Avanti gets near-free orbital slot

UK-based speciality satellite provider Avanti Communications has acquired certain satellite frequencies associated with the European Space Agency’s (ESA) 21.5 degrees East position.

Avanti is buying the remaining year or two of life of ESA’s Artemis data-relay satellite which is planned to be decommissioned next year.

Avanti’s purchase price, according to ESA, is “modest” although Avanti has not revealed the actual sum. Avanti says only that it will “[occupy] an orbital position at 21.5 degrees east and gives the company access to new opportunities.”  The deal will close by the end of this year.

The Artemis satellite operates in the highly specialised L-band (1-2 GHz). The two other Avanti satellites (Hylas-1 and the planned Hylas-2) operate in the Ka-band. L-band transmissions from space are normally used by the military and similar governmental users.  However, the GPS navigation systems also operate in L-band, and terrestrially DAB radio uses L-band.

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