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Liquid launches LEO satellite services via Eutelsat

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Pan-African technology group Liquid Intelligent Technologies has announced a distribution partner agreement with Eutelsat Group that will see enterprise-grade low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite services being made available in Africa through its Liquid Dataport business.

"Our collaboration with Eutelsat signifies a milestone in bringing cutting-edge LEO services to our customers across multiple countries in Africa, empowering them with high-speed solutions and unlocking new possibilities for connectivity," Ahmed El Beheiry, CEO of Liquid Intelligent Technologies, said about the deal.

Eutelsat combined its geostationary (GEO) satellite operations with OneWeb, a global LEO satellite communications network, in September 2023 to become the world's first satellite operator with an integrated GEO-LEO infrastructure.

Eutelsat Group has a fleet of 36 Geostationary satellites and a constellation of more than 600 LEO satellites.

"Working together and leveraging Eutelsat Group's innovative LEO services, we can unlock new opportunities for enterprises and communities. We look forward to the positive impacts we can have to help Liquid's customers flourish, especially in the mining industry in Central Africa" added Philippe Baudrier, VP of connectivity for Africa at Eutelsat.

Services integration across LEO networks

Liquid Intelligent Technologies said that the strategic integration of the OneWeb LEO satellites presents a paradigm shift in satellite technology, offering lower latency, faster orbital periods, and higher bandwidth.

"On a continent where satellite technology is relatively new and limited in its reach, for Liquid Dataport's customers, this translates to enhanced performance for applications like cloud computing, video conferencing, and real time applications, amongst others," the firm said in a statement.

Eutelsat Group has a fleet of 36 Geostationary satellites and a constellation of more than 600 LEO satellites.   (Source: Eutelsat OneWeb).
Eutelsat Group has a fleet of 36 Geostationary satellites and a constellation of more than 600 LEO satellites.
(Source: Eutelsat OneWeb).

Liquid Dataport's LEO services, in partnership with Eutelsat, also include enterprise access with Internet breakout, including Point-to-Point services.

As Eutelsat OneWeb's network coverage continues to mature, Liquid Dataport is planning a systematic expansion of services, aligning with the evolving demand for low-latency primary and backup services in remote regions of the continent.

Liquid said the strategic move anticipates the expected surge in new LEO satellite constellations over the next three years.

Eutelsat's African expansion

Eutelsat and OneWeb have been making inroads into Africa's connectivity market through a number of deals in recent years.

In January 2024, Eutelsat OneWeb announced a deal with Paratus South Africa to enhance Paratus' connectivity offering in South Africa and provide satellite connectivity to more rural areas.

In September 2022, Liquid and Eutelsat also did a deal to provide satellite services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Uganda, South Sudan and the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Want to know more about 4G and 5G in Africa? Check out our dedicated 4G/5G content channel here on Connecting Africa.

In late 2022, OneWeb signed a five-year agreement with Q-KON Africa to distribute LEO satellite connectivity services to off-grid locations in Africa.

In March 2023, OneWeb also did a deal with telecoms operator Orange to provide front and backhaul connectivity to the telco's customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

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*Top image source: Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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