Case study

Avanti: pioneering satellite communications across the world

Avanti Communications is helping to lead a UK advance in satellite communications with the support of Innovate UK and its partners.

Avanti's first satellite HYLAS1 was launched into space as part of a public-private partnership

Taking world-leading technology into space

Innovate UK success story: Avanti, pioneering satellite communications across the world

Avanti Communications is taking its world-leading technologies into space and helping to make the UK a global leader in new multi-million pound satellite communication markets.

The London-based business launched its first satellite HYLAS 1 (Highly Adaptable Satellite) into space in 2010 as part of a public-private partnership funded by the European Space Agency and British National Space Centre (now the United Kingdom Space Agency) and managed on their behalf by Innovate UK.

HYLAS1 was Avanti’s first broadband satellite. It uses the latest high-frequency Ka-band technology to deliver high-speed data services to customers across Europe.

David Williams, chief executive of Avanti, said:

At the time this was quite a bold move because the satellite industry had not yet embraced the use of this new high frequency. As a result, Avanti and its peers now own more Ka-band satellites than any other country on Earth.

This is a market segment where the UK really is taking a global lead.

Avanti has launched HYLAS 2 and HYLAS 3 to cover the Middle East and Africa, and it will increase capacity further with the launch of HYLAS 4 in 2017.

Avanti has collaborated on many projects managed and co-funded by Innovate UK. It has produced a video (above) that reflects on the success of many of these projects.

Innovative projects move swiftly to market

Lynx, a booking system for broadcasters co-funded by the UK Space Agency (UKSA), is now being used by leading broadcasters including the BBC, CNN, Sky, Bloomberg and Reuters. Broadcasters use the system to deliver live breaking news coverage from across the world.

Avanti deployed the world’s first satellite 3g backhaul service in partnership with Vodafone in 2014. The technology developed out of an Innovate UK-funded project, Orion, and has allowed Avanti to take a global lead in a sector expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The company also developed its Mobile Assist app for satellite installation engineers out of an Innovate UK-funded feasibility study.

The app reduces the time and cost of installation through supporting antenna line-up, the initiation of service and job reporting.

Avanti was founded in 2002. Its latest figures to June 2015 show its revenues up from $65.6 million in 2014 to $85.2 million in 2015.

David added:

Innovate UK is doing an outstanding job of funding highly innovative technologies but also making sure that they are delivering revenues, job creation and wealth creation in the UK.

In Avanti’s case, many of these projects have been taken to market within a very short time period. They have helped us to create genuine, sustainable competitive advantage for Avanti and for British industry.

Find out about Innovate UK’s space team

Published 6 January 2016