UK-based satellite service provider Avanti Communications Group has entered an agreement with Arianespace to choose a new launch slot for its HYLAS 4 satellite.

The satellite's new launch period is set to open on 1 March next year.

The new deal will see the HYLAS 4 satellite and a partner spacecraft launched from an Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket in a dual-launch configuration from Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana.

Avanti Communications chief sales officer Enrico Leonardi said: “We are dedicated to delivering high-quality capacity, helping our existing Service Providers expand into new territories, whilst meeting the needs of new customers.

“The expansion of our fleet is a great milestone for Avanti as we endeavour to expand our communications across the globe.”

The HYLAS 4 hybrid propulsion satellite is designed to use chemical and electric solutions to conduct its orbit raising. 

It was previously planned to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year.

"We are dedicated to delivering high-quality capacity, helping our existing Service Providers expand into new territories, whilst meeting the needs of new customers."

However, the previously planned launch period would have needed around 100 days of electric orbit raising for the satellite to reach geostationary orbit, which would enable the satellite to reach its orbital position by early April 2018 at the earliest.

The new launch period is expected to allow the HYLAS 4 satellite to be loaded with extra chemical fuel as it will be pairing with a lighter partner spacecraft.

It is also expected to facilitate the use of chemical-only propulsion for the satellite to reach its geostationary orbit in just ten days, saving around 90 days of electric orbit raising.

HYLAS 4 will now be able to reach its on-station location by the middle of March using the new launch period.

Additionally, the updated launch configuration is set to reduce the mission risk of the satellite, which is now expected to be operational for up to 19 years, representing a 27% increase over previous expectations.

The HYLAS 4 Ka-band satellite will offer high-speed connectivity to Avanti’s customers, which include various broadband, enterprise, carrier and government organisations.