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Eutelsat Exits the Retail Satellite Broadband ISP Business

Friday, Jun 16th, 2023 (7:33 am) - Score 1,176
Eutelsat-Konnect-VHTS

European satellite operator Eutelsat, which is also the parent of UK ISP Konnect and bigblu, has announced that it’s reached a deal to sell its European broadband retail activities to an experienced private operator. The move impacts their retail activities in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, and Greece.

The move isn’t all that surprising, particularly since they’ve struggled to grow their retail base in the wake of ever-expanding coverage by full fibre broadband networks and the arrival on the scene of SpaceX’s rival Starlink network in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which made a lot of the Eutelsat’s GEO/GSO based packages seem less attractive.

Despite this, we had assumed that Eutelsat might continue trying to retain some retail presence in the European market, not least due to their merger with OneWeb and the new opportunities that could bring. Not to mention the imminent commercialisation of their recently launched ‘Very High Throughput Satellite’ (VHTS), which has a huge Ka-band (radio spectrum) capacity of around 500Gbps (Gigabits per second).

Instead, Eutelsat appears set to focus more on the wholesale side of their business, which has performed well. The catch is that wholesale can sometimes suffer when clients perceive an operator as being too vertically integrated with its own retail operators.

Eutelsat Statement

The disposal comes in the wake of the considerable success of Eutelsat’s wholesale go-to-market model to distribute its satellite broadband capacity over Europe, underpinned by major wholesale deals signed with Orange (France), TIM (Italy), Hispasat (Spain) and Swisscom (Switzerland) for the capacity in their respective markets on the Eutelsat KONNECT satellite. The private operator will also become a wholesale distributor in existing markets.

This strategy will be further bolstered by the entry into service of KONNECT VHTS expected in the second half of 2023, with 230 beams over Europe and MENA, representing a Ka capacity of 500 Gbps, adaptable according to demand and specific needs in each country. Firm commitments have already been secured for part of this incremental capacity by important European telecom operators, (e.g., Orange, TIM or Swisscom), confirming the ability of KONNECT VHTS to provide a compelling and competitive solution for broadband to under-served regions of Europe.

The announcement doesn’t say who the “experienced private operator” is that will be taking on their retail business.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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