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Dec 07, 2023 10:58 EEST
December 7 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian telecommunications company Vivacom, together with French satellite operator Eutelsat Group, has initiated the commercial operation of a ground station for low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites in Bulgaria, Vivacom parent company United Group said.
The ground station, located at Vivacom's site in the southern city of Stara Zagora, stands as the fourth facility of its kind in Europe and one of 35 globally. It features 18 antennas and a mini data centre linking the LEO satellites and the optical network. Additionally, it facilitates connectivity with other data centres in Bulgaria and across Europe, United Group said in a press release on Wednesday.
Using strategic vision, targeted investments and team know-how, Vivacom hopes to attract more international technology companies ready to invest in Bulgaria, according to CEO Nikolay Andreev. The project will ensure new jobs in the Stara Zagora region for the next decade.
The commercial launch comes after construction of the ground station, first announced late last year, was completed in May, followed by testing and commissioning procedures. Vivacom initially agreed to build the ground network portal for the constellation of over 630 satellites planned by UK-based company OneWeb. French Eutelsat, which operates geostationary orbit (GEO) satellites, completed an all-share merger with OneWeb in September.
"We are steadily advancing towards providing global connectivity services, and this new site represents another significant stride towards achieving our overarching goal," Massimiliano Ladovaz, Eutelsat Group's chief operations officer, said.
Eutelsat, which is listed on Euronext Paris, is working to reduce the digital divide by enhancing broadband connectivity, especially in rural or hard-to-reach areas. In the past month, the company established distribution partnerships in South Korea, sub-Saharan Africa, and Taiwan. Additionally, it received approval to provide commercial satellite broadband services in India.
In March, SpaceX launched 40 more satellites for OneWeb, increasing its total number of satellites in orbit to 582.
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