PARIS — Major satellite communications providers are capitalizing on new technologies and acquisition opportunities.
“A number of new networks are about to come online,” Pacome Revillon, chief executive of Euroconsult, the host of World Satellite Business Week, said this week while moderating the session “Leading Global Operators: The Next Stage.”
New large satellites include Eutelsat’s (EPA:ETL) geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) Konnect very high throughput satellite (VHTS), Viasat’s (NASDAQ:VSAT) ViaSat-3 satellite and the next generation of low Earth orbit (LEO) Starlink satellites, Revillon said.
The Konnect satellite is “a beautiful Eutelsat baby of just 6.4 tons,” said Eutelsat Chief Executive Eva Berneke.
Demand is growing in satellite connectivity rather than video, Berneke said. Multi-orbit service that delivers GEO and LEO “we fundamentally believe is the best value to our customers,” she said, praising her predecessor for acquiring a minority stake in LEO provider OneWeb.
Viasat’s $7.3 billion acquisition of Inmarsat, the other megadeal in satellite communications, is awaiting regulatory approval from the U.K., which over the next month is expected to either finalize its review of the deal or require further proceedings.
“That’ll give us a sense of whether [we will close the deal] this calendar year or into next year,” Viasat Chairman and Chief Executive Mark Dankberg said during the session.
Embracing the cloud
The future is in the cloud at SES (EPA:SESG), as evidenced by Wednesday’s announcement of its expanding partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and the Microsoft Azure cloud service. Being cloud-native will help the company integrate any future acquisitions, SES Chief Executive Steve Collar told Connectivity Business News.
“Just take Viasat and Inmarsat, two effectively closed, proprietary systems,” Collar said. “My guess is [integrating the two] is not straightforward.”
By automating service provisioning, the cloud makes it easier to supply services and upsell customers, he added.
SES is examining each vertical in the market to see where it can add the most value, Collar said during the session.
“[We will] make sure that we capture an unfair share [by delivering] end-to-end and [being fully invested],” Collar told Connectivity Business News. “Aviation is big for us,” he said, as is government services. “And [the importance of government services] speaks to why we acquired [DRS Global Enterprise Solutions (DRS GES)].”
The company in March announced the $450 million acquisition of government-focused connectivity provider DRS GES, a subsidiary of Leonardo DRS.
“We are quite deliberate in where we choose to be direct and really serve the end users,” Collar told Connectivity Business News. “We’ve got a great partnership with [network solutions provider] Marlink.”
In the enterprise, maritime and energy verticals, Marlink is “going to be an important part of the O3B mPower story.”