Belgacom Beefs Up Satellite Strategy With Intelsat Deal

By | December 8, 2003 | Feature

Belgian telecom operator Belgacom has signed a multi-transponder deal with Intelsat to become part of Intelsat’s global satellite network, enabling Belgacom to provide high- speed Internet access to ISPs in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. The deal was announced in late November and is the second major satellite-related announcement the Belgian national operator has made in the last three months. In September, Belgacom announced it was working with Eutelsat and Newtech to roll out the latest DVB-RCS satellite technology.

In terms of its deal with Intelsat, Belgacom will use 72 MHz of C- and Ku-band capacity to provide Internet access in underserved regions. The telecom operator is looking to expand its reach and strengthen penetration in Eastern European and Middle Eastern markets. Belgacom has around 130 satellite customers in total.

Commenting on the deal, Stefano Maccioni, marketing manager of Belgacom Satellite Solutions, told SATELLITE NEWS: “Belgacom challenged our suppliers with an opportunity to provide an inclined orbit satellite with high technical standards to meet our quality guarantees and geographic reach. Intelsat responded with a strong satellite solution offering a new inclined orbit position and meeting all of our requirements cost effectively.”

He continued: “For this product, we have decided to specialize with an inclined orbit satellite. Customers have been hesitant in the past to use services offered via inclined orbit; however, we have proven with this solution that we can meet ISP needs and quality standards especially in regions with low terrestrial infrastructure.”

Belgacom is also working on a DVB-RCS-based satellite service. The service will be commercially available in February. The DVB-RCS service will enable ISPs in infrastructure- poor regions the ability to offer customers broadband services. “We announced in September that Belgacom will launch a multi-service provider platform based on DVB-RCS technology. The service should enable ISPs to have alternative high-speed access in infrastructure poor regions. At the moment, we are in a pilot phase with several customers in the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe, and we are quite pleased with the results to date. Our offering of Internet trunking to ISPs through inclined orbit is taken one step further with DVB-RCS, whereby customers can get access to broadband Internet via satellite with a 90-centimeter antenna. Thus, our satellite Internet strategy is further positioned for success,” Maccioni concluded.

–Mark Holmes

(Lian Verhoeven, Belgacom, e-mail: lian.verhoeven@belgacom.be)

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