Satellite operator SES Astra wants to increase the download speed of its internet via satellite service Astra2Connect to more than 10 Mbit/s. Additional capacities on the orbital position 28.2° East and a move to the Ka-band will enable the data rate boost.

As the first step, the data rate will be increased to 6 Mbit/s in June 2011 within the existing Ku-band-based service. Next year, more than 10 Mbit/s will become possible through frequencies in the Ka-band. The capacity will be on the new Astra satellites 2E, 2F and 2G which will be launched between 2012 and 2014.

All new reception terminals in the market will be Ka-band compatible, thereby enabling existing customers migration to the Ka-band service without having to exchange their hardware. Astra2Connect targets private and business consumers based in areas without or with only insufficient broadband coverage through ADSL oder cable networks.

With more than 80,000 customers in Europe, Astra2Connect is the largest satellite-based broadband network in Europe, according to SES Astra. The service is distributed by 27 sales partners - including Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom - in more than 50 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Competitor Eutelsat will already offer a data rate of up to 10 Mbit/s on its new KA-SAT satellite which will be taken into service on 31 May 2011.