Satellite broadband channel ramps up

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Satellite broadband provider Multiemedia has signed people telecom to resell its NewSat two-way satellite broadband service, including associated Microsoft applications.

Satellite broadband provider Multiemedia has signed people telecom to resell its NewSat two-way satellite broadband service, including associated Microsoft applications.

Adrian Ballintine, CEO of Multiemedia, said the two companies had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deliver its new two-way satellite broadband service and Microsoft products as required to people telecom's 16,000 customers.

'We're teaming up to have a crack at the traditional domain of Telstra and Optus. Both [our] organisations are hungry,' he said.

Ballintine said the 'seven-figure' deal would increase people telecom's coverage to 60 percent of the world's population - or 60 countries - through NewSat.

'We are actually able to sign customers and deploy the technology now,' he said. 'They [people telecom] are aggressive, growing and able to take hold of opportunities like this quickly.'

The announcement follows hard on the heels of news Multiemedia had got a $3.5 million cash loan - converted into shares from 29 August - from Sydney's Findlay & Co stockbrokers to ramp up the NewSat offering.

At the time, Multiemedia claimed two-way satellite broadband was 15 to 20 times faster than ADSL, cable or ISDN.

Pivotal to NewSat is Multiemedia's partnership with Dutch fixed satellite company NewSkies, which claims to be one of only four offering full global coverage for video, voice, data and Internet services to carriers, ISPs, broadcasters and large corporations.

'This is really different. The [sixth] NewSkies satellite was launched in March. Traditional satellites do not have enough power to send the big packets of data,' Ballintine said. 'Multiemedia has been investing heavily in the space project.'

Ryan O'Hare, CEO and executive director at people telecom, said in a statement that the Multiemedia agreement allowed people telecom to offer full private VPN to customers and satellite broadband.

'Two-way satellite [broadband] is great as some of our customers are hard to reach, such as our mining clients in Western Australia. Some [of our clients] don't have broadband access at all and, for others, it will allow people telecom to provide more strategic services, such as multi-casting,' he said.

people telecom, a privately owned Sydney company earning $100 million in revenue, was targeting SMBs in particular, O'Hare said. At the time of going to press, the two companies were still nutting out the final details of the agreement, which could continue indefinitely but will probably be reviewed annually, he said.

Ballintine said people telecom could re-brand the NewSat broadband service, would provide the first tier or sales and technical support, engage in joint marketing activities with Multiemedia and resell and sub-license Microsoft applications under Microsoft's service providers licensing agreement. Earlier this year Multiemedia signed a deal to deliver Microsoft software via satellite.

Ballintine said Multiemedia had three partners - Soul Pattinson Telecommunications, South Australia's Australian Private Networks (APN) and People Telecom - and 'five or six' resellers in Australia, but sought more.

We are now actively talking to a number of people about their becoming resellers,' he said.

Multiemedia also sought resellers based overseas, he said. 'This country's had a history in the last 25 years of being able to deploy technology in the Asia-Pacific and European regions.'

He said Multiemedia had signed Soul Pattinson in early August, enabling the broadband provider to push its service through the latter's 'substantial sales force'.

Multiemedia also has working relationships with satellite and digital communications company ViaSat, subscriber management software vendor Kavera, networking provider IP Access and communications consultancy Advanced Projects.

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