Successful satellite launch aims to boost European mobile services

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

EchoStar satellite launched this morning to provide internet-of-things services to European mobile operators

EchoStar Mobile successfully launched its first satellite for European mobile services this morning. The new satellite, EchoStar XXI, is designed to provide wholesale services to mobile operators that harmonise with terrestrial coverage.

The satellite was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan but it will be some time before it is in orbital position and is fully deployed.

The satellite will work alongside Eutelsat 10A, which was launched in April 2009 with mixed success because of problems with the antenna.

The aim is to provide next-generation mobile service, compliant with 3GPP standards, across all of Europe from Finland to Sicily and from Ireland to Cyprus.

“This network will provide European customers across the continent with easier communication and access to reliable digital technologies and advanced applications,” said Echostar Mobile, a Dublin-based company, originally called Solaris, that was bought by EchoStar in 2014.

SES and Eutelsat, which then owned Solaris, invested €130 million in the original venture.

EchoStar Mobile said services would include traditional mobile voice and data services, machine-to-machine and internet of things-connected devices and smartphone connectivity. The company has not announced details of any mobile partners.