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Eutelsat KONNECT Successfully Launched For African Connectivity Operations

Artistic representation of the KONNECT Satellite in orbit. Image courtesy of Thales Alenia Space.

The EUTELSAT KONNECT satellite was successfully launched into Geostationary Transfer Orbit by Arianespace using an Ariane 5 rocket that lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, at 9.05 pm Universal Time (10.05 pm CET) on 16 January 2020.

The separation of the all-electric satellite occurred after a 27-minute flight and the spacecraft systems checkout was successfully completed over a period of 3 hours.

Built by Thales Alenia Space, the EUTELSAT KONNECT communications satellite, features all-electric propulsion and operates in Ka-band. It is the first satellite to use Thales Alenia Space’s all-electric Spacebus NEO platform, developed under the Neosat Partnership Project conducted by the European and French space agencies (ESA and CNES).

EUTELSAT KONNECT will assure full or partial coverage for up to 40 countries across Africa and 15 over Europe. Offering total capacity of 75 Gbps, by next autumn this high throughput satellite will allow the operator to provide Internet access services for both companies and individuals at up to 100 Mbps.

Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said, “Our congratulations to Arianespace and the Guiana Space Center teams for successfully launching our EUTELSAT KONNECT satellite towards geostationary orbit. The collaboration between Eutelsat, Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace on this ambitious satellite programme has resulted in a world-first broadband satellite for the African and European continents that demonstrates the suitability of satellite infrastructure as a means to deliver high quality broadband services, contributing to bridging the digital divide within rural areas.”

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