enter into service in fourth quarter 2017. Following the transfer of traffic to the new satellite Eutelsat 172A will continue commercial service at another orbital position.
Following the launch – which was carried out by Arianespace – Eutelsat said it has signed a a new launch services contract with Arianespace for three future launches, including Eutelsat 7C (built by SSL) will be orbited in 2018, followed in 2019 by Eutelsat Quantum built by Airbus and the high throughput satellite built by Thales.
Check out our recent interview with Eutelsat for the background to this launch.