Eutelsat Targets Four Million in Homes in Germany for Broadband
[Via Satellite 11-06-13] Eutelsat is targeting a strong performance in the German broadband market after a deal announced this week with major retail chain Euronics Deutschland. Euronics Deutschland federates 1,700 independent electrical retailers who run more than 1,900 shops across Germany. The agreement with Eutelsat will enable them to offer the Tooway satellite broadband service with its 20 Mbps downlink speed and 6 Mbps uplink speed. Udo Neukirchen, Eutelsat’s director of sales and marketing for Tooway in Germany told Via Satellite that he believes there is a strong market for satellite broadband in Germany. “Between 3.5 and 4 million German homes and ten thousands of SMEs are located in areas where broadband services are limited to 6 Mbps. This represents about 10 percent of Germany’s 40 million homes,” he said. “No significant improvement in terrestrial broadband availability is expected in these areas in the short and medium term. This makes them highly attractive markets for satellites which constitute a fast and high-quality route to broadband.”
Eutelsat, with its high-powered Ka-band satellite, is in a prime position to take advantage of this market. With talk of “digital divides” in Europe, satellite is seen as key in bringing a reduction to this divide. In Germany, Neukirchen sees satellite playing a more important role in the market going forward. “An example: two years into LTE in Germany, service providers are already circumventing white spot areas, concentrating their network deployment, and marketing in more attractive local and regional markets with higher population densities. This leaves satellite services in a strong position as the only technology able to offer a reliable and available service with speeds of up to 20 Mbps,” he said. “As almost also all cable and IP network operators and VDSL and ADSL providers are concentrating their ultra-fast broadband sales activities in cities and suburbs, there is a real risk that the digital divide in Germany could in fact be exacerbated in the future. This strengthens our conviction that satellite broadband will only play a more important role in the broadband ecosystem going forward.”
The company is optimistic that, thanks to the Ka-band satellite, it will be able to play a key role in bringing broadband services all across Europe. “It is well-known that we have pursued a policy of delivering service speeds through a specifically designed infrastructure and proven mass-market technology from North America. We believe that the good take-up of terminals on Ka-Sat, which now number more than 108,000, and the fact that Euronics has chosen Tooway vindicates this strategy,” said Neukirchen.
With the deal with Euronics now in place, Neukirchen is targeting a strong performance for the company in Germany, where it has had a strong presence in recent times. With Eutelsat’s support, Euronics retailers have already trained the first 100 employees on the performance and features of Tooway. “Eutelsat has a longstanding presence in Germany via the KabelKiosk platform and our satellites serve leading media companies such as Media Broadcast and VSAT players such as IABG and Signalhorn. On the Tooway front, this new agreement with Euronics will give significant exposure to our broadband service through a network of retailers whose reputation is based on knowing their products and what their clients need. It makes us even more convinced that satellite Internet will play a significant role in broadband supply in the short, medium and long term,” Neukirchen said.