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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Eutelsat supports Rural Connectivity Group to deliver cutting edge telecommunications to New Zealand

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) and The Rural Connectivity Group (RCG), a joint venture between New Zealand's three mobile network operators, have signed a contract to bring an upgraded telecommunications network to New Zealand’s Chatham Islands.

Under the terms of this multi-year agreement, RCG will leverage the EUTELSAT 172B satellite to support the Rural Connectivity Group in delivering an upgraded telecommunications network bringing crucial connectivity to the islands, under the New Zealand government’s Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 2.

Eutelsat’s high-performance satellite EUTELSAT 172B, located at a premium orbital position covering the South Pacific Ocean, allows 100% coverage of this region. It will provide the backhaul telecommunications link from New Zealand to five cellular sites positioned around Chatham Island. Bringing 4G mobile coverage for the first time along the majority of the islands’ roads as well as across their marine territories, this initiative will also maximise broadband coverage to residents on the Chatham Islands, providing support to its key activities of tourism, fishing and farming.

Christophe Cazes, Eutelsat’s Regional Vice President for Asia, said: “With this agreement, RCG will leverage the EUTELSAT 172B satellite to enable 4G wireless broadband for households and businesses on the islands. It is a strong example of how satellites today are an essential technology in ensuring governments and other institutions can meet their digital divide objectives.”

John Proctor, CEO of the Rural Connectivity Group, concluded: “Satellite resources are very well-adapted to connecting islands that are, by their very definition, isolated from terrestrial networks. We are delighted to be able to rely on Eutelsat to bring this much needed connectivity upgrade to boost the economy in one of New Zealand’s prime heritage sites.”

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