Telekom Austria is now offering high-speed satellite broadband services under the A1 brand in Austria to complement its fixed and mobile broadband coverage and serve locations that are otherwise difficult to reach.
The Austrian incumbent said it has expanded an existing alliance with Eutelsat in order to "round off the company's fixed net and mobile Internet service portfolio" and allow "100 per cent Internet coverage throughout the [Telekom Austria Group, or TAG] footprint."
In Austria, the satellite service will be used primarily to serve frontier zones and mountain regions where the nearest A1 switching centre or the closest mobile base station is too far away to enable broadband Internet. Around 1 per cent of buildings in Austria have no access to DSL services, according to company estimates.
"We are delighted to be able to announce the expansion of our partnership with Eutelsat. Based on these broadband services, we are now in a position to reach those remotely located areas across our operating footprint, which have not had access to our Internet infrastructure to date. SAT broadband is therefore a perfect supplement to our existing network infrastructure as it allows us to meet this additional demand for Internet coverage," said Stefan Amon, director of wholesale at the Telekom Austria Group.
The company noted that it would still continue to expand its fixed and mobile network across the country. In November last year, the company said it would invest up to an additional €400 million ($453 million) in its domestic broadband network.
Later in 2015, the company will also roll out the satellite broadband services to other Telekom Austria markets in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), where it estimates that in some countries one out of three households have no Internet access.
The satellite broadband service promises download and upload speeds of up to 22 and 6 Mbps respectively. Under the expanded cooperation with Eutelsat, the company will now be able to sell triple-play services including broadband, voice telephony and TV (via Eutelsat 16A satellite): the two companies originally formed a partnership in September 2013 to enable the delivery of TV services via satellite in CEE.
Jean-Francois Fenech, general manager at Eutelsat Broadband, noted that the agreement with Telekom Austria is "the perfect example" of how telecoms operators can make use of satellite to improve their services across Europe.
"We are delighted to now be delivering broadband services alongside TAG's DTH platform to make triple play a reality across Central and Eastern Europe and to further contribute to bridging the digital divide in the region," Fenech added.
- see this Telekom Austria release
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