Skylogic Italia S.p.A., a 100% subsidiary of Eutelsat S.A., the largest satellite company in Europe and the third largest in the world, and Maltasat International Ltd have joined forces to launch WINS, a new challenging commercial service, potentially of a global scale.
The aim of WINS (Wideband Interactive Network via Satellites) is to extend GSM connectivity and Internet access to places which lack traditional means of communications. The first target market will be ferries and cruise ships and commercial trials will start in the coming weeks.
Skylogic will provide the satellite connectivity and Maltasat International Limited will host the gateway facilities between the satellite network and the global GSM network. This innovative service mixes the satellite world with public GSM access. One could be at sea or anywhere within the satellite coverage for that matter, and with a standard GSM phone, be able to communicate with any other mobile phone or fixed telephony subscriber, anywhere within the satellite coverage.
Malta is key to this service since Maltasat will provide the gateway facilities for international GSM connectivity and roaming thanks to an agreement concluded between WINS Ltd and Vodafone (Malta) Ltd.
Skylogic Italia and Maltasat believe that this new commercial service will be of benefit to all clients within the extensive coverage of Eutelsat satellites. It is not an experiment but a real commercial opportunity. It is also an opportunity for Malta to become a real centre of excellence for this type of technological applications.
Maltasat International Limited was formed in August 2003 to exploit satellite technologies in Malta and the Mediterranean region and has attained the representation of Eutelsat for the Mediterranean and North Africa. The shareholder of the company is Techinvest Limited and the directors are Mr. Tony Mejlaq (Chairman), Dr. Saviour Zammit and Mr. Edmund Gatt Baldacchino, who have vast experience in the telecommunications field.
Eutelsat is the largest satellite company in Europe with an annual turnover of 750.4 M€ (as at 30th June, 2004), and one of the largest satellite companies in the world with a fleet of 23 satellites. The Maltese Government has hosted the 90th Board of Signatories Meeting of Eutelsat in 2000. At the time Eutelsat operated as an intergovernmental organisation of which Malta was a signatory. One year later it was transformed into a private company.
Skylogic Italia is a fully owned Eutelsat company based in Turin specialised in operating and commercialising satellite broadband services all over the world.
Eutelsat’s involvement in Malta does not end with WINS. Together with the University of Malta the company is currently involved in an EU funded project where Gozitan students are following lectures from the University of Malta from Gozo through satellite communication.
The project was launched last week in Malta in the presence of Austin Gatt, Minister for Investment, Industry and Information Technology, Giuliano Berretta, Chairman and CEO of Eutelsat S.A., Tony Mejlaq, Chairman of Maltasat International Limited and Arduino Patacchini, Chairman of the Board of Skylogic Italia S.p.A.