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Turksat 4B satellite
An artist’s conception shows the Turksat 4B satellite in orbit. (Turksat Illustration)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Kymeta Corp., the Redmond, Wash.-based satellite antenna venture that’s backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, says it has struck up a partnership with Turkey’s Türksat telecommunications service to expand satellite data connectivity across a wide swath of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Today’s announcement came here at the Satellite 2019 conference.

The arrangement will provide Türksat’s customers with new satellite links for voice, data, internet, TV and radio.

“Partnering with Türksat allows Kymeta to provide coverage through their satellite communications with our end-to-end solutions on both land and sea,” Neville Meijers, Kymeta’s chief commercial officer, said in a news release. “We are excited about the possibilities this partnership opens.”

Hasan Hüseyin Ertok, Türksat’s vice president, was similarly upbeat.

“This partnership will help further our mission of bringing different languages and cultures together through satellite communications,” Ertok said. “Kymeta’s proven antenna technology will allow us to pursue previously untapped markets and applications in satellite communications. As the only satellite operator in Turkey, this is critical to enhancing the service offerings in our nation and beyond.”

Kymeta was spun out from Intellectual Ventures as a standalone startup in 2012 with financial support from Gates and other investors, to take advantage of solid-state technologies related to metamaterials. Kymeta’s flat-panel satellite antennas are “steered” electronically, with no moving parts.

The antennas are well-suited to maritime and mobile applications — ranging from yacht communications systems to connected cars to bus and rail systems in remote areas. In league with Intelsat, Kymeta offers a hybrid satellite-cellular connectivity service known as KĀLO.

Türksat joins a long list of Kymeta partners that includes Intelsat and Microsoft as well as Toyota, Airbus, Panasonic, Inmarsat and Honeywell. Kymeta has reported raising roughly $200 million in investments, including $73.5 million in funding during a round in 2017.

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