Eutelsat Communications’ all-electric Eutelsat 172B satellite went into full commercial service this morning, offering connectivity for users stretching from the West coast of the Americas to Asia, Oceania and across the Pacific.
The transfer of services to Eutelsat 172B from Eutelsat 172A was completed seamlessly in a series of overnight manoeuvres, releasing Eutelsat 172A for an alternative orbital position to serve customers in the Asia-Pacific region.
Launched in June this year, the owner says Eutelsat 172B sets a new benchmark as the fastest satellite to reach geostationary orbit using electric propulsion (in only four months) and the first optimised for in-flight connectivity across the Pacific.
Its innovative high-throughput payload, consisting of 11 spot beams, will transform efficiency by enabling power to be dynamically allocated as aircraft fly high traffic routes in the Asia Pacific region.
It says this step change will allow Panasonic Avionics, the major client of the HTS payload, to better meet passenger demand and cost-effectively ensure consistently high levels of service to airlines.
Panasonic Avionics says it will deliver greatly-enhanced inflight broadband connectivity, live television and mobile phone services to aircraft flying high traffic routes across the Asia Pacific region spanning the West coast of North America to Asia, and down to Australia and the Pacific islands.
Panasonic is layering HTS capacity over key air traffic areas across its global satellite network, ensuring it can meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers.
It says it will continue to introduce high throughput satellites in every region of the world.
In addition to this support for airlines and their passengers, Panasonic subsidiary, ITC Global, which leverages the Panasonic broadband network to deliver connectivity to its energy, maritime and enterprise customers, will also benefit from the new satellite’s significant HTS advancements and enhanced coverage provided through multiple wide beam footprints.
In addition to the HTS payload, Eutelsat 172B significantly increases regular bandwidth at the 172° East position, with C-band capacity as well as flexible Ku-band capacity spread across five interconnecting wide beam service areas.
Beyond maritime, video, enterprise, cellular backhaul and government services, the Ku-band capacity will serve as an overlay to economically deliver live television to passengers in flight.
Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corp., said: “Today is a milestone event for Panasonic Avionics and our customers as we introduce a paradigm shift in inflight connectivity.
“Our service to the mobility market in Asia continues to grow exponentially. For the first time ever, airlines and passengers will reap the benefits of Ku-band HTS technology as they fly across the Pacific as well as up and down the coast of Asia into areas across Oceania.
“We are very excited to add this significant improvement to our global network and look forward to unveiling the new passenger experience and operational efficiency capabilities that are only possible with this truly unique satellite.”
Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO, said: “As Eutelsat 172B begins commercial activity that will stretch into the 2030s, this is a key moment to thank the men and women at Eutelsat and our colleagues at Airbus for collaborating passionately on a programme that sets a new industry standard.
“In addition to taking our 172° East location to a new level of performance for clients in the Asia-Pacific, Eutelsat 172B further validates the value of electric propulsion for high-capacity satellites that are core to providing cost-competitive services in the telecoms marketplace.”