When Eutelsat‘s QUANTUM enters service in 2021 it will have two companies working to sell its capacity. A new deal with Intelsat announced today allows both companies to sell the satellite’s Ku-band capacity to customers.
We are delighted to partner with Intelsat to optimize the commercial potential of the assets represented by the 48°East position and the innovative features of EUTELSAT QUANTUM. This ground-breaking satellite has already attracted significant interest from potential Government customers, and we are also excited to team with industry leading systems integrators to provide this unique capability as part of a high value solution.– David Bair, Eutelsat CEO and President
The deal aims to help Eutelsat fill the new satellite more quickly, speeding revenue generation. With it now 2ish years late to orbit that’s an important consideration for the company.
And for Intelsat it offers an opportunity to increase options for its customers without requiring launch of a new satellite into orbit. Given that company’s bankruptcy restructuring and focus on clearing C-band capacity in the USA to secure the billions of dollars associated with that deal a distraction of needing to orbit its own satellite for the Middle East and North Africa would not be welcome.
Eutelsat previously announced a deal with US government contractor Peraton to consume a majority of the QUANTUM’s capacity. It now appears that deal is a bit softer than previously suggested. A spokesperson confirms “Peraton had reserved capacity on the satellite at some point, but there was never a fixed pre-commitment.” Given the delay to orbit and shifting global priorities it would not be too surprising to see Peraton scale back and others fill in the gaps. Still, the company does not see an overall shift in the revenue profile for QUANTUM with this deal, just the pace, “The deal doesn’t particularly change expected revenues, but hopefully the speed of the ramp up.”
Our collaboration with Eutelsat brings together the best minds in the industry to quickly meet the unique needs of our government customers through an innovative operating model and satellite deployment. This type of industry collaboration is truly a ‘win-win’ for everyone, and we look forward to a productive, long-term partnership with Eutelsat at 48°East.– Rick Henryfurther, Regional VP Intelsat General Communications
This is the second significant capacity deal in recent weeks for Eutelsat. Last week the company secured a deal to fill the remaining capacity on its KONNECT Ka-band satellite. French telecom provider Orange will use the capacity to offer residential broadband services across the country. The push is part of a French government effort to deploy broadband speeds of 30+ Mbps for everyone by 2022.
If Orange uses this opportunity to also transition some home customers away from the existing Ka-SAT operations that could 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.
Expected to be launched by the end of 2020, EUTELSAT QUANTUM is a full expansion satellite providing premium capacity with unprecedented flexibility features. Its ground-breaking software-based design enables users to actively define and shape performance and reach to meet their specific requirements. The 48°East position, with its extensive coverage, notably of the MENA region, is ideally placed to address, amongst others, the unique needs of government users.
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