In-orbit testing of Avanti Communication's Hylas 1 satellite has been successfully completed, and the first UK customers will be able to get broadband services from the satellite next week.
On Tuesday, Avanti said testing had shown Hylas 1 was "working in conformance with specification and, in some areas, delivering higher performance than originally specified". The company said the first live customer service would be installed next week, and those 5,000 users who have constituted the test customer base would be migrated over to the live service from 4 April.
"With Europe's first fully operational broadband satellite, Avanti will now provide a range of satellite data communications services to consumers, enterprise and governmental organisations across the UK and Europe," chief executive David Williams said in a statement.
"In such a vast market with so much growth in data demand, and a strong customer base already committed, we are highly confident of achieving rapid commercial success for this powerful and flexible satellite."
According to Avanti, over 60 virtual network operators in 16 European countries have bought capacity on the service. BT is one such operator, having signed a £1.2m deal with Avanti to deliver rural broadband to parts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Hylas 1 was launched into orbit in November, aboard the French rocket Ariane 5. The satellite should be able to deliver broadband speeds of up to 10Mbps to hundreds of thousands of people.