Avanti has announced that it has completed contracts to purchase and launch the HYLAS 4 satellite. The satellite will be built by Orbital Science Corporation, who built the HYLAS 2 spacecraft, which is currently outperforming its technical specification.
The satellite will deliver up to 28GHz of capacity in 66 fixed beams positioned over Africa and Europe. Some capacity provides growth for existing markets, some provides brand new coverage and we retain the flexibility to move capacity between different markets.
It will also have four steerable beams which could serve markets in Latin America or Africa. The system represents a continuation of Avanti’s strategy to prioritise quality and flexibility, the company claimed, and to deliver affordable services.
The satellite is scheduled for launch in the three month period ending April 2017. It will be launched by Arianespace, the World’s most reliable launch agency, with whom Avanti has enjoyed a very strong relationship through the launch of its first two satellites.
The total cost to build, launch and insure the satellite is expected to be 15-20% below market expectations. Avanti conservatively estimated a budget of $350m when it issued the first of two tranches of a bond earlier in the year to commence the project and now that all costs except for insurance are contracted with firm fixed prices we are able to announce this saving.
David Williams, chief executive of Avanti said: “I am pleased to announce a continuation of a trusted and successful partnership with Orbital and Arianespace. The project is well financed and low risk. With commercial services expected to launch in 2017, Avanti has overwhelmingly the most powerful, broad and resilient Ka band coverage of Europe Middle East and Africa. Now that we are successfully selling services to the biggest telecommunications and media companies in our region, we have improving visibility over how we will continue to activate the underlying market demand on a large scale. This satellite is designed based on the requirements those customers have given us. The investment sends a powerful signal to our customers about our commitment to serve them throughout the entire continent of Africa.”