Satcom Consolidation: Telenor Buys SatPoint

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By The Maritime Executive 2016-09-30 21:29:41

In the latest instance of consolidation in the marine satcom sector, data services conglomerate Telenor's Maritime division has bought out Swedish service provider SatPoint. 

SatPoint provides VSAT equipment and data services, and it has 125 units installed in the Baltic. Its customers vary from floatels to ferries to merchant vessels, and Telenor said in a statement that the acquisition would strengthen its position in the region. 

“It is important to note that the maritime sector has been undergoing a period of consolidation,” said Frode Støldal, CEO of Telenor Maritime. “By acquiring SatPoint, we are strengthening our position in Northern Europe and key customer segments."

SatPoint will take on the Telenor Maritime name.

Among many other things, Telenor is a communications satellite operator; its satcom data services are primarily regional, with coverage on its newest Thor 7 satellite extending roughly from Greenland to the Middle East. 

Beyond satcom, the firm is also building out 4G data services on the Norwegian continental shelf. 

Consolidation in satcom is growing as firms seek global economy of scale. Eutelsat sold its controlling stake in WINS to Speedcast in August; like Telenor, Eutelsat emphasized the value of acquiring an installed base of data-hungry passenger vessels. 

“Passenger-carrying vessels, particularly cruise vessels, are an attractive growth segment,” said Speedcast CEO Perre-Jean Beylier at the time of the acquisition. 

Earlier that month, Marlink announced that it had acquired Telemar, making Marlink the largest marine satcom service provider in the world. Together, the firms now hold one third of the global market. 

“After more than two decades of close cooperation and successful partnership, it’s a natural next step that Telemar and Marlink are coming together,” said Erik Ceuppens, CEO of Marlink. “Leveraging our two well-established brands, Marlink and Telemar will create the world’s leading maritime communications, digital solutions and servicing company.”