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Publication licensed by International Media Production Zone, Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority

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The 2016 SatellitePro ME Awards acknowledge the ardent efforts of the very best players in the industry

Meet Newtec Dialog the platforM that eMbraces chaNge Newtec Dialog allows you to adapt your infrastructure easily as your business changes.

ThaT’s flexibiliTy Newtec Dialog offers you a platform to build your business to the size you need it.

ThaT’s scalabiliTy Newtec Dialog enables the most optimal modulation and bandwidth allocation.

ThaT’s efficiency



MObiliTy MeeTs efficiency!


fiRsT DVb-s2x hiGh ThROUGhPUT VsaT MODeM

SatEditorial Publishing Director Raz Islam +971 4 375 5471

Awarding Excellence

Editorial Director Vijaya Cherian +971 55 105 3787 Editor Clayton Aldo Vallabhan +971 4 375 5479 Sub Editor Aelred Doyle ADVERTISING Group Sales Manager Sandip Virk +971 4 375 5483 +971 50 929 1845 Sales Executive Natasa Glisovic +971 56 394 7706 MARKETING Marketing Manager Lisa Justice +971 4 375 5498 DESIGN Art Director Simon Cobon Designer Lucy McMurray DISTRIbuTIoN Distribution Manager Sunil Kumar +971 4 3755470 PRoDuCTIoN Production Manager Vipin V Vijay +971 4 375 5713 DIGITAL SERVICES Mohammad Awais Sadiq Siddiqui Shahan Naseem Published by

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Welcome to the December edition of SatellitePro ME. Last month we had an awesome summit and awards, with more than 350 people in attendance. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement, and the winners were jubilant. Intelsat won the coveted Satellite Operator of the Year award for the launch of its EpicNG satellites Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e, the first on its new platform. These high throughput satellites have provided Intelsat’s customers with higher performance and unprecedented efficiency gains, with reports of up to 165% increase in spectral efficiency for ground platforms and modem technologies, and up to 330% improvement in throughput when using next-generation antenna technology. The award was unanimously decided by our esteemed panel of judges. Next was the Satellite Service Provider of the year, which went to du for its true end-to-end content delivery without limits. This has helped achieve new ways to accelerate growth in the broadcast and media market. Read more about the rest of the Broadcast Awards, and see if you got clicked at the event. Winter is slowly creeping into Dubai, and the weather is just beautiful. For those of us who live in the Middle East, it’s a welcome relief from the hot summer months. It’s also the time that most of us head out for a winter break. If you’re going on holiday to visit family, or simply to enjoy different scenery, I wish you a restful and rejuvenating break. Have a wonderful December. Season’s greetings to you and your loved ones. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback and comments on this issue of the magazine. Please send me an email or call the number in the panel on the left. Clayton Vallabhan Editor

In this edition: “Arianespace will work closely with Airbus for the launcher for Ariane, and this will further reduce cost” Stephane Israel, Chairman and CEO, Arianespace Page 24

“Broadcast constitutes about 55% of our business and we are trying to provide triple play services and solutions” Khalid Balkheyour, President and CEO, Arabsat Page 24

“The number of channels has grown by 37%, from 109 in 2013 to 149 channels today, and this is actually growing much faster than the general market” Claudia Vaccarone, Head of Market Research, Eutelsat Page 30

“It’s a little bit tricky with regards to what kind of communications versus the cost considerations, especially now with the current situations with the oil prices” Mireille Abdo, Sales and Business Development Manager, SpeedCast Page 40 December 2016 | SatellitePro | 1

SatContents Issue 57 | December 2016

10 SatNews





The Perfect Hotspot?



Sheikh Mohammed gives the go-ahead for Hope Probe; Yahsat announces strategic partnership with Talia; Speedcast to acquire Harris CapRock.


Shining Stars

Claudia Vaccarone, Head of Market Research at Eutelsat, shares her insight on the 7/8 degree West hotspot, and what it means for the future of broadcasting in the MENA.


The satellite segment of the annual BroadcastPro ME Awards acknowledged the efforts of the very best players in the business. Read on to see this year’s winners.


Rising Government Needs

The expectations and challenges governments face are fuelling a boom in satellite communications and opening new avenues for customised service.





Year in Review

Maritime and Offshore

2016 was a revolutionary year for the satellite industry. There were new launches and extensive partnerships. We look at some of the top stories throughout the year.


Mireille Abdo of SpeedCast speaks about how the solutions provider is connecting offshore oil rigs and maritime vessels across the MENA.


24 Cost Control

At the recent World Space Risk Forum, a lot of pertinent issues were discussed. Perhaps the most important were the challenges the industry is facing, and the need to reduce costs.

December 2016 | SatellitePro | 3


Sheikh Mohammed gives the go-ahead for Hope Probe Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the designs of the Hope Probe, as part of the Emirates Mars Mission. The project will send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021, marking the UAE’s 50th National Day. Sheikh Mohammed gave the go-ahead to start manufacturing the probe’s prototypes. The project will place the UAE in the league of nine countries that aim to explore Mars. His Highness said: “The UAE’s ambition is to explore outer space. We are investing in our national cadres to lead this project and contribute in expanding our knowledge about Mars. Hope Probe is a qualitative leap for UAE’s scientific efforts, the first contribution for the Arab world in this regard.” Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks came while visiting MBRSC to open the second phase of the satellite manufacturing and assembling complex.

HRH Sheikh Mohammed in the clean room at MBRSC.

Yahsat announces strategic partnership with talia Yahsat announced the start of a strategic partnership with Talia. Under the agreement, Talia is committed to capacity on Yahsat’s upcoming Ka-band Al Yah 3 satellite located at 20°W, to be launched in 2017, alongside existing services on the Y1B satellite. This arrangement will provide Talia’s customers in the Middle East and Africa with a tightly integrated offering and a tailor-made solution to fit the

changing demands of their customers. Talia has also signed its first customer on Yahsat’s Y1B satellite. The NGO customer will use the high bandwidth service with Newtec MDM6000 satellite IP modems and integrate the additional capacity into its hybrid network. This includes coverage across multiple satellites and terrestrial fibre – all provided by Talia.

speedcast to acquire harris caprock SpeedCast announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Harris CapRock in a cash transaction valued at $425 million. The acquisition strengthens SpeedCast’s already strong position in the maritime industry, in which Harris CapRock has a leading position in the fast-growing and bandwidth-hungry cruise sector, and creates a global leader in energy, positioning the company for future growth. The combined entity will service over 6,200 vessels, hundreds of rigs and platforms, and enterprise and government customers around the world with a wide portfolio of communications and IT services and a global support network. This expanded global footprint and infrastructure, with over 240 field engineers around the world, will enable SpeedCast to provide services and support to customers in over 100 countries.

4 | SatellitePro | December 2016

7/8° West – the N° 1 video neighbourhood for MENA

LEADING DTH BROADCASTING IN THE MENA REGION The Eutelsat-Nilesat 7/8° West position is the first choice for multi-channel viewing with an audience of over 52 million satellite homes. 1,000 TV channels, over 190 of which are international and over 85 are in High Definition, broadcast from this neighbourhood.


Eutelsat and Yahsat sign capacity deal Eutelsat and Yahsat have signed a multi-year capacity agreement giving Broadband for Africa, Eutelsat’s African broadband venture, access to high-performance commercial Kaband capacity for broadband services across Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the terms of the agreement, Broadband for Africa will use capacity on up to 16 Ka-band spotbeams on the Yahsat 1B satellite in order to roll out broadband services during the first half of 2017. Further expansion will be supported later in the year using capacity on 18 spotbeams on Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 satellite, scheduled for

launch in early 2017. Both Yahsat 1B and Al Yah 3 are equipped with high-power spotbeams with Sub-Saharan African coverage, ideal for community and directto-user internet access, using affordable off-the-shelf customer premises equipment. For Eutelsat, this capacity will replace the payload previously contracted on the Amos6 satellite, which was lost in September following a launchpad explosion. The African broadband service will be launched during the first four months of 2017.

Broadband for Africa will use capacity on up to 16 Ka-band spotbeams on the Yahsat 1B satellite.

euronews launches hd channel on eutelsat hotBird Euronews’ world-first launch in HD on 1 November from Eutelsat’s HOTBIRD video neighbourhood follows the announcement by Eutelsat and Globecast at IBC 2016 to drive HD growth at Eutelsat’s most popular broadcast location. Euronews covers world news and broadcasts in SD, 24 hours a day, seven days a week in 13 languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian. Globecast has an ongoing relationship with the channel, distributing the SD variant. The new HD 6 | SatellitePro | December 2016

version of Euronews in English is encoded in MPEG-4 DVB S2 on a new HOTBIRD platform designed to host premium international news and information channels. Didier Mainard, Executive Vice President Sales, Marketing and Communication at Globecast, said: “Globecast and Eutelsat have teamed up in order to enrich the HOTBIRD orbital position, which is the number one in the world in terms of free-to-air channels with a wide DTH footprint including Europe, Middle East and North Africa.”

gulfsat and palsat renew tV Broadcast cooperation

Gulfsat has announced the renewal of the cooperation agreement for a two-year term with Palsat, a subsidiary of the Palestinian TV & Radio Broadcasting Corporation in charge of the Palestinian TV cable channels. This step comes within the framework of renewing trust and partnership between the two sides, which began two years ago. It also reaffirms the essential role played by Gulfsat as the third largest satellite operator and the leading specialised provider of broadcasting and re-broadcasting services in the region. The agreement was signed by Public Authority for Radio and Television General Supervisor and Palsat Acting Board Chairman Ahmed Assaf, and Gulfsat Chairman and CEO Mohammed Al-Haj. The ceremony was attended by top executives from both sides. After signing the agreement, Ahmed Assaf said: “We are delighted to announce this renewed cooperation, which began two years ago between Palsat, owned by the General Authority for Radio & TV, and Gulfsat.” Assaf pointed out that the agreement and cooperation renewal between the two sides serves as a confirmation of the Palestinian National Authority institutions’ confidence in Gulfsat and the quality of its services. This has enabled Palsat to annex most of the Palestinian satellite channels and provide TV cable services to 11 Palestinian channels, in addition to a group of radio stations via a uniform frequency for the Palestinian bouquet. Assaf added that the renewed agreement, designed to enhance cooperation, represents a future outlook and convenient opportunity to examine the latest services offered by Gulfsat.

Panasonic and Newtec unveil high bandwidth modem and Extreme-Throughput Satellite (XTS) services continue to be layered over Panasonic’s existing global network. This will expand network capacity from 2,300MHz today to 15,000MHz by 2017. The next-generation modem includes three demodulators for seamless beam switching and simultaneous data and video reception, and is also part of the Newtec Dialog multiservice platform, which supports a wide range of verticals including aviation and maritime. Featuring the dynamic bandwidth allocation Mx-DMA, it combines the efficiency of SCPC with the dynamic bandwidth allocation capabilities of TDMA.

Panasonic Global Communications, a division of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, and Newtec have unveiled a new high-bandwidth satellite modem which offers Panasonic customers twenty times the bandwidth of Panasonic’s current solution. Versions of this new modem will be available across Panasonic’s mobility markets including air transport, business aviation, maritime, cruise ships, mega yachts and river cruises. Developed in partnership, the new modem is capable of exceeding 400Mbps and can scale to meet the evolving needs of airlines and their passengers by facilitating the increasing bandwidth coming on stream over the next two years, as High-Throughput Satellite (HTS)

duBaisat-2 captures images of duBai canal DubaiSat-2, owned and operated by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), has captured a high-definition photo of the Dubai Water Canal full of water. The image also shows the various facilities built to run along both banks of the canal and the areas surrounding it, which consist of residences, hotels and recreational centres. DubaiSat-2 provides high-quality satellite images to several institutions within the UAE and internationally, for urban planning and mapping, monitoring environmental

changes and disaster management. The satellite’s camera features a 1m panchromatic resolution and a 4m multispectral resolution (coloured images). It can store 512 images, each 12km x 12km in size. DubaiSat-2 was launched in 2013 via the Dnepr at Yasny Cosmodrome to circulate a sun-synchronous orbit, 600km in altitude. DubaiSat-2 was launched in 2013 through the Dnepr in Yasny Cosmodrome to circulate a sun-synchronous orbit, 600 km in altitude.

uaesa launches capacitYBuilding programme

As a prelude to UAE Innovation Week, the UAE Space Agency (UAESA) has announced the launch of a capacity-building programme, developed in collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and part of the Global Space Congress Next Gen Space initiative. The programme is geared towards promoting and spreading space education among young people in the UAE. It features workshops discussing targets, objectives and learning methods for space education, as well as sessions on the CanSat programme and hybrid rockets. The culmination of the programme is the Ideathon, where teams of four students from various UAE universities will brainstorm ideas on how to utilise space technology in order to solve social issues and benefit society in the UAE. The Global Space Congress will take place from January 31 to February 1, 2017.

December 2016 | SatellitePro | 7


EchoStar XXI arrives at Baikonur

ssl’s president endorses space programme at masdar

SSL has announced that the EchoStar XXI satellite, designed and built for EchoStar Corporation, has arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where it will be launched aboard a Proton Breeze M vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS). The satellite will be used for mobile voice and data communications services in Europe. “EchoStar and SSL have worked together for two decades,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “Over that time we have established a long history of teamwork and trust. Our partnership on EchoStar XXI is a reflection of this successful relationship, which has resulted in a very advanced and complex satellite now ready for launch.” EchoStar XXI is an S-band satellite for next-generation Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) that will be located at 10.25° East longitude. It features a large unfurlable reflector that will deploy like an umbrella after the satellite is in orbit. Based on the SSL 1300 platform, the satellite is designed

SSL has announced that it will work with Yahsat to support the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology’s Master Concentration in Space Systems and Technology in the UAE. Speaking at the Abu Dhabi-based Masdar Institute on November 1, SSL President John Celli presented a view of current space technology and how SSL is influenced by its innovative Silicon Valley environment. He also offered resources to the Masdar Institute leadership, so that the Institute’s research-driven graduatelevel studies can benefit from SSL’s technical expertise and long experience with satellites and spacecraft systems. Masdar Institute launched its space concentration in the fall of 2015. The concentration is offered in seven of the institute’s Master’s programmes. It was developed to foster the advanced research areas in space science and technology.

Echostar XXI.

to provide service for 15 years or more. EchoStar subsidiary EchoStar Mobile Limited will use a portion of EchoStar XXI’s capacity to provide mobile satellite services (MSS) capacity throughout the EU. EchoStar Mobile is an EU-wide licensee for an integrated mobile satellite service network with a complementary ground component. SSL has built more than a dozen satellites for EchoStar and its affiliates, including EchoStar XVIII.

speedcast and axxess marine join hands for superYachts SpeedCast and Axxess Marine are joining forces to change the way superyacht customers manage their data usage through SpeedCast’s reliable VSAT communications solution. Axxess Marine’s contract-free online portal gives customers complete control over their spending, enabling customers to tailor their data tariff to suit their needs, wherever they are in the world. Customers can also pause and remotely restart their VSAT service via Dynamic Suspension. Piers Cunningham, Vice President, Maritime Services, SpeedCast, said: “This kind of flexibility enables our customers to have complete control over their service – something that is unprecedented in the maritime industry. Working with Axxess Marine is a perfect fit because they’re as focused as we are on providing their customers with the best possible service. When our services are combined, we make a real difference to the global yacht industry.” Kym Petrie, Axxess Marine Chief 8 | SatellitePro | December 2016

Marketing and Strategy Officer, said: “Historically, Axxess Marine has revolutionised the manner with which superyachts are able to control their own data communication needs. As partners, SpeedCast and Axxess Marine have listened to what customers in the maritime sector desire and have created a VSAT programme to reflect those needs.”

“Being able to offer this customer-led, innovative and unique service capability will only strengthen our position within the global yacht sector – a sector where we are continuing to aggressively extend our presence as we see significant growth potential ahead,” added Piers Cunningham.


Shining Stars

The satellite segment of the annual BroadcastPro ME Awards acknowledged the efforts of the very best players in the business; read on to see this year’s winners

10 | SatellitePro | December 2016

December 2016 | SatellitePro | 11


Shahrokh Khanzadeh-Amiri, Director of Sales, Middle East and North Africa, Intelsat.

MENA SAtEllitE OpErAtOr Of thE YEAr

Intelsat Intelsat launched two new satellites Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e, the first of the EpicNG platform. After coming into service, these high throughput satellites have provided Intelsat’s broadband, wireless and mobility customers, higher performance and unprecedented efficiency gains with a 165% increase in spectral efficiency for ground platforms and modem technologies, and up to a 330% improvement in throughput when using next generation antenna technology. 12 | SatellitePro | December 2016

Abou Mustafa, Vice President of datamena, and Enterprise Managed services, du.

bESt SAtEllitE SOlutiONS prOvidEr

du du is combining satellite and new media technology to broadcast media seamlessly to its customers’ end users, while also enabling content products to benefit from the scalability and the agility of the Cloud. The operator has brought satellite services into the future to deliver true end-to-end content delivery without limits. This has helped achieve new ways to accelerate growth in the broadcast and media market. December 2016 | SatellitePro | 13


bESt ShOrt prOductiON Of thE YEAr

bESt lONg prOductiON Of thE YEAr

Emirati Martyrs

Abu Dhabi Super Tunnel

This Abu Dhabi Media Company production was a moving account of the lives of Emirati martyrs. The short film impresses with its high production value and good sound design. Overall a very well executed project that stood out for presenting an emotional story.

A Fox Networks Group Middle East production, this film is an orchestration of great production values and presents an engaging story to the viewers. It uncovers some of the lesser known facets of growth and development in documenting the building of a modern construction wonder on home ground.

rAdiO trENdSEttEr Of thE YEAr

App Of thE YEAr


Appy Kids

On the 1st of May 2016, Arabian Radio Network (ARN) launched seven new digital radio brands to cater to a larger audience. Complementing the output from its existing terrestrial services, the new digital-only brands from this network offer mood-based content and are accessible on various smart devices. 14 | SatellitePro | December 2016

Appy Kids Play School app was a unanimous selection. The judges were impressed with the design and user friendly interface of the app, and also the fact that in addition to being a learning tool, it gives a way to monitor the child’s progress through a companion app.

OutStANdiNg KidS’ brOAdcASt iNitiAtivE


Majid Entertainment

Dawri Plus, Intigral

Majid Entertainment Channel launched last year and it has already made a name as one of the top three channels for children and young adults. It has also been keeping in sync with the younger generation by launching its digital platforms among which Facebook has reached 2.1 million followers.

Intigral’s Dawri Plus enables users to be part of a 360-degree engagement with football through social login and participation around the match events. It facilitates the communication of fan communities with each other, all on the same screen as live stream and overlay statistics.

bESt StudiO Of thE YEAr

2016 MENA SYStEMS iNtEgrAtOr

Studio 5, Al Jazeera Media Network

INC System Integrations

The newly built Studio 5 for Al Jazeera Arabic is located in the network’s Doha headquarters. It combines an open newsroom and has been designed as a template to be used across the whole of the facility.

INC has delivered a number of projects across the GCC including Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar. The SI has successfully executed projects that are not only technically superlative but also showcase high-quality integrated systems. December 2016 | SatellitePro | 15


MENA brOAdcASt trENdSEttEr Of 2016

beIN Media Group beIN Media Group launched its entertainment portfolio last year and created a robust offering with world class content. On the tech side, it broadcast Euro 2016 in 4K. It also further consolidated its position in the sports rights space by exclusively acquiring the rights to future Olympics.

MENA ip iNStAllAtiON Of 2016

Dubai Media Inc Dubai media Inc. unveiled a fully revamped IP-based radio facility for its two channels broadcasting from Dubai. The new station is a fully integrated, network-based IP radio facility. The project involved a complete new studio set-up that fulfilled a number of objectives for the broadcaster and gave it additional capability and scalability. 16 | SatellitePro | December 2016

brOAdcAStprO ME 2016 iNNOvAtivE prOjEct AwArd

Sky News Arabia Sky News Arabia has designed and implemented the world’s first, fully automated live Arabic subtitling solution on an OTT platform. The project includes custom player development for web and mobile, which could use HLS video, and overlay image based subtitles, in the browser, on all platforms.

bESt digitAl iNitiAtivE Of thE YEAr

Fatafeat ICCA Online Academy Fatafeat ICCA Online Academy from Discovery Networks MENA has achieved something quite unique by offering the first TV and online based food course available on any screen in both Arabic and English, with both free and paid modules leading to prestigious accreditation in a flexible way.

OutStANdiNg Ott plAYEr Of 2016

Starz Play Starz Play arrived in the region just 18 months ago and has since grown its subscriber base by a phenomenal 2,700%. Today the company has strategic partnerships with major telco providers in the region. It provides a premium viewing experience with full HD and 4K content at a very attractive price point.

ExcEllENcE iN prOjEct ExEcutiON

Ali Elhusseini In every organisation there are people who have ideas and there are those who make those ideas happen. It’s not enough to have a great idea, there is always an unsung hero who needs to turn it into reality and Ali Elhusseini of Al Jazeera Media has a proven track record of doing just that.

SpEciAl rEcOgNitiON AwArd

UAE Football - Pro League Committee UAE Football - Pro League Committee was given a special recognition award for working against several odds to redefine football broadcasting in the UAE and its commitment to high-quality sports broadcasting in the country.

tEch AchiEvEr Of thE YEAr

Dave Mace It’s not easy to persuade vendors to adapt their product to meet the needs of the business always with an eye on cost especially when it is challenging or emerging technology. Dave Mace of Sky News Arabia turned a vision into reality by executing the broadcaster’s IP contribution network at a fraction of the estimated cost. PRO December 2016 | SatellitePro | 17

SatReview: 2016

2016 was a revolutionary year for the industry. We look at some of the top stories throughout the year january MBRSC announCeS the CoMpletion of KhalifaSat’S engineeRing Model MBRSC finalised the design of the KhalifaSat Engineering Model in addition to the software and systems within the satellite (Critical Design Review). The significance of this achievement was that it is the penultimate step prior to the manufacturing of the Flight Model of KhalifaSat, scheduled for launch in 2018 on MHI’s H-IIA launch vehicle, which is owned by “Mitsubishi Heavy Industries”. In addition to the Flight Model of KhalifaSat, Emirati engineers commenced the development of the ground station programs that will manage all post launch communication with the satellite. The team presented all the designs to MBRSC’s Internal Review

Board comprised of systems engineers, managers and consultants, who discussed all the aspects and details related to the final design of the engineering model of KhalifaSat and its systems. The KhalifaSat project includes seven space innovations ranging from enhancements to the a digital camera with an enhanced light meter for better image resolution, developing techniques to increase image download and communication speed with the satellite anywhere in the world. Further enhancements include the development of satellite positioning techniques that allow capturing a higher number of 3D images, target positioning system which makes the satellite one of the best satellites in the world that provide high-quality images, with high-speed response and an accurate location system. anaRen winS the ContRaCt foR aSSeMBly on eutelSat QuantuM Anaren announced that it has received a $7 million contract award from Airbus Defence and Space for an advanced beamforming assembly to be deployed on the Eutelsat Quantum Satellite programme, which Airbus Defence and Space is developing for Eutelsat. The Eutelsat Quantum programme will feature the world’s first fully reconfigurable commercial satellite, allowing Eutelsat to adapt the satellite in response to new demands in coverage, bandwidth, power, frequency and even changes in orbital position. Anaren will deliver its first flight-set hardware to Airbus Defence and Space in 2017.

18 | SatellitePro | December 2015

february CoBhaM taCtiCal CoMMuniCationS and SuRveillanCe ChangeS itS naMe to dtC The company formerly known as Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance announced that it has formally adopted Domo Tactical Communications (DTC) as its new company name. Its broadcast subdivision changed to DTC Domo Broadcast. The change followed an announcement on 15 January, 2016 by former parent company Cobham Plc that it had sold Cobham Tactical Communications and Surveillance (TCS) to Marlin Equity Partners, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles, California. The sale was part of Cobham Plc’s strategy to divest non-core entities, several of which have been sold by Cobham over the past year. Upon the January announcement, four Cobham TCS organisations, one of which was Broadcast Sales, became a unified business under Marlin ownership. SpeedCaSt and gazpRoM tie up to ConneCt afRiCa SpeedCast announced a new agreement with Gazprom Space Systems to expand satellite communications services in Africa. This partnership allows SpeedCast to use capacity on GSS’s Yamal-402 Ku-band satellite to provide high-performance services to global oil & gas companies across Africa. Customers will benefit from the high performance and excellent look angles for Africa offered by the Yamal-402 satellite. With the uplink based in Germany, customers will be able to land their traffic directly into Europe, taking advantage of high-speed interconnection throughout Europe. Furthermore, Germany’s excellent infrastructure and advanced data security laws ensure the highest levels of security for sensitive data. “We are always searching for the best solutions for our customers in the key countries in which they operate,” commented Moti Shulman, Vice President, Technologies and Network Planning, SpeedCast International Limited. “The expansion of our services for the African resource market augment SpeedCast’s current service capacity in Africa. We are thrilled to partner with Gazprom Space Systems to deliver communication services into the African region. Delivering innovative solutions to meet the needs of our customers is at the heart of our success.” Gazprom Space Systems is international satellite operator providing capacity in Russia and CIS, Europe, Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Pacific Ocean. Gazprom Space Systems has created, and now operates and develops Yamal satellite communication system and provides telecommunication and geo-information services. Gazprom Space Systems is one of the two Russian national satellite operators and one of about 50 satellite operators in the world.

march Mhi ReCeiveS oRdeR fRoM MBRSC foR the launCh of hope SpaCeCRaft Mitsubishi Heavy Industries received an order for H-IIA launch services from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in the UAE, for launch of the Emirates Mars Mission’s (EMM) Hope spacecraft. In order to better understand the Martian atmosphere and climate, Hope is expected to be launched in the summer of 2020 on MHI’s H-IIA launch vehicle, and is set to arrive at Mars in 2021 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE. This order for the Emirates Mars Mission marks MHI’s fourth overseas contract for its launch services. The UAE Space Agency (UAESA) takes administrative and financial responsibility for the EMM, and MBRSC is responsible for leading the design and development of Hope, as well as the execution of all phases of EMM, which includes technical coordination with the H-IIA launch vehicle. SaMaCoM BeCoMeS fiRSt telepoRt in the Middle eaSt to ReCeive wta CeRtifiCation Du’s Samacom Teleport became the first teleport in the Middle East to achieve provisional certification under the World Teleport Association’s (WTA) recently launched Teleport Certification Programme. Located in Dubai, du Samacom Teleport is in an ideal location for satellite visibility, covering five continents and enabling near global coverage. This world-class facility serves both regional and international customers. The teleport currently serves more than 300 TV channels and 25 DTH platforms on main satellite systems such as Nilesat, Arabsat, Hotbird, Intelsat and YahSat, as well as a dedicated HD platform. It offers a fully redundant playout system with multi-language subtitling, dynamic graphics, SMS and video quality checks. The du Samacom teleport was also ranked in the top ten Independent Teleport Operators globally by the WTA.

December 2016 | SatellitePro | 19

SatReview: 2016

april uaeSa penS agReeMent with uSStRatCoM The United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) entered into an agreement with the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) to share space situational awareness (SSA) services and information at the 32nd Space Symposium. The arrangement, which will enhance awareness within the space domain and increase the safety of spaceflight operations, was formalised in a memorandum of understanding signed by Dr Khalifa Al Romaithi, the UAESA Chairman, and US Air Force Maj Gen Clinton E. Crosier, USSTRATCOM Director of Plans and Policy. SSA data-sharing agreements enhance multinational space cooperation and streamline the process for USSTRATCOM partners to request specific information gathered by USSTRATCOM’s Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The information is crucial for launch support, satellite manoeuvre planning, support for onorbit anomalies, electromagnetic interference reporting and investigation, satellite decommissioning activities and on-orbit conjunction assessments. One of nine DoD unified combatant commands, USSTRATCOM has global strategic missions, assigned through the Unified Command Plan, which include strategic deterrence, space operations, cyberspace operations and joint electronic warfare.

may gtt and gBi CeMent paRtneRShip GTT Communications and GBI jointly announced that they have formed a strategic relationship to provide enhanced services and connectivity in the Middle East. As part of the agreement, GTT will be adding new PoPs in the Middle East, starting with the UAE and Qatar. Through this deployment, clients will be able to leverage GTT’s global network while gaining access to GBI’s extensive reach across the Middle East. The agreement will also provide GBI with connectivity to the United States and Europe. “We are very pleased to partner with GBI on this initiative,” said Rick Calder, President and CEO of GTT. “Our clients include some of the largest enterprises in the world. The launch of these new PoPs will enable us to extend our network reach in the Middle

20 | SatellitePro | December 2016

yahSat CeleBRateS five yeaRS in SpaCe UAE satellite operator Yahsat celebrated the fifth anniversary of the launch of its first satellite, Y1A, on 23 April, 2016. In 2011, the Ariane 5 rocket carrying the satellite launched from the European Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The following year Yahsat launched its second satellite, Y1B. Today, the company is on track for the eagerly anticipated third member of its fleet, Al Yah 3, which will provide high-quality broadband coverage to an additional 19 countries, including firsttime entry to South America through Brazil. Al Yah 3, planned for launch in early 2017, will service nearly 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population.

East, furthering our goal of connecting our clients to any location in the world and any application in the cloud.” “In addition to its alignment with our future growth plans, this expansion further supports GBI’s transformation to a global multilayer service provider,” said Amr Eid, CEO of GBI. “GTT’s leading Tier 1 IP network will broaden GBI’s reach and allow us to deliver new, innovative services, both within and outside the Middle East.” etl SySteMS launCheS new gpS Range ETL Systems announced the launch of a new range of products for Global Positioning System (GPS) and broader Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) applications. The new range includes outdoor and indoor GPS over fibre outdoor and GPS splitter units, which provide a reliable method for distributing GPS timing signals from a single antenna. “For organisations and industries such as financial institutions, media companies, satellite Earth stations, base stations, television broadcast, security and military, precise time on computer systems is a must,” said Andrew Bond, Sales Director at ETL Systems. “Networks of computers need to be synchronised to the same time so that events occur in an organised, predetermined manner.”

june aBS launCheS aBS-2a fRoM Cape CanaveRal ABS announced that ABS-2A was successfully launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 full thrust rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 10:29am EDT. The satellite lifted off as part of a dual launch, and was the second deployment at 11:05am EDT. The ABS-2A satellite is the second of a pair of innovated all-electric propulsion satellites manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems International. It is equipped with an all Ku-band payload of 48 high performance transponders connecting Africa, MENA, Russia, South Asia and Southeast Asia regions. ABS-2A will be co-located with ABS-2 and will deliver enhanced broadcast and data services from 75°E. “The launch of ABS-2A represents a significant milestone for ABS. Today we launched the third of our three satellite build strategy, which completes a $700M capex programme. ABS-2, ABS-3A and ABS-2A are extremely capable satellites which have been optimised for CATV and DTH services. Satellites are unmatched by any other forms of technology for video distribution, and it has been ABS’s intention to strategically build satellites that have been designed for this purpose,” said Mark Spiwak, President of Boeing Satellite Systems International. “ABS’s video business has grown from 10% of our business in 2012 to 45% today. With the launch of ABS-2A, the second satellite to our premium DTH neighbourhood at 75°E, we will be offering our customers expansion capacity and in-orbit redundancy for their growing DTH businesses. We would like to thank our technology partners Boeing and SpaceX for making today’s achievement possible, and we also thank the US EXIM bank for believing in our vision and providing financing for all of our satellites.” MBRSC and auS CoMplete nayif-1 MBRSC and the American University of Sharjah (AUS) announced the completion of the design and building of communication nanosatellite Nayif-1. The satellite has also successfully passed all stages and tests, and is now ready for launch into space aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket. The UAE’s first nanosatellite was developed by Emirati engineering students from AUS under the supervision of a team of engineers and specialists from MBRSC within the framework of a partnership between the two entities, aiming to provide handson experience to engineering students in satellite manufacturing. The project was implemented in partnership with Innovative Solutions in Space.

july thuRaya BeginS fiRSt teleMediCine expedition to K2 The first telemedicine expedition to K2 got underway after successful trials in the Himalayas in March. The WiCis-Sports app, running on Thuraya SatSleeve+, will monitor every step of the K2 Adventure 2016 Madison Mountaineering trip, taking pioneering technology onto one of the world’s most challenging peaks. The expedition demonstrated how telemedicine can provide instant access to medical expertise around the globe. OCENS is providing continuous pinpoint weather data and forecasts via its patented WeatherNet software through the WiCis-Sports app. The K2 Adventure 2016 project began on 12 June, with climbers set to reach the summit in mid-August. Led by Garrett Madison, the team of ten was accompanied by porters from Pakistan and Sherpas from Nepal. One of the most remote places on Earth, with only 46 permits issued in 2016, K2 is the world’s second highest and arguably most intimidating mountain. Select adventurers wore lightweight, breathable, Bluetoothenabled garments featuring embedded or integrated sensors, under normal climbing gear. The sensors continuously monitored heart rate, oxygen saturation, skin temperature, geo-location, altitude, speed and bearing. Data was streamed to the WiCis-Sports internet platform using Thuraya Sat-Sleeve+, and was available within one to two seconds on any internet-enabled device on the planet. Dr Leo Montejo, CEO of WiCis, kept track of the party’s progress from California. Rai and eutelSat BeaM euRo 2016 in ultRa hd Rai, Italy’s national public broadcaster, and Eutelsat offered Italian homes TV coverage of seven games of Euro 2016. The initiative with Eutelsat marked Rai’s most ambitious foray into Ultra HD, the next big leap forward in broadcasting. Images of the matches were filmed by 14 Ultra HD cameras at the Vélodrome Stadium in Marseilles and sent to the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) in Paris, where they were forwarded to Eutelsat’s Paris-Rambouillet teleport. A temporary studio set up by Rai at the teleport added live commentary, after which the special Rai 4k channel was encrypted and uplinked to Eutelsat’s HOTBIRD satellites. Tivùsat homes equipped with an Ultra HD screen and a CAM certified by Tivùsat were able to watch all the quarter-finals. They were also able to watch the semi-finals on 6 and 7 July and the final on 10 July. Tivù sat is a free-to-air digital satellite television platform, serving Italy, Vatican City and San Marino.

December 2016 | SatellitePro | 21

SatReview: 2016

august MBC tRanSitionS ChannelS to aRaBSat’S 26-degRee oRBital poSition MBC Group channels announced the transition of its Gulf channels and MBC Pro Sports channels to Arabsat through a strategic partnership signed with Arabsat. Previously, MBC shared its portfolio of channels between Arabsat’s BADR satellites situated at the 26-degrees hotspot and Nilesat at 7-degrees West. The cooperation aims to establish a new era of family TV entertainment, reinforcing high quality viewership. While the transition of some channels will be exclusive to Arabsat, the next stages will focus on providing sophisticated reliable receivers, enabling viewers to experience the best in modern TV. Khalid Bin Ahmed Balkheyour, Arabsat CEO, stated: “We are pleased with this partnership between Arabsat and MBC Group; it is proof that the media industry is progressing in the right direction. Most important is the protection of intellectual property rights in the region through our commitment to prohibiting any channel from broadcasting pirated content, and so ultimately protecting and serving the Arab viewers’ interest.” Arabsat initiated new HD technology several years ago in collaboration with the ASBU, with the aim of improving HD quality and growing it in the Arab world. september Satellite Managed By eutelSat and faCeBooK loSt in launCh pad exploSion Eutelsat Communications issued a statement regarding the loss of a satellite that was to be managed by Eutelsat and Facebook to cover Sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite exploded on the launch pad of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral on September 1. In collaboration with Facebook, Eutelsat had contracted a multiyear agreement to lease the satellite’s Ka-band payload covering Sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to launching broadband services from early 2017. Eutelsat remains committed to growing broadband in Africa

22 | SatellitePro | December 2016

yahSat and panaSoniC avioniCS Sign Mou foR MoBility MaRKetS in the Middle eaSt Panasonic Avionics and Yahsat announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore new ways to offer a broadband connectivity solution serving several mobility markets in the Middle East within the next three to five years. In addition, while final terms are still being negotiated, the MOU allows both parties to further investigate the launch of a Yahsat satellite constellation that would serve Panasonic’s general mobility needs in aviation, maritime and terrestrial transportation, and also give Yahsat the ability to use Panasonic communication technologies and services where practical. Moving forward, Yahsat and Panasonic will assess the various technical requirements for such an offering. The companies will explore a wide range of factors including the type of frequency to be used, the coverage and capacity needed to serve flight routes in this region, the type of antenna and radome to be used, and the certification requirements of such a solution. Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO of Yahsat, said, “We are delighted to be working with global brand and market leader Panasonic to enable high-speed inflight connectivity, and we look forward to jointly setting new global benchmarks, building on our substantial broadband satellite experience in our markets in the Middle East and Africa, and leveraging our experience in delivering advanced airborne solutions for our customers.”

and will explore other options to serve the needs of key clients ahead of the launch of its own full-High Throughput African broadband satellite, due in 2019. The impact on revenues is estimated at around $5.6 million in FY 2016-17, $16.7 million in FY 2017-18 and $28-33.5 million in FY 2018-19. Attendant savings in operating costs will partially mitigate the impact on the EBITDA margin. All financial objectives published on 29 July 2016 are confirmed. SaleM al MaRRi eleCted aS an iaa CoRReSponding MeMBeR Salem Al Marri, Assistant Director General for Scientific and Technical Affairs at Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, was elected as an IAA corresponding member in a ceremony held on the sidelines of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico. Al Marri was elected for his outstanding contributions to the science, technology and space sectors in the UAE and his efforts in promoting international cooperation in the advancement of the space sector worldwide. As a corresponding member, Al Marri will contribute to the international endeavours and the cooperation between all countries and organisations for the advancement of space technology and sciences around the world.

OctOber StC and noKia to deploy 4.5g aCRoSS Saudi aRaBia STC and Nokia have signed an agreement to expand high-speed mobile broadband capacity and coverage in Saudi Arabia using Nokia’s 4.5G technology. The enhanced network will meet the ever-increasing demands of subscribers across the country, including the millions of visitors who travel to the cities of Mecca and Medina each year, particularly during the Hajj and Ramadan seasons. Nokia’s 4.5G technology leverages techniques such as carrier aggregation to optimise network resources and boost speeds to meet growing data demands. Data traffic has increased in Saudi Arabia following the expansion of 4G, with the network in Mecca and Medina in particular experiencing spikes in demand. Nokia has already completed the first phase of the deployment in Mecca and Medina, where the company was asked to dramatically increase capacity. Using 4.5G technology, including Saudi Arabia’s first indoor small cells deployment, STC managed the huge traffic demands during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, which during peak times recorded an increase in 4G traffic of 600% compared to 2015. Nokia will continue to deploy its 4.5G macro and small cell radio access network and microwave packet radio technology, to provide ubiquitous coverage and faster access to the internet across the country. This will allow STC to launch new services and expand the delivery of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) to more subscribers. This agreement continues a long history of collaboration between Nokia and STC. yahSat appointS new CCo Yahsat appointed Farhad Khan as its CCO, responsible for the overall customer operations, marketing and sales management activities of Yahsat. Commenting on the executive appointment, CEO Masood M. Sharif Mahmood said: ‘’After careful selection, we are pleased to have found the best individual for the job. Farhad has a proven record in the telecommunications industry, combined with strong leadership skills and deep industry knowledge.”

nOvember SheiKh MohaMMed giveS the go-ahead to Begin ManufaCtuRing the hope pRoBe Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum reviewed the designs of the Hope Probe, as part of the Emirates Mars Mission. The project will send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021, marking the UAE’s 50th National Day. Sheikh Mohammed gave the go-ahead to start manufacturing the probe’s prototypes, the Arab world’s first Mars probe. The project will place the UAE in the league of nine countries that aim to explore Mars. His Highness said: “UAE’s ambition is to explore outer space. We are investing in our national cadres to lead this project and contribute in expanding our knowledge about Mars. Hope Probe is a qualitative leap for the UAE’s scientific efforts, the first contribution for the Arab world in this regard.” Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks came while visiting the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) to open the second phase of the UAE satellite manufacturing and assembling complex, a multitasking facility capable of handling several space projects at a time.

SpeedCaSt to aCQuiRe haRRiS CapRoCK Speedcast announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Harris CapRock in a cash transaction valued at US$425 million. Harris CapRock has a leading position in the fast-growing and bandwidth-hungry Cruise sector, and creates a global leader in Energy, positioning the company for future growth. The combined entity will service over 6200 vessels, hundreds of rigs and platforms, and enterprise and government customers around the world with a wide portfolio of communications and IT services, and a global support network. This expanded global footprint and infrastructure, with over 240 field engineers around the world, will enable SpeedCast to provide best-in-class services and support to its customers in over 100 countries.”

December 2016 | SatellitePro | 23

SatShow: WSRF2016

Cost Control

At the recent World Space Risk Forum, which took place in Dubai 2-4 November, a lot of pertinent issues were discussed. Perhaps the most important were the challenges the industry is facing, and the need to reduce costs

24 | SatellitePro | December 2016

December 2016 | SatellitePro | 25

SatShow: WSRF2016

What are the challenges facing the industry for the future? 26 | SatellitePro | December 2016

John Celli, President, SSL I’ve been in this industry for 40 years and you don’t last this long unless you’re an optimist. The risk the industry is facing is not

to try and be proactive with all the changes they are facing. We are going through a period where changes are needed. They are required by our customers and operators. As a satellite manufacturer, we cannot be reactive, we need to be proactive and do what is right for the industry. The technology we have is good for addressing challenges. More will be needed, but the risk is to just be reactive. That would be a huge mistake.

exercise at Boeing Satellites. We are involving a significant amount of the workforce to see what is life going to be like in 2025. How are we going to live our lives and be connected – getting on airplanes, connected cars and how governments are going to do what they need to. One of the key aspects is the insatiable demand for bandwidth. Some of the key challenges have to do with adaptive technology. We need to be much better as an industry in developing new technologies and be able to adapt to challenges. Quality, reliability and affordability are key to surviving in this industry. We need to understand how space systems and terrestrial systems will work together to provide that connectivity.

Stephane Israel, Chairman and CEO, Arianespace

Mark Spiwak, President, Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems

When I think of the industry and challenges, we are going through an interesting

We are seeing that there is much more competition nowadays. Each time we see our customers, they say they are facing a huge decrease in prices for bandwidth, and as a result they want us to decrease our prices. There is more competition between terrestrial and satellite solutions. There is also a lot of competition between launchers. For us, we must address this increased competition by being more price competitive. We all need to have volume compensating for pricing. We need to have more volume over the next decade, and this increased demand could be linked to the demand for global connectivity, increased mobility through diverse solutions and use of satellite as a solution. For us, this is the challenge, and over the next decade we will need more satellite solutions to address this huge demand for connectivity and mobility. If this happens, the cake will be so big that there will be room for every player. Arianespace wants to be more cost competitive but also be reliable. It is natural for people to be risk-averse, and you can be sure that with Arianespace, we are not going to increase risk.

“Broadcast constitutes about 55% of our business and we are trying to provide triple play services and solutions� KHALId BALKHEyOur, President and CEO, Arabsat

Khalid Balkheyour, President and CEO, Arabsat

In our industry there is modest growth, and we are not denying that there are definitely challenges too. At this time in the industry, prices are going down and satellite operators are competing with terrestrial networks. However, on the positive side we are seeing increasing demand. People love to be connected and want high data rates and throughput. This is the positive side. However, the lifetime of the satellite cycle from design to get in service and end of life is very long. This is between 15 to 20 years, and nobody can project what will happen in 20 years. There are huge investments in the satellite industry, but we need to be more flexible in the design of satellites to offset and rationalise the investments made versus the service we deliver to our customers and end users. Overall there is modest growth in the industry, depending on region to region, but I think it is a healthy industry. Broadcast constitutes about 55% of our business and we are trying to provide triple play services and solutions to our customers, whether it is broadcasting as well as internet, and this is our focus. There is a growing need for internet connectivity and broadcasting. In terms of telecom and broadband, we are seeing a stronger need for capacity, and in the region that we are in, with the political situation as it December 2016 | SatellitePro | 27

SatShow: WSRF2016

is, there is a military requirement too for bandwidth.

The industry demands lower costs. How is this going to be achieved? Stephane Israel

Arianespace is working towards producing Ariane 6, which is based on proven technologies of Ariane 5. It will be the same propulsion mechanism, solid and liquid. We believe in Ariane 6 being an evolution of Ariane 5, not a revolution. We did this on purpose because we wanted to get to market quickly with a reliable product, and we didn’t think we would be able to get to market quickly if we changed everything about the launcher. We also want to reduce cost dramatically, by 50%. Firstly we want to increase cabins, which will reduce unit cost. Today we use about seven Arianes per year, we would like to increase this to 12. Furthermore, things are really going to change in Europe, as we are going to have a new government soon. Industry will really be at the centre of the game, with no direct intervention from the agencies. The agencies will fund the programmes but not be involved in the dayto-day working of the programme. Arianespace will work closely with Airbus for the launcher for Ariane, and this will further reduce cost. As it is a new launcher, it will have new technology like 3d printing and design manufacturing, and we will also have a simpler way to operate it by going for horizontal integration instead of vertical integration. The target is to reduce by a third the duration of the launch campaign. Hence 28 | SatellitePro | December 2016

we have many ways to reduce cost, which are clearly identified and give us some comfort in the fact we will reach our target.

Mark Spiwak

Being able to be flexible with employees, the market and our products is key. Boeing Space was a small part under the larger Boeing company. Three of our core strategies are integrated with some of the visions of the larger company. Suppler management is key. A lot of the airplane programmes use a global supplier process. There are a lot of lessons learned from that, and we look at how we can use a global marketplace to bring the best of the world in, to be able to provide the best solutions to our customers. Commonality and reuse – from a product line standpoint, one of the things about this is that it drives up the quality and drives down the cost. Third is our digital payloads. We just signed a contract in August for our seventhgeneration digital payload. We’ve delivered 110 of these digital processors over the last 20 years. So we look at how we can take what has been done in the consumer electronics market, and how we bring it in for space applications. In the GEO orbit. What is counterintuitive is, as we are working with the consumer electronics industry in some very strategic partnerships, we’re delivering these next generation

“Arianespace will work closely with Airbus for the launcher for Ariane, and this will further reduce cost” STEPHAnE ISrAEL, Chairman and CEO, Arianespace

capabilities which are actually simpler to build and simpler to test, because there are less parts. So as we drive in the digital payloads, the satellites are actually becoming cheaper and simpler to build. These are some of the strategies we are using to give value to our customers.

John Celli

We spend a lot of time talking to our customers. We try to really understand what they think they need five to ten years from now. All this information is important so that we can deploy our resources for development. In addition to that, we try to go a step forward. Cost reduction is a big thing these days, when the industry is doing okay, but in certain areas revenues are dropping. We need to think how we can help our customers grow to profit. A lot of people are saying that satellite manufacturers need to reduce cost, which we have done over the years. This has been an ongoing process. We’ve reached a point where all that we have done so far is necessary, but no longer enough to get to the point where the satellite operator would like the CAPEX to be. The bottom line is really what counts. We can’t keep doing the same thing forever, so we have to change that paradigm. The technologies are there, it’s just how we use them and combine them together in a much smarter way, which will allow us to reduce the cost in the range of 30% to 40% from where we are at now. I’ve been telling a couple of my customers that I can’t do this all by myself. We have to work together, because their procurement process has to change as well. The underwriters have to be involved as well, because this is a big change. We need to be proactive and not just reactive to these requirements. This is the time to change, otherwise I think we are going to stall. PRO

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The Perfect Hotspot? Claudia Vaccarone, Head of Market Research and Customer Experience at Eutelsat, shares market research on the 7/8 degree West hotspot, and what it means for the future of broadcasting in the MENA

30 | SatellitePro | December 2016

December 2016 | SatellitePro | 31


Tell me a little about 7/8 degrees West. Why is it a good hotspot for the MENA region? We just conducted some market research in all the Arab countries. It’s actually an update of the research that we have already done in 2013. This time we surveyed six countries which account for 76% of the TV homes, so it gives us a good sense of the changing trends, and one of the key highlights is that first of all the satellite base keeps on growing. We have already seen in 2013 that nine homes out of 10 receive television primarily through satellites in the MENA region, so satellite is real core digital infrastructure for multi-channel viewing, and within this space, which is estimated to be 56 million homes, 52.3 million homes receive actually their satellite signal from the 7 and 8 West neighbourhood, which is also up, growing by 2.4 million homes and 7% like-to-like assessment since 2013. So we really see the position establish itself as the hub for multi-channel viewing and we link it to the strong lineup, as people are watching because there is interesting and relevant content for them. There are 1,264 channels that are distributed via 7/8 West. The majority are free-to-air channels, a variety of both Arabic but also international news channels, and there is also a strong base of encrypted channels via the pay TV platforms that we carry. There is also an acceleration in the HD channels broadcast. The number of channels has grown by 37%, from 109





60 mil

64.7 mil

% TV



56.4 mil

60.8 mil


14 countries, 6

2.6 1.4 0.7

2.7 0.7 0.3



in 2016



56 . 1




91 %



Note: With the exception of satellite, all other TV reception modes (IPTV, DTT, terrestrial) are to be considered exclusive






“The number of channels has grown by 37%, from 109 in 2013 to 149 channels today, and this is actually growing much faster than the general market”






99% 87%




96% 85%






ClAuDIA VACCAroNE, Head of Market research and Customer Experience at Eutelsat Algeria






32 | SatellitePro | December 2016




Algeria , Egypt , Morocco , Saudi


Saudi Arabia

Arabia , Tunisia , UAE 2016 data, the



rest 2014 data






“We don’t see 4K cannibalising into HD; the two formats will continue to develop. Specifically in the region, I think there is room for both”



Q2016 3

Q2016 3

1191 FTA

1281 SD

145 PAY

149 HD







in 2013 to 149 channels today, and this is actually growing much faster than the general market. The total number of HD channels in the region grew 3% in the same period of time. There is a real acceleration, which is setting the ground for a good HD ecosystem.



Of homesHDTV equipped

Of homesHDTV equipped







27 %

ClAuDIA VACCAroNE, Head of Market research and Customer Experience at Eutelsat




8/7 °W HDTV CHANNELS & HOMES Q2016 3 Q2015 3




of 7/8°W homes HDTV EQUIPPED





7.5 mil




SOLD SCREENS 2015 & 2014

1.2 mil




Do you see this trend continuing until 2020? Will there be continuous growth of HD, or do you think it will plateau and 4K will take over? We saw from our research, first of all, that 50% of the TV houses in the whole region are equipped with a primary TV set that is cathode ray tube-based. So clearly this is a huge audience which will be upgrading their TV sets in the next couple of years, and they will go toward HD and toward the standard last generation of flat panels, and there is going to be a portion that will also go toward the 4K beautiful high-end screens that are already available in the region. So on the one hand we see the install base and the ground evolving in these two directions. 4K probably is going to be more niche in the beginning, but at the same time we also know from our research that 50% of the consumers that participated have already expressed awareness of 4K. So this is something that even despite the content they have already been hearing about, and they have been seen these screens in the stores, and out of them 7.2 million declare wanting to put themselves with the screen within the next 12 months. December 2016 | SatellitePro | 33


“In terms of equipment, the number of HD TV sets has seen enormous growth. 34% of satellite homes and TV homes today in the MENA region, that’s about 20 million, are equipped already with an HD TV set, and that’s a number also which is growing tremendously since 2013” ClAuDIA VACCAroNE, Head of Market research and Customer Experience at Eutelsat

We know from GFK that there were already 1.2 million 4K screens sold by the end of 2015. So there is definitely a trend and momentum. The content – that is coming. We’ve seen from this year that there has been an increasing number of catalogues that are arriving. We also know, from other consumer research that we carried out in 2014, that there is a format they will be ideally suited for, a specific genre. It’s for sports, movies, documentaries, not necessarily for news or animation. We don’t see 4K cannibalising into HD; the two formats will continue to develop. Specifically in the region, 34 | SatellitePro | December 2016

I think there is room for both, and we are ready to accommodate this growth with the 7/8 West neighbourhood. Have you seen more growth in the Middle East or in North Africa, and why do you think you are seeing that sort of growth? My understanding is that it is pretty homogenous. The number of channels that are broadcast from 7/8 West have certainly come in from all of the countries within the region. We are very proud of that, that we have an orbital position that is addressing the whole region but also represents the whole region.

I want to highlight the fact that also, in terms of equipment, the number of HD TV sets has seen enormous growth. 34% of satellite homes and TV homes today in the MENA region, that’s about 20 million, are equipped already with an HD TV set, and that’s a number also which is growing tremendously since 2013. It was 14.4 million, and also when we look at the 7/8 West install base, that is even higher, it is actually 46% for 7/8 West homes that are equipped also with HD TV screens, and it’s linked again to the lineup. There is an increasing number of channels, so there is also more content to watch. PRO


Rising Government Needs The expectations and challenges governments face are fuelling a boom in satellite communications and opening new avenues for customised service Government and institutional demand for connectivity is climbing. Surveillance technology based on remotely piloted aircraft, and operational networks, are using escalating amounts of bandwidth and causing an exponential growth in connectivity demand. In tandem, personnel in remote areas now expect to connect the same way they do at home, feeding bandwidth demand further. Overall, the expectations and challenges governments face are fuelling a boom in satellite communications and opening new avenues for customised services. SES is pioneering innovative services and solutions that redefine the possibilities, and enable connectivity that exceeds expectations. The SES approach is defined by six characteristics that outline the variety of ways SES serves governments and institutions. Reliable describes the assurance SES gives to provide continuous connectivity. Innovative showcases the groundbreaking technologies that are changing the way that governments can operate. Secure defines a commitment to integrating advanced security protocols into products and services. High-quality demonstrates SES’s dedication to only providing services and solutions that customers can depend on. Cost-effective describes the principle of creating solutions that are accessible for governments around the world. And finally, customised speaks to the capability of SES to fulfil the most specific requirements. These six characteristics epitomise the way SES provides solutions that are future-proof, flexible, scalable, and stable. Market trends Governments and institutions increasingly rely on connectivity to face their complex challenges. As commercial satellite communications (COMSATCOM) provides the versatility they need, the international market demand is

accelerating. Globally the market for government and military fixed satellite service (FSS) capacity is expected to reach 615 transponder equivalents (TPEs) by 2024, compared to 470 TPE in 20141. For High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity, this growth is expected to be even larger, surging from 1.97 Gbps in 2014 to an expected 82.3 Gigabits per second (Gbps) in 2024. In focus, four trends outline this dynamic market - Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) technology using Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), network connectivity, personnel welfare, and customised services.

“In 2010 69% of the global demand for RPAS came from the US government, while only 5 years later in 2015 the US accounted for 49% of the global demand� 1. The first trend is the exponential growth in RPAS based ISR for both civil and military uses, which acts as a particularly good indicator of the direction of the international government market. In 2010 69% of the global demand for RPAS came from the US government, while only 5 years later in 2015 the US accounted for 49% of the global demand. This shift was not necessarily caused by the US government spending less on RPAS, instead it demonstrated an increased appetite for the use of RPAS internationally. In fact, even while experiencing constrained fiscal realities, the US Government

increased their use of ISR systems as they decreased their physical presence in regions around the world. By deploying RPAS based ISR, governments can maintain an ISR capability without having to keep a team on the ground locally, decreasing risk to personnel and saving costs. Yet, RPAS have demanding connectivity requirements. As an example, the Predator RPAS requires 3-5 Megabits per second (Mbps), the Reaper RPAS 5-10 Mbps, and the Global Hawk RPAS 10-50 Mbps. The next generation of RPAS are expected to demand over 100 Mbps. As demand for these systems increases, so will the demand for the communications infrastructure that supports them, satellite. 2. The second trend driving growth is connecting and networking personnel for operational purposes, whether for military missions, peace-keeping, or civilian applications. As managed network access becomes critical for governments to deliver applications and services to their populations, connectivity is even more important. To ensure their needs are met, governments recognise the value of a resilient communications infrastructure that operates regardless of the location or situation. As terrestrial communications are not immune to disruption from natural disasters or conflict, COMSATCOM also provides the vital link where existing military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) capabilities are overstretched or lack coverage. 3. A third trend regarding COMSATCOM demand is related to welfare use by the military. Military personnel serving overseas, like their civilian counterparts, have become accustomed to constant connectivity. Their desire to connect with loved ones back home or enjoy the same leisure activities does not disappear once they are posted to a remote location. This requires connectivity that can deliver regardless of location. COMSATCOM December 2016 | SatellitePro | 35


is the ideal infrastructure to support this requirement. As this welfare factor becomes more important, the COMSATCOM service to government entities is expected to increase. 4. A final trend is the growing demand for customised services. Governments are identifying new and efficient uses of satellite solutions, causing an increase in demand from this sector. Commercially hosted payloads are a good example of this. The flexibility and costefficiency offered by hosted payloads ensures that a government can contract many relevant services that a satellite is required for on a shorter timeline than building their own. Hosted payloads are well suited for earth observation missions, hosting of sensors, proof of technology missions, or even dedicated frequencies and/ or reflectors. A hosted payload can also be attractive for governments that do not yet have a spacecraft in orbit and want to take their place in the international space community. Within these four trends there is one common defining aspect of the government market, the procurement process. Each government has a specific process in place in order to ensure that any purchase it makes delivers to its needs exactly. As governments feel the constant duty to live up to the public trust, they must be completely circumspect and pragmatic in their approach. Each procedure is different, but a common trait is a multistage process that takes place over the course of months or years. SES has the unique institutional knowledge combined with an industry-leading financial stability to support any government or institutional need. The SES approach SES is at the epicentre of a suite of companies that take a global approach for product development and customer service, forming a powerful collection of capacity, services, and solutions for the government and institutional sector. SES Techcom Services creates solutions as well as designs and deploys services, working closely with governments as an SES commercial agent in Europe. In the United States SES Government Solutions (SES GS) exists with the mission to serve the US Government’s needs particularly. In orbit SES’s fleet in Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) is complimented by O3b Networks, which provides global managed services that are enabled by a completely unique constellation of satellites in medium 36 | SatellitePro | December 2016

the uses of IsR

Earth orbit (MEO) delivering fibre equivalent connectivity to Earth. And finally GovSat, as a public-private partnership between SES and the Luxembourg Government, offers assured and highly secure X-band and military Ka-band services to support government and institutional operations defence and security projects, ISR and institutional civil emergency response. In a sector where each situation requires different methods and technology, SES tailors its offering to provide the crucial support needed for the important projects of governments and institutions, both regionally and internationally. Six characteristics define the unique capabilities that SES brings to the sector. SES services and solutions are - Reliable, Innovative, Secure, High-quality, Cost-effective, and Customised. Reliable In an industry where constant communications is crucial, SES provides reliable service, going beyond the capacity of its fleet. The SES fleet boasts a record level of technical availability for a satellite fleet at 99.999992%.

“RPAS based ISR is a large part of COMSATCOM government service as the aircraft are connected to their remote pilot with satellite communications”

With this kind of reliability, governments can depend on SES satellites to supply all kinds of crucial operations, including ISR applications and network connectivity. RPAS based ISR is a large part of COMSATCOM government service as the aircraft are connected to their remote pilot with satellite communications. In this area, SES will support NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) project by delivering satellite capacity in commercial Ku-band for an end-to-end service provided by GovSat. This service will support the command & control and sensor data communications required by NATO Global Hawk vehicles over the AGS operational area. Also, SES Techcom Services provided satellite engineering support in the design and development of the NATO AGS implementation phase, ans is building satellite ground stations. In the United States, SES GS has maximised the potential of SES’s global fleet by providing the US Government with the capacity needed for their ISR systems. SES satellites currently support missions on a number of different platforms, including Predators, Reapers, and Gray Eagles. SES’s global fleet provides SES GS with the depth and operational flexibility necessary to adapt to the quickly evolving requirements of the US Government. Providing access to everyday network services is also becoming more critical for government missions as well. Embassies need to be connected to the national network, offices in remote regions need to access to the same services urban institutions have, and local civil service personnel and residents expect broadband service regardless of their location. SES supports these needs by providing reliable connectivity anywhere in the world. In Canada, SES was contracted by the Kativik Regional Government to do just that. Now SES is delivering critical C-band communications capability to more than 14 communities, increasing the amount of bandwidth available across the Nunavik region. While the service is feeding the need for reliable and faster internet across the region, it is also enabling important connectivity for schools, hospitals, government buildings and other critical facilities. Innovative As technology for data gathering and communications develops, governments require increasing amounts of bandwidth for

their applications. RPAS based ISR continues to generate increasing amounts of data, as do command applications, and personnel welfare requirements, among others. SES is serving these needs in ground-breaking ways by launching HTS in GEO, expanding O3b’s constellation providing fibre equivalent connectivity from MEO, and innovating with secure frequency on GovSat-1. These services are game changers for governments as they will allow them meet the challenges of running security, defence and civil operations today. O3b’s globally managed MEO satellite enabled networks offer great promise for government connectivity. With an ultra-low satellite latency of less than 150 milliseconds round-trip, governments can operate the datahungry interactive cloud applications they need in rugged terrain, disaster affected sites or at the edge of the battlefield. The steerable beams of the O3b satellites resist interference and allow customers to position coverage where they need it most. Along with low-latency O3b delivers up to 2 Gbps of connectivity, allowing command operations to work with full motion HD video for their surveillance operations. Antennas are being developed today that will allow for O3b connectivity directly on a RPAS, which will completely change ISR with real-time delivery of remote sensing data and full motion video. The US Navy’s 7th fleet first tested O3b’s fibre equivalent connectivity during a Limited Objective Experiment in the course of Trident Warrior 2015. During this test O3b demonstrated its ability to realise Network Centric Warfare capabilities, which create a military advantage based on providing more usable information directly to operations in theatre. In tandem with operational connectivity, O3b provided the connectivity for 4G/LTE, WiFi, HD video streaming and telemedicine. This is game-changing for troop welfare as it allows for personnel to access the same quality of services that they use back home, while they are in a theatre of operations. Since the Navy test two bodies of the US Government recently contracted O3b capacity through SES GS. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was the first US Government agency to sign an agreement with SES GS, and more recently a US Department of Defence end-user has contracted O3b capacity, again through SES GS, for a high performance network.


ses can delIveR to a complete IsR catalogue Reaper


Global Hawk Mbps




SES differentiates itself thanks to the endless possibilities that O3b’s MEO constellation and SES’s future GEO HTS fleet offer. Like O3b, GEO HTS will be a completely managed service, giving customers the flexibility to contract the specific amount of capacity they will use. This makes operating cost-intensive applications such as RPAS more cost-effective and enables more governments to take advantage of their benefits. Upgrading ground systems will allow the full potential of both SES’s GEO HTS and O3b’s MEO satellites to be realised. Secure Security of any communications system is the top concern of any government or institution operating sensitive projects, and satellite systems offer the assurance that is needed. Located thousands of kilometres above the Earth’s surface, satellites are shielded from terrestrial disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, power disruptions, cable damage, civil disturbances, or terrorist attacks. This makes them ideal for government operations, and COMSATCOM plays an important role in this critical infrastructure, allowing governments to diversify their communications planning. As an example, SES GS enables the US Army’s TROJAN Network that provides access to a global, end-toend network, complete with multi-band service tailored to meet specific US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) requirements. The innovation coming from SES further enhances the security of satellite communications. Starting on Earth, SES Techcom Services has the long-term experience to deploy innovative end-to-end ground solutions and networks that are fully customisable and meet the highest standards


70 Mbps



Optionally Piloted SATCOM Enabled Aircraft



of security. In orbit the steerable beams of O3b’s MEO satellites make concerns about interference from the ground almost negligible, as the moving beam would need to be found and then disrupted from inside the spot beam’s coverage. HTS satellites will operate similarly, allowing frequency to be reallocated and reused, which will provide equal resistance to jamming attempts. Finally GovSat-1, a highly secure multimission satellite, will use dedicated military frequencies (X-band and military Ka-band) to deliver high-power and fully steerable beams for multiple government-specific missions. GovSat was created in order to address the demand resulting from defence and civilian security applications. As a public-private partnership between SES and the Luxembourg Government, the GovSat team has a proven track record thanks to combining Luxembourg and its benefits as a stable European Government and NATO member, with SES, a leader in satellite operations. X-band is a military frequency band exclusively reserved for governmental use and ideal for establishing secure and robust satellite communication links, while military Ka-band is similarly reserved and ideal for high-throughput or mobility applications. GovSat provides accredited teleport and hosting facilities, emission security including tempest capabilities, transmission security such as anti– jamming capabilities, secured waveforms, and crypto security, as well as completely secure mission operations consisting of security cleared staff and best practice security management. GovSat-1’s potential institutional uses include supporting civil-military inter-agency collaboration, strategic and tactical networks, emergency response, disaster recovery, border surveillance, peace keeping, and connecting December 2016 | SatellitePro | 37


remote government offices. Its possible military uses include services for global deployed tactical and strategic operations (mission to HQ communications), communications on the move, communications on the pause, maritime operations, and aero operations (ISR). High-Quality Providing high-quality services or solutions is integral to the SES approach, which is why it provides consultancy and training as a key service to assist governments in achieving their goals. SES can share years of experience providing top-of-the-line services and solutions that are cost-effective and capable of meeting tight timeframes. This includes but is not limited to ISR projects and satellite procurement. More and more nations are looking to implement RPAS of their own for the first time. For those nations endeavouring to do this, SES is assisting at both ends of the process. When a country is looking to procure a RPAS from a US company, it must follow a strict procedure from the US government for foreign military sales. SES can provide support during this initial procurement process by consulting on the procedure and the specification of capabilities. Once the technology has been procured and is being implemented, SES can then assist again by providing consulting and training services along with the satellite capacity and infrastructure. SES also offers to partner with governments that are motivated to procure and launch a satellite of their own. Joining the international community of nations who have satellites in orbit can be a milestone moment for a country, but can also be fraught with challenges. If a government has never procured a satellite, SES can ensure it receives a quality product, and operating such a spacecraft requires its own unique skill set that SES can provide as part of a technology transfer. Cost-Effective The international economic climate remains difficult, and therefore governments today are focused on finding cost-effective solutions that still meet their needs to the highest standards. End-to-end solutions for satellite communications are in many cases more cost-effective, which is why SES is going up the value chain to meet this need, developing complete solutions that already incorporate connectivity. SES Techcom Services uses 38 | SatellitePro | December 2016

a variety of connectivity building blocks to deliver end-to-end solutions that meet customer budgets. These include the design and deployment of ground infrastructure, secure networks, solutions integration, and operations of satellite IP platforms. By combining these building blocks created by SES Techcom Services, and capacity from both the SES and O3b fleet, SES is developing cost-effective and ground breaking products and solutions for the government sector. SES recently unveiled one such end-to-end offering, the Tactical Persistent Surveillance (TPS) product. TPS responds to the market need for cost-effective surveillance technology that can be deployed quickly and operated easily. The SES TPS is a portable Aerostat system (helium filled balloon) that carries both a connected surveillance sensor, as well as a communications payload that delivers a

“When a country is looking to procure a RPAS from a US company, it must follow a strict procedure from the US government for foreign military sales” bubble of connectivity ranging over 40km. The TPS has a diverse number of possible uses that include border surveillance, crowd control and monitoring, as well as rapid communications capability to support first responders in locations where connectivity is not otherwise available. The system is quickly deployed in 30 minutes by two trained personnel, and portable when towed by a standard truck or SUV. A unique aspect of this solution is that governments can either purchase or lease the product from SES, with ancillary services if needed. This ensures its accessibility for governments around the globe as surveillance becomes a more important capability everywhere, regardless of budget limitations. TPS is only one example of the way that SES is going up the value chain to ensure that governments receive the solutions they need. As emergency response and border control become more essential, SES is developing a number of

cost-effective products that support personnel in such situations. These create a full suite of end-to-end services that give governments the tools needed to face today’s challenges. Customised Creating customised solutions is a particular strength of SES, the leading commercial satellite provider for hosted payloads. Hosted payloads offer unique benefits to government customers by allowing them to contract a place on a commercial satellite and load it with their own service payload. This arrangement is attractive as it allows governments or institutions to avoid the cost of building and launching their own complete satellite. Instead a payload can be placed on a commercial satellite to complete its mission much more cost-effectively. Another added benefit is that the project timeline to get the payload into orbit is shorter with commercial operators. SES is the ideal partner for hosted payload projects because of the openness it practices during the satellite manufacturing process. This allows for governments and institutions to plan a hosted payload in cooperation with SES. The frequency that SES launches satellites also offers a distinct advantage for governments, opening up constant opportunities for hosted payloads. The first hosted payload SES worked on was the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) project’s EGNOS-GEO 1 payload, launched in 2012. In 2014 EGNOSGEO 2 also made the journey to space on SES’s ASTRA 5B. SES’s hosting service allowed the European Commission and the GNSS Authority to access space at a fraction of the cost of dedicated missions. EGNOS augments the US’s GPS satellite navigation system, making it possible to be used for safety critical applications including flying aircraft and navigating ships through narrow channels. In the future, it will also support GLONASS and the European Galileo navigation system. SES Techcom also provides customised services for the Galileo system, delivering satellite communications services for the Galileo Data Dissemination Network (GDDN). The services include the deployment, maintenance and support of a VSAT network (deployed at various remote locations around the world including Antarctica), provision of managed satellite bandwidth, and the network monitoring and control on a 24/7 basis. PRO Whitepaper: SES

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Maritime and Offshore Connectivity Mireille Abdo, Sales and Business Development Manager - Maritime & Offshore at SpeedCast speaks about how the solutions provider is connecting offshore oil rigs and maritime vessels across the MENA I handle the maritime offshore part of the business in the Middle East and Africa, and have been with Speedcast for about four years but in the industry for more than ten years. I have quite a good extent of customer contacts here in the region and provide satellite communications in the region. We are a large global satellite communications provider, we provide communications for three verticals – maritime, energy and enterprise in emerging markets. My portion of the business as well is the maritime and offshore markets. The latest big project that we have done is with one of the large offshore companies in Abu Dhabi called Gulf Marine Services (GMS). They are pioneer with providing offshore barges to oil fields and we have just finished the VSAT installation on the twelfth barge providing them with unlimited communications and high bandwidth requirements. Last month we were just awarded their L-band backup communication as well with FleetBroadband. We also received some very good leads at Seatrade Middle East and signed a few contracts too. It was certainly a good show for us. Regarding the African market, It is quite strong with maritime and energy – both onshore and offshore. They have a lot of requirements there. We cover a lot of the business via our Middle East office and our UK office. The onshore is done by the UK office, while the offshore is handled by the Middle East office. It’s a little bit tricky with regards to what kind of communications versus the cost considerations especially now with the current situations with the oil prices. All the customers want to save cost, so they lower a little bit but with West Africa for example, because of the weather and the rain, you have a bit of rain fade Ku-band. It’s probably better to have C 40 | SatellitePro | December 2016

“All the customers want to save cost, so they lower a little bit but with West Africa for example, because of the weather and the rain, you have a bit of rain fade Ku-band” MIREILLE ABDo, Sales and Business Development Manager - Maritime & offshore, SpeedCast

band for different kinds of communications, which are slightly more expensive. It’s a little bit of both and you have to take in consideration the customer requirements versus their budget for communications. Costing is different for Africa, it’s not the owners but the operators that approach us for the satellite communications because the operators are the ones that consider communications as business critical. They really want high-end communications and so when you are contacted by the operators, it’s less of a cost issue, more of quality. They want a high quality communications solution. Whereas if you are contacted by the owners they usually want a VSAT on board or want a form of satellite communication on board but they don’t know yet what it is that is required by the operator. Speedcast, a couple of years ago, acquired Hermes Datacomms. Usually with Speedcast every company acquired, as soon as the integration happens, the name is changed and then the acquired company starts operating under the Speedcast name. However, with Hermes, they had running contracts that couldn’t be shifted with the Speedcast name change, so they had to keep operating under the Hermes name for a certain period of time. As of now, the company has started with the process of name change. It’s announced that Speedcast and Harris CapRock have signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition by Speedcast of Harris CapRock for a certain amount of cash. The agreement is definitive but the acquisition is pending regulatory approvals from the US and Australia, Speedcast being an Australian company. That is expected to finalise by early 2017 and as soon as it is done we will start with the integration process. PRO

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Profile for SatellitePro ME

SatellitePro ME December 2016  

Satellite Pro Middle East, a monthly publication from CPI Media Group, is the only regional.

SatellitePro ME December 2016  

Satellite Pro Middle East, a monthly publication from CPI Media Group, is the only regional.