UAE’s Yahsat to launch third satellite in first half of 2017

Yahsat CEO Massood Mahmood
Yahsat CEO Massood Mahmood

Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat is set to launch a third satellite in the first half of 2017 to expand its broadband operations in Africa and Brazil.

The satellite is being built by Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia, and will be launched aboard an Ariane 5.

The announcement was made by Yahsat CEO Masood M Sharif Mahmoud at an event to discuss the future of the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) satellite industry.

Yahsat already has two satellites in orbit – Y1A was launched in April 2011 and Y1B in April 2012.

The company has been keen to expand its inflight connectivity offering.

In August 2016 it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Panasonic Avionics to explore new ways to offer a broadband connectivity solution serving several mobility markets in the Middle East within the next three to five years.

It also announced in November 2015 that what it was to trial inflight connectivity via its Ka-band satellites aboard an Etihad A320 aircraft.

It said then that its Ka-band capacity will provide higher speeds and cheaper rates compared with other Ku-band inflight connectivity systems.

Ka-band can offer speeds of up to 50 Mbps to the aircraft allowing passengers to stream video and enable bandwidth-heavy applications, such as video conferencing.

Back on 2015 Massood Mahmood told “Get Connected’s” Steve Nichols: “We’ve been looking at the possibility of inflight connectivity over Yahsat’s satellites for some time.

“We now have extensive experience of providing Ka-band coverage to a wide range of users, including the UAE government and military.”

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