Orange and Thales have been named by Eutelsat Communications as anchor distribution partners on a new VHTS satellite.
KONNECT VHTS will be built by Thales Alenia Space and support the development of its European fixed broadband and in-flight connectivity businesses. The 6.3 ton satellite has a Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps and is due to enter service in 2021.
Eutelsat has received multi-year commitments from Orange and Thales. A retail partnership was signed with Orange to address the fixed broadband market in European countries where the Group has a retail presence, and a distribution partnership was inked with Thales to serve notably the government connectivity services market.
Commenting on the contract, Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with global partners, Orange and Thales, which confirms the place of satellite-based solutions in the drive for enhanced high-speed internet coverage. As a core complement to terrestrial broadband networks, high-speed broadband will be a critical driver of Eutelsat’s growth from 2020 onwards. Over the next decade, VHTS satellites will bring enough capacity to serve high speed internet and in-flight connectivity markets at scale, offering fiber-like services both in terms of price and speed.”
The investment replaces the joint investment with ViaSat in a ViaSat 3 satellite for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.