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Eutelsat poised for Ka-band joint venture with ViaSat

Earth as seen from space - ViaSat currently uses Eutelsat's KA-SAT to provide coverage.Eutelsat says it is close to announcing a joint venture with ViaSat that will improve future Ka-band capacity for inflight connectivity.

In its first-half results announced yesterday, Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “We are about to close a joint-venture that paves the way for a step-up in broadband and mobile connectivity from the early 2020s.”

ViaSat and Eutelsat Communications have agreed to close the previously announced joint venture, combining Eutelsat’s current European broadband business with ViaSat’s broadband technologies and consumer Internet Service Provider (ISP) business expertise.

Under the terms of the arrangement, an entity to be 51% owned by Eutelsat will own and operate Eutelsat’s KA-SAT satellite and current wholesale broadband business, with ViaSat purchasing a 49% interest for approximately €132.5 million in cash.

A second entity to be 51% owned by ViaSat and 49% owned by Eutelsat will purchase wholesale KA-SAT satellite-based capacity to offer retail broadband internet services in the European region.

Both entities will be headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. The closing of the partnering arrangement is expected to occur by the end of February 2017, upon completion of certain administrative procedures.

Additionally, we expect to add the ViaSat-3 class satellite currently under construction for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to the partnering arrangement later this calendar year after concluding final legal and business terms.

Eutelsat already provides Ka-band inflight connectivity capacity for ViaSat on KA-SAT over the Europe.

At the results announcement Belmer added: “We are on track to reach our current and three-year objectives thanks to a solid commercial performance.

“We are making strong progress in our newly-defined connectivity business line, with the lease of the High Throughput Satellite (HTS) payload on Eutelsat-3B for in-flight connectivity on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and contracts on KA-SAT for in-flight connectivity for SAS and Finnair.”

ViaSat

ViaSat has plans for its own future Ka-band satellites.

ViaSat-2 is due for launch in the first quarter of 2017 and will extend the company’s Ka-band coverage over the Atlantic Ocean, plus add additional capacity over Canada and Central America.

Don Buchman, Director of Mobile Broadband, told “Get Connected” It will double the throughput capacity of our first Ka satellite, giving around 450 Gbps of combined capacity. Include the Ka-band Eutelsat KA-SAT over Europe and we will have access to more than 500Gbps of capacity, stretching from Los Angeles to Istanbul.

ViaSat-3 will add a whole new dimension to the company’s capacity, adding three terabits globally from around 2020 after the first launch, with a second satellite launch shortly after, and a third after that.

The first two satellites will focus on the Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), respectively, with a third satellite system planned for the Asia Pacific region, completing its global service coverage.

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Eutelsat poised for Ka-band joint venture with ViaSat was last modified: February 10th, 2017 by Steve Nichols
Filed in: Commercial Tags: , ,

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