A new satellite that promises to bring broadband Internet to homes and businesses across Europe and the Mediterranean was successfully launched on Sunday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Eutelsat’s Ka-Sat is due in service in 2011 and is the third broadband Internet satellite to be launched in the last six weeks. SkyTerra-1, on which Ka-Sat’s technology is based, was launched in mid-November and will provide service across North America while Hylas-1 was launched at the end of November and will target Europe

Ka-Sat will cover the continent with 80 spot beams — focused signals that cover an area a few hundred kilometers across. Unlike traditional satellite beams that cover all or most of a continent, spot beams allow for frequencies to be effectively reused in multiple regions without interference. The result is increased capacity.


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