Eutelsat announced an agreement with Airbus Defence and Space for the first ‘Eutelsat Quantum’ software-driven satellite. Using a software-based design, it will be the first universal satellite to adjust to individual business requirements and to be able to operate in any geographic region in the world.

The development of the core technologies integrated into Eutelsat Quantum will be supported by European and UK space agencies under a public-private partnership with Eutelsat and Airbus Defence and Space at the inauguration of the ESA’s new centre in the UK. The new Eutelsat satellite will be built using a platform from the Airbus affiliate Surrey Satellite Technology. The first satellite will be delivered in 2018.

Eutelsat Quantum's in-orbit reprogrammable features will principally address markets that are highly changeable and mobile. For communications on the move, it will offer dynamic beam shaping and vessel-tracking capabilities that can be optimised for power and throughput as required by maritime, aeronautical and land-based transportation. For data networks, it will support bespoke design of wide-area networks and dynamic traffic shaping, responding to demand where and when needed. For government users, it will provide rapid response for public protection and disaster recovery as well as secure control using the latest encryption technology.