Countdown begins for Solaris S-band mobile broadband satellite


31 Mar 2009

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Europeans will soon be in a position to enjoy ubiquitous satellite broadband to enable voice, video and movies, following the launch this Friday of a rocket containing the W2A satellite.

The W2A satellite will carry Europe’s first S-band payload, commercialised and operated by Solaris Mobile – a Eutelsat and SES ASTRA joint venture. The company will provide Mobile TV and In-Car Infotainment communications.

Solaris Mobile, which is headed by former Kingston Communications CEO Steve Maine, is currently in the process of establishing its European headquarters in Dublin, where it plans to employ 50 people. It currently employs 15 people in the capital.

The company is investing €150m in establishing a two-way communications global network for satellite communications.

Its services will be aimed at broadcasters, telecoms operators, the automotives industry and data communications providers.

Final preparations have begun for the launch of Eutelsat’ sW2A satellite by an ILS Proton Breeze M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Lift-off is scheduled for April 3 in a launch window opening at 22:24 local time – 16:24 GMT, 18:24 CET.

“This is an exciting moment for our parent companies, as Solaris Mobile will be the first service provider to offer Europe a state-of-the art hybrid satellite and terrestrial infrastructure for a comprehensive range of mobile services,” Maine said.

“Supported by Solaris Mobile, content providers will be able to offer TV, radio and other next-generation services for mobile phones, PDAs, iPods, game consoles and other mobile devices. Vehicle owners will have an exciting and innovative range of entertainment and location-based services to complement their navigation systems.”

By John Kennedy

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