Luxembourg-based SES, a satellite operator with a fleet of more than 70 satellites to deliver video and data solutions, announced on Wednesday, January 11, that it has received €300M in the form of a seven-year term loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
This loan is the largest sum ever provided by the EIB to a Luxembourg-based company.
The deal was made in accordance with the EU and EIB’s pledge to increase their support for the European space industry. The European Commission’s Gigabit Society goals state that by 2025, every home in Europe will have access to internet connectivity at a minimum speed of 100 Mbps.
Kris Peeters, EIB Vice-President, says, “Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the lives of Europeans. I am therefore very enthusiastic about this agreement with SES, which directly supports the EU space policy. It is a big step in the successful launch of a new generation of satellites able to deliver advanced broadcast and broadband services for the benefit of both the private and public sectors in Western Europe and beyond.”
How will the EIB loan support SES?
The European Investment Bank or the EU bank is an institution for long-term lending in the EU. It is the only bank that is owned by and represents the interests of the EU Member States. It works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy and makes money available for wise investments to support the aims of EU policy.
SES says that the funds will help the company to design, procure and launch its three previously announced satellites that will deliver advanced broadcast and broadband services spanning Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The three satellites from Thales Alenia Space will be purchased for the project with the EIB funds to supply network services and video transmission. SES will be able to enhance its top-tier satellite broadcast over Europe and Africa by operating from 19.2 degrees East (ASTRA 1P, ASTRA 1Q) and 57 degrees East (SES-26), which are SES’s prime TV viewing areas.
Two of the three satellites are next-gen models that are adaptable and entirely software-defined, allowing for quick in-orbit changes to meet the needs of SES clients. When they are all deployed in 2024, SES’s Luxembourg headquarters will control all three satellites.
Sandeep Jalan, Chief Financial Officer of SES, says, “The agreement enables us to deliver on our commitment to broadcast high-quality content from our prime TV neighbourhood serving 118 million TV households across France, Germany and Western Europe. These next-gen satellites are also able to support the most ambitious plans for companies and governments across Europe and beyond, enabling them to enter the new era of networked connectivity services.”
Delivering video and data solutions that connect more people in more places
Founded in 1985 and currently led by CEO Steve Collar, SES aims to bring exceptional experiences to every corner of the planet by delivering the highest video content and providing constant connectivity.
The company claims to operate as the world’s only multi-orbit network of satellites with the combination of worldwide coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system.
By leveraging a cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air. The company claims to be partners with the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators, and content owners.
Currently, SES’ video network carries about 8,000 channels and has a reach of 366 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content.