Avanti signs $84m capacity lease deal

24 September 2018 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Avanti Communications has signed a seven-year wholesale capacity lease agreement, worth $84 million, with a major international satellite service provider.

The company will receive $12 million per annum in quarterly instalments for the duration of the agreement once commenced. The capacity lease agreement, which is expected to commence in Q3 of the company’s next financial year ending 31 December 2019, is for its Hylas-fleet of satellites and will significantly increase the company’s usage and fill-rates.

“This agreement is a major vote of confidence in the Avanti network and offer,” said Kyle Whitehill, CEO of Avanti.

“Since joining Avanti my ambition has been to drive growth through increased usage of the fleet and this deal does just that. I look forward to continuing to realise that ambition, and the company looks forward to delivering the great service and support that we are known for.”

Although the identity of the service provider was not included in Avanti's announcement, Comsat recently announced a seven-year master distribution agreement (MDA) with Avanti, which would see them benefit from the Avanti advanced satellite fleet, in particular from the Hylas 4 satellite, a high-throughput satellite (HTS), focussed on the Middle East and Africa.

In turn, Avanti will gain immediate access to the US global governmental and military activity that may otherwise take multiple years to gain approval to serve. Hylas-4, with four uniquely steerable HTS beams and a further 64 fixed beams, which enters service in September 2018. The agreement will allow COMSAT to offer advanced, complete service packages to its customers, with focus on Africa and the Middle East and on particular high‐value deployments currently planned or underway.

David Greenhill, president of COMSAT, said: “With Avanti, we have found a well‐balanced partner to better‐serve our customers. Our decades of experience and technical capability will blend with their state‐of‐art, WGS‐compatible, Hylas‐4 satellite, built by US manufacturer, Orbital ATK. We look forward to delivering great performance and value for our customers."

Whitehill said in the COMSAT announcement: “Our partnership with COMSAT is disruptive in the most positive way. It takes us into new markets, with our highly capable satellite fleet paired to a global leader in Satcom innovation. We are delighted to create shareholder value through new opportunity. Avanti advances on."

The news comes just over a year since Avanti announced to the market that its Hylas 4 satellite would be in service in March 2018. In June, the UK-based satellite operator signed a two-year contract with global communications company Viasat in a deal worth $10 million.