Partners Get Hands on Starlink, Low Earth Orbit Satellites

Eutelsat OneWeb and Amazon Kuiper have followed SpaceX Starlink into space. But how can partners monetize internet services from low Earth orbit satellite internet?

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

April 4, 2024

11 Slides

Internet connectivity from low earth orbit (LEO) satellite providers is available for channel partners and the businesses they serve.

Elon Musk's Starlink is a household name for most people in the technology world, but channel partners – particularly those in the technology advisor/agent space – have for years been investigating how they can sell the technology. Now that answer is coming into sight. Telecom aggregators are signing up as authorized Starlink resellers and offer a managed service that agents can source.

"The aggregators are getting into the space big time," said Chip Hoisington, who leads Avant's connectivity and colocation engineering practice. "I was begging everybody to form partnerships with these guys, so I'm glad they did."

Partners have been selling satellite providers such as Viasat and Hughes for years, but often those solutions have only come in handy for remote rural locations where wireline connectivity is impossible. Partners say low Earth orbit projects like Starlink, Amazon Kuiper and Eutelsat OneWeb promise more ubiquitous access with dramatically lower latency.

"I have recommended Starlink to businesses in remote areas and they have all been happy with it. They've run VoIP through them, and it works fine," said BB Telco president Craig Bullock, who didn't have a way to sell Starlink until recently. "I give my clients every option under the sun, including options that are not something that I recommend. Often they choose Starlink because it's the name they recognize."

But up until recently, selling Starlink wasn't a possibility for partners like BB Telco.


Demand has been increasing for LEO satellite connectivity from business customers. Hoisington said he conducted an internal survey of Avant's sales team and found that the tech services distributor is getting upward of 150 requests for LEO per week.

Now technology advisors are vetting a wave of new Starlink resellers they can recommend to their clients.

Starlink's website lists 62 authorized resellers. That elite company features many businesses that sell through technology services distributors (TSDs) and agents, including MetTel. And many aggregators well-known to agents, including Ntegrated and are participating in Peplink's Starlink Solution Provider Program. Nitel announced a low Earth orbit satellite offering through an unnamed provider.

The aggregators resell the service on their own paper and provide installation and management services. The sourcing agent gets a residual commission.

Moreover, it diversifies the access types partners can offer to their clients to support their wide area networks.


"It's an access type that works and is strong in different situations. That's all it is to me. Having something else in our portfolio that's productized, and projectized with vendor partners is ideal. It's something else we can do for our clients. It's a good thing,” TechChoice president Paul Storella told Channel Futures.

We reached out to the big three low Earth orbit satellite providers: SpaceX's Starlink, Amazon Kuiper and Eutelsat OneWeb. As of deadline, only Amazon Kuiper had responded. A spokesperson said the group has not yet determined its go-to-market strategy.

“Project Kuiper may pursue a combination of direct and indirect sales according to the rules and customer preferences in each country where we plan to offer service," the spokesperson said.

Read the 11 slides above for a conversation about the different satellite providers, the aggregators reselling their solutions, and how partners are finding success selling low Earth orbit satellite services.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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