Avanti says Hylas 4 satellite will be in service in March 2018

Avanti Communications has chosen a new launch slot for its next satellite, Hylas 4, which means it will be in service in the middle of March 2018.

This is several weeks earlier than originally planned – even though the new launch slot is three months later.

Arianespace will launch the satellite from an Ariane 5 rocket from 1 March onwards and in service a couple of weeks later.

The satellite “will provide high speed connectivity to our growing customer base across broadband, enterprise, carrier and government customers”, said Avanti. The satellite will double the capacity of its existing fleet and will cover at least 35 countries.

“The addition of Hylas 4 will see Avanti complete its coverage across Africa, in addition to having the capability to cover markets across Latin America. These markets can be reached through the satellite’s four steerable beams which can be placed anywhere across the Earth’s disk visible from the orbital slot of the satellite.”

Enrico Leonardi, chief sales officer of Avanti, said: “We are dedicated to delivering high quality capacity helping our existing service providers expand into new territories whilst meeting the needs of new customers. The expansion of our fleet is a great milestone for Avanti as we endeavour to expand our communications across the globe.”

The satellite was originally due to lift off from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, in late 2017 – but that date would have required a long series of manoeuvres that would have taken until April 2018 to get Hylas 4 into orbital position.

Now, thanks to a more efficient launch – because Hylas 4 shares the rocket with a lighter satellite that’s being launched at the same time – it will be in service by the middle of March.

“The launch configuration also provides a lower mission risk profile, with sufficient fuel able to be embarked to support the satellite for up to 19 years in orbit, an increase of 27% over previous expectations,” said Avanti.