SMM offers potential operators the ability to tailor the size and therefore cost of their service to the size of the market. A small initial investment allows low risk and rapid return, a model that should prove more attractive to the service provider and allow savings to be passed on to the consumer.
By deploying multiple spot beams across Europe, an order of magnitude more capacity can be expected from the SMM system, rising again later in the mission when larger spacecraft are deployed. The spacecraft will be designed from the ground up for broadband - using Ka-band to enable large bandwidths to be employed, spot beams to reuse that capacity efficiently and enable compact user terminals, multiple transponders on a small platform to enable low cost of entry and highly automated management systems to enable low operating costs.
None of SMMs existing or planned competitors that we are aware of can offer all of this. Rather than up to Â¬300 per month, target residential costs will be less than Â¬30 - finally bringing services comparable to terrestrial broadband at comparable prices. All European residents and businesses will have similar services available to them, no matter where they live.
Additionally, such a project will enable ESA and industry to invest in ground segment equipment, driving costs down further and making European terminals, hubs and associated Ka-band equipment competitive with other suppliers on the world market. Large systems in North America and the Far East have enabled competitors in this arena to gain a head start. SMM will redress the balance for Europe.
Finally, SMM will enable the development of a new European GEO satellite platform in the small (<2 tonne) sector. While the trend in the late 1990s and early years of this decade was towards the large end of the satellite scale, current indications show a return to lighter, more nimble missions as witnessed by the success of Orbital Sc