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ISSUE 16 | MARCH 2013







Installing an earth station in Baghdad

Growing Ka-band opportunities in the post-Gaddafi era

Global ambitions of the country’s aerospace enterprise

SatellitePro Telco Roundtable on March 13, at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai


crédit photo : Shutterstock


DRIVING GROWTH IN THE MIDDLE EAST With the launch of the EUTELSAT 7 West A satellite we have increased our resources at 7° West by 30%. We now broadcast more than 600 channels to over 30 million homes in the Middle East and North Africa. Reach your target audience via Eutelsat and be part of the number one broadcasting position in the region.

New office in Dubai: EUTELSAT MIDDLE EAST FZ-LLC Thuraya Tower II – Dubai Media City

SatellitePro Telco Rountable on March 13, 2013, at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai

EDITORIAL Publisher Dominic De Sousa Group COO Nadeem Hood

Getting the message across to the verticals

Managing Director Richard Judd +9714 440 9126

As he operated from Palo Alto in the early days, spreading the Facebook phenomenon from one college campus to the next, Mark Zuckerberg understood that the nascent social media site had to remain online at all times to retain the trust of his growing number of addicted followers. This is a concern that dominates the waking moments of all the players in the satellite industry.

EDITORIAL Group Editor - Broadcast Division Vijaya Cherian +97150 768 3435 Editor Supriya Srinivas +971 55 105 3776 ADVERTISING Publishing Director Raz Islam +9714 440 9129 Group Sales Manager Sandip Virk +44 7734 442526 Sales Manager Rodi Hennawi +971 4 440 9106 PRODUCTION AND DESIGN Head of Design Fahed Sabbagh Graphic Designer Glenn Roxas PHOTOGRAPHY Jay Colina Abdul Kader Pattambi Database Manager Rajeesh M +9714 440 9147 Production Manager James P. Tharian +9714 440 9146

One of our CEOs, in this issue, says: “There were some launch failures in 2012, as there are every year, but resilient operational planning has enabled us to collectively serve our customer’s needs.” Our legal experts concur with this view citing the sharing of data among operators, the absence of financial default on the part of the commercial operator and the reliability of launch vehicles and satellite performance, among other factors. However, there are reasons to worry, say the experts, owing to the vagaries of politics and the limitations of international regulatory instruments vis-à-vis the long-term nature of the liability exposure. Resilient planning, that our CEO referred to though, is not empty rhetoric. It was put into practice when Avanti’s steerable beam on Hylas 2 was moved to cover Libya in the post-Gaddafi era. Not even the most astute political pundit had predicted the fall of the regime. So kudos to the operators. Kudos to the service providers as well – it is no mean task to create broadband packages for the cost-sensitive continent of Africa. Satellite service provider, Markus Haut of Level421, is converting talk of tailormade solutions to action on the field. However, when the CEO of a major GCC-based telco states: “We have to consider the limitations of satellite connections – the bandwidth is relatively small and expensive,” – it leaves us wondering if the satellite industry is keeping this key decision maker abreast of the cost-effective solutions to extend connectivity via satellite. The SatellitePro Telco Roundtable on March 13 in Dubai, is our attempt to create a platform for telcos and mobile service providers to interact with their counterparts in the satellite industry. A two-hour conversation moderated by David Hartshorn of the GVF followed by an afternoon at CABSAT 2013 ... there is a lot to look forward to in March. Supriya Srinivas Editor

DIGITAL SERVICES Digital Services Manager Tristan Troy Maagma Web Developers Erik Briones Jefferson de Joya Published by

Registered at IMPZ PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 (0) 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 (0) 4 447 2409 Printed by Printwell Printing Press LLC

© Copyright 2013 CPI. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.

In this edition: “By investing in all-electric satellites, this allows us to bring down the cost of CAPEX by 40%” - Tom Choi, CEO, Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) – page 10

“The alternative, L-band, is a less attractive option for our passengers due to the system being more expensive and slower” - Mohamad ElAssaad, Senior Manager IFEC - Gulf Air – page 36

“We knew there was potential in Libya, but we did not anticipate that Libya is going to grow so fast” - Kamal Arjundas, Director, Wafa Technical Systems Services – page 22

“Critical factors that need to be managed include the short term nature of insurance versus the long term nature of the liability exposure” - Nick Hughes, Partner, Holman Fenwick Willan – page 48


Issue 16 | MARCH 2013



Satellite messaging for mining


Monitoring sensors and other fixed assets

Global roundup Arabsat, Yahsat, ViaSat, ITC Global, iDirect, Astrium, Intelsat

36 Live TV in-flight

14 Setting the goals In conversation with three CEOs: Khaled Balkheyour (Arabsat), Tom Choi (ABS), Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari ( Es’hailSat)

14 “2013 is a critical year for us as we launch our first satellite Es’hail 1”


18 At par with fibre Markus Haut of Level421 poised to offer satellite at the price of fibre across Africa

“There are many such projects in the pipeline owing to an Iraqi government initiative”


In conversation with Mohamad ElAssaad, Senior Manager, IFEC, Gulf Air

40 The next billion subscribers Why should telcos and satellite service providers work together? Answers from David Hartshorn of GVF

44 Celestial ambitions beyond Gokturk We meet the team from the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) at IDEX

Broadband in a post-Gaddafi world


“Unprecedented response,” say Anthony Walker of Bentley Walker and Kamal Arjundas of Wafa

“De-risking” space Experts outline the limitations inherent in current insurance models and regulatory frameworks

26 UAE Atlas


Ferrari World, Palm Jumeirah … striking images from DubaiSat1

New at CABSAT 2013

ISSUE 16 | MARCH 2013

YellowSat, Norsat, TTI, Work Microwave, Harris Caprock and more







Installing an earth station in Baghdad

Growing Ka-band opportunities in the post-Gaddafi era

Global ambitions of the country’s aerospace enterprise

SatellitePro Telco Roundtable on March 13, at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai


On the cover: Markus Haut of Level421

“Diversity of satellite-based tools are better than ever before for telcos”

64 Simulating MSS Site visit to Thuraya


Arabsat acquires majority stake in Hellas-Sat in USD 278m deal Arabsat has signed an agreement with the Hellenic Telecommunication Organisation (”OTE”), one of the largest Khalid A. Balkheyour, President & CEO, Arabsat telecom groups in South Eastern Europe, for the acquisition of its 99.05% equity participation in Hellas-Sat Consortium Ltd (“Hellas-Sat”). The share purchase agreement was signed upon an aggregate consideration of €208 million (USD 278 million approx), representing the 99.05%, of: š7d[dj[hfh_i[lWbk[e\>[bbWi#IWj" amounting to €157 million (USD 210 million approx), which corresponds to seven times the EBITDA of Hellas Sat for 2012, and šj^[YWi^^[bZXo>[bbWi#IWjedj^[ZWj[e\ completion of the transaction, estimated at €53.4 million (USD 71.4 million approx). Hellas-Sat reportedly has the exclusive

use of the orbital position of 39° East and all associated radio frequencies from the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Cyprus. The company is the operator of the HellasSat 2 satellite, with wide European coverage. Apart from Europe, the satellite Hellas-Sat 2 covers the Middle East and South Africa and has a portfolio of more than 100 customers in 26 countries. The transaction was conducted through Arabsat Cyprus Ltd., a 100% subsidiary of Arabsat, and is expected to be completed by Q2 2013 after all necessary procedures have been finalised and is subject to approval by the competent authorities. Khalid A. Balkheyour, President and CEO of Arabsat commented: “Our commitment to sustain and grow the business in Greece and Cyprus will manifest itself through the rapid design, manufacture and launch of the new satellite, HS-3, which we envision to be one of the largest satellites in Europe.”

KEY APPOINTMENTS Morten Tengs , CEO at Telenor Satellite Broadcasting

Morten Tengs has been appointed as the new CEO at Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc). Tengs was earlier Senior Vice President at Telenor Group’s regional office for Asia, in Bangkok. He succeeds Cato Halsaa, who is to retire this summer. Morten Tengs has since June 2011 been a part of Telenor Group’s regional management team in Asia, and is today also member of the board at dtac, DiGi, Telenor Pakistan and Grameenphone. Tengs has been part of the Telenor Group since 1995 and has held a number of executive positions in, amongst others, Telenor Global Services, Telenor Corporate Development and Telenor Satellite Services. Tengs is a graduate engineer from AiD (Grimstad, Norway), and holds a Masters degree in Economics, from the Norwegian business School BI.

Eutelsat and Arianespace sign multiple launch services agreement Eutelsat Communications and Arianespace have announced the signature of a long-term multiple launch services Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman agreement which and CEO, Arianespace reportedly guarantees launch capacity and flexibility to Eutelsat for its expansion programme. The agreement covers up to four launches in the 2016 and 2017 timeframe, with the assignment of each satellite to a launch vehicle to be made at a later stage. The new contract is in addition to the 4 | SatellitePro | March 2013

contract signed in July 2012 between Eutelsat and Arianespace for the 2014 and 2015 timeframe, covering one launch and an option for a further launch. Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, said: “This latest contract seals a 30-year relationship between Eutelsat and Arianespace during which over 60% of our satellites have been launched by an Ariane rocket.” Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace added: “We are proud to announce this new contract with Eutelsat which comes immediately after our 54th consecutive successful Ariane 5 launch.”

Padraig McCarthy, CFO at SES

Padraig Mc Carthy’s appointment becomes effective after April 4, 2013, the day when the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders is asked to approve the company’s 2012 financial results. Padraig Mc Carthy joined SES in 1995 from Norton S.A. (Group St. Gobain) where he was Financial Director Europe. Since the integration of SES ASTRA and SES World Skies into SES, McCarthy has been Senior Vice President Financial Operations and Business Support at SES, reporting directly to the CFO.

Dubai to construct facility to manufacture space satellites

Dubai will start works, as reported by Emirates 24/7, in 2013, on building the first of its kind high-technology facility for manufacturing satellites in the region. The emirate will also launch two new satellites – DubaiSat-3 in 2016-2017 and DubaiSat-4 in 2020, said Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director of Space Programme Department at the Dubai-based Emirates

Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (Eiast). Al Marri stated that EIAST is following a 15-year timeline to launch a number of satellites. This plan is slated to be completed by the year 2020 with the launch of DubaiSat-4. Construction on the satellitemanufacturing facility is to begin in 2013 and will be ready to function within two years, as per Al Marri. Al Marri added that some parts of DubaiSat-3 will be manufactured in the emirate by Emirati engineers in the new facility and some parts will be made in South Korea. DubaiSat-4 will, in Al Marri’s words, be “100% designed and made in Dubai by our Emirati engineers”. Al Marri revealed that Eiast is also considering future cooperation with Yahsat, a private joint stock company fully-owned by Mubadala which is an investment arm of the government of Abu Dhabi.

Yahsat, truIT Uganda launch satellite broadband service UAE-based satellite operator Yahsat has partnered with truIT Uganda to start operating its Yahclick satellite broadband service in the country, ITWeb reported. TruIT is an IT company that started out as a web design and hosting firm and which has evolved into an IT integration service provider. In December 2012, the Uganda Communications Commission licensed truIT as a public service provider offering voice and data services. The company offers internet services, VoIP, data video conferencing and

social media support, among other things. The YahClick service is reportedly set to open new business opportunities and connectivity to a wide range of vertical markets including home consumers, the banking sector, oil and gas, manufacturing and construction, healthcare, media, NGOs, government and educational organisations by providing reliable, high bandwidth connectivity to urban, rural and even remote communities. The Chief Technical Officer of truIT, Moses Mubiru, said that they have assembled a flexible system and will bundle hardware and service packages tailor-made for specific markets.

ITC Global to upgrade global mining sector

VT iDirect, Inc. has announced that ITC Global will upgrade its mining-sector satellite network to iDirect’s soon-to-bereleased iDX 3.2 software featuring Adaptive TDMA, and will deploy the next-generation Evolution X7 remote. ITC Global is a provider of global, enterprise-class satellite communications to mining companies around the world, and will reportedly be the first service provider to offer iDX 3.2 and X7 capabilities to the mining sector. The upgrade advances, the company claims, ITC Global’s commitment to continual network innovation and will allow ITC Global to satisfy the 20+ Mbps bandwidth requirement the mining sector now demands. Faster data throughput will improve the network’s ability to handle multiple IP applications on a unified platform, such as Voice over IP, radio over IP, CCTV, remote permission and control, and the automation of critical operational tasks. These communications services enable mining companies to increase business productivity; ensure compliance with health, safety and environmental initiatives and commitments; achieve the timely delivery of projects; and shorten overall time to market while maximising continuity of supply to end customers. March 2013 | SatellitePro | 5


ViaSat augments global mobility satellite network

Paul Baca, GM/VP ViaSat Global Mobile Broadband

ViaSat Inc. has signed four new contracts that reportedly increase the total Ku-band capacity of its global mobility network by more than 60%. This investment in additional bandwidth will

be reserved for government and general aviation business growth and customer requirements for high data rates for mobile satellite communications. “This expansion phase is an overlay to our mobile network in key regions around the globe,” said Paul Baca, GM/VP ViaSat Global Mobile Broadband. “This addition will raise the bar for baseline broadband performance and provide a foundation for new service plans.” The sustained growth in airborne satellite communications for ViaSat was recently highlighted by the delivery of the 500th VR-12 satellite terminal. This ultra-small aperture system has been a key technology enabler, the company claims, for both general aviation and government mobility markets, for “office in the sky” business applications, as well as enroute Command and Control and ISR services for military customers.

Africa 24 launched exclusively on Arabsat Africa 24, the news channel for Africa, has selected Arabsat to expand its coverage and launch in French on Arabsat’s Badr-4. The satellite, positioned at 26 degrees East, reportedly covers the Middle East, North Africa and portions of Western Europe “We are very pleased with the new partnership with Africa 24 and deeply appreciate their confidence in Arabsat satellites technical capabilities,” said Khalid bin Ahmed Balkhyour, president and CEO of Arabsat, in a statement. “With the exclusive launch of Africa 24, Arabsat continues to offer the best African programming line-up in the Middle-East and North Africa,” said Constant Nemale, President and Founder of Africa 24. “Arabsat is completely aligned to offer 6 | SatellitePro | March 2013

Constant Nemale, President and Founder, Africa 24

the most attractive African programming options to the diverse African communities at the best value,” added Nemale.

Astrium extends C-band agreement with Intelsat

Astrium Services and Intelsat S.A. have signed a multi-year renewal agreement for C-band capacity to be used by Astrium Services’ maritime customers in the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean, North Sea and Gulf of Mexico. The agreement will reportedly enable the new Business Communications unit of Astrium Services to continue meeting the bandwidth requirements of C-band customised VSAT users, and supports broadband and expanded capabilities in the cruise, ferry and offshore sectors. Astrium Services will use C-band capacity on Intelsat 907 at 332.5° East to provide data connectivity and voice communication for passengers and operational purposes. Maritime customers with high bandwidth requirements will be able to continue integrating new services aboard vessels, and take advantage of technology designed to support efficient operations. Likewise, the capacity will improve passenger communication, ensuring that multiple simultaneous users can access the internet, providing a competitive advantage to cruise and ferry operators through the ability to offer vessel-wide WiFi and high levels of connectivity, regardless of location.


NASA satellite data find freshwater losses in Middle East

A new study using data from a pair of gravity-measuring NASA satellites reportedly finds that large parts of the arid Middle East region lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade. Because obtaining ground-based data in the area is difficult, satellite data, such as that from NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) satellites, are reportedly essential. Scientists at the University of California at Irvine (UC Irvine); NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Md.; and the National

Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., found during a seven-year period beginning in 2003, parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran along the Tigris and Euphrates river basins lost 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of its total stored freshwater. That is almost the amount of water in the Dead Sea. The researchers attribute about 60% of the loss to pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs. The findings are the result of one of the first comprehensive hydrological assessments of the entire Tigris-Euphrates-Western Iran region. Because obtaining ground-based data in the area is difficult, satellite data, such as that from NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) satellites, are reportedly essential. Grace is providing a global picture of water storage trends and is reportedly invaluable when hydrologic observations are not routinely collected or shared beyond political boundaries.

UAE-based XSAT authorised to distribute Iridium products in Russia XSAT FZE has announced that XSAT RRE has reportedly become one of the few official Iridium Communications (“Iridium Russia”) partners in the Russian Gleb Larionov, Managing Federation. Director, X SAT FZE Iridium Russia had received authorisation from Russian authorities for commercial operations in the country in May 2012. XSAT RRE is a Joint-Venture between UAEbased XSAT FZE, and Russian Radio Electronics (RRE), a Russia-based electronics holding. XSAT RRE anticipates good demand for Iridium products and services, especially for M2M applications, taking into a consideration 8 | SatellitePro | March 2013

a vast Russian territory and Iridium’s global coverage. In 2009, Iridium formed Iridium Russia to conduct business in the country due to strong regional interest in its voice and data communications capabilities. Iridium is reportedly making significant investments as part of its commitment to the Russian market. “The XSAT RRE assignment as Iridium partner in Russia is a confirmation of our strategy to provide reliable services and excellent customer care worldwide. We are confident that Iridium will be a leader in the Russian mobile satellite markets and XSAT RRE will be a reliable and trustworthy partner, “ said Gleb Larionov, Managing Director, X SAT FZE.

Thuraya and Chunghwa launch service for Taiwan

Samer Halawi, Chief Executive Officer, Thuraya

Thuraya Telecommunications, a Mobile Satellite Services operator and Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan’s telecom operator have announced the receiving of licensing approval from the NCC, Taiwan’s national telecoms regulator, for the provisioning of Thuraya’s mobile satellite services in the country. The significance of this licensing agreement, according to the official release, means that for the first time, Taiwanese consumers and enterprise users alike will no longer be required to apply for individual licensing approval from the NCC to use mobile satellite services in the country. Previously, only enterprise users were eligible for licensing approval of Mobile Satellite Services. On the occasion of this historic milestone, Thuraya’s Chief Executive Officer, Samer Halawi, said “We are pleased to be working with a reputable and experienced partner in Chunghwa Telecom to bring Thuraya’s mobile satellite products and services to more users in Taiwan. We are grateful to the NCC for granting licensing approval of Thuraya’s satellite services, which will enable Taiwan’s citizens to stay connected across our global network on land and sea, beyond the confines of terrestrial networks.” Taiwan is considered a key growth market for Thuraya which is characterised by strong demand for reliable and cost-effective voice and data services from the fisheries sector.





Satellite communications system for project Baynunah

EMC to operate hosted payload on Badr-7

Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), a provider of construction, repair and refit services for naval, military and commercial vessels and Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (YahSat) have announced the award of a contract to fit stateof-the-art satellite communications systems to the complete fleet of UAE Navy Baynunah class corvettes. The announcement by ADSB and YahSat, two of Mubadala’s defence-related companies, took place during the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) 2013. Under the terms of the contract ADSB will install equipment supplied by YahSat and communications company Rohde & Schwarz to the fleet, while additional technical support will be provided by CMN and SELEX.

Arabsat and Emerging Markets Communications (EMC) have signed a strategic commercial agreement to utilise the new Badr-7 satellite currently under manufacture and expected to be launched by end 2015. Designed from the ground up, this new EMC hosted payload for the entire Ka-band spectrum is based on multiple EMC patents and reportedly provides high throughput data rates supporting multiple applications for the consumer and carrier markets ranging from two-way broadband services directly to the home, wireless distribution for 3G and LTE operators directly to the tower and in-country video distribution for regional TV content making this payload reportedly ideal for the emerging consumer triple play over satellite market.

10 | SatellitePro | March 2013

ADSB is the prime contractor on the project and will be responsible for vessel modification and installation of the equipment. The company is currently leading the region’s largest naval shipbuilding programme to construct six Baynunah Class Corvettes for the UAE Navy and has added a new modern composite facility as part of its on-going business expansion programme. Ian Pike, Chief Executive Officer of ADSB, said: “We are delighted to expand our work for the UAE Navy in relation to the fleet of Baynunah Class corvettes. This contract demonstrates the synergies that exist between the defencerelated companies in the wider Mubadala group of companies and the mutual benefits they create for our customers.”

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Meet with Intelsat during CABSAT 2013 at Hall 1, Stand C1-10. Contact us at for details.

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Our world. Now more connected than ever. Your world. With Arabsat's new generation of state-of-the-art satellites, your world is growing larger — and closer — than ever. With four orbital positions in the sky covering an ever-expanding footprint across the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and Europe, now you have unrivalled capacity to reach farther and connect in more ways than ever before. That means all the power to meet the growing and evolving needs of large telecom companies, government entities, the military sector and VSAT or IP networks. Connect more of your world, and join the Arabsat neighborhood today!

Visit us: Hall 1, Stand D1-10


Setting the goals On the eve of CABSAT 2013, we ask CEOs of three major satellite companies to recount the recent milestones achieved and outline the goals for 2013 and beyond

Tom Choi, CEO, Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS)

What is your vision for the company? Khaled Balkheyour, Arabsat: Arabsat has adopted a clear vision that was presented before the satellite industry during Euroconsult 2012 in Paris, to be among the top five satellite operators in the world by 2020. Arabsat’s strategic goals and plans were put in place to pursue this vision, and implementation has already started. Our strategic plan relies on two major parallel growth paths; organic – by initiating the Arabsat 6th generation satellites’ programme that comprises of three new satellites to be designed, manufactured and launched by 2016, and inorganic – by pursuing viable investment opportunities to expand the operations of the company and enter new markets. Tom Choi, ABS: My goal for ABS is to become the 5th largest satellite operator serving all the emerging markets from S. America to the Pacific Islands. We hope to become an alternate supplier of capacity to the traditional players by bringing a combination of lower cost capacity with customer-tailored solutions. We wish 14 | SatellitePro | March 2013

“The all-electric propulsion satellite will allow us to save 50% of the bi-prop fuel and save up to 50% of the wet mass or launch mass. By investing in all-electric satellites, this allows us to bring down the cost of CAPEX by 40% hence, creating opportunities to get better economical launch scenarios” to continue to bring new innovations to our industry in not only bringing more affordable space segment capacity but also with innovative ground solutions. Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Es’hailSat: Es’hailSat will provide advanced satellite services to strategic stakeholders and commercial customers who value

Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Es’hailSat: 2012 has been our build-up year. We’ve staffed the company, moved to our own premises, launched our marketing and communications activities via the website and via our social media feeds on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, exhibited at our first trade shows in Qatar and internationally, started our pre-launch sales, and developed our plans for Es’hail 2.

broadcasting and communications independence, quality of service and wide geographical coverage.

What are your goals for 2013? Khaled Balkheyour, Arabsat: One major goal was the closing of Arabsat’s first acquisition, which was announced recently. Arabsat has acquired 99.05% of the Greek satellite operator, Hellas-sat. The transaction is undergoing final approvals from authorities as we speak. So this was a major goal on the corporate level. Arabsat is also working on several joint ventures and partnership agreements that are going to transform the whole broadcasting industry in the Middle East. We are also finalising the design of two new satellites. (More on the recently announced Arabsat-EMC partnership on page 10) Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Es’hailSat: 2013 is a critical year for us as we launch our first satellite Es’hail 1 in the summer. In addition to the activities building up to the launch, there’s tremendous amount of other activities under way – for example building our teleport facility and our Carrier Management Centre (CMC), and having the operations team running at 100% efficiency. Tom Choi, ABS: Since ABS’ inception in 2006, we have become one of the fastest growing satellite operators in the world averaging more than 30% year-on-year growth. We have four satellites in orbit serving customers from Asia to Africa from three premium locations at 3°W, 75°E and 116°E. The fifth satellite, ABS-2 is scheduled for launch in the late summer of this year. We have also procured two Boeing 702SP all-electric propulsion commercial satellites. These will be named ABS-3A and ABS-2A, and are planned to launch in 2015. Over the coming months, we are working to secure pre-commitments for the expansion slots for new satellites. We are also considering making further investments of additional satellites over the next few years to continue our global expansion. This will increase our global coverage and allow us to gain access into new markets.

Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, CEO, Es’hailSat

“2013 is a critical year for us as we launch our first satellite Es’hail 1 in the summer. In addition to the activities building up to the launch, there’s tremendous amount of other activities under way” What were the achievements in 2012? Khaled Balkheyour, Arabsat: 2012 was a rewarding year for Arabsat. A yearon-year growth of 13% was achieved in terms of operational revenues. Arabsat has finalised the design and signed the manufacturing contract of its new satellite Badr-7 to be placed at 26° East which is the Arabsat hotspot for TV and DTH allowing for huge new capacities to be introduced in the region to accommodate more HDTV channels. Arabsat has also signed a lifetime hosted multipurpose payload in Ka-band to serve the Middle East and Africa for services like VSAT, broadband and trunking. We have also been awarded the best satellite operator in the world by the independent study and survey conducted by the WTO in the year 2012 bypassing even the four largest satellite operators in the world.

Tom Choi, ABS: 2012 was truly a year of expansion for ABS. We took a strategic move to solidify our global expansion plan with the procurement of two Boeing 702SP “all electric” satellites and confirmed two associated shared launches on Space X Falcon 9 rockets. The multi-party agreement with Satmex and Boeing is one of the most innovative partnerships we have ever made. The “allelectric propulsion” satellite will allow us to save 50% of the bi-prop fuel and save up to 50% of the wet mass or launch mass. This dramatic reduction in weight saved and launch cost is the most exciting component of this transaction. By investing in all-electric satellites, this allows us to bring down the cost of CAPEX by 40% hence, creating opportunities to get better economical launch scenarios. These additional assets will increase our current fleet to serve the Atlantic, Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions. In November, Ex-Im Bank approved the authorisation of two transactions aggregating USD 461 million to finance our expansion. These funds underwrite the export of American-made satellites and American launches for ABS. These funds will finance the purchase of the ABS-2 satellite from Space Systems/Loral, and the purchase and launch of two Boeing satellites on Space X launches. We have also completed a major investment in upgrading our global operations including ground infrastructure and playout facilities across our teleports.

What surprised you in 2012? Khaled Balkheyour, Arabsat: The satellite industry continues to be predictable by nature and leaves no room for surprises. March 2013 | SatellitePro | 15


“In addition, we employ a full transponder. Interference is more likely if the carrier is smaller, so if you uplink to a full transponder of 72 MHz – even if there is interference – there is more resistance against this interference.” The limited reach of fibre With the price for raw satellite capacity that is at a reported 30% cheaper than regular C-band, the price factor would be a compelling draw for mobile service providers wanting satellite backhaul. Moreover, the state of fibre across the continent also lends credence to Haut’s optimistic outlook. “We are looking at selling around 600800 antennas in this market and due to the fact that customers are redistributing this capacity via 3G or 4G networks, there is huge market reach at the end of the day. We have large contracts coming with 50-80 megabits per link – so I expect the 432 MHz on the six transponders of Arabsat will not last long. We will then have to approach other satellites that carry extended C-band payloads. “The demand is driven by customers who require infrastructure links and are looking for large affordable capacity over a long period of time. While fibre has come to the coastlines of Africa, in the hinterland there is a problem of vandalism, among other issues. In a small village in Zimbabwe for instance, I came across baskets being sold along the streets that were made of the cable that was dug out from the ground. “At the same time, demand is burgeoning. With mobile devices becoming increasingly commonplace, local providers who deploy wireless LAN or WiMAX use our systems to cover a whole city or region. “With Ku and Ka-bands not suitable for backbone capacity links owing to their vulnerability in rain and regular C-band not being available, extended C-band is an attractive option. We will deliver at a price point of fibre that is below the magic figure of USD 1,000 Mbps. “Where fibre is not available and this is basically 98% of the continent, only satellite can do this job.” 20 | SatellitePro | March 2013

Commenting on the positive feedback from his clients and the various challenges of working in Africa, Haut adds, “The positive feedback has also to do with the fact that we connect to a teleport in Germany. As you know, there are very few places where you can have direct access to the heart of the internet backbone – two are on the East and West coasts of USA and the other is in Frankfurt. More than 80% of all internet traffic across Europe goes through Frankfurt. “Some of the African countries want to have the hub located in their respective countries and that does not make sense Mueid. Al-Zahrani, CTO, Arabsat

“In the orbital longitude 20 deg East, we offer coverage over Africa and we have already utilised all the standard C-band spectrum, so extended C-band will enable us expand and offer additional capacities”

“We will deliver at a price point of fibre that is below the magic figure of USD 1,000 Mbps. Where fibre is not available and this is basically 98% of the continent, only satellite can do the job” - Markus Haut, Level421

because there is no backbone connectivity. The best you have in these countries is typically a connection to the underwater cables but that is not the same as in Europe where the network is meshed. So if one link goes down, the overall infrastructure is not affected. However in Africa, a super tanker anchored off the coast can damage the undersea cable and the entire country goes offline. “The other issue is latency. I was in Maputo and they showed me their fibre connectivity that had a latency of 140 milliseconds for google to download. That is huge. In our teleport in Germany,

“Some customers install the equipment themselves, but for the majority of the clients that are telcos, the cost of flying in technicians is nothing compared to ensuring the success of the project” - Markus Haut, Level421

for instance, I experience a latency of 12 milliseconds before google downloads… the difference is huge.” A hands-on approach Haut is poised to collect some serious air-miles in the coming months, with Mauritania, Algeria and Congo on the immediate travel itinerary. “We recommend that we install the antennas ourselves. We do get local help and we train them. But in terms of interference analysis and other critical elements, we have instruments that are not available locally. Some customers

“We have deployed prototypes in the field for more than a year now. They were installed under special permission from Arabsat. It is very hard to reach a value of 30Gb isolation in extended C-band, but with some adjustments and replacing the feed on the antenna several times, we are now at a point where these antennas fulfill our requirements” install it themselves, but for the majority of the clients that are telcos, the cost of flying in technicians is nothing compared to ensuring the success of the project.” With more than 12 years of experience across the continent, Haut believes that it is unrealistic to think that a project will take less than three months to be completed. And describing himself as a typical German, he has incorporated the timeline into the overall structure of the project. “By experience, we have found that any estimate below three months is unrealistic. From shipment by air cargo or ship and electronics items going through customs or the operator getting his licence … the whole process takes around three months.” The market is destined to grow, with both the satellite operator and service provider speaking about expanding their area of operations within the extended C-band sector over Africa. Not one to understate an issue, Markus Haut, says, “Our competitors have not woken up. It will be a surprise to the market as we offer satellite capacity at the price of fibre. Arabsat confirms our calculations – it is the beginning of a new era.” PRO March 2013 | SatellitePro | 21

SatVertical: Broadband

BROADBAND IN A POST-GADDAFI WORLD I Supplying broadband to Libya at prices as low as USD 20 has involved some hard-earned experience at managing bandwidth coupled with cultivating working relations with partners on the ground. SatellitePro ME speaks to the UK and Abu Dhabi-based service providers on the Libyan initiative

22 | SatellitePro | March 2013

n Kufra, the largest district in Libya, highly unreliable internet facilities provided by internet agents cost consumers LD 120 dinars a month – approx. USD 95. So when Walid Elhwari sells Ka-band-based satellite broadband connectivity at prices starting at USD 20, his customers find the offer compelling. “The main selling points are the price and service they get independent of any public infrastructure,” says Walid Elhwari in conversation with SatellitePro ME. He is one of the largest VOIP resellers in Libya and a reseller for FreedomSat’s Ka-band service from UK-based satellite internet provider, Bentley Walker Ltd. Considering that war-torn Syria is reported to have faster download speeds and better connectivity than Libya, Anthony Walker, CEO of Bentley Walker should not have been surprised at the levels of interest the company’s Ka-band offering received from Libyan delegates at GITEX 2012 held in Dubai. Speaking to SatellitePro ME, he recalls: “We had an inkling of the demand in Libya when we started promoting Eutelsat’s Tooway that offered limited coverage over Tripoli. But it was a week before GITEX 2012 in October, when Avanti decided to move the steerable Ka-band beam on Hylas 2 towards Libya, that the possibility of covering nearly 80% of the 1.76 million-sq km North African country became a reality.” Buoyed by the interest during GITEX from Libyans wanting to be resellers for the service, Bentley Walker got the product up and running, complete with a web portal, at a breathtaking pace typical of a provider that has worked in challenging countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. “We are promoting three platforms – the

Hughes HN router for consumers and the Hughes HX router and the iDirect platform for the corporate sector,“ explains Walker. Ka-band: A game-changer Bringing Elhwari and Bentley Walker together is the latter’s biggest partner in the region, Abu Dhabi-based satellite internet service provider, Wafa Technical Systems Services. We visited the company’s office and warehouse in the industrial suburb of Mussafah. Commenting on the enthusiastic response from Libyans, Director Kamal Arjundas says, “We knew there was potential in Libya, but we did not anticipate that Libya is going to grow so fast. It was beyond our expectations. Our target was to sell around 1000 terminals a year. So far, since we launched in October 2012, we have already sold 1,600 terminals. “We based our entire research on Ku-

(L to R) Anthony Walker, CEO, Bentley Walker Ltd. with Kamal Arjundas, Director, Wafa Technical Systems Services

Shipping and logistics is a far cry from the time during the bloody revolt, when Elhwari was installing VSATs for free on hospitals in dire need of medicine, or in hotels for journalists reporting from war-torn Benghazi. Post the ouster of the old regime, Arjundas’ team has shipped six containers since October 2012 to the ports of Benghazi, Misrata and Tripoli

band and we did not expect the surge in demand given the lower price of entry for Ka-band. Moreover, what surprised us is not everyone is going for the USD 19 package. On an average, the spend in Libya is around USD 100. “Similarly in South Sudan, where we shipped 40 systems – 20 each for C-and Ka-band, people are overwhelmed with Ka-band and the price difference, though our C-band terminals are also heavily subsidised. Also, logistics matters when you compare dish sizes of 1.8 metres for C-band as against 98 or 74 cms for Ka-band.“ A reported 80% of the terminals shipped by Wafa are 98 cms owing to its consistent performance throughout Libya as against the 74-cm terminal that performs optimally only in the coastal areas. Ka-band has been a game-changer, says Walker. “Where it is introduced, the demand

starts to surge. Suddenly, you have satellite broadband that actually competes with the cable service. It is not the last choice now, and even where there is fibre, it is becoming a credible alternative because of the speeds, capacity and competitive cost of hardware.” The hardware costs drop as the price of the package rises, clarifies Walker. “We subsidise the hardware quite dramatically to get the service contracts. We take an entrepreneurial view and focus on the bandwidth contract charging the lowest possible price for hardware.” The unprecedented demand for Kaband in the vast North African country post the ousting of the Gaddafi regime has reportedly emerged from all quarters ranging from corporate entities to callshops and individual homes. Some of Libya’s largest banks are reportedly Elhwari’s clients. Cost is apparently key when you consider

“You have satellite broadband that actually competes with the cable service. It is not the last choice now, even where there is fibre it is a credible alternative because of the speeds, capacity and competitive cost of hardware” that the entry price for a Ku-band terminal is around USD 130. Logistics, then and now Shipping and logistics is a far cry from the time during the bloody revolt, when Elhwari was installing VSATs for free on hospitals in dire need of medicine, or in hotels for journalists reporting from wartorn Benghazi. Owing to a no-fly zone situation over Libya at the time, containers shipped to Alexandria, Egypt, would then take the long, tortuous road route to Libya. Post the ouster of the old regime, Arjundas’ team has shipped six containers since October 2012 to the ports of Benghazi, Misrata and Tripoli. “This is unlike the situation we face in South Sudan which is also a very good market. The air freight goes to Kenya and then it travels to Juba in smaller lots. We cannot ship a container there because March 2013 | SatellitePro | 23

SatVertical: Broadband

container costs are higher than air freight. We are told that the journey from Kenya to Juba can cost a whopping USD 10,000 per container,“ says Arjundas. Partners and customer support Walid Elhwari and his fellow-resellers are critical to any initiative on the ground say Walker and Arjundas given that the marketing for the Freedomsat services is driven entirely by rudimentary, but apparently effective word-of mouth across Libya. While the entry price for the service has ensured a larger pool of consumers, distributors such as Arjundas of Wafa are under pressure to maintain volumes to retain revenues. “Profitability has been impacted. Previously on Ku-band, we had to sell 100 units. Today to make the same profit on Kaband, we have to sell 500 units.” To streamline operations, subscribers are given customised accounts on a web portal created for the FreedomSat service that allow subscribers access to their usage and billing details. Installation, one of the thorny issues with mass roll-out is apparently not a challenge, states Arjundas. “With military personnel in certain countries, we would have to go through 30 emails on average for one single system. The reason we can pass on heavy discounts to our partners such as Elhwari in Libya is because they are sound at installation and pose few demands on our support system. Also with Ka-band, unlike Ku-band, we do not have interference issues and a receive signal of 90 or higher is easily achievable – some are getting 93.” Elaborating on the Ka-band customers in Libya and other places, Arjundas states: “Ka-band operators work on the basis of commitments to volume of data. If the customers exceed their quotas, they can buy tokens from us. We do not encourage that. “What we encourage is using the fap-free zone (fap-fair access policy) between 1am and 6am to schedule their data downloads, windows updates and the like. Data downloaded between these times is not included in their quotas. Over the past few months, we have seen subscribers getting smarter about bandwidth management 24 | SatellitePro | March 2013

Kamal Arjundas, Director, Wafa Technical Systems Services

“We based our entire research on Ku-band and we did not expect the surge in demand given the lower price of entry for Ka-band. On an average, the spend in Libya is around USD 100” and when 90% were buying tokens in the past, only 10% of them are currently opting for the extra bandwidth.” Moreover the bandwidth usage typically prioritises emails, browsing and VOIP ahead of an end-user’s need to run programmes such as BitTorrent. “From latency issues on a typical satellite terminal to everyday bandwidth management challenges, it is about educating customers about the capabilities and limitations of their respective broadband packages,” states Arjundas. On the future of satellite broadband in Libya Going by current sales figures, Arjundas is optimistic. “Ka-band was launched to compete with fibre. Initially, since WiMAX was already there, we believed sales of around 1,000 units would be a bonus. But the users found that Ka-band was offering more consistency and better throughput with services such as VOIP. We also offer dedicated bandwidth for corporate clients or telcos at prices as

low as USD 1,300 - 1400 per megabit. “The committed information rates that we support on our iDirect hub is a huge pull factor for corporate entities operating in the middle of nowhere.” Walker believes it is very difficult to predict as to what extent satellite broadband will grow in Libya – but going by evidence on the ground, he is optimistic as well and thinking ahead, he believes the company will run out of capacity. “Considering the lack of fibre other than in the coastal areas and the presence of isolated communities across the country, I believe Libya will be a healthy market for satellite broadband over the next five to 10 years. The long-term view is supported by the fact that Libya, unlike Afghanistan is not volatile. “Even if we assume that a modest 2% of the population of the five million people in Libya were to use satellite broadband, it works out to be a quarter of a million systems. We would then have to buy capacity from other providers – an issue we are already looking into.” A recent announcement on Libyan TV temporarily suspending the sale of WiMAX equipment gives Elhwari additional grounds for optimism. He says that his customers are happy with the internet speeds of 512Kbps x 128Kbps – the speeds for FreedomSat3 that is priced at USD 20. And they should be. It is ironic that since the revolution, overall connectivity has worsened, with a 5.7% decrease in internet speed compared to the last quarter of 2011. Despite one of the two telephone network suppliers in Libya – Al Madar – having recently signed an agreement to provide 3G telecommunications systems in Libya, there is a long way to go. Walid Elhwari believes that the market for satellite broadband in Libya will last a decade if not more. And to support his optimistic outlook is a report, by American web services provider Akamai, that revealed that 52% of the country has an internet speed of less than 256 kilobytes per second (kbps). What is more, only a reported 5.5% of the population in Libya have internet access, and this is one of the lowest rates in the Middle East and North Africa. PRO

SatVertical: Government

CREATING A NATION’S ATLAS The UAE’s first atlas, based on satellite images from DubaiSat1, was launched by the Emirates Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) in January 2013. Built by a team of Emirati cartographers, engineers and researchers, the 127-page atlas features 70 high quality images of 2.5m resolution each. Ammar Almuhairi, who headed the five-member team takes us through some of the challenges of sifting through 9,000 images encompassing an area of 83,600 square kilometers, over an eight-month period

26 | SatellitePro | March 2013

Vital Statistics

127 9,000 70

ON THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF SATELLITE IMAGERY “We were dealing with images that were taken in different conditions with factors such as the tilt angle of the satellite and orbit-related factors to take into account as well. From cloud cover to physical developments on the ground, we had to make sure that the images selected were the most recent. This was a painstaking process for the team.”

number of pages in the atlas

original number of images

final number of shortlisted images

83,600 sq kms

the total area covered by the atlas

ON MERGING IMAGES “To ensure that we have the best image covering a distance of 20 sq kms, we had to often merge more than one image. This was relatively simple in the city where physical features are more distinct. It was a tough task when it came to the open deserts.”

The team behind the atlas project: (l to r): Obaid Alshehhi, Ammar Almuhairi, Khalid Alsuwaidi

ON FUTURE PLANS “We are planning an atlas in English soon. Personally, it was exciting for me to study the UAE from space and we hope that in the long run, the atlas will be used in schools and universities. We are also hoping to feature a QR-code enabled online atlas that will allow users to access the most updated images of the UAE.”

March 2013 | SatellitePro | 27


Avanti Communications Group plc F2-20 Avanti Communications connects people wherever they are. Our satellite fleet reaches across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, bringing high speed communications services to SNG and content distribution businesses. 74 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY Email: Website:

Cobbett Hill Earth Station Ltd D2-41 Independent UK Teleport providing data, voice and broadcast services to the Corporate, Maritime, Government and Military markets. CH1, Normandy Business Park, Cobbett Hill Rd, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 2AA Email: Website:

Cobham TCS Ltd D2-44 Specialist broadcast technologies for difficult environments such as; live to air; motor and extreme sports coverage; portable field monitoring; and videoassist applications.

4 Portland Business Centre, Manor House Lane, Datchet, SL3 9EG Tel: +44 (0) 1753 549999 Email: Website:

Elite Antennas Ltd. D2-42 Elite Antennas manufacture high quality spun aluminium antennas up to 4.5m diameter for a variety of applications. We offer the choice of reflector components right up to complete antennas. Unit 4 Amtex Building, Southern Avenue, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0QF Tel: +44 (0) 1568 614457 Email: Website:

ETL Systems Ltd G2-23 ETL Systems designs and builds RF equipment for teleports, broadcasters and governments around the world. This includes matrix/routers, splitters, amplifiers and switches, focusing on exceptional RF performance. Come and see the renowned 64x64 L-band Vortex Router and our new range of Alto Amplifiers. Coldwell Radio Station, Madley, Hereford, HR2 9NE Tel: +44 (0) 1981 259 020 Email: Website:

Fusion 2, 1100 Parkway, Whiteley, Hants, PO15 7AB Tel: +44 (0) 1489 566750 Email: Website: iSat Limited B1-32 iSat is a satellite systems integrator with over 25 years operational experience in satellite ground stations. Our expertise include: Configuration, Project Management, Turnkey Delivery & Bespoke Designs. Comtech Xicom Technology E2-31 Xicom Technology is the technology leader in the Satellite Uplink amplifier market. Frequencies covered are: C,X,Ku DBS, Ka, Q & V-Bands. With power levels from 8W to 2.5Kw.

Unit 11 Armstrong Mall, Southwood Business Park, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 0NR Tel: +44 (0) 1252 750812 Email: Website:

Novella SatComs Ltd G2-22 Novella specialises in the design and manufacture of beacon tracking receivers, frequency agile converters, block converters, test loop translators, and RF bespoke solutions for commercial and military satellite earth stations. Kerry House, Kerry Garth, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 4TL Tel: +44 (0) 113 258 0880 Email: Website:

Paradigm Communication Systems Ltd E2-33 From the provision of satcom equipment to the design and installation of complete turnkey systems, Paradigm provide innovative solutions. Paradigm have experience designing and delivering customised satellite terminals and earth-stations. Technology House, Station Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2PZ Tel: +44 (0) 1420 88199 Email: Website:

Peak Communications Ltd. E2-34 Design and manufacture of RF equipment for Satcom Earth Stations, including Frequency Converters, TLT’s, AUPC’s, Beacon Receivers, Line Amplifiers, Splitters/ Combiners, Reference Generation/ distribution, modular Variable Attenuators, Redundancy units etc. 22 West Park Street, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, HD6 1DU Tel: +44 (0) 1484 714200 Email: Website:

UK Directory at CABSAT and Satellite MENA 2013



The Satellite  Communication  Experts

RPC Telecommunications Limited E2-30 RPC Telecom provides satellite and radio communications consulting, software and training to operators and governments Worldwide, specialising in the management, coordination and regulation of the radio spectrum for satellite networks.

Servicesat Ltd D2-43 Service, equipment, professional guidance for high-speed data, voice & video transmission over satellite, high standards solutions matching customers’ budgets and needs. Email: Website:

Telenor Satellite Broadcasting G2-20 TSBc provides broadcasting,VSAT land-based and maritime satellite solutions throughout the Nordic countries, Europe and the Middle East.

Lion House, Market Place, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 5DN Tel: +44 (0) 1473 487040 Website:

Sat-Comm Broadcast Ltd D1-22 Sat-Comm Broadcast is a systems integrator and manufacturer specialising in bespoke SNG/OB vehicle coachbuilds and lightweight flyaway terminals, with a worldwide reputation for quality, innovation and value.

S3 Satcom D2-40 S3 Satcom is a Satellite Systems Integration Company specializing in the supply and installation of Fixed Satellite Earth Stations. Products include a small motorized antenna mount. 9 Crittall Road, Witham, Essex, CM8 3DR Email: Website:

15 Chiswick Avenue, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7PU Tel: +44 (0) 1638 515 000 Email: Website:

Sematron F2-22 Global supplier of RF, Microwave & Digital Technology. We design, supply and implement solutions for Telecoms & Enterprise, Defence & Avionics, New Media & Broadcast and Mobile & Wireless Sectors. Sandpiper House, Aviary Court, Wade Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8GX Tel: +44 (0) 1256 812222 Email: Website:

2&3 The Matchyns, London Rd, Rivenhall End, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HA Tel: +44 (0) 1376 515636 Email: Website:

Stellar Amplifiers E2-35 e2v design and manufacture robust, reliable and highly-efficient, high-power satellite uplink amplifiers. The range includes StellarMini™ and StellarCool™ amplifiers which are used for commercial Satcom applications worldwide.

40 Bernard Street, London, WC1N 1LE Tel: +44 (0) 207 923 6500 Email: Website:

UR Group H2-21 UR Group provides technological & service solutions in Power, Communications and SCM. With extensive product knowledge and market-focused strategy it can provide design, development, application support and fulfilment throughout its global locations. 105 Faraday Park, Dorcan, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5JF Tel: +44 (0) 1793 756980 Email: Website:

106 Waterhouse Lane, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QY Tel: +44 (0) 1245 453356 Email: Website:

Teledyne Paradise Datacom D2-45 Teledyne Paradise Datacom produces a comprehensive range of satcom equipment including RF Power Amplifiers, Block Upconverters, Satellite Modems and Frequency Converters using the latest technology including high efficiency GaN devices.

Viewsat H2-20 ViewSat is an international provider of broadcast services for television and radio channels, spanning a global market, which includes Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America. There are few limitations to ViewSat’s services, with our own teleport and strategic partnerships around the world. Building CH5, Normandy Business Park, Cobbett Hill Road, Normandy, Surrey, GU3 2AA Tel: +44 (0) 1483 231949 Email: Website:

Satcomms: Broadcast/Telcos

REBUILDING MEDIA IN POST-WAR IRAQ Zaid Wattar, Managing Director of broadcast systems integrator, AV Solutions, gives SatellitePro ME an account of setting up an earth station in Baghdad as Iraq embarks on an ambitious endeavour to rebuild and expand its broadcast infrastructure

The office in Baghdad


ost-war Iraq continues to befuddle journalists and investors alike and the general sentiment is that the country is not at war, but the peace is uncertain at best. Zaid Wattar, Managing Director of Dubai-based broadcast systems integrator, AV Solutions, is optimistic and as an Iraqi national, he is not without a sense of pride in playing his part in nation building. Having built a reputation for being one of the leading suppliers of broadcast technology to Iraq over the past eight years, Wattar’s large office in Baghdad with a staff strength of 23 bears witness to the confidence he has in postwar Iraq. “More than 90% of my current work is in Iraq. We have a large office in Baghdad with a team that is specialised in the areas ranging from satellite uplink and DSNG operations to designing and integrating studios and earth stations for broadcast clients,” comments Wattar speaking to SatellitePro ME in his Dubai Media City office. 30 | SatellitePro | March 2013

The systems design and integration for the fixed earth station for the TV channel, Al Jamiya, launched by the Ministry of Higher Education, is the most recent project and slated to be commissioned by mid-April 2013. “There are many such projects in the pipeline owing to a government initiative to ensure that ministries dealing with areas such as health, education, interiors and so on, have television channels to allow them to communicate with the Iraqi people.”

Reportedly the 2013 budget with USD 118 billion bodes well for such projects in a country that has a population of around 30 million. Wattar’s association with the Ministry of Higher Education began when his company was consulted to draw up the RFP for the earth station. Conceding that the initial consultancy did offer AV Solutions an advantage when the tender was floated, for Wattar, the approximately USD 2 million project was a lot more than just another earth station. “For my generation that has seen war for the past 30 years, it is an opportunity to rebuild Iraq. Given that the channel in question is uniquely dedicated to the important cause of higher education made it all the more special to me personally.” Working with minimal margins, Wattar’s Baghdad-based project management team swung into action in December 2012 with site surveys and drawing up timelines for delivery, installation, commissioning and training. “The civil works were already in place and other than minimal changes in terms of partitions for various operations, we faced no issues in this regard,”recalls Wattar, before giving us an overview of the more than 25 brands that have been deployed. “We deployed Vislink’s popular Advent

“There are many such projects in the pipeline owing to a government initiative to ensure that ministries dealing with areas such as health, education, interiors and so on, have television channels to allow them to communicate with the Iraqi people.”

Zaid Wattar, Managing Director, AV Solutions

“Since the new channel would need to generate content immediately and they actively cover news in local colleges and universities, we chose to deliver the two DSNG vehicles and electronic field production (EFP) kits at the outset”

DVE5100 encoder/modulator. The system has Travelling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs) and full 1+1 redundancy. The DVE5100 series Digital Video Exciters are a combined HD / SD MPEG encoder, modulator and integral serial HPA controller, all contained within a single ½ width 1U-rack unit and allows the client to expand operations in the future with licence-based software. “This is a practical choice for use inside a fixed earth station. It is compact, so saves on space, but more importantly, it will support High Definition broadcast for the client in the future. The Integrated Receiver Decoders (IRD) are from Ericsson that was formerly Tandberg Television. “The high power amplifier was supplied by Xicom Technology with redundancy controls and the spectrum analyser was from Rohde & Schwarz. The power output supplied has two Xicom amplifiers of 400 watts each. If you use full power – you can transmit 25 to 30 megabit/s which can handle five channels on the same power amplifier. “Clients in Iraq prefer more powerful amplifiers because of the high temperatures in summer, when, to ensure there is not too much stress on the system, they tend to use only 50% of the power or less.” “The 2.4-metre Ku-band antenna is from US-based Andrew Solutions. We have a division within our company that is specialised in installation and satellite-based activities including DSNG operations. For this project contribution is via an Eutelsat satellite and distribution is via Nilesat.“ From the current single channel, the client, according to Wattar, will expand operations. In the next couple of years, the client plans to have four channels divided into scientific and cultural sectors to cover a wider spectrum of higher education. The timeline and execution At the outset of the project, Wattar’s team chose to deliver the two DSNG vans. “Since the new channel would need to generate content immediately and they actively cover news in local colleges and universities, we chose to deliver the March 2013 | SatellitePro | 31

Satcomms: Broadcast/Telcos

“For my generation that has seen war for the past 30 years, it is an opportunity to rebuild Iraq. The channel in question is uniquely dedicated to the important cause of higher education. This made it all the more special for me personally�


32 | SatellitePro | March 2013

“For the past two years, the Iraqi Media and Communications Commission (CMC) has introduced strict rules with regard to any uplinking system and that covers the antenna and power amplifier, among other products�

two DSNG vehicles and electronic field production (EFP) kits at the outset.� Wattar says that this particular project was relatively easier to execute because the clients were veterans in television broadcasting and were helpful and proactive during the process. As a rule of thumb, Wattar’s team ensures two factors are in order – the installation equipment and paperwork regarding regulations stipulated for incoming satellite equipment. “For the past two years, the Iraqi Media and Communications Commission (CMC) has introduced strict rules with regard to any uplinking system and that covers the antenna and power amplifier, among other products. Earlier, our products would be withheld at customs because the end-user had not been cleared by the authorities. Now, we work on these matters in advance and ensure that the client has the necessary paperwork ready. “In the case of installation equipment that includes cables, rack systems etc, these are standard items and to avoid any delays at the outset of a project, we stock these items both in our Dubai and Baghdad-based warehouses.� The training for staff with the current earth station project will be done in Bahgdad and in Dubai.

“Some of the staff will be trained in the Harris and Sony premises in Dubai. Our team will also be on hand for technical training. During the mandatory one-year maintenance period, problems rarely arise from faulty equipment. And if the client’s staff finds that equipment is not working, our one rule is: Do not try to fix it – call us. “We have a deadline of mid April, but we should be done by end of March. The transmission equipment is HD-ready, but the channel will be transmitted in SD for now. The reasons are straightforward – barely 15 to 20% of television viewers have HD decoders at home and the cost of satellite uplink subscription is higher, but the systems provided will allow the client to switch to HD quite seamlessly. “ With similar projects executed for private Iraqi media entities such as Al Rashid TV, Al Sharqiya TV and Al Baghdadia TV, among others, Wattar and his team at AV Solutions, is building a reputation as one of major suppliers of broadcast technology into the Iraqi market. Commenting on the potential as the country rebuilds, Wattar says, “The work that has been done is merely 10% of what the broadcast and media sector in Iraq can offer.� PRO



An inside   view  on  how   broadcasters  look   at  future  network   technologies



SatVertical: Energy


Besides managing mobile assets, the same satellite system can also be used to provide the communication links to sensors and other fixed assets that represent key functions within a mine, state the team from Skywave Mobile Communications


atellite and satellite-cellular communications have been an integral part of automating fleet management functions within the mining industry for years. Because mines foundries, and storage locations are often located in remote areas with limited access to suitable roads and cellular infrastructure, satellite is being used to track and coordinate trucks carrying valuable ore and refined metals. Satellite is also used for tracking and managing the performance of heavy equipment as well as combating the high rate of theft by ensuring cargo and truck security as well as driver safety. Besides managing mobile assets, the same satellite system can also be used to provide the communication link to sensors and other fixed assets that represent key functions within a mine. Satellite can be used to: - Monitor water ingress and control dewatering pumps to ensure continuous mine operation - Measure dust levels and manage dust suppression activities to minimise hazards to moving equipment, ensure health and safety 34 | SatellitePro | March 2013

of personnel and reduce dust suppression costs - Remotely monitor weather to forecast conditions of all-weather road and slope stability, and develop risk management strategies associated with site flooding, mine ventilation needs and much more. Water monitoring and pump control Water ingress is an issue that affects all types of mines. Satellite messaging terminals connected to sensors can be used to monitor water levels as well as to remotely turn on and off dewatering equipment that is located in areas where other wireless communications services are not yet available, are unreliable, or do not have the required reach. Besides controlling equipment, satellite can also be used to: - Automate the monitoring of health and operation of equipment. Unsupervised pumps can get overloaded and starved, which leads to excessive wear and damage. - Monitor whether equipment is working or not, and track performance indicators like engine performance, engine run hours, utilisation reports and engine data. - Receive early warning of developing problems

before a catastrophic failure occurs. The data allows maintenance managers to effectively schedule equipment maintenance and prevent equipment downtime and loss of revenue. Finally, since mining operations are constantly expanding and water ingress may be an issue in different parts of the mine, satellite messaging terminals can be used to quickly track the GPS location of mobile pumps and other equipment that cannot be permanently installed. Effective dewatering techniques provide many benefits including greater equipment uptime, greater energy savings, reduced operating and maintenance costs and increased emergency preparedness.

by integrating automatic and real-time notification of dust concentrations into fleet management systems. Dust concentration data can be used to direct dust suppression vehicles to focus their efforts on high dust areas. Not only does this type of remote management reduce vehicle usage and fuel costs, it can also reduce the consumption of water and other dust suppression materials that are used to keep airborne dust down. The latter is particularly important for regions where water shortages are a common concern. Satellite messaging terminals can also be used on dust suppression vehicles to accurately meter the flow of water or dust suppression material for accurate billing and record keeping.

Dust control management Open pit mines and mines in desert areas are plagued by very high levels of dust which threaten functionality/performance of moving parts of heavy equipment, leading to expensive repairs and downtime, Dust also contributes to reduced visibility on roads and increased risk to worker safety and local population. Satellite messaging terminals can be used to optimise dust control functions

Environmental and weather monitoring In open pit or remote mines, weather conditions can slow and even stop production. The ability to monitor weather conditions allows mine operators to forecast conditions of all-weather road and slope stability, and develop risk management strategies associated with site flooding, mine ventilation needs and much more. Since weather data is typically collected from remote or mountainous areas with little communication infrastructure, satellite messaging terminals are the ideal communication link for sending data from weather stations. Satellite messaging terminals allow the mining industry to eliminate the need to send people to weather stations by collecting and sending data from sensors like: - Temperature and humidity sensors - Rain gauges and snow height sensors - Solar radiation sensors - Atmospheric pressure sensors and anonemeters Compared to a manual collection of data from data loggers, using satellite messaging

“Satellite technology comes with the additional benefit of providing a low cost, quick and easyto-install communication link without the requirement of major capital investment since it does not require towers and other land-based infrastructure to be installed and maintained by mine operators� terminals for climate monitoring provides weather data more frequently several times an hour, instead of once every few days – all at a low cost. The alarm capabilities of satellite systems also ensure that information is sent instantly if a dangerous threshold is reached. Power requirements of satellite installations are very low, which minimises the number of solar panels required, thereby reducing the overall cost of the system. The satellite terminals are also highly portable, permitting stations to be moved as required. Satellite messaging is a wireless technology that is available to mine operators anywhere in the world, and is particularly useful where other wireless services are not available, are unreliable or do not have the reach required to effectively monitor equipment and for operations. Satellite technology also comes with the additional benefit of providing a low cost, quick and easy-toinstall communication link without the requirement of major capital investment since it does not require towers and other land-based infrastructure to be installed and maintained by mine operators. PRO Extracts from a white paper from Skywave Mobile Communications titled: Monitoring sensors and fixed assets with satellites March 2013 | SatellitePro | 35

SatComms: Aviation



Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, retrofitted six of its A330200 aircraft with Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s Global Communications Suite. Mohamad ElAssaad, Senior Manager IFE & Communications - Gulf Air, speaks to SatellitePro ME about the choice of technology and challenges faced during the process

36 | SatellitePro | March 2013

Your airline launched global live television including broadband and mobile phone services in 2011. What were the challenges faced during retrofitting? To date a total of six aircraft have been outfitted with the global live television / broadband and mobile phone capability. Retrofitting our aircraft was a challenge since this was the first of its type in the world. The Global Communications Suite (GCS) system provides for three services including highspeed broadband with unlimited internet at affordable rates, cost-effective GSM service linked to local service providers and live TV using Ku-band satellites. To achieve that, parts are fitted with complex architecture that includes: Ku-band antenna to provide the connection to the satellite. This type of antenna failed before due to the fact that

satellites are all aligned on the equator which made it difficult to connect to a particular satellite. In addition, equipment and technology included broadband controllers, pico cells (which act as in-flight mobile base stations), leaky feeders (improve signal propagation while reducing the amount of hardware required on the plane), Wireless Application Protocol (WAPs) and so on. Retrofit for the first type lasted three weeks and included advanced testing to make sure that every piece of equipment fitted did not affect the safety of our aircraft. The system is light compared to its predecessors with a total weight of just 168kgs, when previous Ku-band technology such as CBB (Connexion by Boeing was an in-flight online internet connectivity service) weighed almost 500kgs.















w w w. a bs ate V i s i t u s a t CA B S AT 2 0 13 , B o o t h : A 2-2 0 , H a l l 2

SatComms: Aviation

“The primary reason for selecting the technology partners is that they are using Ku-band. The alternative, L-band, is a less attractive option for our passengers due to the system being more expensive and slower” Mohamad ElAssaad, Senior Manager IFE & Communications - Gulf Air

How long does it take for equipping, testing and commissioning equipment on an aircraft and were there issues faced with coordination among the various technology partners? The retrofit took three weeks as it involved a lengthy process of certification particularly since the system is new and proving that it is airworthy required vast cooperation from the Military Operations Area (MOA), Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) and Airbus. Further, the aircraft retrofit was reduced to 12 days. Having said that, it is a new production and was (and remains) very popular in the market. To find a slot for parts and MRO has been a challenge not only for Gulf Air, but for all other carriers fitting this system. In terms of performance, what are the broadband speeds you are offering and are passengers being offered various packages? The broadband speed is impressive; passengers are enjoying a minimum of 1MBS and unlimited download. Two packages are on offer, BHD10 (USD 26.52 approx.) for a 24-hr package, the code can be used as roaming in almost all airports and hotels, and BHD05 (USD 13.26 approx.) for 1-hr package that offers unlimited download. Many in the industry have questioned if genuine live TV is possible in-flight. What has the performance been like aboard Gulf Air? 38 | SatellitePro | March 2013

Yes, it is true live TV onboard our aircraft. In fact, it is the first Live TV in the world that functions over waters, using satellite technology. All other airlines that offer live TV in the market use ground routers or foot prints. In summer 2012, Gulf Air broadcast live coverage of the 2012 London Olympics games onboard our long haul flights and we launched Sport 24, the 24-hour live sports channel produced by IMG Media, broadcaster of the Formula One (F1) races, including the 2012 F1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix race hosted in Sakhir onboard our flights too. Gulf Air passengers are enjoying live international games such as Euro Cup, World Cup, Premiere League, etc. Performance has been strong and the technology on our aircraft has truly helped fundamentally change our passengers’ communication and entertainment experience onboard. Based on our PAXUS system analysis, almost 87% of our passengers are watching live sports – a considerable figure – and have chosen our live TV offering over any Audio or Video On Demand selections. Did you face legal / regulatory issues before these systems were commissioned? Yes, undoubtedly. In fact, during the certification process, Gulf Air had to certify our aircraft under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for aircraft without GSM, since FAA certifications are not allowed to approve any GSM service. We later had to convert the FAA certification to EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and commission the certification of the GSM for approval. This process alone took almost eight months. Why did you choose to go with the Panasonic Avionics / Deutsche Telekom / Aeromobile system? Our primary reason for selecting the technology partners is that they use Ku-band. The alternative, L-band, is a less attractive option for our passengers due to the system being more expensive and slower. We believe that Ku-band is the optimum choice until Kaband is ready for service. PRO

“Each year, predictions are made about the end of satellite as fibre reaches new countries. Go back to any one of those countries and you will find more satellite, not less ‌ When you have a level playing field and open availability of all connectivity tools, the math will decide what tool will be relevantâ€?

“[Satellite] bandwidth is relatively small and expensive� What are the three top pressing concerns, in your view, for telcos in the MEA region? *CFMJFWFUIFNPTU important concern for telcos in the .&"SFHJPOJT BT Ross Cormack, CEO, Nawras anywhere else, the DVTUPNFSFYQFSJFODF*UJTQBSBNPVOUUPIBWF a detailed and precise understanding of what customers want and where, how they want services presented and what they are prepared UPQBZGPSUIFN Secondly, many operators are lamenting the JNQBDUPG055QMBZFSTBMUIPVHIBU/BXSBTXF EPTFFUIJTBTBHSFBUPQQPSUVOJUZ5IJSEMZ B MBDLPGTQFDUSVNIBTCFFOBDPNNPODPODFSO with the ever increasing need for bandwidth to QSPWJEFGPSCVSHFPOJOHEBUBDPOTVNQUJPO What, in your view, are the major steps being taken by your company to address these issues? %VSJOHUIFTFDPOEIBMGPG /BXSBTFOHBHFE in numerous focus groups and very detailed NBSLFUSFTFBSDIUPGVMMZVOEFSTUBOEUIFDPNQMFY BOEDIBOHJOHOFFETPGPVSDVTUPNFST"TBSFTVMU  a series of customer promises has been drawn VQUPFOTVSFUIBUXFBSFUBLJOHBMMUIFmOEJOHT


VTJOHJUUPEBZBOEXJMMVTFJUJOUIFGVUVSF4FFJOH the growing demand for data services and broadband, together with reducing prices for our customers, we have to consider the limitations of TBUFMMJUFDPOOFDUJPOTUIFCBOEXJEUIJTSFMBUJWFMZ TNBMMBOEFYQFOTJWF What are your three top pressing concerns? 8JUIJOUIF($$ countries, we have highly saturated NBSLFUTXJUIIJHI mobile penetration FYDFFEJOH Rashid Abdulla, CEO, Batelco $PVQMFEXJUIUIBU  XFBSFFYQFSJFODJOHSBQJEMZEFDMJOJOH"316T due to competition and migration of sector WBMVFGSPNNJOVUFTPGVTBHFUPCZUFTPGUSBGmD "OEMBTUMZ UFMDPTBSFGBDJOHUIFDIBMMFOHFPG NBLJOHIFBWZDBQJUBMJOWFTUNFOUTUPXBSET OFUXPSLBOE*5NPEFSOJTBUJPOUPDBUFSUPUIF IVHFEFNBOEJOCSPBECBOE What are the major steps being taken by your company to address these issues? 8FBSFBUUFNQUJOHUPSBUJPOBMJTFBOEGPDVTPVS JOWFTUNFOUTJOCSPBECBOE.PSFPWFS XFBSF investing and partnering with OTT players to FOTVSFCFUUFSCSPBECBOEVTBHF

March 2013 | SatellitePro | 41

SatComms: Telcos

not less. In the 1990s, in South America, there was no fibre and satellite was doing point-to-point connectivity. When fibre came into South America, they started ripping the satellite terminals off the roofs. Go back to South America today and it is one of the strongest regions for satellite-based connectivity. When you have a level playing field and open availability of all connectivity tools, the math will decide what tool will be relevant – satellite and fibre and wireless are comfortable in the same tool kit. The Middle East is not unique. In fact if anything is different – its drier climate makes the region even more suitable for the use of satellite connectivity. Consumers were not part of the conversation even six years ago, but today for the first time, high frequency, very small aperture terminals at extremely low cost are being rolled out throughout the Middle East, America, Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa, among other regions, for consumers. Satellite has never been more relevant for telcos than it is today. In the USA right now, the use of satellite broadband of any kind has increased exponentially. In the developed world, over the past 15 years, if you look at the total number of VSATs installed in one year in 1997 – it was about 80,000 units installed globally in an entire year. But now just in the US, in one month, one company installs more than 30,000 units. With Yahsat’s YahClick service, Eutelsat’s Tooway and solutions from Avanti, among others, more than a dozen new satellite offerings are in the pipeline. The level of competition and availability of service will increase in the short and medium terms. Strategic liberalisation is the need of the hour. As a popular saying goes: Monopolies are terrible, unless they are yours. If you are monopoly and you are not challenged and constantly pushing the envelope, you are not going to be 42 | SatellitePro | March 2013

“By far, there is more revenue generated for satellite-based services across the USA, than in any other country in the world, despite the availability of wireless and fibre�

The growing potential of M2M

Guru Padmanabhan, Director, Business Solutions, Enterprise Marketing, du

“The decline in costs of M2M hardware, the increasing importance of connectivity, and the advent of the cloud paradigm for applications and services will help push M2M onto the business agenda in certain vertical sectors UIJTDPNJOHZFBS8JUICJMMJPODPOOFDUBCMF NBDIJOFT UIFNBSLFUIBTUSFNFOEPVT potential demonstrating high returns and WFSZMPXDIVSO5IFUSBOTQPSUBUJPOBOE energy sector is beginning to understand UIBUXJSFMFTTMPDBUJPOTFSWJDFTBOEFYJTUJOH communication technologies can help them CFUUFSDPPSEJOBUFUIFJSnFFUTBOENBYJNJTF BTTFUVUJMJTBUJPO8FBSFBMSFBEZXPSLJOHXJUI satellite service providers towards servicing sectors, especially the energy sector, that is CFZPOEUIFSFBDIPGUFSSFTUSJBMJOGSBTUSVDUVSFw

providing faster, better and cheaper services that are enjoyed by customers in deregulated markets. Here is another variable, if you are a monopoly service provider and if the customers are frustrated by lack of innovation in your portfolio, that fact will accelerate the pace of liberalisation in your market. There has been innovation in the Arab region. I expect it to be at an increasing rate because they have to. All the ground rules have been turned upside down and IT-based services are at the heart of that. I have been watching this happening over 15 years. It started with VOIP. While authorities tried to make it illegal, it was driven into the black market and that undermined the revenue of the telco. Fortunately now, telcos are addressing the new world realities. They have started with regulatory reform. Strategic liberalisation is being undertaken in large parts of the Middle East. Iraq, for instance, has adopted an enlightened licencing approach. There is intent and demand that is driving this intent will only increase and that is the thing about broadband and access generally. Once you introduce broadband , it drives demand for more connectivity. There is never enough and this factor will drive the pace of reform. PRO

SatVertical: Government



It is an intriguing concoction of a common culture, competitive costs and a stellar heritage in avionics that the newly formed space systems department of the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has to offer. SatellitePro ME met with the team, that is mandated, among others, to execute Turkey’s ambitious space programme


n Ankara, in December 2012,Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan watched the launch of Gokturk-2 live from giant screens along with hundreds of compatriots. “It is a historic moment for our nation,” he reportedly said following the launch. “In the past we did send satellites to space but Gokturk-2 has proven that we are now a country with a claim in this field. We are rising to position ourselves as one of the 25 countries which are capable of producing their own satellites.” The road map for the ambitious space programme emerged after the Turkish government set up an Aerospace and Space Technologies Directorate under the supervision of the Transport Ministry in November 2011. This office is slated to become the country’s first National Space Agency. Playing their part in this ambitious programme are Ibrahim Keskiner, Executive Vice President, Space Systems and Enver Kaya, Business Development Chief, Space Systems of Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI). Ranking among the top global players in aerospace and defence, TAI is based on five strategic pillars: Space,

44 | SatellitePro | March 2013

aircraft, helicopter, UAVs, aerostructure and special programmes. Speaking to Satellitepro ME on the sidelines of IDEX in Abu Dhabi, they outlined the long term goals of their division. The long term goal is to become a major player in the space industry, says Keskiner. “We are a newcomer in the space industry and we have a long way to go. Whether as the main contractor or as a sub-contractor, we aim to be a trustworthy, competitive partner. In addition, given the vagaries of the global economic situation, we are looking to expand in a sustainable fashion.” The path ahead is not easy, conceded Kaya citing the established players in the business with decades of heritage. Creating a space heritage, therefore is topmost on the minds of Keskiner and Kaya, and installing experimental equipment on future satellites is part of the mission to create that heritage. “We are developing satellite management systems, electrical power systems and onboard data handling systems. These systems will be installed in future satellites to create that

Spread over five million sqm in Ankara, the sprawling headquarters of TAI handles space systems avionics, data handling, thermal control and space sub-systems, among other operations. The complex also houses a Satellite Simulation Integration and Functional Test Laboratory and Satellite Assembly Integration and Test Facilities (AIT). The centre is reportedly capable of supporting AIT activities of two-plus satellites including GEO satellites up to five tons

essential heritage to demonstrate our capabilities to our customers.” However, with a heritage in avionics that goes back to 1980s, not many would bet against the team at TAI. As service providers to the formidable Turkish Air Force, they have been catering to a very exacting client, affirms Keskiner. “The Turkish Air Force is one of the most prestigious military forces in the world. As our customers, their requirements are demanding and we are proud to provide systems to them, because the Air Force is the best reference for us. “ Heading a 170-strong team made up of systems and software engineers, among others, it is Keskiner and Kaya’s mandate to approach potential customers and technology partners. The roadshow has already begun with a considerable presence of the company at IDEX. On upcoming plans, Keskiner elaborates: “Next month, we will be exhibiting in Satellite 2013 in Washington and we will be exploring avenues for cooperation at the National Space Symposium in Colorado. In May, this year, we have IDEF, the international defence fair in Istanbul and we

Göktürk-2 is an earth observation satellite designed and developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tubitak) and built by Tubitak Space Technologies Research Institute and Turkish Aerospace Industries for the Turkish Ministry of National Defence. It was reportedly indigenously designed from the electro optics remote sensing technology to the ground segment

will be exhibiting there. In addition, we plan to visit various potential countries looking for possible partners and customers.”

Ibrahim Keskiner, Executive Vice President, Space Systems

“The Turkish Air Force is one of the most prestigious militaries in the world. As our customers, their requirements are demanding and we are proud to provide systems to them, because the Air Force is the best reference for us”

Cost, culture and flexibility Keskiner believes that there are a number of factors working in their favour – one of the critical factors being that TAI is the prime contractor for satellite services for the country’s defence forces and the upcoming Turksat satellites. “Why should customers trust us? You ask. We are not newcomers. We have been working for more than three decades in the field of avionics. What we bring is our expertise from the aircraft and helicopter domains to the space domain. The transition will not take too much time because we have trained workforce at the outset. “ Enver Kaya adds, “Moreover, our operating costs are competitive as compared to some of the more established players. And while cost is important, we believe that a common culture is also important in order to understand the way to do business. In particular, we share religious, cultural and historical bonds

with countries across Africa and the Middle East over the past few centuries. CIS countries with a common heritage are also our targets markets. We approach each other as brothers and there is a great degree of comfort working with people with whom you share such bonds.” Common cultural bonds and cost apart, Enver Kaya drew attention to another key aspect of TAI’s strategy vis-à-vis customers and technology partners – flexibility. “We offer a range of services. From design and manufacture of certain components to testing – the key is to listen to the customer. While some are looking for training of manpower along with design and manufacture of certain components, other customers would probably look to use our extensive testing facilities.” With the entry of players such as TAI, the moot question is whether affordable space development can be made possible. With more players entering the space sector, “commodity hardware”, that is, low-cost universal mass produced components could become a reality, thus making cost of space travel less astronomical. There are a multitude of space actors in Turkey. Current organisations include the State Planning Organisation, the Ministry of Transportation, the communications satellite operator Türksat, the state scientific research institute Tübitak and the defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM). Defence companies Aselsan, Roketsan and Turkish Aerospace Industries, as well as three universities, are also involved in space programmes. “We are also cooperating with the universities on solar panels as per a government mandate ,” reiterates Kaya. With reputed universities, trained manpower has not been a challenge. Keskiner explains, “Space is an exciting field and it attracts talent but in the long term, the big challenge is to keep people motivated, especially during challenging projects.” In the meantime, the space programme is taking on expanded responsibilities as March 2013 | SatellitePro | 45

SatVertical: Government


the government faces an unprecedented humanitarian crises along the border with Syria in terms of monitoring the 600-kmlong border for illegal intrusions. “Along with meeting other countries, we are also making our government departments aware of the capabilities of our indigenous space systems. From agriculture and forestry to disaster management and city planning, the response has been encouraging. The 46 | SatellitePro | March 2013

TAI at IDEX in Abu Dhabi

Enver Kaya, Business Development Chief, Space Systems of Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc.

“Our operating costs are competitive as compared to some of the more established players. And while cost is important, we believe that a common culture is also important ... We share religious, cultural and historical bonds with countries across Africa and the Middle East�

government departments have been purchasing space services from outside – we are trying to make them aware of indigenous capability at their disposal. “Once a critical level of demand is generated, investments in space development will also increase on the part of the government,â€? elaborates Keskiner. With nimble, private space entities already demonstrating expertise in the areas of reusability and cost-effective components, Keskiner keeps his goals realistic. “What we have seen in the space domain is that no one company can be the sole supplier. There are a host of companies providing components and we aim to be a reliable subcontractor for the prime contractors. It is not impossible to achieve – in the field of aviation, we are already preferred suppliers to both Boeing and Airbus.â€? Keskiner’s aim to move from TAI’s demonstrated expertise in the area of remote sensing satellites to communications satellites reflects the country’s current collaborative initiatives with Mitsubishi. The TĂźrksat 5-A, which will be Turkey’s first own communications satellite, is planned for launch by 2016. And the ultimate ambition is to send an astronaut to space by 2023. PRO

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THESE 4 ACTIVITIES ARE DELIVERED THROUGH 6 PRODUCT LINES: i. Earth station antennae (3.5 meter to 9.4 meter) from ASC Signal ii. VSAT antennae (75 cm to 2.4 meter) form Skyware Global iii. Mobile satcom (on the move and on the pause) from Cobham iv. Outdoor electronics: TWTs, BUCs, LNBs, Feeds, etc from Xicom/ Comtech, NJR, Anacom, Codan/CPI, SMW, etc v. Indoor electronics: broadcast encoders, decoders, multiplexers, video servers, power supplies, combiners, splitters, routers, satellite modems, redundancy controllers etc from Thomson, Paradise/Teledyne, iDirect hubs/modems and others. vi. Installation, maintenance, support, logistics and training (GVF) and turnkey solutions involving system integration of all activities and product lines to provide customers with a complete end-to-end product. The objective is simple: meets customer needs with the latest technologies at the best price/quality mix delivered through experience. MENA NETS FZE Building Jafza 15, Unit 15-419, Jebel Ali Free Zone, POB 261670, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Office: +971-4-887 6606, Fax: +971-4-8876605 Email:


DE-RISKING THE SPACE BUSINESS As the space race intensifies among more countries and within commercial operators, our experts outline the limitations inherent in current insurance models and regulatory frameworks

48 | SatellitePro | March 2013


he launch and in-orbit insurance follows a traditional model for managing risk. Michael D. Nolan Partner, Litigation and Arbitration in the Washington DC-based law firm, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP, believes current satellite insurance schemes have limitations. “Coverage is typically limited to launch and a specified in-orbit period. The compensable loss is limited and satellite insurance models protect against loss of satellite communications capacity, not the loss of business, opportunity or rights under contracts.” In the past decade, the industry has witnessed disputes and uncertainty, increasing the sensitivity to risk in the market. These disputes include the revoking of authorisation for LightSquared. Similarly in the case of Devas Entertainment, the Indian government revoked the lease of satellite space. One also witnessed the freezing of licences of satellite television broadcasters by Egypt and the Sea Launch bankruptcy. Adding to the uncertainty was the objections raised about the UNIDROIT’s draft Space Assets Protocol. The protocol was criticised by satellite operators, manufacturers and financiers for creating additional uncertainty and adding a layer of bureaucracy.

“One undeniable positive is the rarity of collisions involving space objects, the absence of financial default on the part of the commercial operator and the availability of adequate and affordable liability insurance. In many cases, there is a scheme of state-sponsored legal liability” - Nick Hughes, Holman Fenwick Willan

Protection against political risk Commenting on the approaches to risk mitigation and management in non-space sectors, Nolan observes, “There needs to be increased vigilance as to business risks, including protection against loss of financial capability and insolvency. There has to be provisions for investorMarch 2013 | SatellitePro | 49


state treaty protection and political risk insurance and guarantees.” In addition, risks of non-performance by contracting parties need to be mitigated, says Nolan. He adds, “Among the steps to be taken in the regard, I would include a reliance on letters of credit, financial assurances from contracting parties and other credit enhancements, such as surety bonds. The Sea Launch bankruptcy and other troubled space enterprises underscore need for vigilance and there needs to be a provision for security or pledge agreements in the contracts.” Nolan concedes that the space business is highly subject to governmental and political risks. “Factors include government restriction on satellite use/ import and export controls, national regulatory requirements and finally, governments as market participants. For instance, nearly 80% of the U.S. government’s satellite communications capacity comes from the commercial sector. And lastly, as countries develop, managing satellite communications capacity becomes important,” adds Nolan. Nolan puts forward the concept of bilateral investment treaties as legal protection against political risk. “Bilateral investment treaties protect investors against unfair treatment by host states. This is increasingly important when structuring power plants, mines, roadways and other infrastructure projects. With respect to space, protected “investments” could include: licenses issued by a host state, government contracts and rights under contracts with third parties.” Nolan affirms that subrogation must be made available for insurers of political risk. At the same time, he observes that political risk insurance has ot been widely used in the space industry. “Traditionally, protections have been narrow but there has been an increased push for innovative products to manage risk, especially “binary” coverage with regard to non-performance of financial obligations or non-performance of arbitral awards.” 50 | SatellitePro | March 2013

SPACE ENVIRONMENT AND LIABILITIES The positive elements and the critical need for management

Michael D.Nolan Partner, Litigation and Arbitration in the Washington DC-based law firm, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP

“Coverage is typically limited to launch and a specified in-orbit period. The compensable loss is limited and satellite insurance models protect against loss of satellite communications capacity, not the loss of business, opportunity or rights under contracts”

Nick Hughes, Partner at the international law firm, Holman Fenwick Willan, outlines what, in his view, are the positive factors in the current space risk environment. “The reliability of launch vehicles and of satellite performance are important factors. And while the capital values in space assets are large, it is nothing compared to the values of terrestrial assets. Thirdly, the widespread distribution of satellites around the GEO ring is a positive factor. In addition, there is data sharing amongst major commercial operators of GEO satellites. “One undeniable positive is the rarity of collisions involving space objects, the absence of financial default on the part of the commercial operator and the availability of adequate and affordable liability insurance. In many cases, there is a scheme of state sponsored legal liability.” Some of the positives need management, affirms Hughes. “The recent experience of satellites subject to a loss of control is among those facts that need to be looked into. The increasing dependencies on space-derived data and the commercialisation of space are critical factors. The potential for large exposures for failed business plans, loss of property and other liability and the use of space for military purposes are developments that need to be managed.” “In addition, there is an incomplete sharing of data and we are witnessing the growth of many types of space debris and the existence of geo-potential wells of debris concentration. There is a growing potential for relative physical congestion in the GEO ring, in addition to risks faced in the LEO sector. “And lastly, critical factors that need to be managed include the short term nature of insurance versus the long term nature of the liability exposure.”

Third Party Liability Outer Space Treaty 1967 Article VI “States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national BDUJWJUJFTJOPVUFSTQBDFUIFBDUJWJUJFTPG OPOHPWFSONFOUBMFOUJUJFTTIBMMSFRVJSF authorisation and continuing supervision CZUIFBQQSPQSJBUF4UBUF1BSUZ Article VII i&BDI4UBUF1BSUZUIBUMBVODIFTPS procures the launching of an object into PVUFSTQBDFBOEFBDI4UBUF1BSUZGSPN whose territory or facility an object is launched, is internationally liable for EBNBHFUPBOPUIFS4UBUF1BSUZPSUP its natural or juridical persons by such object or its component parts on the &BSUI JOBJSTQBDFPSJOPVUFSTQBDFw Article IX “States Parties shall pursue studies of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct FYQMPSBUJPOPGUIFNTPBTUPBWPJEUIFJS harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of FYUSBUFSSFTUSJBMNBUUFSw

Liability Convention 1972 Article II i"MBVODIJOH4UBUFTIBMMCFBCTPMVUFMZ liable to pay compensation for damage caused by its space objects on the TVSGBDFPGUIFFBSUIPSUPBJSDSBGUJOnJHIUw Article III iEBNBHFFMTFXIFSFUPBTQBDF PCKFDUMBVODIJOH4UBUFTIBMMCFMJBCMF POMZJGUIFEBNBHFJTEVFUPJUTGBVMUw Article V i8IFOFWFSUXPPSNPSF4UBUFTKPJOUMZ launch a space object, they shall be jointly and severally liable for any EBNBHFDBVTFE

Nick Hughes, Partner at the international law firm, Holman Fenwick Willan

“The potential for large exposures for failed business plans, loss of property and other liability and the use of space for military purposes are developments that need to be managed ‌ critical factors that need to be managed include the short term nature of insurance versus the long term nature of the liability exposureâ€?

Limitations of international instruments Hughes elaborates on third party liability arising out of any of the factors that include launch failure, collision, debris and interference, among others. Are the international instruments fit for all purposes, he asks. “Some of the benefits include the provision for public interest protection for damage on the surface of the Earth or to aircraft in flight. They do provide for state liability in case of operator default or non existence at time of occurrence. And lastly, they do provide longtail liability, without time limitation (save following an occurrence). “ However, are these international instruments fit for all purposes? Hughes concedes that there are some uncertainties with these instruments. “They have not routinely been engaged and used (although separately constituted, inter governmental commissions have been formed in cases of launch failures). But critical questions remain regarding the definition of fault and whether the instruments are engaged in all cases of damage. Also, are they appropriate for occurrences in space involving private parties – will private parties want claims managed by states or prefer self control ? “There are other uncertainties around these international instruments that limit their ‘fitness’ for all purposes. They do not expressly provide the sole and exclusive cause of action. And questions remain regarding the legal regime and jurisdiction applicable to third party claims, the effect on the licensing arrangements and whether a form of claims management / dispute resolution can be devised in which commercial parties have confidence.� The question of an occurrence of note and how parties will react in the future, remains unanswered. In the event of any major incident, Hughes asks if there will be a new assessment of the long-tail nature of liability exposure and whether the countries will maintain / change the licensing criteria? “What recourse in an appropriate case would there be to liability outside of the international instruments?� asks Hughes. Hughes does not rule out the possibility of amending the liability convention in the future or even new rules for dispute solutions with the provision of optional rules for arbitration of disputes relating to outer space activities. PRO March 2013 | SatellitePro | 51

SatEvents Customer experience tops the agenda at Broadband MEA 2013 Broadband MEA 2013 will throw a spotlight on improving the customer experience, exploring the business models, analysing strategies and innovative services required to maintain customer happiness and loyalty. The region’s senior executives from companies such as Etisalat, STC, Zain, Mobily, Google, Batelco and others will gather to discuss the successes, challenges and future opportunities with providing broadband services in their respective markets. The conference, which takes place from 19 – 20 March, has a speaker line-up, that includes Khalid ElKouly, CMO at Etisalat, UAE; Jon French, Vice President Middle East and Africa, HTC; Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, CTO, Qatar National Broadband Network, Qatar; and Souhail Haddaji, VP - Marketing Commercial, du. In its fifth year, the conference and exhibition will take place at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE. Bringing together key decision makers, Broadband MEA will provide a platform for networking with peers, developing business opportunities and discussions about how to move the industry forward in the region. Broadband MEA’s programme also features The Executive Summit, an invitation only event which allows C-level decision makers to network and participate in discussions about the issues facing the industry today. 2013’s agenda also includes the first Interactive Broadband Expert Bar, which invites visitors to sit down with the region’s leading analysts and business experts to gain a greater understanding of the latest trends and technologies, future predictions and analysis of different markets. Gavin Whitechurch, Executive Director at Informa Telecoms & Media, says: “Broadband MEA is evolving every year which echoes the forward-moving 52 | SatellitePro | March 2013

industry throughout the region. With the return of the Executive Summit, the fantastic quality of the speakers and its co-location with Cloud World Forum MENA, 2013 looks to be the best Broadband MEA yet.” For the first time the event will also be co-located with the Cloud World Forum MENA event, giving attendees access to a wider and more diverse network of companies showcasing their products and services.

At a glance: Dates: 19 - 20 March, 2013 Venue: JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, UAE Registration:

from more than 50 regional national space programmes and research centres and feature two parallel conferences, numerous technical seminars, product showcase area and a number of networking events throughout the event.

At a glance: Dates: 7 – 8 May, 2013 Venue: Ritz Carlton Grand Canal, Abu Dhabi Registration:

SatComm Evolution Track @ CommunicAsia2013 Summit The SatComm Evolution track, a part of CommunicAsia2013 Summit, will bring together Asian and global satellite operators as well as suppliers of satellite technology to discuss vital business issues that are driving the industry today, and transforming the business for tomorrow.

Global Space and Satellite Forum (GSSF) Global Space and Satellite Forum (GSSF) is a Middle East-based space and satellite event, reportedly attracting over 1,000 global experts from across 30 countries to Abu Dhabi for two days of knowledge sharing and networking. The Forum provides an opportunity for international experts to meet with regional leaders and tap into the multi-billion dollar satcom, space tourism, milsatcom and earth observation programmes under way across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions. Now in its 4th successful year, GSSF 2013 is co-located with MilSatCom Middle East. The event will host top ranking officials

Tapping into growing Asia The Asian satellite communications industry has maintained a strong growth trajectory, driven by an equally strong showing by the telecommunications industry. As new technologies continue to be deployed and more players come into play, where are the new revenue streams? Where are the trends and significant growth areas? What strategies should you use to emerge from an increasingly crowded marketplace? Key areas that will be addressed include issues such as: šJ^[<kjkh[e\j^[IWj[bb_j[8ki_d[ii šD[mJ[Y^debe]_[iÅ:[j[hc_d_d]j^[ Right Business Model to Monetise Them šC[[j_d]j^[:[cWdZie\L[hj_YWbCWha[ji

At a glance: Dates: 18 – 21 June, 2013 Venue: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Registration:

assess your Satcom requirements, whether you’re building a new facility, expanding a current one, relocating to an existing building, or just revamping the existing facility. We’ll discuss with you DOORI\RXURSWLRQVDQGKHOS\RXÀQDOLVH\RXUrequirements. We’ll guide you as you upgrade your network to achieve faster, more secure and cost-­effective results. FGC will

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The cost of interference: GVF Quality Products Initiative This year, as CABSAT demonstrates the importance of product quality as a key factor when selecting satellite communications earth station equipment, we outline the cost incurred owing to satellite interference

Centrepiece at CABSAT 2013 8JUINJMMJPOTPGmYFEBOENPCJMFTBUDPN UFSNJOBMTOPXQMBOOFEGPSQSPEVDUJPO (7'T .VUVBM3FDPHOJUJPO"SSBOHFNFOU .3"  represents the global satellite industry â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including satellite operators, earth station NBOVGBDUVSFSTBOEJOUFHSBUPSToBTUIFZDP ordinate industry testing and type approvals that help characterise the quality of satcom FRVJQNFOU*OGPSNBUJPOBCPVUUZQFBQQSPWBMT  and those products that have already been UFTUFE XJMMCFBDFOUSFQJFDFPGUIF$"#4"5 QSPHSBNNF

54 | SatellitePro | March 2013

The cost for satellite operators: Â&#x161;C_bb_edie\ZebbWhif[hiWj[bb_j[ef[hWjehf[h year are being lost in the form of opportunity costs associated with use of valuable satellite capacity not to deliver customer services but to serve as an interference buffer; a case was reported to GVF where nearly half of an operatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capacity was rendered unsellable for this reason. Â&#x161;;nf[di[iWh[X[_d]h[Wb_i[Z\ehWZZ_j_edWb personnel, systems, and other resources required to identify and address interfering sources: it was recounted recently by a single satellite operator that they were losing more than USD 10 million per year due to interference. Â&#x161;BWh][h[\kdZi^Wl[X[]kdjeX[fW_Zje customers for failure to meet service level agreements due to interference; an example was provided to GVF of one satellite operator that was required to provide a USD 1 million refund to one of their customers. The cost for satellite operatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; customers: Â&#x161;J^[[nf[di[e\h[fbWY_d]ehj[cfehWh_boZ[# commissioning poor performing equipment is significant; GVF received a report on a large VSAT network in Southeast Asia where all 5-Watt transceivers were replaced with higher-powered equipment that had to be purchased, installed, and deployed in order to cut through persistent interference on the satellite platform.

Â&#x161;<khj^[h[nf[di[iWh[WiieY_Wj[Zm_j^ human and other resources required to warehouse, maintain, and/or repair poorperforming product inventory; in the case of systems used on offshore oil platforms, for example, to simply send a helicopter to maintain faulty earth stations on a rig costs thousands of dollars, let alone the labour, equipment, and potential penalties associated with failure to meet terms of service-level-agreements. Â&#x161;Effehjkd_joYeijYh[Wj[ZXobeiie\ customers attributable to dissatisfaction with degraded service. Cost for satellite operatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; customers: Â&#x161;J^[iWj[bb_j[_dZkijhoĂ&#x160;iWbWhc_ii^Wh[ZXocW`eh satellite communications customers; in response to rising costs associated with the escalating interference problem, major broadcasters recently formed the Radio Frequency Interference - End User Initiative (RFI-EUI). Â&#x161;7i\khj^[h[l_Z[dY[e\j^[XheWZYWij[hiĂ&#x160; concern, it was reported that, during RFI-EUI meeting, ESPN had revealed that they have implemented a C-band High Definition Qualification Process, which requires successful checks on the condition of each truck, the uplink chain, and transmit tests. If broadcasters are beginning to require certification of equipment, it is expected that their bandwidth providers do likewise. PRO


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ViewSat plans expansion of streaming capability in the MENA region ViewSat, a provider of broadcast and transmission services for television and radio channels, will be showcasing its capabilities and expansion plans in the MENA region. In 2006, the company expanded its offering of broadcast services beyond Africa’s sub-Sahara region to the Middle Eastern, Asian, European and North American markets. ViewSat’s playout services reportedly increased from six to 43 channels and a nine-metre KU transmit antenna was commissioned for services to the Middle East. This latest round of investment takes, the company claims, ViewSat’s expenditure on equipment in the six years since the company launched to more than £2.5 million (approx. USD 3.95 million). In 2012, ViewSat reportedly achieved the following milestones:

- the upgrade of the Harmonic encoding system for the Eutelsat 7 West A Platform - installation of a 750Kva generator and UPS for power back up - expansion of the Miranda SDI matrix from 128 to 512 - a quadrupling of rack-room capacity. ViewSat reportedly plans further expansion into the MENA region by September 2013, specifically in relation to its streaming capability. “CABSAT 2013 is a wonderful opportunity to build relationships – not only with our customers but prospective customers as well. We look forward with great anticipation to demonstrating our services as a global broadcast provider,” commented Awaes Jaswal, CEO of ViewSat. Hall 2, Stand H2-20

FlexLink K3 Switch-Matrix from RF-Design RF-Design from Bensheim/Germany designs and manufactures RF distribution solutions for operation in teleports, satellite earthstations, cable-TV/IPTV headends. The product portfolio includes splitters/ combiners, switch/routing-matrices, redundancy-switches, line-amplifiers, RF-over-fibre solutions and broadband remote spectrum-analysers in addition to capabilities, the company claims, to design and manufacture tailor-made RFdistribution equipment. At CABSAT 2013, RF-Design will showcase the new switch/routing-matrix “FlexLink K3”. The FlexLink K3 features a modular type switch-matrix system designed as a master/slave concept. This system is reportedly available with various input/ output configurations from 64:64 or lower, expandable in increments of 8 to 256:256 and higher. The “FlexLink K3” reportedly allows the routing of any input to any or all outputs. It offers, the company claims, flexibility and space and cost-efficient routing solutions, assuring low power56 | SatellitePro | March 2013

consumption, low head generation and superior RF-performance. The modular design reportedly allows the mixing of the input and output impedances with 50Ohm, 75Ohm and Fiber-optic 1310 - 1560nm connectors. All combinations of inputs and outputs are configurable and the “FlexLink K3” can be configured manually (8” touch-screen) and remotely (WEB-GUI, SNMP). This Switch-Matrix system is reportedly suited for signal management/assignments in teleports, satellite earth stations, broadcasting and cable TV/IPTV architectures. Hall 4, Stand B4-40

Demand for small terminals to surge Dubai-based systems integrator and distributor of satellite equipment, MenaNets, will Mazen Nassar, CEO, showcase the MenaNets ThinKom flat panel antenna at CABSAT 2013. Mazen Nassar, CEO, stated: “The ThinKom flat panel antenna offers a smaller, lighter and less costly mobile terminal that can replace the traditional fly away and manpack antenna. “ He added: “More Ka-band additions to the geostationary belt are planned from Es’ShailSat, TurkSat and others. This expands onto the existing Ka platforms provided on YahSat, Avanti’s Hylas I,II and EutelSat’s KaSat. “I believe that these offerings coupled with a growing demand for mobile communications and smaller, more powerful terminals will be the future growth trend.” Hall 1, Stand 104

Sat-Comm’s Ka-band flyaway terminal

Asia Broadcast Satellite to showcase launch of ABS-2 at CABSAT 2013 At CABSAT 2013, Asia Broadcast Satellite will be highlighting the upcoming launch of ABS-2, scheduled to launch in 2H 2013. It will carry up to 89 active C-, Ku-, and Ka-band transponders across 10 different beams reportedly tailored to support the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, E Europe and CIS regions from its 75°E orbital location. ABS-2 is reportedly designed for a wide range of services including Direct-To-Home, cable TV distribution, VSAT services, data networks, and telecommunications services. Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) reportedly offers a range of tailored solutions including broadcasting, cellular backhaul, VSAT and internet backbone services with diverse IP transit through its Asian, African, European and the Middle East internet gateways. ABS operates four satellites (ABS-1, ABS-1A, ABS-3 and ABS7) with its fifth satellite ABS-2, scheduled to launch in 2013. ABS-1, ABS-1A, ABS-3 and ABS-7 satellites offer, the company claims, significant high power C- and Kuband capacity directly over the Middle East and Africa regions. Serving these regions, the ABS’ teleports in Bahrain, Nairobi

and Tel Aviv are reportedly equipped to support data services (VSAT, SCPC, VNO, and HNO), uplink and downlink, monitoring and co-location services. Hall 2, Stand A2-20

Sat-Comm Broadcast will be showcasing Satellite Newsgathering (SNG) technology at CABSAT 2013, with a Ka-Band SNG flyaway. The 75-Ka is, according to the official release, a stand-alone, video transmission system, with a built-in WiFi hotspot, integrated modem and hot-swappable battery packs for continuous operation. With a quick release transceiver system, the company claims, and the ability to power and accommodate several types of modem, the 75-Ka can be configured in the field for use on any commercial Kaband satellites worldwide. 75-Ka terminals are reportedly in daily use with global news agencies. Sat-Comm Broadcast is a CABSAT veteran, having attended every show since 2005, and reportedly brings more than 12 years of experience as satellite and broadcast systems integrators. Based in Suffolk, UK they have been supplying their SNG systems and OB vehicles into the MENA since their inception. Sat-Comm Broadcast will also be showcasing their C- and Ku-band product ranges, including SNG conversion systems, motorised vehicle and flyaway antennas systems, as well as their portfolio of SNG and OB vehicles. Hall 1, Stand D1-22 March 2013 | SatellitePro | 57


Hiltron launches antenna mount and satellite communication controller Hiltron has chosen CABSAT 2013 for the introduction of two additions to its product range: the HMAM-IOT satellite antenna mount and the HCS4 satellite communication controller. The HMCS D-SNG satellite-link monitor and control system will make its Middle East market debut. Hiltron will be represented by Sales Director Reinhold Wagner. Based on Hiltron’s HMAM motorised antenna mount, the HMAM-IOT reportedly incorporates inclined-orbit tracking. To conserve guidance propellant, older satellites are allowed to drift further from their nominal target position than during their main service life. Operators therefore offer greatly reduced transponder capacity pricing. The HMAM-IOT’s tracking capabilities enable, the company claims, the antenna to follow these variations in position. It is the reported solution for cost-efficient uplinks on inclinedorbit satellites. Hiltron HCS4 satellite communications control system The Hiltron Control System version 4 (HCS4) is a controller with a wide range of applications in satellite communication. It reportedly allows easy switchover between main and backup devices such as downconverters, high-power amplifiers, waveguide switching systems, MPEG digital video broadcast encoders/modulators and integrated receiver/decoders. The HCS4 can also be used, the company claims, to power, control and monitor optical-fibre transceivers.

First Middle East showing: HMCS D-SNG satellite-link monitor and control system Hiltron’s HMCS is a software-based compact monitor and control system which reportedly enables the digital satellite newsgathering truck staff to operate a complete satellite link and achieve fast lineup. Integral auto-pointing capabilities allow a satellite feed between two ground locations to be established quickly and easily, the company claims. Using a modern graphical user interface with colour-coded alarm message handling, the HMCS reportedly provides an intuitive and efficient line-up procedure for professional D-SNG systems. This includes full control of contribution encoders. The HMCS can reportedly be integrated seamlessly with Hiltron’s D-SNG antenna control unit (HSACU). Hall 6, Stand F6-22

Antennas from Ibrasat at CABSAT Intellicast FZE and Ibrasat, a provider of custom-made satellite solutions for broadcasters and military, will launch flyaway and DSNG antennas ranging from 1.2m to 2.4m. Ibrasat has reportedly developed a technology to produce carbon fibre satellite antenna reflectors under, the company 58 | SatellitePro | March 2013

claims, high precision standards and competitive prices. The fly-away antenna models, from 1.2 to 2.4 metres, can reportedly be equipped with auto pointing system or controlled via manual operations. Hall 4, Stand 403

CETel to highlight maritime VSAT services

At CABSAT 2013, the Germany-based teleport and satellite service provider, CETel GmbH, will be showcasing the company’s maritime VSAT services on C- and Ku-bands. Speaking to SatellitePro ME, Meike Langer, Director Marketing & Sales, stated: “Our partners who are service providers in the region, are able to serve private vessels, fishing fleets, cruise ships as well as oil and gas companies. The end-to-end communications solution for maritime VSAT provided via the state-of-the-art CETel Teleport in Germany is supplemented with backup from mobile satellite services based on Inmarsat, Iridium or Thuraya platforms.” Highlighting the new deals with Arab broadcasters and satellite service providers, Langer revealed: “We will be showcasing our IPTV project with the ministry of an African country. We are also service providers to Skystream. We offer the Dubai-based company hub hosting and teleport service operations on two different Ku- and C-band satellites for maritime VSAT services as well as the oil and gas sector. At CABSAT, we will draw attention to the turnkey satellite communication network that we have established for on- and offshore rigs. We will also highlight the contract we have on Arabsat 5a for a full 36 MHz transponder.” Commenting on the 2013 plans for the Middle East broadcast and satellite sectors, Langer stated: “We are aiming to strengthen our expertise and expand further in the oil and gas sector across the Middle East.” Hall 1, Stand B1-10

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Cobham to showcase mesh solutions at CABSAT 2013 Cobham will demonstrate the latest generation of its mesh networking at CABSAT 2013. IP mesh wireless communications create a self-healing Wifi network which can be expanded to cover any area. The latest modules from Cobham, the company claims, are light and efficient, weighing just 350g and consuming 10W. Added to a camera, it reportedly gives video and audio access to the network. Using the open internet or Ka-band satellites, the network can then connect, according to the release, to the newsroom from wherever the story is happening, carrying video, telephony and computer connections. MediaMesh packages the system which can be carried to the location in a standard baggage allowance. Cobham will also be showing its Solo range of wireless camera systems. These reportedly provide stable transmission of high quality HD pictures, using lowlatency H.264 compression and Cobham’s UMVL modulation. The result is that, the company claims, with a latency as low as just 15ms, wireless cameras can be

seamlessly integrated with wired cameras across a large production, making them ideal for closeup shots in music festivals as well as sports coverage. “Television today is all about capturing great pictures and delivering them, fast and reliably,” said Stuart Brown, broadcast systems director of Cobham. “Our products are designed to be set up quickly, to deliver the level of performance professionals require, and to perform reliably throughout the job. We use the latest communications technologies to achieve the quality and performance standards expected while using the minimum power and with the maximum flexibility.” Hall 2 Stand D2-44

TTI to display Ka-band portfolio At CABSAT 2013, TTI will display the Ka-band portfolio, including linearised BUCs and SSPAs from 5W up to 120W, and LNBs. Also French-based TTI will launch the new GaN technology products like BUC X band 80W and BUC Ku-band 40W. TTI is going to showcase the Tx/Rx Ku-band flat (height< 20cm) Satcom-on-the-Move (SOTM) antenna system, that supports 2-way land mobile broadband communications (i.e. video streaming, VoIP, data…) for typical applications such as: Homeland security, emergency and first responders, news media and broadcasting. 60 | SatellitePro | March 2013

New CDM-760 from Comtech EF Data

The new CDM-760 builds on Comtech EF Data’s family of trunking modems. It provides, the company claims, ultra wide band symbol rates, near theoretical performance with minimal implementation loss, the DVB-S2 Efficiency Boost technology, Super Jumbo Frame Ethernet support and other valueadded features. The CDM-760 trunking modem reportedly supports symbol rates of 1 ksps to 150 Msps and data rates up to 314 Mbps simplex and 628 Mbps duplex. Demonstrating an industry breakthrough, the company claims, these data rates can be achieved when using 8PSK, 16APSK or 32APSK modulation. When coupled with the native Super Jumbo Frame Ethernet interface, the CDM-760 can reportedly process Ethernet frames at greater than 1.2 million packets per second. DVB-S2 EN 302 307 is widely accepted as the most spectrally efficient standards-based wave forms. The new CDM-760 features, the company claims, an enhancement to DVB-S2 with its proprietary DVB-S2 Efficiency Boost (DVB-S2-EB1) waveforms. The CDM-760 reportedly doubles the number of available MODCODs, introduces three new rolloff figures (5%, 10% and 15%), and minimises implementation loss to near theoretical operation. The result. according to an official product release, is a 10-35% increase in spectral efficiency compared to the DVB-S2 standard, without increasing power or occupied bandwidth. The CDM-760 is reportedly software upgradeable to support future standards including DVB-S2 Efficiency Boost, DVB-Sx and DVB-S3. Hall 1 Stand C1-31

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Yellowsat, offers a viable answer to inclined-orbit satellite capacity

Yellowsat is a Paris-based company specialising in providing dedicated broadband satellite links. They have reportedly developed a technology that allows users to access a scarcely tapped satellite resource, the inclinedorbit satellite capacities. 20,000 Mbps are currently available on inclined orbit satellites at a cut price but existing tracking systems are expensive and not reliable owing to: šikXijWdj_Wbh_iae\jhWYa_d]beiikdZ[hZ_\ÓYkbj conditions (atmospheric degradation etc...); šh_iae\h[#ijWhj\W_bkh[W\j[hcW_dfem[h restoration. Yellowsat reportedly tackles the problems with an offer including: šWdYecf[j_j_l[fh_Y_d]f[hC81 šj[b[fehjii[b[Yj[ZjeXh_d]"m^Wjj^[ company claims, flexible and reliable

interconnectivity for clients; šWfWj[dj[ZEFCjhWYa_d]ioij[ch[fehj[Zbo allowing: - automatic tracking under all conditions; - automatic restoration following power outage (no operator intervention required); - available for 1.2m and 2.4m antennas (Ku Band), and 2.4m and 3.8m (C-band); - a remote command of the station to point to any satellite available. Yellowsat’ solution (hardware, ground stations, bandwidth, monitoring) has been reportedly tested and approved by the European Spatial Agency and France Telecom. Yellowsat will be providing an update on their activity at CABSAT, confirming that their system is operational and ready-for-sale, delivering the equivalent of a fixed orbit service experience. “Communication is a universal human need, but inequality in infrastructures still remains” says Pierre Grenier, CEO of Yellowsat. “From now on, with Yellowsat and their partners, the satellite can beam over any area affected by the digital divide in an economically viable way, whether sparsely populated or not.” says Pierre Grenier. Hall 2 Stand 207

Salam Media Cast comes to CABSAT under new brand name Formerly known as Salam Media Cast, the Ghanim bin Saad & Sons Group Holdings-owned company will exhibit under its new Paul Hennessey, CEO, name - Media Group Media Group International International - for the first time at CABSAT 2013, the largest Broadcast Digital Media and Satellite Expo in the Middle East, held in March in Dubai. Paul Hennessey, Media Group 62 | SatellitePro | March 2013

International CEO, said: “Our name change to Media Group International reflects the company’s ambition to stay relevant for our customers internationally, offering exciting IT, telecommunications and broadcast access more widely throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa. ” The company will be making a number of announcements during the show, which will include key partnerships that recognise its shift into an IT-centric environment. Hall 5 Stand B5-20

DVB-S2 multistream functionality from Work Microwave

At CABSAT 2013, Work Microwave will demonstrate a series of technologies geared toward its Middle Eastern, African, and Southern Asian customer base. In addition to showcasing the company’s DVB-S2 Modem SK-DV, DVB-S2 IP-Modem SK-IP, and Fifth Generation Frequency Converter Series, Work Microwave will unveil a new DVB-S2 multistream feature for its demodulator product line. At CABSAT 2013, Work Microwave will introduce DVB-S2 multistream functionality to its complete line of demodulator solutions, including the company’s SDD-TS and SDD-DV products. Utilising this new technology, users reportedly can seamlessly demodulate multiple transport streams (up to six) and IP data from a single carrier, thereby optimising efficiencies while reducing the amount of equipment required for uplink and downlink operations. Reportedly ideal for operators relying on a hybrid infrastructure that requires TS and IP interfaces, WORK Microwave’s DVB-S2 Modem SK-DV utilises DaVid technology to simultaneously transport data (network connection) and live broadcast (video content) over a single satellite carrier, aggregating multiple MPEG transport streams and IP data into a unified DVB-S2 multistream. Work Microwave will demonstrate its DVB-S2 IP-Modem SK-IP, which harnesses XipLink traffic shaping and Work Microwave OptiACM functionalities to optimise throughput and increase network bandwidth for service providers, corporate networks, and telcos. Hall 2 Stand C2-30



A phototour of Thuraya’s testing area for MSS solutions in various verticals. Narration by Kyle Hurst, Director Market Development - Maritime


Media Comms “This section is broken into two components. The first part is the field component where our equipment establishes connectivity with the studio. Secondly you have the studio equipment where we work in partnership with other solutions providers, testing and demonstrating their equipment on our network establishing end-to-end connectivity for broadcasters and other potential customers in this vertical.”

MILITARY COMMS Military comms “A myriad of military-specific solutions that demonstrate reliability, security and ease-of-use with field equipment in ruggedised instances. With the modern military seeking data with voice comms, we are demonstrating that powerful solutions can be deployed in rugged, outdoor environments ensuring operational effectiveness and security.”

MARITIME Maritime “This is a demanding remote environment and what makes it unique compared to land, is that you do not have a lot of alternative options for direct communications. With solutions that allow for tracking, alerting, SMS, affordable voice and data packages from Thuraya, more players in the maritime sector are approaching MSS solutions as a necessity rather than a luxury, which is a good trend. Moreover, the network is designed to be transparent to applications but also provide services that for instance, allow users to readily check the amount they are spending on connectivity.”

64 | SatellitePro | March 2013

connecting people across horizons

Satellite Pro Middle East  

Satellite Pro Middle East, a monthly publication from CPI, is the only regional print and online magazine addressing the satellite industry...