SES Astra starts interactive broadband service
Friday, March 16th, 2007

SES Astra has launched its broadband satellite service Astra2Connect with Filiago as an anchor customer in Germany. Both companies presented their cooperation at the international computer trade show CeBIT in Hannover. Filiago will market the broadband internet access service to end customers in Germany especially in regions without terrestrial broadband access. The satellite-based DSL infrastructure is the only possibility for these regions to access highspeed DSL-internet, thus preventing a “digital divide” for homes in the countryside. According to official data from the German Ministry for Economy and Technology at least 2.9 million German homes still do not have any access to Broadband Internet.

The end user equipment - necessary to use the service - consists of an interactive satellite antenna as well as a low-cost and easy-to-install satellite modem. The costs for the internet access range from 19.95 Euro to 49.95 Euro for a 256 kbit/s, 512 kbit/s or 1024 kbit/s flatrate plus a registration fee of 99.95 Euro. The hardware equipment can be either purchased for 319.95 Euro or leased for 9.95 Euro per month.

Astra2Connect will also support Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. It uses advanced technology which has been developed in cooperation with Newtec in Belgium and the European Space Agency (ESA). Astra2Connect mainly targets homes in Germany and the rest of Europe which cannot easily get terrestrial or cable broadband internet services. The new product is currently offered by SES Astra on a wholesale basis to large European service providers such as telecommunication operators, internet service providers and broadband operators that target the residential and small enterprise markets.

SES Astra will introduce Astra2Connect in the very near future also in other European countries, where SES Astra is negotiating with several resellers.

(Source: SES Astra)