AOL strikes Euro DSL satellite provision deal

With a German outfit - but we can't help noticing the footprint covers Europe

AOL is moving into broadband satellite services in Europe, with the announcement of a joint venture between AOL Germany and German Internet outfit Strato Medien AG. Strato is the Internet subsidiary of ISDN and broadband specialist Teles, whose products will also be integrated in the joint venture. The agreement will be worth DM75 million (around $35 million) over two years, and will include integration of products, including broadband satellite Internet services via Teles skyDSL. This service provides speeds up to 4 Mbit/s, and according to Teles, skyDSL will be the exclusive broadband service. This takes us into interesting territory, as on the announcement of skyDSL at CeBIT earlier this year, Strato said: "Every Internet subscriber in Europe may use the skyDSL service. A small reception antenna and a skyDSL card for the PC are all that is needed. The availability of skyDSL over TV cable - instead of antenna - is in preparation. TELES is presently conducting negotiations concerning the use of the d-boxes of the Kirch Group, too, for the skyDSL service." So does AOL have a European service ready to roll? skyDSL is priced at 100DM a month, and sounds tempting. Strato already runs a joint venture with AOL Germany, having been providing value added services such as domain registration, electronic shopping and unified messaging services, covering fax, email and cellular, since March. ®

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