Solaris Mobile satellite W2A successfully launched

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Successful Launch for Europe’s First S-band Mobile Satellite Services Payload

A satellite carrying Europe’s first S-band payload – operated by Solaris Mobile – was successfully launched at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch took place at 22:24 local time – 16:24 GMT, 18:24 CET – on April 3.

Dublin based Solaris Mobile, a joint venture between two of the world’s leading satellite operators, Eutelsat Communications and SES ASTRA, aims to provide fully digital mobile video, navigation and emergency assistance services to Broadcasters, Telco operators, the automotive industry and data & communications providers.

“The success of today’s launch means Solaris Mobile is now poised to deliver a new generation of mobile services for European consumers,” said Steve Maine, Solaris Mobile CEO. “With the satellite in orbit, our work begins in earnest. Since Solaris Mobile is the first company to offer a hybrid satellite and terrestrial infrastructure for European mobile services, we are determined to set the standards for mobile communication services, in terms of innovation, quality and service that will set the tone for the rest of the industry.”

With its S-band payload, Solaris Mobile will be the first player in this brand new market to provide a unique and advanced next generation network offering seamless coverage across Europe.

Called W2A, the satellite launched yesterday belongs to Eutelsat Communications and carries two other payloads. The S-band payload will allow content providers to deliver a range of mobile TV, radio and other data content services for handhelds devices such as phones, PDAs, iPods and game consoles. Vehicle owners can also expect an exciting and innovative range of entertainment and location-based services to complement their navigation systems.

About W2A

Built by Thales Alenia Space, W2A will be fully operational at 10 degrees East around the end May, after an extensive round of in-orbit tests. The solar panels and antennas, including the state-of-the-art 12-metre S-band antenna will be fully deployed by the end of next week.

With this launch, Solaris Mobile gets a step closer to becoming Europe’s first provider of a unique powerful network offering seamless coverage across Europe. Services are due to be commercialised by the end of 2009.