Telstra inks Starlink first as OneWeb gains Momentum for LATAM connectivity

Further expansion in satellite connectivity as leading Australia-based telco inks deal with Elon Musk-led satellite firm while enterprise connectivity services provider looks to LEO satellite operator to connect remote areas

Two leading connectivity firms covering large tracts of remote areas in Australia and Latin America, Telstra and Momentum respectively, have announced deals with leading satellite operators to address the connectivity needs of customer bases in hard-to-reach locations.

Telstra revealed that as part of its T25 strategy commitment to launch a satellite product with voice and broadband options available to consumer and business customers, it had signed an agreement to become the first provider in the world to offer voice-only and voice plus broadband powered by Starlink to rural and remote customers in Australia.

The telco currently uses a mix of technologies to provide voice and broadband services in rural and remote Australia, including nbn Fixed Wireless, its own mobile network, and older copper and radio networks.

Telstra believes that among the benefits of a deal with a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite operator was that such craft fly much closer to Earth, allowing them to send and receive signals much faster. This, it said, made it a “great option” for services that need low latency, such as voice and video calls or providing backhaul to mobile networks. The deal will also provide connectivity options for business customers in Australia and overseas, as a higher bandwidth business grade option in areas without fixed and mobile connectivity.

Starlink will provide an additional connectivity option for people and businesses in rural and remote locations where distance and terrain make it difficult to reach existing networks.

“Telstra is always looking to invest in new and better connectivity options for our customers,” said Telstra CEO Vicki Brady. “We know that collaborating with the right partners is one of the best ways to help unlock a digital future, in this case for people in rural and remote Australia looking for an improved voice or broadband service.

“Our teams have been out across the country testing and trialing LEO satellite technology to ensure we understand where it’s the best solution for our consumer and business customers,” she said. “What will set our offer apart is the addition of Telstra voice service, a professional install option and the ability to get local help with your setup if needed.”

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Meanwhile, Momentum, a leading provider of enterprise connectivity services in remote areas throughout North and South America, has signed an enhanced agreement that will enable it to use OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency satellite fleet, on top of Eutelsat’s Advance global connectivity offering.

The partnership will aim to help bring high-performance communications services to oil and gas projects and facilities across Canada and the US. Momentum is already a customer of Eutelsat, which, consequently, will be distributing OneWeb’s LEO satellite communications services along with its existing connectivity products in a number of key markets.

By using OneWeb’s global LEO satellite network, Momentum’s oil and gas customers will be able to remotely control, monitor, manage and secure critical infrastructure at multiple site locations and reach any remote area to implement an available and managed service in real time.

“Our enhanced partnership with Eutelsat and OneWeb is a game-changer for Oil & Gas operators in remote locations,” said Momentum chief operating officer Brad Kossowan. “It supports the growing demand for real-time data, monitoring and managing operations on-site or remote, crew communications and wellness. Eutelsat’s robust offer for high-end connectivity solutions, paired with OneWeb’s global LEO constellation, is the perfect complement to our enterprise connectivity services.”

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