EchoStar in Solaris acquisition

Satellite operations and video delivery solutions provider EchoStar Corp has acquired 100 per cent ownership of Solaris Mobile Ltd., the Eutelsat/SES joint-venture next-generation mobile satellite services (MSS) operator based in Dublin, Ireland and one of the European Union licensees of mobile satellite service with a complementary ground component (S band).

Solaris Mobile Ltd is deploying a satellite and terrestrial network for wholesale access to enhanced mobile communications across Europe in the 30 MHz S band licensed to Solaris Mobile. In connection with the acquisition, EchoStar has entered into an agreement with Solaris Mobile to provide it with MSS capacity on a new next-generation MSS satellite.

“Through this acquisition and our mobile satellite infrastructure expertise, we look forward to accelerating advanced mobile services throughout the European Union,” said Anders Johnson, president, EchoStar Satellite Services. “We are excited to build upon the groundwork laid by Solaris Mobile by most immediately bringing with us access to a next generation MSS satellite which will support a wide range of innovative services across the European Union.”

Solaris Mobile, a joint venture between Eutelsat and SES was set up in 2008 to develop next generation mobile communication services. In May 2009, the European Commission awarded Solaris Mobile the right to operate satellite and terrestrial services in S-Band in all EU member states. S-Band is spectrum in the 2GHz band and is adjacent to UMTS used by mobile 3G operators.

In a joint statement confirming the sale, SES and Eutelsat said that Echostar was well positioned to ensure the continuing development of Mobile Satellite Services across the European Union. The terms of the sale agreement remain confidential.

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