UK firm buys biggest NBN satellite retailer

SSW to acquire SkyMesh

NBN.'s Wolumla ground station. Image credit: NBN.

NBN.'s Wolumla ground station. Image credit: NBN.

Satellite Solutions Worldwide (SSW) will acquire Australian satellite Internet firm SkyMesh as well as Norwegian-based Breiband.no A.S for a total of GBP£11.7 million for be funded through the issue of £12.1 million worth of shares, the company has announced

The London Stock Exchange-listed SSW made the announcement late last week.

SkyMesh is the largest retailer of services on NBN’s Interim Satellite Service. According to the latest figures provided to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) by NBN, SkyMesh had 8824 active ISS users, giving it a market share in excess of 28 per cent.

(The same ACCC report revealed Telstra had boosted its share of the NBN market.)

The Brisbane-headquartered company, whose current focus skews heavily to NBN satellite and fixed wireless services, was formed in 2005.

“The Australian market provides a unique opportunity due to limited fixed line telecoms infrastructure outside of the coastal areas of the country and the significant government investment in the provision of broadband across the country,” SSW said in its announcement.

“This has culminated in the Australian government launching its own satellites, under the NBN programme, which will provide satellite broadband for up to 400,000 households. SkyMesh has circa 28,000 customers in Australia and in the first full month of operations of the new Sky Muster service SkyMesh added over 1,000 new customers to its customer base. The Directors believe this organic growth will continue in 2017 and beyond.”

SSW’s moves to acquire SkyMesh and Breiband follow it completing the £12 million acquisition of UK ISP Avonline late last month.

NBN’s Long Term Satellite Service will offer speeds of up to 25/5 megabits per second to end users. The LTSS is being delivered by two satellites. Sky Muster launched in October 2015. The second satellite, Sky Muster II, will launch on 5 October.

“SkyMesh is already benefiting greatly from the Australian government’s investment in satellite infrastructure to bridge the digital divide within its country,” SSW Group CEO Andrew Walwyn said in a statement.

“I believe this will provide significant organic growth in the future through SkyMesh in Australia and beyond.”

“Breiband and SkyMesh significantly enhance our scale, reach and financial capabilities. Coming so soon after the pivotal BGF backed acquisition of Avonline in the UK, these deals underwrite our position as one of Europe’s largest rural broadband solutions providers,” Walwyn said.

SSW currently sells satellite broadband services in 31 countries.

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