Hellas Sat 4 successfully launched

Hellas Sat 4 successfully launched

Ku-band satellite is a back-up to Hellas Sat 3, and will provide coverage over Europe, Middle East and Southern Africa.

Satellite operator Hellas Sat, a subsidiary of Arabsat, has confirmed that the Hellas Sat 4 satellite was successfully launched by an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana.

According to a statement from the company Hellas Sat 4 is a Ku-band satellite and will be positioned at 39 degrees East to provide coverage over Europe, the Middle East and the Southern Africa.

The satellite is expected to commence service in the third quarter of 2019, states Hellas Sat.

"The new satellite will extend Hellas Sat's capacity and geographical reach to meet the growing demand for applications that include video, maritime connectivity, cellular backhaul, corporate networks and government services," reads a statement from the company.

Hellas Sat 4 will also serve as a back-up to Hellas Sat 3 satellite which is located at the same orbital slot and was launched in 2017.

Christodoulos Protopapas, CEO of Hellas Sat, said: "Hellas Sat 4 is a powerful addition to our network and a major milestone to our business plan. It brings new capacity that will enable our existing and new customers to unlock new growth opportunities in applications including broadcasting, mobility and private data networks. Moreover, it will enable us to deliver high quality services at competitive prices as well as unmatched performance, resiliency and redundancy to our customers."

Satellite activity

Africa's satellite connectivity services market continues to generate interest and activity in the form of partnerships and joint initiatives.

In January 2019 ICT company Axiz entered into a partnership with High Throughput Satellite (HTS) services aggregator Innova HTS to roll out broadband satellite solutions into Africa.

Axiz said Innova HTS complements its existing range of solutions aimed at enhancing its digital platform offering.

In October 2018 satellite communications services provider Emirati Yahsat said it was offering internet connectivity services via its flagship broadband offering YahClick in Cameroon.

In a statement, Yahsat said it aims to improve the West African country's broadband internet penetration rate and provide internet connectivity in areas where mobile operators and access providers' fibre optic infrastructure is either weak or dormant.

In Cameroon, Yahsat will compete with the likes of Cameroon Telecommunications (CamTel) which signed an agreement with Belgian provider of VSAT services SatADSL to distribute satellite broadband internet services.

Cameroon's satellite internet service market includes players Bloosat and GoSat.

In September 2018 Yahsat announced a JV with Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES), a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation, to provide commercial Ka-band satellite broadband services across Africa, the Middle East and southwest Asia.

Hughes will purchase a minority interest in the venture, which will provide unserved and underserved communities with internet services operating over Yahsat's Al Yah 2 (AY2) and Al Yah 3 (AY3) Ka-band satellites, and leveraging the capabilities of the Hughes JUPITER System.