The London-based satellite communications firm Avanti is to raise £74 million from its shareholders to build a Ka-band broadband communications payload called HYLAS 3 which is to be placed on a satellite owned by the European Space Agency (ESA). Having dubbed the satellite “Condosat” in his presentation at the London Satellite Finance and Industry Conference, Avanti chief executive David Williams later confirmed that the payload will be flying on one of ESA’s European Data Relay System (EDRS) satellites (probably EDRS C) which is planned to be launched, subject to ESA member states' approval, in 2015.

The HYLAS 3 payload will complement the HYLAS 1 communications satellite already in orbit and the HYLAS 2 satellite which is due to be launched later this year. While HYLAS 1 and HYLAS 2 are designed to serve the EMEA countries around the Mediterranean, the HYLAS 3 payload will primarily serve Africa.

HYLAS 3 will have up to 4GHz of Ka-band capacity. This will be configured across eight beams within a single steerable antenna that can provide coverage of an area equivalent to a region the size of Southern Africa and can be moved throughout the life of the satellite. The satellite will be positioned in one of Avanti’s orbital locations with an earth view covering Africa and the Middle East.