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SES Enters Maritime Market With ASTRA2Connect

by Staff Writers
Luxembourg (SPX) Sep 28, 2009
SES has announced that it has expanded the market for its successful satellite-based interactive broadband service ASTRA2Connect, and is now offering the service in the maritime market to commercial fleets and leisure yachts operating mainly in the North and Baltic Seas, and the northern Mediterranean.

In connection with this expanded offering, an agreement for the development and deployment of in-motion satellite antennas has been signed with KNS, a leading manufacturer of marine stabilised antenna systems for satellite communications and television at sea.

Also, an additional agreement has been signed with the wholesale British satellite communications provider H2OSatellite to distribute the dedicated maritime service in Europe. Under the brand name H2OLiteSpeed, the company will offer a range of speed packages with download rates of up to 2 Mbit/s, and additional Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony for low monthly fees.

Launched in early 2007, ASTRA2Connectprovides cost-efficient and easy to install broadband connectivity, especially in regions without access to terrestrial broadband networks. The innovative satellite technology provides highly-reliable, always-on, interactive broadband internet access and internet telephony for flat service fees.

ASTRA2Connect is now available in 14 European countries with more than 45,000 subscribers. Due to the success of the technology, SES most recently expanded ASTRA2Connect into the African market, offering the service in 10 countries in Central and Eastern Africa.

"Our cooperation with KNS and H2OSatellite to offer ASTRA2Connect to the maritime market clearly shows the potential of our successful interactive satellite broadband technology," said Norbert Willems, Managing Director of ASTRA Broadband Services.

"We are very proud that we can now also offer customers at sea an affordable and highly-reliable solution to easily access broadband services."

"It is an honour to be working with SES to expand ASTRA2Connect and provide a broadband offer for the maritime market," said Kevin Jin, President and CEO of KNS. "The ASTRA2Connect maritime service moves us one step closer to our goal of bringing affordable, high-speed internet connections and voice services with very reasonable airtime charges to European maritime customers."

"H2OSatellite is constantly pushing the boundaries of maritime communications, so the exclusive partnership with SES and KNS to provide H2OLiteSpeed in Europe is a very significant step forward," said Robert Kenworthy, Managing Director of H2OSatellite. "The combination of compact equipment, reliable satellite technology and bandwidth optimisation is exactly what the maritime market wants."

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