DT signs with Astra2Connect
German telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) wants to close the gaps in its ADSL coverage through two-way service Astra2Connect, enabling households to gain broadband internet access via satellite independently of telephone lines.
The nationwide commercial rollout to end-users will commence this year, with the first pilot tests already taking place in two communities without terrestrial broadband access in the regional state of Rhineland-Palatinate. DT has been offering ADSL via satellite for several years with a conventional internet connection per telephone or ISDN line serving as the return channel, which created high costs for the user.
According to a report in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the company wants to market Astra2Connect under a Telekom brand name and undercut the current price tags of around €40 to €60 per month set by competing internet-via-satellite providers.
As Alexander Oudendijk, chief commercial officer of SES Astra, said, the company is hoping for up to a million new customers for Astra2Connect through the agreement with DT. Oudendijk said: “The agreement with Deutsche Telekom accelerates the distribution of Astra2Connect in Germany, one of Europe’s key markets. We are extremely proud to have signed with a partner as significant as Deutsche Telekom and are confident that Astra2Connect will offer a highly attractive solution for households where terrestrial high-speed internet is not available.”
Since the launch of Astra2Connect in April 2007, SES Astra has closed distribution contracts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Italy and Poland. In Germany the service is currently available through four distribution partners.