07.32 Europe/London, August 25, 2011 By Robert Briel
Greek private broadband and pay-TV service provider Forthnet Group will market the satellite Ka-Sat Tooway broadband service to users across Greece and Cyprus bundled with its Nova TV subscriptions.
To this effect, a five-year distribution agreement between Forthnet and Skylogic, Eutelsat’s broadband affiliate, was signed for the distribution of the Tooway service on Eutelsat’s Ka-Sat.
Eutelsat and Forthnet Group have in parallel entered into a broader commercial agreement to ensure future satellite capacity for Nova TV at Eutelsat’s Hot Bird video neighbourhood in order to launch new premium services and accelerate the acquisition of pay-TV subscribers.
Forthnet Group will be the first operator in Europe to bundle the Tooway broadband service with its pay-TV portfolio in order to offer users triple-play services through a single satellite dish and a single subscription.
Satellite broadband, with download speeds of up to 10 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 4 Mbps, together with VOIP will start to be commercialised in Q4 2011 and offered in combination with Nova pay-TV. The full service will be delivered via Tooway antennas equipped with a dual-feed in order to access broadband from the Ka-Sat satellite and Nova from the Hot Bird satellites.
Yiannis Kavaklis, Forthnet Group’s COO, commented: ” Covering unserved areas also presents the Group with the commercial opportunity to extend its broadband customer base beyond its fixed line coverage. This agreement also allows us to complement our pay-TV offering in Cyprus with high-speed broadband services, offering a complete solution to the dynamic Cypriot market.”
Andrew Wallace, Eutelsat’s COO, added: “These new agreements with Forthnet Group underline our commitment to providing clients with a range of state-of-the-art and complementary services that equip them to retain, broaden and diversify their subscriber base. By bundling pay-TV services from our Hot bird neighbourhood with the Tooway broadband service from Ka-Sat, Forthnet is leveraging an exceptional opportunity to offer users simple and immediate access to premium programming and Internet access in one package. This is an exciting strategic development that we look forward to sharing with Forthnet so that users beyond terrestrial infrastructure have viewing choice and access to the benefits of broadband.”
According to a public consultation for the report “White Areas of Greece for 2011″ published by the Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness for the Digital Agenda, Greece represents a significant market opportunity for satellite broadband. Despite deployment of terrestrial broadband, there are still more than 800,000 unserved citizens in Greece, which ranks 23rd of the EU27 member states in terms of broadband penetration.