SES, Swisscom to Deploy Astra Connect Service in Switzerland

SES has signed an agreement with Switzerland’s leading telecom provider, Swisscom, to provide the Astra Connect service in Switzerland. Swisscom provides nationwide broadband access as part of the Universal Broadband Service Obligation in Switzerland.

SESLogoIn about two percent of homes, a DSL broadband Internet access with the required minimum transmission rate is not possible. To provide Internet access in these homes, Swisscom has decided to opt for a bidirectional satellite solution. Starting from September 2014 it will deploy the Astra Connect service and upgrade the existing access lines.

The Astra Connect service uses Ka-band capacity on SES’s satellite ASTRA 2E, which entered into commercial service in the orbital arc of 28.2 degrees East on February 1, 2014. The solution has been in operation since 2007 and provides next generation broadband services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The high speed broadband service is unaffected by landscape and the satellite signal can be received anywhere, making it a vital solution to those in remote areas.

“We have chosen to partner with SES for this project as it is renowned for reliable solutions and for being a high quality supplier,” said Peter Eschmann, Head of Broadband Service Obligation, Swisscom. “We are also convinced by the scalability of the Astra Connect solution.”

Swisscom is one of Switzerland’s largest providers of Information, Communication and Technology services. The partnership with SES will allow for thousands of homes to access a high quality Internet connection over satellite.

“We are pleased to be working with Swisscom by providing our satellite Internet service offerings,” said Patrick Biewer, the Managing Director of SES Broadband Services. “We are very proud about this new partnership, which is borne out of our capabilities to deliver and scale our services in accordance with the high quality standards set by Swisscom.”

SES Eneabled Awarded VSAT 2014 “Changing Lives Award”
SES TechCom, a fully owned subsidiary of SES S.A. has been attributed the prestigious “Changing Lives Award” at the VSAT 2014 conference in London.

The “Changing Lives Award” highlights and recognises an inspiring initiative that has significantly impacted telecommunications in a community, assisting in alleviating hardship and contributing to subsequent economic and social development. was developed and implemented as a public-private partnership by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg in collaboration with a consortium of Luxembourg companies and organisations – SES TechCom, Hitec and Luxembourg Air Rescue. It is designed to help the humanitarian and civil protection community in the field to (re-) establish telecommunication services and support effective communication and coordination of first responders. can be deployed anywhere in the world within hours of a natural catastrophe or man-made crisis, thus dramatically reducing the deployment time of traditional communications systems.

Gerhard Bethscheider, Managing Director of SES TechCom, stated: “The platform is an innovative end-to-end communication service for the international humanitarian community designed to improve the effectiveness of rapid response to natural disasters or man-made crises. SES is proud to be associated with and its much needed relief efforts, having helped to establish the system and providing world-wide coverage through its global satellite fleet.”

The initial idea for came after the devastating 2010 earthquake struck Haiti, resulting in search and rescue team’s inability to provide the vitally needed help due to the lack of communication and coordination at the onset the disaster. First deployed in South Sudan, the solution also assisted relief efforts after the devastation caused in central Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, primarily through the restoration of connectivity to humanitarian workers.

In total, SES has performed six humanitarian aid missions and numerous additional demonstrations and training courses to civil protection and humanitarian aid organizations around the world in Mali, South Sudan, Venezuela, Nepal and the Philippines.

Once delivered to the disaster zone, an telecom terminal can be connected to a satellite antenna in less than one hour. The up- and down links provide high-speed internet connectivity for voice, data and image transmission. Wireless local networks allow aid workers on the spot to register their laptops, tablets and cell phones using the satellite capacity at no cost.

The global C-band satellite coverage, provided by SES, has sufficient and permanently allocated capacity to cover the communication needs of two simultaneous large-scale humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.

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