Avanti confirms late launch slot

London-based Avanti Communications has confirmed its Hylas-4 satellite will launch next year on an Arianespace rocket in a period “commencing March 1st”.

The much-delayed launch (it was originally promised for launch in “early 2017”) will be somewhat improved by the rocket and satellite carrying extra fuel. The commitment from Avanti is that the satellite will be in orbit some 90 days earlier than would have been the case without extra fuel, and the satellite would now likely have an in-orbit life of 19 years, and some 27 percent longer than is usual.

However, taking March 1st 2018 as a likely launch date, and allowing for time for the satellite to arrive on station and complete in-orbit testing, which tends to take at least a month, this suggests that it will not be generating much in the way of revenues before mid-2018, and this is around 1 year later than earlier expectations.

Hylas-4 is being built by Dulles, Washington-based satellite builder, Orbital ATK.

Avanti says Hylas-4 revenues would start to flow from July 2018. Last week Avanti parted company with its founder and CEO, David Williams.

A sister member of the proposed Avanti fleet, Hylas-3, is also suffering delays, and is not expected to launch much before mid-2018. Hylas-3, when launched, will have 8 beams on a single steerable Ka-band antenna able to cover a segment of Africa or the Middle East.  Avanti’s own schematic shows the satellite covering the West African region around Nigeria.

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