ViaSat of California is the hugely successful high-speed satellite broadband service with some 660,000 paying subscribers. It owns and operates the Exide Internet service provider.
It has linked with Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat in a partnership which will combine Eutelsat’s current European broadband business with ViaSat’s broadband technologies and consumer Internet Service Provider (ISP) business expertise. KA-SAT has 190,000 customers. In practical terms, the JV will actually comprise “two businesses coordinating efforts to expand the European broadband market,” said the pair.
“Building on a decade-long relationship, Eutelsat and ViaSat are joining forces to create a partnership that will expand Eutelsat’s current wholesale broadband business and launch a new consumer retail service in Europe. The joint venture will initially leverage KA-SAT, Eutelsat’s high capacity broadband satellite,” said a joint statement.
“With KA-SAT, our unique dedicated High Throughput Satellite, Eutelsat has built an effective, high-quality, broadband platform for Europe in which ViaSat has played a key role as technical partner,” noted Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO. “Broadband is an important component of our strategy, and we seek to partner with market-leading companies that contribute to enriching our offer. ViaSat is a partner that we both trust and value for its track record in setting industry standards and developing technologies that unlock broadband opportunities. Our joint venture will take our relationship to a new level and give further impetus to affordable, high-quality Internet services in Europe.”
“Eutelsat is the clear leader in the European broadband market and is an obvious partner in extending our global reach,” stated ViaSat Chairman and CEO, Mark Dankberg. “We have worked together for more than a decade – creating the satellite broadband market and sharing a vision for the future of satellite broadband. We complement each other extremely well. We offer a powerful team to close the digital divide in Europe today and well into the future. The joint venture combines an unprecedented collection of expertise in satellite operations and technology, broadband networks, and wholesale and retail distribution throughout Europe that forms the foundation for next-generation internet services. We’re excited to be working with Eutelsat to bring a proven model to the European and Mediterranean markets.”