Eutelsat strikes capacity agreement with Yahsat

31 October 2016 | James Pearce


Eutelsat Communications has signed a multi-year capacity agreement with Yahsat to provide broadband services across Sub-Saharan Africa as part of its Broadband for Africa venture.

Broadband for Africa is Eutelsat’s African broadband venture, and the deal will see it gain access to up to 16 high performance commercial Ka-band spotbeams on Yahsat’s 1B satellite.

Eutelsat aims to roll out broadband services in Africa during the first half of next year, and can expand the deal further with the option to use 18 spotbeams on Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 satellite, which is scheduled for a 2017 launch.

Amit Somani, chief strategy officer of Yahsat, said, “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. 

“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.”

The capacity will replace the payload previously planned for the $200 million Amos-6 satellite, which was lost in a launchpad explosion in September. It was linked to Facebook’s Internet.org program, which aims to deliver internet in the developing world.

The launch of Broadband for Africa is expected to take place before May, with Eutelsat predicting a €15 million revenue boost in FY 2017-18, and €25-35 million in the following financial year.

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.”