Tooway™ satellite from Bentley Walker(UK)

El Molino, now BigBlu, in Spain, France, Italy (legacy)

Tooway™ satellite in the UK

Tooway™ installers

Satellite broadband services in Europe

VSAT information

Find your lat and long

Tooway™ satellite forum

Tooway link budget

European Tooway™ VSAT service, now by Big Blu.

History up to Aug 2020: This page was originally about El Molino.  I've been told that the activities of El Molino were taken over by Broadband Algarve. Broadband Algarve was then taken over by "Simply Algarve" and then by "Europasat".  Europasat" was most recently taken over by BigBlu, Portugal.

So, if you want satellite broadband service now, and are located in any of the following countries: United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Poland and Greece, all served by BigBlu, then go here: Web sites: Portugese BigBlu, Portugal  English Big Blu UK

Only legacy information below:

Hardware (Dec 2013) shown here: Linksat Surfbeam modem with single cable to the outdoor VSAT dish.

Tooway Docsis modem
Tooway ™ Surfbeam (Docsis) type indoor Modem

Tooway Ka band 67cm antenna
Early mode Ka  band Tooway ™ dish with subreflector

Tooway Ku band 96cm antenna
Ku  band Tooway ™ dish (Eurobird 3)

Complete Tooway dish
With sub reflector

The ViaSat DOCSIS/SurfBeam VSAT hub and modem were developed from hardware and software for the cable modem and Direct-to-Home satellite television markets and then extended for use in the WildBlue and Telesat Ka band satellite VSAT systems in the US and Canada.

Ku band TRIA and antenna accessories Dish pointing for Tooway antenna

Components comprise an outdoor offset parabolic antenna plus a Ka band transmit/receive integrated assembly (TRIA) and feed, plus an indoor modem. The antenna is dual optics to improve the cross-polarisation performance while minimising the forward size.

Two cross site coax cables with F connectors, connecting the indoor modem to the Ku band TRIA

Ka band transmit-receive TRIA

Red for transmit and blue for receive coax cable

A pair of coaxial cables connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit.  These carry both DC power, frequency reference and the transmitted and receive carrier signals. The workmanship on the four F connectors on these cables are critical to long term satisfactory operation.  The centre pins must insert fully into the sockets and the outer braids must make good contact also .  Silicone electrical contact grease and self-amalgamating rubber sealing tape is recommended for the outdoor F connectors.

The service operate on two satellites now, on Eurobird 3 in Ku band and on Hotbird 6 in Ka band.  The 96 cm Ku band antenna is shown above.  At Ka band the smaller 67 cm Wildblue, blue coloured, dual optics antenna is used. From March 2011 service on KA-SAt will start. Antennas size 71cm, single reflector and circular polarisation.

On Hotbird 6, Ka band, all Spanish and French terminals receive the same downstream that is the French one as downlink coverage is the same for both K153 (Spanish) and K159 (French) transponder.  The difference is that Spanish terminals will transmit on K153 while French ones will transmit on K159 as the uplink has a different coverage.

Advanced modulation and turbo FEC coding are combined with dynamic propagation fade mitigation techniques to give your bandwidth the ability to carry more bits in clear sky conditions, which applies for the majority of the time.  Compared with the current DVB-S standard, which uses fixed QPSK modulation and FEC code rates, these features achieve significantly higher average capacity.  Ku band (12/14 GHz) suffers from rain fading and Ka band ( 19/29 GHz ) much more so.  Both benefit from these clever techniques. At Ka band the relatively high satellite eirp downlink beam ( 52 - 55 dBW ) on Hotbird 6 satellite and the four high G/T spot beams for the uplinks help minimise the rain fade problem.

The DOCSIS modem is just 9 x 9 x 1.5 inches, and may be mounted vertically on edge to improve thermal cooling.  It is a neat design which leaves desk top space for other personal computing and telecommunications equipment.  Don't put it where the sun can shine in on it or above  heater!   It interfaces to your computer or home network hub or switch via a standard Ethernet connection and does not require any software installed on your PC.  You may use a wireless router or switch to connect several PCs.

Mass produced, low cost broadband satellite modem. Always on high-speed connections. Dynamic multi-rate forward link provides high availability even during rain propagation fade conditions. Rate adaptable MF-TDMA return link. Built-in data security.

QoS giving priority to certain packet types. Standard 10/100 Mbps ethernet connection. Remote management and control. No PC software required. Self installed or by a professional VSAT installer.

The Tooway ™ services are operated by Eutelsat / Skylogic Skypark teleport in Italy, using capacity on the Eutelsat KA-SAT and Hotbird 6 satellite in Ka band and Eurobird 3 Ku band satellite and are resold to end user retail customers by several European value added resellers. 

The text above is based on information provided by email from El Molino and extensively further edited by me to put my slant on the project.   This is NOT a paid for advertisement.

Page started 23 Jan 2008 ECJ,  last amended 23 June 2021.