updated 04:35 pm EST, Tue November 23, 2010
Hylas 1 satellite to bring broadband to Europe
A new satellite will be launched this Friday that will bring broadband Internet access to nearly 20 million European residents, says a Tuesday report. Called Hylas 1, the satellite will be Europe's first dedicated solely to provide broadband and conventional telecommunications services. The satellite was built by ESA and Avanti, and its name stands for Highly Adaptable Satellite, the European Space Agency said.
This adaptability will allow the satellite to bring HDTV broadcasts into homes as well, with data distribution services also planned for a later date. It can go between the two functionalities as required.
It contains both advanced payloads that include Ku- and Ka-bands. The latter blankets commercial parts of Europe that require satellite coverage and reduces costs for end users and bring efficient point-to-point communication using low-cost equipment.
The satellite started life in December of 2005 and will be launched from Kourou in French Guyana. Its first year in orbit will be spent performing demonstrations to show off the flexibility of the payload.