Eutelsat has big new plans for selling retail broadband services across Europe. The company will acquire Bigblu Broadband (excluding its Nordics operations) for 38 million GBP. The deal brings approximately 50,000 customers into the Eutelsat network.
More importantly, however, the transaction also creates a direct sales channel through which Eutelsat can market capacity on its Ka-band platforms, including the new KONNECT satellite slated to enter service later this year.The scalable Bigblu platform includes digital marketing platforms, multi-lingual call centers, billing and CRM systems. The deal also replaces the retail partnership Eutelsat struck with Viasat in 2016. That partnership never truly developed as the parties initially hoped, however, and it waned very quickly after its signing.
With 75 Gbit/s of capacity on the new KONNECT satellite Eutelsat is well positioned to deliver services across the continent. That will be augmented by the KONNECT VHTS 500 Gbit/s satellite in the coming yers.
Pursuing both retail and wholesale models will, according to the company, allow for “faster alignment with market needs, and increased control of distribution levers,” resulting in “an accelerated ramp-up of upcoming capacity and the maximization of customer value over time.”
We are delighted to integrate the activities of BBBEurope which will greatly enhance our European broadband distribution network as we progressively bring into service next-generation capacity in the form of EUTELSAT KONNECT and KONNECT VHTS, capable of bringing fiber-like high speed internet connection to the many areas in Europe that remain unserved or under-served by terrestrial infrastructure. This deal represents an important step in our broader Broadband strategy.– Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO
This deal follows on an agreement earlier this month to sell significant KONNECT capacity to French telco Orange. That deal could see some home broadband customers transition off of the older Ka-SAT platform to free up capacity for Viasat to expand its inflight offerings over Europe. Though with the timing of the move, the potential launch of ViaSat-3’s EMEA satellite and the general aviation market today that opportunity is probably more theoretical than practical.
Eutelsat also announced this week plans to allow Intelsat to sell capacity on its new QUANTUM satellite, slated for launch later this year and EIS of 2021. In both cases Eutelsat notes the potential to more quickly fill the satellite capacity and accelerate revenue generation.
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