More Africa NewsSatellite Internet: Eutelsat and OneWeb finalize their merger

October 2, 2023by myles0

Eutelsat and OneWeb unveiled their merger plan in July 2022. The two companies wanted to join forces to better face the growing competition in the global satellite Internet market.

The French satellite operator Eutelsat Communications announced on Thursday September 28 that it had finalized its merger with the British company OneWeb following the approval of its shareholders. The operation gives rise to Eutelsat Group which will maintain its head office in Paris. OneWeb will be a subsidiary operating commercially under the name Eutelsat OneWeb and its center of operations will remain in London.

The new entity will combine Eutelsat’s fleet of geostationary (GEO) satellites and OneWeb’s low-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation “  to offer customers global, fully integrated connectivity services  .” This includes fixed connectivity, government services, mobile connectivity, broadcasting, video services.

It was in July 2022 that the proposed merger of Eutelsat and OneWeb was revealed. It is part of the desire of the two companies to create a juggernaut which will have the necessary means to better compete with American giants such as SpaceX (Starlink) and Amazon.

The initiative comes in a context marked by an ever-increasing demand for high-speed connectivity while a large part of the world’s population still does not have access to the Internet, particularly in Africa.

“  Global connectivity is an important and exciting challenge to overcome. We can meet more of our customers’ needs and deliver hybrid connectivity services where they are needed around the world, all with industry-leading resilience. By continuing our innovation efforts to develop future generations of satellite technologies, we can unlock significant value for both our customers and our shareholders  ,” said Eva Berneke, CEO of Eutelsat Group.

According to the report “The State of Broadband 2023 Digital Connectivity A Transformative Opportunity” from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Broadband Commission, 2.6 billion people are without Internet access worldwide. Additionally, the 2023 edition of The Mobile Economy report from the Global Association of Telephone Operators (GSMA) indicates that only 23% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa was using mobile internet in 2022.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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