March 7, 2017


THD-Sat is a research and development project led by CNES initiated in 2011. Its aim is to deliver the technology building blocks required to manufacture satellites capable of offering Internet fast-broadband services at prices and performance levels equivalent to fibre optic.

The THD-Sat1 satellite fast-broadband project is part of France’s plan to bring fast broadband to every household in the country by 2020, using satellites to complement fibre-optic networks in less-populated areas. Satellite fast broadband will deliver download data rates of 20 to 50 Mbps for private citizens (100 Mbps for professionals) and 12 Mbps upload. THD-Sat will establish a national industry base capable of developing fast-broadband Internet solutions for telecommunications operators.

THD-Sat officially kicked off in December 2011 with a first funding envelope of €40 million from the digital economy budget line of the government’s PIA future investment programme. A second envelope of €30 million was allocated to the project in February 2014. Most technology developments will be completed in 2017 and the first THD-Sat system employing them, comprising a satellite and ground segment, will be ready for operational deployment before end 2020. Development of a large deployable reflector antenna will continue until end 2020 to ultimately give each satellite even more capacity for a coverage area roughly the size of France.

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