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Eutelsat and China Unicom to Provide Satellite Communications for Belt and Road Initiative

Xiaochu Wang, Chairman of China Unicom (left), with Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat (right). Photograph courtesy of Eutelsat.

On the occasion of French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to China, Eutelsat Communications has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China United Network Communications Co., Ltd. (China Unicom) that is aimed at addressing the fast-growing satellite communications market in Asia-Pacific in the framework of the Belt and Road initiative.

The MoU, which was signed on January 9, 2018, by Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, and Xiaochu Wang, Chairman of China Unicom, aims in particular to leverage resources on the EUTELSAT 172B satellite to enhance inflight connectivity services across an area stretching from the West coast of North America to Asia, and down to Australia. Cooperation to further develop satellite communication services across the globe is also under consideration.

Commenting on the cooperation agreement, Rodolphe Belmer said: “China Unicom is an ideal partner for promoting satellite communications in Belt and Road regions. This agreement builds on the cooperation that started in 2008, when Eutelsat provided satellite transmission services to China Unicom during the Beijing Olympic Games. This cooperation also highlights the quality and reach of Eutelsat’s in-orbit resources, in particular at the 172° East orbital position. This reinforced partnership will allow both companies to leverage on their own strengths in order to address future opportunities in the connectivity markets.”

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