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Eutelsat, NEC XON sign satellite connectivity deal

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 15 Nov 2023
Wally Beelders, executive of communications solutions at NEC XON.
Wally Beelders, executive of communications solutions at NEC XON.

Eutelsat OneWeb, a subsidiary of satellite communications provider Eutelsat Group, has signed a multi-year distribution deal with ICT systems integrator NEC XON, to bring low Earth orbit (LEO) internet connectivity services to Sub-Saharan Africa.

The agreement, announced yesterday at Africa Tech Festival 2023 in Cape Town, encompasses internet services, equipment, installation and training to be offered to organisations across Sub-Saharan Africa, including SA.

Eutelsat OneWeb Group was this year formed through the combination of Eutelsat and OneWeb. The merger created a fully-integrated geostationary (GEO) LEO satellite operator with a fleet of 37 GEO satellites and a LEO constellation of more than 600 satellites.

The company says it provides affordable, high-speed and reliable internet connectivity to businesses and communities across the globe.

It covers four verticals: video (it distributes more than 6 500 television channels), mobile internet connectivity, fixed connectivity and government communications services.

Eutelsat OneWeb's LEO satellite-based network will provide high throughput and low latency connectivity to support rapid digital economy growth, it comments.

According to the companies, the integration with NEC XON’s ICT services will enable connectivity for the demands of the African continent.

The collaboration supports the pressing need for seamless connectivity without borders, in applications such as cellular backhaul, oil and gas, agriculture, government and mining, they note.

They add the agreement provides for a bandwidth and service level agreement guarantee to ensure customers get the speed and quality of service they expect.

"We are embracing Eutelsat OneWeb’s satellite technology, where the collaboration signifies a pivotal leap towards a more connected Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Wally Beelders, executive of communications solutions at NEC XON.

Eutelsat Group is headquartered in Paris and employs more than 1 700 people from 50 different nationalities.

Johannesburg-headquartered NEC XON is the combination of systems integrator XON and NEC Africa, the African business of global technology giant NEC Corporation.

"By teaming up with NEC XON, Eutelsat OneWeb is positioning its satellite prowess with regional expertise to reshape connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa,” says Cyril Dujardin, GM of connectivity at Eutelsat OneWeb.

“This partnership demonstrates LEO’s power to transcend geographical constraints and unlock new applications, such as connected agriculture, connected mine sites, and connected enterprise and local government e-services.”