Tunisia's Telnet in fresh satellite deal with Russia

Tunisian technology consulting and engineering company Telnet Group has signed a new deal with Russian satellite firms Sputnix and GK Launch Services to launch 30 satellites by 2023 to support an IOT network.

According to the terms of the deal, Sputnix will build the satellites that will be launched on a Soyuz-2 rocket by a subsidiary of Glavkosmos.

The cost of the deal was not made public.

Beyond building and launching satellites, the partnership also aims to develop new space technologies and tailored telecommunications solutions for Tunisia and the global market.

The Telnet Group and Russian companies made headlines in April 2019 after entering into a deal to launch Tunisia's first satellite, Challenge ONE.

The satellite is expected to be launched by GK Launch Services on the Soyuz-2 rocket in 2020.

"It was the first agreement that sparked the three companies' desire to strengthen their cooperation; given the potential of what we can build together," said Mohamed Frikha, Telnet Group chief executive officer.

Telnet was founded by Frikha in 1994 and in 2018 it announced its venture into satellite communication with the creation of a new aerospace centre in Sfax Aerospace Valley.

In its most recent financial year, the company posted 40 million dinars (€12-million) in consolidated revenue for 2018.