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Eutelsat aims to rival Starlink with high-speed internet from space

EditorAmbhini Aishwarya
Published 16/11/2023, 03:40 pm
© Reuters.

Eutelsat Communications (OTC:EUTLF), following its merger with OneWeb, is setting its sights on delivering high-speed internet from space, a move that positions the company as a direct competitor to Elon Musk's Starlink. The announcement made by CEO Eva Berneke on Wednesday underscores the firm's strategic shift from traditional broadcast media toward telecommunications and connectivity sectors.

Berneke expressed optimism about Eutelsat's potential in this emerging market, despite the presence of formidable competitors such as Jeff Bezos and various Chinese government-backed satellite initiatives. Customers have been vocal about their desire for more competition in the space-based internet service industry to prevent the dominance of any single player.

The company is not only planning to challenge existing services but also has a roadmap for expansion. By 2028, Eutelsat aims to launch the second generation of OneWeb services. Additionally, it is actively participating in the European Union's IRIS2 project, which seeks to create a comprehensive satellite network. Berneke highlighted the potential for synergies between OneWeb and IRIS2, with cross-participation of payloads on each other's satellites.

Addressing security concerns related to OneWeb's operations in the United Kingdom, a security committee has been established. This move comes amid scrutiny over the British government's "golden share" in OneWeb, which grants it special rights and influence over the company. The committee will oversee access to sensitive data to mitigate any security risks. Despite the competitive landscape and regulatory challenges, Berneke remains confident about finalizing a deal by early next year.

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