In a surprise change of heart, Eutelsat says it will back an initial constellation of a small number of low-orbiting Internet of Things (IoT) satellites in an initial fleet.
Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer, addressing a Paris conference, said his company will extend the single ‘test’ satellite already being built and expected to launch later in 2019. He stressed that Eutelsat’s traditional video revenues remained steady.
Belmer warned that the introduction of 5G technologies would only exacerbate the “digital divide” for consumers, and lead to greater demand for alternate technologies and the prospect for satellite emerging as a key technology provider.
Eutelsat’s new initiative, called ‘Eutelsat LEO for Objects: ELO’ is reportedly using an existing partnership with France-based Sigfox, a provider of IoT services.