Becoming the latest firm of its kind to reach for the skies in terms of connectivity, Orange has extended its range of broadband solutions in France with a satellite service.
Based on the expertise of the French and European space industry, the service is being marketed through Orange’s distribution channels and operated by Orange subsidiary Nordnet, which has been specialising in satellite internet for 15 years. Available immediately, the Orange Satellite with Nordnet service adds to Orange France’s range of connectivity products in its technology mix, alongside fibre, ADSL, 4G and 5G Home.
The service is designed to enable customers in mainland France to access superfast broadband, wherever they are. It is aimed at customers who are not eligible for fibre and those with ADSL speeds of less than 8Mbps.
Customers of the satellite service are promised unlimited superfast broadband with a connection speed of up to 200Mbps downstream and 15Mbps upstream. It requires no change of phone number and includes unlimited calls to landlines in mainland France and 50 other locations, as well as calls to mobiles in mainland France and eight other places.
With packages starting from €49.99 a month, after subscribing, customers will receive a satellite kit, which they can install by themselves or with the help of Nordnet and its network of specialist installation partners. The satellite kit can be purchased for €299 or rented for €8/month. Nordnet’s installation option costs €299, with a one-year warranty.
The new service is part of the French government’s Cohésion Numérique des Territoires (Digital Cohesion of Regions) programme and is said to meet the country’s objective of guaranteeing access to superfast broadband (greater than 30Mbps) for all by 2025. Orange assures that homes without “good wired” broadband can benefit from a subsidy to access a better connection via wireless technology.
“The launch of Orange Satellite with Nordnet is another step towards the deployment of superfast broadband for everyone, everywhere in mainland France,” said executive vice-president and CEO of Orange France, Jean-François Fallacher. “At Orange, we’re proud to be able to offer all our customers a superfast broadband access solution thanks to our technology mix. Our range of connectivity offers now includes satellite, in addition to 4G and 5G Home, fibre and ADSL.”
This offer is based on the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS, designed by Thalès Alenia Space in Cannes and launched by on Ariane 5 in September 2022. Weighing 6.5 tons and measuring nine metres in height, it is said to be the largest European satellite ever designed.
Eutelsat Konnect VHTS is part of the new generation of electric propulsion satellites and the company says the craft’s environmental footprint is reduced thanks to its 100% electric propulsion, which is less polluting than previous propulsion systems using chemicals. It was launched from the all-electric platform built by Spacebus NEO, with the financial support of the European Space Agency and French space agency the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales.