Eutelsat drops ViaSat-3 for Orange, Thales partnership; ViaSat says it’s still coming to Europe

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Eutelsat on April 5 said it would scrap its planned joint-venture extension with ViaSat Inc. and would purchase a consumer-broadband satellite from Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy after securing distribution commitments from mobile network operator and internet service provider Orange and government-connectivity provider Thales Group.

The agreement, called Konnect VHTS, had been rumored for several months. Blessed by the French government, it eases what industry officials said had been intense pressure on Paris-based Eutelsat to select a European option for its future consumer . . .

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