Eutelsat Communications and Yahsat, the Abu Dhabi-based international satellite operator, have signed a multi-year capacity agreement giving Broadband for Africa, Eutelsat’s African broadband venture, access to high-performance commercial Ka-band capacity for broadband services across Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the terms of the agreement, Broadband for Africa will use the added capacity from Yahsat to roll out broadband services ideal for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer premises equipment during the first half of 2017. The services were disrupted in September following a launchpad explosion on Yahsat’s Amos-6 satellite.
“We believe it is important for us to collaborate with our industry peers to drive our common goal of connecting individuals, businesses and governments around the world with affordable and reliable broadband services,” said Amit Somani, Chief Strategy Officer, Yahsat, adding that the collaboration with Eutelsat will reinforce the global trend towards higher efficiency Ka-band solutions.
On his part, Laurent Grimaldi, CEO, Broadband for Africa, said satellites will play a key role in the wireless connectivity of the continent.
“We are delighted to initiate this relationship with Yahsat and to put our Africa broadband programme back on track. We fully share Yahsat’s conviction in the long-term role satellites will play in wireless connectivity and in the need for high-quality infrastructure to transform Africa’s broadband landscape,” said Grimaldi.
For Eutelsat, this capacity will replace the payload previously contracted on the Amos-6 satellite which was lost in September following a launchpad explosion. The African Broadband service will be launched during the first four months of 2017, thereby enabling Eutelsat to revert to its initial business plan of a revenue contribution of €15 million (about US $17 million) in the financial year 2017-18 and €25 – 30 million (about US $28 – 33 million) in financial year 2018-19.