The country’s latest communication satellite, GSAT-30, was successfully launched by the European commercial launcher Ariane-5 at 2.35 am India time on Friday from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana, Indian Space Research Organisation said.

After a flight that lasted for 38 minutes and 25 seconds, European Ariane-5 space vehicle VA-251 released GSAT-30 in an initial elliptical geosynchronous orbit. The 3,357-kg satellite will replace INSAT-4A which was launched in 2005, marking the first mission of the year for the space agency.

GSAT-30 will provide high quality television broadcasting, satellite-based news gathering, and direct-to-home services. “GSAT-30 has a unique configuration of providing flexible frequency segments and flexible coverage,” ISRO chief K Sivan said. “The satellite will provide communication services to Indian mainland and islands through Ku-band and wide coverage covering Gulf countries, a large number of Asian countries and Australia through C-band.”

The satellite is equipped with 12 normal C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders.

Sivan added that the GSAT-30 will also provide connectivity to equipment for ATMs, stock exchange, television uplinking and teleport services, digital satellite news gathering and e-governance applications. “The satellite will also be used for bulk data transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication applications,” he said.

Director of the UR Rao Satellite Centre P Kunhikrishnan was at Kourou in French Guiana for the launch, The Hindu reported. He said that GSAT-30 was built to last 15 years and was realised using new and advanced technologies.

European satellite operator, Eutelsat’s Konnect satellite, was also launched on the same flight for enhanced broadband connectivity.