Yahsat to launch third satellite in January and expand into Brazil

Yahsat is forecasting strong demand for its in-flight Wi-Fi service from low-cost carriers seeking to maximise revenues

Yahsat announces launch date of Al Yah 3 after satellite arrives in Kourou. ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE/Optique Vidéo du CSG/Yahsat
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The UAE satellite operator Yahsat, a unit of Abu Dhabi strategic firm Mubadala Investment Company, plans to launch its third satellite into orbit next month expanding the company’s remit into 19 new markets and paving the way into Brazil for the first time.

Yahsat and Orbital ATK, a US-based company operating in the aerospace and defence technologies space, said on Tuesday the Al Yah 3, a Ka-band high-throughput satellite, has arrived at its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana and is set to be launched on an Arianespace rocket on January 25.

“Al Yah 3 is a significant milestone in realising our vision at Yahsat,” said Marcus Vilaca, chief technology officer. “Extending our affordable broadband services to 60 per cent of the African population and more than 95 per cent in Brazil to bridge the digital divide and enable a more connected world is core to our strategy.”


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Yahsat, whose satellites cover 140 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and central and south-east Asia, launched its first satellite Al Yah 1 in 2011 and Al Yah 2 in 2012.

The company provides satellite connectivity through its YahClick broadband service, YahService solutions provider, YahLink networking and backhauling capacity and broadcaster Yahlive – a joint venture between Yahsat and Luxembourg's SES satellite operator.

“We look forward to the successful launch of Al Yah 3 and thereafter furthering our ambitions via future missions to support more growth for YahClick, and for our other business lines such as commercial in-flight connectivity,” said Mr Vilaca.

Yahsat is forecasting strong demand for its in-flight Wi-Fi service from low-cost carriers seeking to maximise revenues, and e-commerce firms offering deals to passengers, its chief executive Masood Mahmood said last month.

Yahsat held talks with executives from Sharjah-based Air Arabia during last month’s Dubai Airshow and, while the company is yet to meet the low-cost airline flydubai, it is “eager to open dialogue with them, it would make sense,” he said.