SES S.A. and the satellite communications technology specialist Newtec have signed an agreement to provide Europe’s largest satellite broadband network, ASTRA2Connect, with next generation Ka-band Sat3Play® terminals and related hub infrastructure. SES is currently delivering Broadband Internet and Voice-over-IP services to over 80,000 private households and small businesses across Europe using Newtec’s technology in Ku-band and offering download speeds up to 6 Mbps.

With this new agreement, Newtec will be providing the next generation Ka-band terminals featuring higher download speeds beyond 10 Mbps and Newtec’s Point&Play® self-installation capability. The company will also enhance existing ASTRA2Connect end user terminals in Ku-band to enable download capabilities of up to 10 Mbps. These terminals are ‘Ka-Ready’, providing an easy and low cost migration path from Ku-band to Ka-band.

The upgrade of existing end user terminals and the next generation Ka-band terminals featuring speeds beyond 10 Mbps are part of SES’s strategy to bring its successful ASTRA2Connect service to the next level. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2012, SES will further increase the performance of its ASTRA2Connect service by using additional multiple spot beam Ka-band capacity onboard its ASTRA 2F, 2E and 2G spacecraft to be launched between 2012 and 2014 and located at 28.2° East.

“We now have the capabilities to enhance our existing service offerings to 10 Mbps,” said Patrick Biewer, Managing Director of ASTRA Broadband Services (ABBS), SES’s broadband subsidiary. “With Ka-band capacity coming online we are investing in future proof technology to support even higher speeds and extended services.” He added, “Efficient and reliable technology provides the foundation for this strategy. With our new hardware partnerships now in place, we will strengthen our service offering and help us to further grow our customer base.”

Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec, is convinced that the company’s Ka-band Sat3Play terminals and hubs are helping SES to further extend its reach into areas poorly connected by terrestrial means, whilst making its service more competitive. He commented, “The future of consumer broadband services over satellite is Ka-band. This is simply because the total capacity offered by other commercial frequency bands cannot possibly cope with new demands. ASTRA2Connect’s download speed and volume has increased over the years and these new Sat3Play Ka-band terminals will enable a further expansion to its offering.”