AltegroSky GC is one of the leading satellite communication operators in Russia and Eastern Europe. Subsidiaries in the company group include Race Telecom CJSC, Set Telecom CJSC, Astra-Internet LLC and Moskonsky Teleport CJSC, whilst Altegro Engineering is a system integrator, providing satellite communications services throughout the Russian Federation, CIS countries, Europe, Middle East, North Africa. Established in October 2003 the group is privatly-held (100 per cent wholly owned by ARANSI) and provides a wide range of satellite services (including data and voice provision, Internet access, file distribution, multicasting and audio - and videoconferencing) to both the corporate and consumer sector under the "AltegroSky" brand name and also to the government through a number of state projects. The group also offers telemetry, telecommunications based on mobile VSAT terminals (AltegroMobile), landline backup, dedicated satellite (backbone) channels as well as the lease of satellite teleport resources.
AltegroSky Group of Companies has been recognized as “The Largest Fixed Satellite Communication Operator in Russia” four times in a row - in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. COMNEWS AWARDS is awarded on the basis of industrial ratings prepared by a team of analysts from the industry publisher ComNews. The reward for us is a key indicator of correctly chosen vector of development, confirmed by the honest choice of consumers.
AltegroSky (represented by Settelecom in 2003) began its business with providing Ku-band satellite communications services on the DirecWay platform (Hughes Networks Systems) under the Russian Yamal-200 satellite (90°E). The characteristics of the leased satellite resource and the specificity of the transponder used allowed the company to become the first operator offering cost-optimized VSAT solutions to its customers using inexpensive small-diameter antennas of 1.2 m, which are distinguished by a simple and inexpensive installation.
The HNS ’DW7000 platform was added to DirecWay in 2005, making it possible to reach speeds of up to 1 Mbit/s in the feedback channel at subscriber terminals with 1.8 m antennas and 2 W transmitters. The Hughes HX was added to the platform line two years later.
AltegroSky became an exclusive dealer of C-COM auto-acquire antenna systems in 2006. The company presented a unified solution for equipping of trucks with autonomous mobile VSAT under AltegroMobile brand on the Russian market, aimed primarily at providing broadband access services to the government authorities for emergency situations, rescue and rehabilitation works, as well as for environmental monitoring for oil and gas production corporations, videoconferencing, including those for telemedicine.
The company has got the title of Universal Satellite Operator during a year. As a part of implementation of the 1st stage of AltegroSky universal communication services provision, there were made more than 600 connections in Samara region and Stavropol territory.
AltegroSky conducted its first “M&A” transaction in 2008, acquired of CJSC Sattel, and including the Hub, satellite capacity and client base of the purchased operator in its network. Being at the forefront of the mass VSAT market, AltegroSky focused its efforts to overcome a factor hindering the development of the segment, such as the lack of information about the technology’s capabilities and accessibility. The operator arranged the First Russian VSAT Speed Mounting Championship in 2008 - a professional competition for specialists and installers of satellite equipment. The main goal of the Championship was the promotion of VSAT-solutions and satellite broadband access on the territory of the Russian Federation as an accessible and simple technology to cope with the task of eliminating digital and information inequality and expanding the opportunities of citizens in digital services implementation. Due to the wide coverage of the Championship in mass media and many positive reviews of guests and participants, it was decided to hold the competition annually. The AltegroSky Group of Companies initiative was supported by the Championship partners: Hughes Networks Systems, Federal State Unitary Enterprise Satellite Communications, the Federal Agency of Communications (Rossvyaz).
AltegroSky was the first Russian VSAT-operator to migrate its networks to the new DVB-S2 standard successfully in February 2009. Two more transactions were carried out to acquire the business of CJSC Habtel and the Russian operator CJSC Race Telecom the same year. The takeover brought another LinkStar platform of ViaSat company, a teleport at Bear Lakes Satellite Communications Center, an additional satellite segment, subscriber base replenishment, including major Customers: Sberbank, Government of the Chechen Republic, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Altay, Tamanneftegas, Vologdaenergo and Belgorodenergo. Subsequent restructuring of the group of companies structure according to the principle of segmentation of operating activities of each operator allowed us to avoid internal competition. Race Telecom started working with corporate clients, Settelecom took a mass and government segment. Nevertheless, it was decided to make all sales and promotions for both companies under one brand - AltegroSky.
AltegroSky Group of Companies launched the collective broadband access service for the first time in the same year. At that time it was a revolutionary product for mass market. The demand was due to the high cost of individual access and underdeveloped network of cellular operators. The service was interesting as a new technology for specialists, allowing to provide separate broadband access to multiple users from one station. AltegroSky Group of Companies specialists has managed to achieve unlimited scaling of the network of points of collective access to Intermet. (which distinguishes the company's product from its competitors) - one of the largest projects has more than 150 connected users per one VSAT.
AltegroSky completed implementation of the 2nd stage of providing universal communication services in remote regions of Russia, including those using the means of multiple access, in 2011. The network included another 400 stations connected in Chukotka, Kamchatka, Khabarovsk territory and Chita. The company has won tender for a contract covering the organization of satellite network consisting of 300 stations for the leading Russian operator of gas filling stations TNK-BP, which was in the top 10 oil production and processing companies. Due to the rapid growth of the subscriber base, the group of companies was recognized as the “Largest Fixed Satellite Communication Operator in Russia” according to the results of an independent rating conducted by the leading industry magazine ComNews already in 2012.
The next “M&A” transaction took place in 2014 - 80.25% of shares of the satellite operator Moskovsky Teleport was bought out from Inmarsat. The competence of the acquired company and its extensive experience with iDirect line of satellite platforms leading in the Russian corporate market allowed AltegroSky to gain a significant share in such high ARPU / site segments as the creation of corporate satellite networks, provision of dedicated satellite channels, mobile satellite communications services (as a dealer of Inmarsat, Iridium, Thuraya). And the company's customers got the opportunity to choose between Hughes and iDirect technologies for the implementation of various fixed and mobile VSAT solutions. The takeover brought the third teleport in Moscow to the group of companies, in addition to two already existing ones in Moscow region and Khabarovsk, the infrastructure of which was later successfully transferred to Moscow region. Historically AltegroSky's activities were aimed at the domestic market, where 95% of services were realized through the company's partner network. Thanks to merging with “Moskovsky teleport” operator, which had had many years of experience in the CIS countries, the Middle East and Africa, AltegroSky got the opportunity to enter international markets. AltegroSky carried out joint project with a large international telecom operator to provide communication channels for the drilling platform in Kara Sea on the northern edge of Siberia by the end of the year.
With the launch of Russian high-capacity satellites (HTS) within Ka-band (Exprss-AM5 in 2014, Express-AM6 in 2016), there started a new stage of development of the VSAT market in Russia. Multiple access systems, based on Wi-Fi access points began to gain popularity. A solution based on the industry standard 802.11 for Wi-Fi access points in combination with VSAT-station provides a cost-effective satellite channel. Affordability, low monthly fees and a variety of tariff plans in multiple systems have caused an increase in connections in the Far East, in Siberia, Central, Ural and Volga-Caspian regions. Currently, several hundreds of multiple access systems are deployed on the Hughes equipment within the AltegroSky network. The demand for service contributes to the popularization of satellite broadband services in the B2O segment and may have an impact on further transition of users from multiple access systems (MAS) to individual use.
To implement a capacity on Russian satellites in Ka-band there was introduced a new business model “Virtual Operator”. Active cooperation of AltegroSky Group of Companies specialists with the owner of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Satellite Communications allowed us to adapt the solution to provide our own SubVNO service in prospect. The service obtained flexible settings for any level of “immersion”: SVNO AltegroSky has an ability to manage a dedicated satellite channel independently, creating its own networks, tariffs in it, fully controlling the connected stations. Specially designed web-based interface allows administration from anywhere in the world. Internal control units are logically divided into several applications to provide different levels of access.
The company's history includes two more acquisition deals: IPNET LLC has been acquired in 2016, ROILCOM LLC has been acquired in 2017. As for the first case, the subscriber base was included in the AltegroSky network using the SubVNO model, as for the second case, the base was directly transferred to the operator’s network.
AltegroSky’s share in the Russian VSAT market currently is 22%. Conducting an active development strategy and increasing the company's competence allowed us to gain the confidence of not only Russian, but also international clients. Our customers include large corporations and government organizations, SMEs, and individuals. Due to close cooperation with national operators - owners of the resource of the Russian space groups (Federal State Unitary Enterprise Satellite Communications, JSC Gazprom Space Systems) we have implemented many large projects, including international contracts in recent years.
Thus, in 2017, under the Agreement with Telespazio operator on the provision of satellite services using the Yamal-202 satellite resource, Gazprom Space Systems partnership and AltegroSky Group made it possible to meet the tight deadlines for the project and to conduct all work in record-breaking three days.
One of the largest projects over the past two years has been a contract with a transnational, universal banking organization - PJSC Sberbank of Russia. Within the framework of the project there were carried out a large-scale modernization of the Central Earth Station (Moscow), construction and commissioning of the new Central Earth Station (Khabarovsk), as well as installation and commissioning of about 200 terminal earth stations (TES) installed in the Bank’s offices.
In 2018 AltegroSky won the first industry award of Telesputnik Awards, arranged by the industry publishing house Telesputnik, in the nomination "The best socially significant VSAT project". The jury's choice was associated with a significant contribution of the group of companies to the draft Federal Target Program on “Eliminating Digital Inequality” regarding the implementation of the state’s social policy to provide communication services to citizens of localities, including voice communication, Internet access, access to regional television.
The anniversary "VSAT Rapid Assembly Championship" was held in the same year. It has become an expected and significant event for the industry over the past 10 years, annually uniting national and regional satellite operators, equipment manufacturers, installers, experts and journalists of industry media under its own flag. The anniversary event was marked by two premieres at once: renewal of the site and participation of women's teams, one of which took the third place in the absolute championship of the Competition! In its early twenties, the Championship has deservedly taken an honorable place in the professional VSAT-community among popular telecommunication events, becoming the territory of specialists and experts of the satellite market and the only competition with a clear demonstration of the capabilities of VSAT-technology.
AltegroSky and C-COM Satellite Systems Inc. signed an agreement on the continuation of mutually beneficial cooperation in September 2018. The volume of purchased equipment is estimated at 2,000,000 US dollars. Currently, the company is the largest supplier of mobile platforms in the Russian Federation with the implementation of more than 300 projects for vehicle support with C-COM and Winegard mobile terminals compatible with HughesNet and with other broadband satellite access systems such as iDirect, ViaSat, Gilat EMS.
AltegroSky signed several contracts for infrastructure outsourcing with international suppliers of IFE&C services in 2018. The projects were implemented on the basis of AEROHABs of the following manufacturers: Hughes (HX, Jupiter), NewTec (Dialog), iDirect (Evolution), Gilat (Sky Edge II). AltegroSky carried out a full range of works from procurement, supply and certification of equipment in the territory of the Russian Federation, to installation, commissioning and subsequent technical support under the terms of the contracts.
Thus, a contract for infrastructure support was signed with Panasonic Avionics Corporation in November 2018. AltegroSky performed a set of works to provide the global operator with an infrastructure platform for organizing the IFEC (inflight entertainment and connectivity) service via the Russian satellites Express-AM5 and Express-AM6 using the Ku-band under the contract. The project involved the resources of two teleports of AltegroSky Group of Companies in Moscow and Khabarovsk for landing transit traffic and its delivery to the customer Pop at MMTS9 via landline communication channels.
Ground infrastructure capabilities for creating satellite networks and a professional engineering team have become the basis for AltegroSky’s international partnership. Several teleports equipped with large-diameter antennas and powerful transmitters located in different parts of Russia and selling uplink services to many Russian and foreign satellites allow international providers to ensure continuity of IFC services on the long-distance flights.
Following the strategic development plans, AltegroSky continuously improves and develops the company's infrastructure. There was signed a cooperation agreement between AltegroSky and Eutelsat Networks on the provision of satellite broadband access services via the Express-AMU1 satellite on the Gilat platform in March 2019.