Konnect (Broadband for Africa) main satellite now operational

On 16 November 2020 the High Throughput Satellite entered into service at the 7° East orbital position. Launched aboard an Ariane rocket on 16 January 2020, the availability of the satellite had been delayed due to Covid-related interruptions in the roll-out of the ground segment, but having completed its testing, the spacecraft is operational and will gradually ramp up with 80% of the capacity in service by year-end and 100% by March 2021.

KONNECT is an all-electric satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space and the first to use Thales Alenia Space’s new Spacebus Neo platform. With 75 Gbps of capacity across a network of 65 spot-beams, it delivers significant resources for broadband services and sets a new benchmark for flexibility in High Throughput Satellites leading to optimized fill rates. KONNECT also comes with compelling economics, with a cost per sellable Gbps substantially lower than for existing in-orbit assets. Coverage will initially be split between Europe with circa 55% of the capacity focused on high-demand areas namely France, Italy, Germany, Spain, the UK, and Africa where it will considerably supplement and gradually replace the capacity leased from a third-party operator. KONNECT’s offer includes speeds of up to 100 Mbps from launch; unlimited data plans ; a price points starting at €25/month in Europe and $15/month in Africa; low set-up costs with free installation and all equipment included in the monthly fee for the majority of the European footprint; in Africa, the kit will be priced at a maximum of $99, compatible with the high-growth pre-paid market.