Eutelsat, Yahsat sign multiyear agreement to aid Broadband for Africa program
“We are delighted to initiate this relationship with Yahsat and to put our Africa broadband program back on track,” Laurent Grimaldi, CEO of Broadband for Africa, said. “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.”
The agreement states that Broadband for Africa will use capacity up to 16 Ka-band spotbeams on the Yahsat 1B satellite to be able to offer broadband services for the first four months of 2017. Services will be expanded in the later portion of 2017 on capacity of 18 spotbeams on Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 satellite, which is set to launch in early 2017.
Sub-Saharan African coverage is offered on both the Yahsat 1B and Al Yah 3, which are equipped with high-power spotbeams. This type of coverage is suitable for community and direct-to-user internet service where commercial equipment can be used.
A Launchpad explosion in September resulted in the loss of the Amos-6 satellite, which was the previous payload for Eutelsat. The African Broadband service will be implemented during the first four months of 2017, allowing Eutelsat to return to its original strategic plan of a revenue stream of €15 million for fiscal year 2017-18 and €25-30 million for fiscal year 2018-19.
“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,” Amit Somani, chief strategy officer at Yahsat, said. “We are delighted to have Broadband for Africa as a long-term customer on our satellites, laying yet another cornerstone in our expansion strategy and reinforcing the global trend towards higher efficiency Ka-band solutions.”