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Eutelsat agrees capacity deal with Yahsat after Amos-6 explosion

Eutelsat HQ ParisEutelsat has leased satellite capacity from Yahsat for its Broadband for Africa venture, after Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite exploded earlier this year.

Broadband for Africa will use capacity on up to 16 Ka-band spotbeams on the Yahsat 1B satellite to roll out broadband services during the first four months of 2017.

Further expansion will be supported later in the year using capacity on 18 spotbeams on Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 satellite, scheduled for launch in early 2017.

The capacity will replace the payload Eutelsat previously contracted on Amos-6, which was destroyed in September following a launchpad explosion.

Under the new deal, Eutelsat will revert to its initial business plan for Broadband for Africa, of a revenue contribution of €15 million in full year 2017-18 and €25-30 million in full year 2018-19.

“We are delighted to initiate this relationship with Yahsat and to put our Africa broadband programme back on track,” said Laurent Grimaldi, Chief Executive Officer of Broadband for Africa.

Amit Somani, chief strategy officer of Yahsat, said: “We are delighted to have Broadband for Africa as a long-term customer on our satellites, laying yet another cornerstone in our expansion strategy and reinforcing the global trend towards higher efficiency Ka-band solutions.”

The news comes a day after Yahsat announced that it has appointed Airtel Africa executive Farhad Khan as its Chief Commercial Officer.

Spacecom has set itself an internal end-of-year deadline to buy an in-orbit satellite to replace Amos-6, senior vice-president of sales, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Jacob Keret told DTVE at IBC last month.