Eutelsat and Yahsat 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.
The deal will see Broadband for Africa use capacity on up to 16 Ka-band spotbeams on the Yahsat 1B satellite in order to roll out broadband services during the first half of 2017.
Laurent Grimaldi, Chief Executive Officer of Broadband for Africa, said: “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.”
Further expansion will be supported later in the year using capacity on 18 spotbeams on Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 satellite, scheduled for launch in early 2017. Both Yahsat 1B and Al Yah 3 are equipped with high power spotbeams with Sub-Saharan African coverage, ideal for community and Direct-to-User Internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer premises equipment.
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 in FY 2017-18 and €25-30 million in FY 2018-19.
Amit Somani, Chief Strategy Officer of 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.”