Eutelsat has taken an 8-year loan of €200 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to help fund the roll-out of its high-speed broadband services.
Eutelsat will use the cash on its Konnect VHTS (Very High Throughput Satellite) programme.
Eutelsat says: Konnect VHTS is an advanced satellite providing unprecedented upload and download speed capacity for both fixed and mobile broadband services. With a weight of 6.3 tonnes and a Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps, this next generation satellite will carry the most powerful on-board digital processor ever put into orbit, offering capacity, allocation flexibility, optimal spectrum use, and progressive ground network deployment. It will deliver cost-effective, competitive broadband connectivity allowing notably the provision of ubiquitous and affordable very high-speed fixed broadband access to European households, businesses and public administrations in remote areas that remain beyond the reach of terrestrial infrastructure.”
The transaction follows the EU and EIB’s commitment to strengthen their support for European space companies. It is in line with the Gigabit Society targets of the European Commission stating that all households in Europe will have access to at least 100 Mbps internet connectivity by 2025.
A more basic Konnect service is already up and running but the new VHTS craft will launch later this year and enter service in 2022. It is being built by Thales Alenia Space.