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July 01, 2010

SES ASTRA, Wibox Agree to Distribute Satellite-Based Broadband Service ASTRA2Connect
By Shamila Janakiraman
TMCnet Contributor

SES (News - Alert) ASTRA, an SES company announced that it has signed an agreement with Wibox, a French WiMAX operator.

Wibox will be responsible for the distribution of SES ASTRA’s satellite-based broadband service ASTRA2Connect. Wibox will offer SES ASTRA’s broadband access to end customers, small and home offices besides other small and medium enterprises in regions without terrestrial networks.
A subsidiary of the French telecoms operator Altitude Infrastructure, Wibox specializes in offering customized high speed Internet access solutions for customers in rural regions. Wibox will be offering ASTRA2Connect to complement its solutions. Users will benefit from VoIP telephony and TV reception from ASTRA’s orbital position 19.2 degrees East besides its interactive broadband access. The services will also include several analogue and digital TV and radio stations, said official sources.
In a release Norbert Willems, managing director of ASTRA Broadband Services, SES ASTRA’s broadband subsidiary said, “We are very delighted that Wibox has chosen ASTRA2Connect to extend its service portfolio for high speed internet connections.”
“Wibox is the first WIMAX operator to use our successful satellite broadband technology. The agreement will allow Wibox to provide 100% coverage everywhere in France without an additional investment into costly infrastructure,” Willems added.
David El Fassy, president of Wibox said that the ASTRA2Connect solution will allow Wibox to offer its subscribers a universal service, including those who are not connected to terrestrial networks. Wibox is capable of providing the right technical solution to connect its customers to the broadband internet irrespective of where they are located, he emphasized.
ASTRA2Connect caters to more than 60,000 end users. It is also a well known satellite broadband service all over Europe. The service encompasses always-on and interactive broadband internet access for flat service fees.
According to company sources ASTRA2Connect will be immediately available anywhere within the coverage area of the satellite. ASTRA2Connect is marketed via wholesalers and internet service providers to the residential, industrial and maritime markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home or DTH satellite system in Europe. The satellite constellation includes 16 satellites. The ASTRA satellite system delivers services to more than 125 million DTH and cable households and transmits more than 2,500 analogue and digital television and radio channels. It provides satellite-based multimedia, internet and telecommunication services to enterprises, governments and their agencies.

Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda


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