Eutelsat Communications and ViaSat Inc. have completed setting up their joint venture (JV), combining Eutelsat's “established European broadband business with ViaSat's broadband technology know-how and internet service provider (ISP) business expertise,” according to a statement released by the companies.

Building on their decade-long relationship, Eutelsat and ViaSat created the JV to expand Eutelsat's current wholesale broadband business and launch a new consumer retail service in Europe. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the JV will comprise two businesses to expand the European broadband market:

Wholesale Services will provide wholesale broadband and mobility services in the European and Mediterranean regions to a newly established retail services business, as well as existing Eutelsat distributors. Eutelsat is contributing its current European broadband business, including the KA-SAT satellite, to the newly formed entity. 51 percent is owned by Eutelsat, and ViaSat acquired a 49 percent interest for €132.5 million.

Retail Services will offer retail broadband services in the European and Mediterranean regions. Enhanced service plans will be introduced in select European countries beginning this year, with growth tied to additional satellite capacity. This business is owned 51 percent by ViaSat and 49 percent by Eutelsat.

Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications provides capacity on 40 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. Eutelsat's satellites cover Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications irrespective of a user's location. Eutelsat has headquarters in Paris, with a workforce of 1,000 from 37 countries.

ViaSat is a global broadband services and technology company, ensuring consumers, businesses, governments and military personnel can access communications anywhere, whether on the ground or in flight. ViaSat designs high capacity satellites and secure ground infrastructure and terminals.