Liquid Intelligent Technologies has signed a multi-year, multi-beam agreement with Eutelsat Communications to use the satellite operator’s Eutelsat Konnect satellite to serve customers across Africa.
Under the deal, the Cassava Technologies subsidiary will use Konnect capacity to serve Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) customers in Uganda, South Sudan, and the Eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Liquid will also host the first Eutelsat KONNECT ground gateway in Sub-Saharan Africa. The new ground station will be located in Krugersdorp, South Africa.
Scott Mumford, CEO of Liquid Satellite Services, said: "We offer satellite services in over 27 African countries, impacting the lives of over 1.3 billion people. With this agreement, we will expand our service portfolio to include Ka-band services for the first time. We have always been early innovators and investors towards initiatives and technology that will help us realise our vision of creating a digitally connected future that leaves no African behind."
Liquid is already a long-standing partner of Eutelsat, where it uses Ku-band capacity on Eutelsat's EUTELSAT 7B satellite for VSAT services in Sub-Saharan Africa under a long-term contract that was renewed and expanded in 2021.
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat's Deputy CEO, added: "This new agreement testifies to the strong appeal of our Eutelsat KONNECT satellite in Sub-Saharan Africa and its pertinence in supporting telecom operators in bridging the digital divide. By reinforcing our relationship with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, we will be able to leverage the Eutelsat fleet's extensive coverage of Sub-Saharan Africa combined with Liquid Intelligent Technologies' unique expertise and local know-how to deliver best-in-class services to businesses across the continent."
In service since November 2020, Eutelsat Konnect has a total capacity of 75 Gbps in the KA-band and is capable of offering speeds of up to 100 Mbps across 65 spot beams to both individuals and companies.
Spanish satellite operator Hispasat has previously signed a deal to serve Spain and Portugal via Eutelsat’s Konnect Eutelsat has also made agreements with Deutsche Telekom, Orange, and TIM (Telecom Italia) to provide satellite broadband services to remote areas via Konnect in Germany, France, and Italy respectively. It also announced an agreement with Globacom to deliver broadband via satellite to businesses and communities in unconnected and underserved areas throughout Nigeria.
Eutelsat recently launched Konnect’s successor, the Konnect VHTS satellite. The new satellite can deliver 230 beams and has a Ka-band capacity of 500 Gbps and will provide fixed broadband and mobile connectivity across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Earlier this year, DCD reported that Eutelsat was merging with Low Earth Orbit satellite operator OneWeb. This latest launch, along with the merger, will bring the companies' combined fleet to a total of 37 GEO satellites and 648 LEO satellites once all of OneWeb's machines are launched.
In the US, the Space Force has broken ground for a gateway site at Clear Space Force Station, Alaska. The new ground stations will be used to operate the Enhanced Polar Systems-Recapitalization (EPS-R) payloads that will provide secure communications services for US forces operating in the north polar region.