An antenna in Lagos, Nigeria, a key growth market for U.K.-based Avanti Communications. Credit: Avanti Communications

TAMPA, Fla. — British satellite broadband operator Avanti Communications announced plans Feb. 22 to integrate the low Earth orbit services Canada’s Telesat aims to bring online in 2027 with its regional geostationary network.

Under their strategic partnership, the companies will jointly develop ways to incorporate connectivity from the Telesat Lightspeed constellation for Avanti’s enterprise and government customers.

They will also explore using Avanti’s existing ground infrastructure across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to support and accelerate the LEO constellation’s commercial deployment.

Financial details were not disclosed.

It is the first deal Avanti has announced under a multi-orbit strategy unveiled in November, four years after moving away from consumer broadband to focus more on cellular backhaul, governments, and selling satellite capacity to other operators.

Satellites in LEO can provide broadband at lower latency compared with orbits farther from Earth, but geostationary spacecraft flying 35 times higher can deliver larger volumes of capacity to high-demand areas.

Telesat operates a fleet of geostationary satellites and plans to use its LEO network to take on Eutelsat, SES, and other operators in an increasingly crowded multi-orbit broadband market. 

SpaceX is due to start launching the 198 MDA-built satellites in the Telesat Lightspeed constellation in the middle of 2026

Regional geostationary operators such as Avanti, which has a fleet of five Ka-band broadband satellites, hope their local expertise and distribution networks will make them attractive partners in the face of mounting competition from LEO and multi-orbit networks.

In November, Avanti CEO Kyle Whitehill said the company was months away from procuring capacity from one undisclosed LEO operator that would expand its geographical presence worldwide.

Whitehill said Avanti planned to bring the capacity into use in 2024, suggesting the operator is Eutelsat or SpaceX, whose Starlink broadband constellation is by the largest with more than 5,400 satellites in LEO.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...