Broadband geostationary satellite operator, Ipstar is to offer services in New Zealand through its subsidiary, Australia-based Reachnet.
Reachnet is a brand of Perth-based Orion Satellite Systems a wholly owned subsidiary of Ipstar (a fact Ipstar failed to mention in its announcement of Reachnet’s appointment as NZ service provider).
Ipstar said that, through, Reachnet it would be able to deliver Ipstar retail satellite broadband to over 35,000 regional and rural homes across New Zealand. However, according to Ipstar’s main web site, Ipstar services are already provided in NZ; by Wireless Nation, National Communications Corporation, and Teamtalk subsidiary Farmside.
Spark on 6 February announced a $22.7m takeover bid for Teamtalk and in its offer to shareholders noted that the RBI had created competition for Farmside’s satellite broadband product. “RBI solutions offer faster speeds and have a lower capital cost, and as such, TeamTalk has been forced to migrate customers to RBI solution,” Spark said. “The effect of each customer migration is a decline in TeamTalk's revenue, capital expenditure incurred, and a write-off of any remaining value in its satellite installation.”
Reachnet general manager Chris Ockwell said the company was offering plans starting from $29 a month to rural customers who already had satellite equipment installed. “The first plans will run at 5Mbps and within approximately six months customers will have the option to upgrade to an increased speed of 25Mbps,” he said,
The $29 plan offers 3GB of on-peak data and 10GB of off-peak data.
He said: “Many rural homes are using patchy mobile broadband or don’t have Internet access at all. We believe this package will be a game changer for many families, in particular farmers and business owners.”
Ipstar has been active in Australia for many years and prior to the launch of government-owned NBN’s own geostationary satellites it was used to provide NBN broadband services to remote parts of Australia.