Eutelsat heralded the launch of a satellite it claimed would revolutionise commercial space-based connectivity services by employing a fully software-based set-up to enable features to be reprogrammed in orbit.
Launch company Arianespace rocketed the Eutelsat Quantum satellite into Geostationary Transfer Orbit on 30 July, with the bird located at 48-degrees east and primarily due to offer coverage of the MENA region when it enters service during Q4.
In a statement, Eutelsat branded Quantum as the first fully software-defined satellite, setting “a new standard in flexibility” through reprogrammable features.
Eutelsat Quantum was developed as part of a public-private-partnership (PPP) between the satellite operator, the European Space Agency and Airbus Defence and Space, which manufactured the bird.
The satellite service provider explained Eutelsat Quantum is mainly targeting government and mobility users.
Eutelsat CTO Pascal Homsy hailed the PPP as yielding “a world-first” in terms of satellite connectivity. “Eutelsat Quantum will supply services with unprecedented in-orbit re-configurability in coverage, frequency and power, allowing complete mission rehaul, at any orbital position”.
The launch is the latest in a glut of satellite connectivity moves in recent weeks, including by Intelsat, OneWeb, and a deal by Philippines-based operator Smart Communications to boost rural coverage.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back