Orange has made a deal with Eutelsat, one of the topnotch satellite operators for broadcast and broadband across the globe. The venture is an attempt for telecom carriers to expand their reach in the space sector.
The telecoms group will be partnered with the Paris-based satellite operator behind the new Konnect VHTS satellite. This is expected to offer fibre-like speeds and schedule to operate by 2021. The long years allotted in the project will help ensure a better and more effective success in the future.
Orange will employ the satellite as a tool to deliver high-speed, stable, and strong internet to most of its residential customers. The other partner of Eutelsat as well as Thales (French defence group) will utilize it to serve a variety of customers in the government sector like the EU.
Eutelsat has also planned to use the satellite to compete in the industry of flight connectivity. Though it is going to be operational in 2021, it looks to compete with Viasat and Inmarsat to supply high quality of broadband to most aircraft.
Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat’s chief executive, said that the agreement with Orange truly reflects the continued upsurge of traditional telecommunications and satellite. He also added that telecom service providers will consider satellite as an important solution to exceed across their terrestrial networks. “Once the demand for connectivity spreads in different parts of the world, the move to this technology will grow more than what the company anticipates,” he said.
Inmarsat, a satellite company in Britain, has already formed an alliance with Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom in order to build an in-flight network throughout Europe.
Eutelsat has signed a contract with China Unicom last January to deliver in-flight connectivity within Asia. Sprint, a mobile operator in the US has also reached an arrangement with OneWeb, to develop 5G services.
Orange has various operations in different markets such as Romania, Poland, and Moldova. This is to help them use the satellite to provide broadband without the use fibre cables, or mobile masts. There are also other countries that show interest such as the UK, France, and Spain.
By 2030, there will be more than 5 million homes that will need a high-speed internet. However, they are not going to have an access, Mr. Belmer said. Despite the availability of satellite internet to users in the mountainous or countryside regions, they still have a difficult time to reach it.
With the expensive or slow existing services, there is no doubt that it becomes an issue. However, generation of new satellites like this one is much needed to ensure better speeds at a fair price.