Hispasat takes capacity on Eutelsat Konnect
October 28, 2021
By Chris Forrester
Spanish satellite operator Hispasat and French operator Eutelsat have formed a partnership to promote initiatives to bridge the digital divide in Spain and Portugal that Hispasat has already put in place.
As part of this agreement, the Hispasat will complement its current capacities with those of Eutelsat’s Konnect satellite over the two countries. This way, Hispasat will operate in collaboration with Eutelsat and market broadband connectivity services at 100 Mbps to telecommunications operators and ISPs.
Hispasat, now owned by infrastructure company Red Eléctrica Group, and as part of this agreement, the Spanish operator will complement its current capacities with those of Eutelsat’s Konnect satellite over the two countries. This way, Hispasat will operate in collaboration with Eutelsat and market high-quality broadband connectivity services at 100 Mb/s to telecommunications operators and Internet Service Providers.
This agreement forms part of the lines of action that Hispasat proposed in its Strategic Plan for 2020-25 aimed at transforming the infrastructure operator company into a satellite services and solutions company. The company will move forward by strengthening its current business, with actions such as this partnership with Eutelsat, and promoting its growth to adapt to the latest market trends, diversifying its portfolio through new technologies, services and strategic partnerships.
For Miguel Ángel Panduro, CEO of Hispasat, “digitalisation cannot be addressed without having guaranteed connectivity everywhere first. Satellite technology has evolved and permits Internet access at 100 Mb/s immediately from any location, no matter how inaccessible it is. At Hispasat we are fully committed to the goal of providing all citizens Internet access and contributing to digitalising economic activity regardless of geographic location. That’s why we have entered into this partnership with Eutelsat to complement our current capacity”.
Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, stated: “We are delighted by this strategic deal with our long-standing partner, Hispasat. Coming after wholesale agreements covering France and Italy, and a distribution deal for Germany, this latest commitment by a satellite operator to cover the territories of Spain and Portugal confirms the relevance of powerful, cost-efficient next generation geostationary satellites as an immediate solution to the ubiquitous deployment of reliable, high-speed broadband.”
Belmer’s comments are somewhat polite given that until 2017 Eutelsat was a major shareholder in Hispasat, and very much wanted to acquire the business. It sold its stake for €302 million to Abertis.
Based on the estimates of the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, at the end of 2021 more than 1 million Spanish homes won’t have 100 Mbps Internet access. A large part of this population still lacking high-quality Internet access lives in rural areas, where the roll out of terrestrial infrastructure (fibre optic and 5G) is insufficient. In Portugal, 30 percent of rural homes lack high-speed Internet access.