Europe's already extensive broadband coverage may be expanding even further, now that Eutelsat's Ka-Sat satellite has officially gone into service. The new craft, which launched from Kazakhstan in late December, uses spotbeam technology to generate areas of connectivity that are about 250 kilometers wide, with each beam carrying a total capacity of 900Mbps. Unlike the Hylas 1, its reach will extend far across the continent, providing Tooway's high-bandwidth services to 13 million households in remote locations. Subscribers will have download speeds of up to 10Mbps and upload rates of 4Mbps, though they'll still have to put up with latency on the order of 250ms, making life even more difficult for Eastern European OnLive gamers. Of course, this access won't come for free, but Ka-Sat's 82-beam network structure significantly lowers its operating costs, allowing Eutelsat to offer prices that are on par with market rates. According to company CEO Michel de Rosen, customers should expect to pay around €30 for basic service, in addition to €250 they'd have to spend on a 77cm satellite dish. That's not necessarily a small amount of cash for low-income families to fork over, but at least they'll have an option that didn't exist before. Head past the break for a video about Tooway's Ka-Sat services, along with a full PR.


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Eutelsat's KA-SAT High Throughput Satellite Goes Live

New-generation Tooway(TM) Broadband Services now Available Across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin

PARIS, May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) today announced the commercial entry into service of its KA-SAT High Throughput Satellite, marking the official launch of its new-generation Tooway(TM) broadband service.

Eutelsat's high-capacity all Ka-band system, combining satellite and on-ground infrastructure, opens a new chapter in the market for satellite-based IP services. As a powerful new platform for delivering high-bandwidth services to users beyond range of terrestrial networks, it can deliver cost-effective and competitive solutions that contribute to building inclusive digital economies across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO commented on the entry into service: "The entry into service of KA-SAT, the world's most powerful spotbeam satellite, turns a new page in affordable and immediately available IP solutions, and places Europe at the forefront of high-capacity satellite technologies that can serve to quickly close the broadband gap. We look forward to working with our service and technology partners to unleash the huge potential of this new pan-European wireless infrastructure."

Up to 10 Mbps immediately available for consumers irrespective of location

The new-generation Tooway(TM) system now running through KA-SAT, and shown live today in locations from Dublin to Athens, is a cost-effective and immediate response to users waiting to access the benefits of broadband irrespective of their location. Europe's broadband map* shows that at least 13 million households are still beyond range of ADSL, and 17 million access the Internet at speeds below 2 Mbps, which closes the door to many media-rich applications that users today expect to use on a daily basis.

* European Union member states, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia.

Operated by Eutelsat's Skylogic affiliate, Tooway(TM) can provide homes with an always-on service delivering speeds of up to 10 Mbps downstream and 4 Mbps upstream. The customer equipment comprises a small satellite dish (77 cm) and a sleek modem, which is connected to a PC or Mac via an Ethernet connection. Customers can select professional or self installation. The equipment is installed by pointing the dish to 9degrees East using an included sound beeper and following indications on-screen to activate the modem. The Tooway(TM) system can also be used for Voice over IP and IPTV. With a dual-feed (Ku-Ka), Direct-to-Home reception of television channels from adjacent broadcast satellites is also possible.

Tooway(TM) consumer service packages

Skylogic is now offering Tooway(TM) in four standardised classes with speeds and volumes adapted to user needs, ranging from part-time surfing to intensive home working. Prices are set and commercialised to end users by Tooway(TM) distributors, with service available from 1 euro per day. More information on the distributor network is available on http://www.tooway.com.

Service classes

Tooway(TM) 6 Tooway(TM) 8 Tooway(TM) 10 Tooway(TM) 10+
Max Downlink 6 Mbps 8 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps
Max Uplink 1 Mbps 2 Mbps 2 Mbps 4 Mbps


High throughput capability for professional applications

KA-SAT will also respond to professional requirements for higher bandwidth and/or higher quality services for applications including private networks, broadband access for businesses and institutions, back-up services and remote monitoring (SCADA). For this type of use, the Tooway(TM) terminal can deliver speeds of up to 40 Mbps downstream and 10 Mbps upstream. An advanced system, which will shortly be available, will increase speeds to 50 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream.

KA-SAT's high throughput Ka-band capability also opens opportunities for cost effective Satellite Newsgathering, including in HD, using lightweight easily transportable uplink antennas connected to the basic Tooway(TM) modem. Broadcasters and news agencies will be able to automatically schedule and book capacity via an Internet-based schedule. Broadcasters and video service providers can also take advantage of the spotbeam coverage of the KA-SAT satellite architecture to deliver content in a single beam or multiple beams for regional and local television and corporate TV networks.

KA-SAT - pioneering a new generation of multi-spotbeam satellite for Europe

Built for Eutelsat by Astrium, KA-SAT ushers in a new generation of multi-spotbeam high-capacity satellites. Its revolutionary concept is based on a payload with 82 narrow spotbeams connected to 10 ground stations. This configuration enables frequencies to be reused 20 times and takes total throughput to beyond 70 Gbps. The ground network uses ViaSat's SurfBeam(R) 2 technology, an advanced version of the technology already powering broadband connectivity for 500,000 satellite homes in North America. The combination of KA-SAT's exceptional capacity and SurfBeam(R) 2 will make it possible to deliver Internet connectivity at speeds comparable to ADSL for more than one million homes in Europe and large parts of the Mediterranean Basin.

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