Displaying items by tag: eutelsat
Eutelsat buys Middle East satellite company NOORSAT for $75m
French satellite company Eutelsat Communications has acquired NOORSAT, one of the leading satellite service providers in the Middle East, from Bahrain’s Orbit Holding Group.
Established in 2004, NOORSAT is the distributor of Eutelsat capacity in the Middle East, serving blue-chip customers and providing services for over 300 TV channels almost exclusively from Eutelsat’s Middle East and North Africa neighborhoods at 7/8° West and 25.5° East.
The acquisition of NOORSAT fits with Eutelsat’s broader strategy of streamlining distribution within selected core video neighborhoods where it can create value. It will allow Eutelsat to strengthen the long term commercial development of its market-leading video positions in the Arabic world and increase its direct access to end-customers, facilitating stimulation of High Definition TV take-up and the up-selling of incremental video services.
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat Chief Commercial and Development Officer, said: “NOORSAT’s capabilities and market knowledge will further consolidate our longstanding position in the dynamic Middle East video market. By integrating NOORSAT’s service platform and teams we are underlining our commitment to serving customers in one of the key markets within in our global footprint.”
Eutelsat has acquired 100 percent of NOORSAT for a consideration of US$75 million, debt free and cash free. The acquisition will add upwards of US$15 million to Eutelsat’s consolidated revenues on an annualized basis after the elimination of the capacity leased by Eutelsat from NOORSAT. Its slightly dilutive impact on Eutelsat’s EBITDA margin will be absorbed within the current margin objectives.
Sport is propelling the growing popularity of Ultra HD, says Eutelsat
French satellite firm Eutelsat claims sport is propelling the growth of Ultra HD. The company broadcasted the final matches of the Roland-Garros French Open live and in Ultra HD via FRANSAT, Eutelsat’s free-to-view platform for French TV homes. The new initiative, Eutelsat claims, highlights the momentum set by sport and the key role satellites are playing in the emergence of a spectacular viewing format.
This new broadcast meets consumer expectation to benefit from the finest image quality, says Eutelsat, particularly when it comes to sport that is one of the three top genres driving Ultra HD take-up. Homes able to receive the exceptional images from the Stade Roland Garros in Paris could select from two image standards: Ultra HD SDR, or using more advanced equipment, Ultra HD HDR in Dolby Vision and in Dolby Atmos.
Eutelsat regularly builds partnerships with leading broadcasters to offer exceptional live broadcasts of major events: Roland Garros with France Télévisions over recent years, and in 2016, 8 matches of the EURO 2016 with RAI, Italy’s public broadcaster. RAI is progressively enriching its library of Ultra HD content broadcasting via Eutelsat’s satellites.
Content producers are no longer holding back from the opportunity to offer highly immersive programs in Ultra HD to a growing number of viewers who have invested in new-generation consumer displays. Annual global Ultra HD screen sales were 66 million in 2016 and are set to rise to 120 million by 2020. The number of Ultra HD homes will rise from 28 million in 2015 to 335 million in the next five years.
2017 is already one of the most exciting for the development of Ultra HD, with new milestones achieved and new channels launched. Claudia Vaccarone, Head of Market Research at Eutelsat, says, “It’s no longer a matter of whether Ultra HD will become a mainstream service, but when.”
The latest edition of the Video Industry Survey steered by Eutelsat points to several trends, the first being that 66% of broadcast providers who responded to the survey already offer Ultra HD or plan to do so over the next five years.
The second trend confirms the predominant role of satellites for broadcasting Ultra HD content. 42% of channels and service providers favor satellites over other transmission options thanks to their cost-effectiveness, their ability to reach the widest possible audience and to deliver a stable, high-quality signal.
Leading satellite firms Eutelsat and SES ready for imminent launches
Two of Europe’s leading satellite firms, France-based Eutelsat and Luxembourg-based SES, announced they are in a high state of readiness for imminent launches.
Eutelsat’s 172B satellite is in the final stages of preparation, according to the company, at the Airbus Defense and Space facility in Toulouse. The satellite will be boarded onto a special flight to French Guiana on March 20. Weighing 3.5 tons, it is the first European-built high-power all-electric satellite, scheduled for an Arian launch on April 25 from the European Spaceport.
The purpose of Eutelsat’s 172B satellite is to deliver increased capacity for fast-growing applications that include video distribution. The satellite will be located at 172° East, which will provide key coverage for Asia Pacific over land and sea, from Alaska to Australia.
The new satellite will replace the previous 172A satellite to provide service continuity and improved performance via C and Ku-band payloads connected to a range of footprints. It will feature an additional new Ku-band multi-beam payload delivering 1.8Gbps of throughput to serve the world’s fastest-growing region (Asia Pacific) with in-flight entertainment and connectivity services.
Meanwhile, the SES-15 satellite has reportedly arrived at the European Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, in preparation for its launch by a Soyuz vehicle in April this year. The new satellite was designed and manufactured by Boeing. It will carry a hybrid payload, with additional Ku-band wide beams and Ku- as well as Ka-band high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity.
SES’s new satellite will feature an electric propulsion system for orbit-raising and in-orbit maneuvers. It is the company’s first hybrid satellite to be launched and will be equipped with 16 Ku-band transponders (36MHz equivalent) and also a 10GHz high throughput payload. The all-electric satellite in contrast to Eutelsat will cover the new orbital position of 129° West and will serve North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Zuckerberg ‘deeply disappointed’ by SpaceX’s failed launch which destroyed Facebook satellite
On September 1, numerous eyewitnesses began reporting that a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket had exploded during a test on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The SpaceX rocket was supposed to launch on September 3 on a mission to deliver Facebook’s first satellite into orbit to connect Africa. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who was traveling through Africa when the news broke, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the incident.
The SpaceX rocket that blew up was scheduled to launch the Amos-6 communication satellite, which among other functions, included the capabilities for Facebook to spot-beam broadband for Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, Tech Crunch reported. Together Facebook and its French-based satellite provider Eutelsat spent $95 million for a five-year lease on the satellite’s Ka-band communication array.
“SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today’s standard pre-launch static fire test, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload,” SpaceX announced in a statement. “Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries.”
While no casualties were reported, the rocket and the Facebook satellite on it were destroyed. Reports say a replacement satellite could be ready in about three years. SpaceX is owned by Elon Musk, a businessman and investor who also operates Tesla Motors, the electric car company. He said that the “anomaly” originated around the upper stage oxygen tank and “occurred during propellant loading of the vehicle”.
Mark Zuckerberg expressed his disappointment with SpaceX and the accident that occurred in a Facebook post: “I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite that would have provided connectivity to so many entrepreneurs and everyone else across the continent.”
“Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well,” Zuckerberg added. “We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided.”
One Facebook user asked the CEO: “What’s insurance like on that type of thing?” Zuckerberg replied saying: “The problem isn’t the money; it’s that now it may take longer to connect people.”
Zuckerberg was traveling through Nigeria and Kenya when the accident happened – his first ever visit to sub-Saharan Africa, where he met with Joseph Mucheru, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Information and Communications, to discuss internet access and his ambitious plans for connecting everyone in Kenya.
SpeedCast purchases Eutelsat’s WINS further consolidating maritime satellite communications
On August 8, French satellite operator Eutelsat announced that it had sold its 70 percent stake in maritime satellite communications provider WINS Ltd to SpeedCast International, a Hong Kong-based global network and satellite communications provider. SpeedCast will reportedly pay 60 million euros ($66.9 million) in cash for the entire WINS business. It’s the latest in the expected consolidation of the maritime satellite communications market.
The acquisition comes just a week after Apax Partners-owned Marlink announced the acquisition of Telemar in June from Airbus Defence and Space. According to Apax, the increased size of the company would produce annual revenues of $450 million and would operate a work force of over 800, serving one-third of the global maritime vessel fleet including merchant vessels, cruise and ferry operators, yachting and fishing markets.
“Leveraging our two well-established brands, Marlink and Telemar will create the world’s leading maritime communications, digital solutions and servicing company,” said Marlink chief executive, Erik Ceuppens in a statement about the transaction.
SpeedCast has been on a roll with recent acquisitions. The company said it would finance the purchase of WINS from Eutelsat by raising at least 62.1 Australian dollars ($47.2 million) in new equity. Chief executive Perre-Jean Beylier said WINS gives SpeedCast access to the German market and will strengthen its position in the cruise market. He believes that the WINS addition will advance SpeedCast to achieve its goal of being one of the top three global providers of maritime services. He said Germany is a “key hub for merchant shipping in Europe and a market primed for accelerated VSAT adoption.”
“Passenger-carrying vessels, particularly cruise vessels, are an attractive growth segment and a natural extension of SpeedCast’s existing maritime business,” Beylier said in a statement. “Coupled with our strong presence in Asia, where the cruise industry is expected to benefit from the emergence of a sizable middle class, and also our presence in Miami, the cruise industry’s world capital, this acquisition will facilitate our development.”
Eutelsat’s selling of its stake in WINS comes after the company announced in May that it would streamline its portfolio to focus on generating income, after being faced with “near-term market headwinds that forced it to revise downward its revenue profit forecasts,” says a report by Space News. In a statement on August 8, Eutelsat announced: “In a consolidating market, the transaction will enable WINS to benefit from the scale of a leading global network and satellite communications service provider. The sale of Eutelsat’s stake in WINS is consistent with its strategy of streamlining its asset portfolio in order to maximize free-cash flow generation.”
Eutelsat Asia CEO talks APAC expansion and praises Facebook partnership
Headquartered in Paris, Eutelsat Communications, established in 1977, is one of the leading global satellite operators. Eutelsat Asia CEO, Jean-Francois Fenech, spoke to Active Telecoms about the company’s ubiquitous satellite coverage, expansion into Asia Pacific, and how Eutelsat satellites are poised to develop Africa’s broadband market in partnership with Facebook.
Eutelsat provides capacity on 39 satellites to clients that include broadcasters, pay-TV operators, video, data and internet service providers, enterprises, and government agencies. The upcoming edition to Eutelsat’s fleet will be a high-capacity satellite due to be launched in 2017 to 172° East, providing continuity and expansion capacity for satellite services in Asia Pacific.
The Eutelsat 172B is a triple mission satellite with three distinct payloads: a C-band payload delivering increased power and broader coverage to enhance the service provided to customers via the existing Eutelsat 172A and tap into new growth markets in Southeast Asia; a regular Ku-band payload which will double capacity at 172° East and connect five improved service areas: North Pacific, North East Asia, South East Pacific, South West Pacific and South Pacific; and a High Throughput Ku-band payload designed for in-flight broadband with multiple user spots optimised to serve densely-used Asian and trans-Pacific flight paths.
“This will provide continuity and expansion at an orbital position which is already a prime gateway for satellite services in Asia Pacific,” said Jean-Francois. “We wanted to expand capacity and also improve some of the performance of the previous satellite in terms of coverage and technical features.
“We have designed a payload on board Eutelsat 172B which will cover all the North Pacific rim,” Jean-Francois added. “It has been designed specifically for in-flight connectivity, delivering broadband connectivity to commercial airlines. Panasonic, one of the fastest providers of in-flight entertainment and communications, has already booked most of the available capacity designed for this application. It is going to be a game-changer for the type of services that will be brought to aircraft.”
Panasonic Avionics Corporation signed a long-term agreement with Eutelsat, which will make it the anchor client for the satellite's High Throughput payload for broadband services and a user of its regular Ku-band capacity for live TV.
The capacity booked will transform the range of services Panasonic Avionics Corporation already delivers to commercial airlines through Eutelsat 172A, positioning it as a key provider of passenger connectivity and entertainment.
Eutelsat unveiled its plans at CommunicAsia2016 in Singapore for significantly scaling up its presence in Asia Pacific. Other important partners Eutelsat is working with in the region include Singapore-based telecom operator Singtel, which “has selected some capacity on the other main satellite we have in the region, Eutelsat 70-B to support network connectivity in Southeast Asia,” said Jean-Francois. “This satellite has premium coverage of Southeast Asia.”
Jean-Francois said Eutelsat’s current focus on Asia Pacific is mainly about providing data services, which is a strength Eutelsat has with its two satellites that operate over the region. A key development Eutelsat would like to pursue in the future is to expand this activity into the video business and address opportunities in the broadband segment.
In line with its Asia Pacific operations, Jean-Francois also spoke about Eutelsat’s maritime connectivity services. SpeedCast, a global network and satellite communications service provider, is a user of Eutelsat’s maritime services.
“Whether it is in Asia or elsewhere in the world, one of the advantages of Eutelsat is that we can always find solutions for connecting a vessel,” said Jean-Francois. “We are working hard to enrich the type of offer that our partners can provide. For instance, not just to be provider of connectivity, but a provider of entertainment solutions to vessels.
An admirable initiative with Facebook
Internet access in Africa is limited by a lower penetration rate when compared to the rest of the world. Internet penetration was only 28.6 percent in 2015 compared to the world average of 46.4 percent, according to Internet World Stats. In an effort to expand connectivity in Africa, Eutelsat, in partnership with Facebook, is using its satellite capabilities to connect the unconnected.
In October 2015, Eutelsat and Facebook announced that they would partner on a new initiative that will leverage satellite technologies to get more Africans online. Under a multi-year agreement with Spacecom, the two companies will utilize the entire broadband payload on the future AMOS-6 satellite and will build a dedicated system comprising satellite capacity, gateways, and terminals.
In providing reach to large parts of sub-Saharan Africa, Eutelsat and Facebook will each be equipped to pursue their ambition to accelerate data connectivity for the many users deprived of the economic and social benefits of the internet. This initiative will be followed by a Eutelsat standalone satellite to be launched in 2019 that will enable Eutelsat to broaden its African footprint for broadband services.
“In Africa, we have joined forces with Facebook in order to provide internet connectivity solutions in places where there is no infrastructure,” said Jean-Francois. “This is strong evidence that everybody in the internet industry understands that there will be no worldwide connectivity without satellite.”
Scheduled for start of service in 2017, the Ka-band payload on the AMOS-6 geostationary satellite is configured with high gain spot beams covering large parts of West, East and Southern Africa. The capacity is optimized for community and Direct-to-User internet access using affordable, off-the-shelf customer equipment.
According to the terms of the agreement, the capacity will be shared between Eutelsat and Facebook. Using state of the art satellite technology, Eutelsat and Facebook will each deploy internet services designed to relieve pent-up demand for connectivity from the many users in Africa beyond range of fixed and mobile terrestrial networks.
In a Facebook post in October 2015, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said: “I'm excited to announce our first project to deliver internet from space. As part of our Internet.org efforts to connect the world, we're partnering with Eutelsat to launch a satellite into orbit that will connect millions of people.”
“This is a token of trust of Eutelsat by Facebook,” said Jean-Francois. “It derives from our multi-year experience of developing and leveraging satellite technology to deliver DSL-like broadband services. Eutelsat has over five years of experience in providing internet access to consumers and businesses beyond range of terrestrial networks. With our European-focused KA-SAT satellite, every household, irrespective of its location, can be immediately connected to a service delivering 22 Mbps downstream and 6 Mbps upstream – at prices comparable to ADSL.”
The successful partnership between Eutelsat and Facebook raises the question: could this concept work for other, less connected areas? Jean-Francois said Eutelsat has already replicated payloads designed for broadband services in other parts of the world.
Launched into space from French Guiana in May, the Eutelsat 65 West A is connecting the most populated areas of Latin America for Hughes, an EchoStar company, and the Mexican company Stargroup, allowing users beyond range of terrestrial infrastructure access to the internet. Moreover, 13,000km away from Latina America, Jean-Francois also highlighted Eutelsat’s satellite coverage over European parts of Russia, complementing the coverage of KA-SAT.
Like any global operation, Eutelsat faces challenges in a changing market. But Jean-Francois believes that the “reinvention of the satellite industry” as he calls it, is a good opportunity for Eutelsat to extend its reach in the satellite market.
“We are adding value to the satellite industry by expanding the reach and capability of satellite,” said Jean-Francois. “In the medium term we will keep building our core video business where we have industry-leading experience, and in the longer term we are preparing to capture opportunities in fixed broadband and mobile connectivity. So watch this space!”
Eutelsat announces new CEO of China office: Philippe Lin
Eutelsat Communications has announced that Philippe Lin has been appointed CEO of the Group’s China office.
Philippe will leverage his extensive commercial and institutional experience to steer the development of Eutelsat’s activities in China. He joins Eutelsat from Airbus China after 15 years as Vice-President and Chief Representative. Prior to Airbus, he held executive appointments at Total, both in Beijing and in Paris. He began his career in China working amongst others for China’s Council for Promotion of International Trade.
Philippe is a French national, a graduate of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) and Canada’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration Publique.
About Eutelsat Communications
Established in 1977, Eutelsat Communications is one of the world's leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 40 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies.
Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location.
Headquartered in Paris, with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat represents a workforce of 1,000 men and women from 37 countries who are experts in their fields and work with clients to deliver the highest quality of service.
Eutelsat to provide Tunisia with subscription-free TV to North & West Africa
The Tunisian broadcasting corporation (ONT) has signed a multi-year contract with Eutelsat Communications, one of the world's leading and most experienced operators of communications satellites, to broadcast its new subscription-free TV platform across North and West Africa. ONT has selected the powerful EUTELSAT 7 West A satellite to reach viewers across the region.
Eutelsat provides capacity on 40 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies.
The ONT is consolidating around ten Tunisian channels in a single package at 7/8° West, North Africa's leading satellite broadcasting neighbourhood. EUTELSAT 7 West A's footprint also enables the ONT to extend reach to West Africa. Homes equipped with a satellite dish pointing to 7/8° West will be able to enjoy improved image quality and easier navigation of the channels in the platform.
Nôomên Elfehri, Tunisia's Minister of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy, stated: “The launch of this national project is a vehicle for Tunisia's sovereignty in the field of broadcasting. Viewers will be able to enjoy a diversified and quality line-up of Tunisian content."
Dhaker Baccouch, Chairman and CEO of the ONT, added: “In selecting the EUTELSAT 7 West A satellite, we are providing viewers with improved image quality and we are equipped to scale up our new platform with further channels.”
Michel Azibert, Eutelsat’s Chief Commercial and Development Officer, concluded: “With this new contract the ONT is strengthening its portfolio of capacity on Eutelsat, adding to resources already leased on three of our satellites, EUTELSAT 12 West B, HOT BIRD and EUTELSAT 36B, for newsgathering and broadcasting to the general public.”
Eutelsat’s Ghassan Murat discusses the recent partnership with OSN and joint venture with ViaSat
Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, first took shape in 1977. Its first satellite was launched in 1983, revolutionizing satellite television. Today, Eutelsat stands as one of the most innovative, service-led operators in the commercial satellite business. Eutelsat operates 40 satellites that provide premium coverage for Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Ghassan Murat, commercial development director for Eutelsat Middle East, discusses the company’s recent partnership with OSN for more HD channels, its joint venture with ViaSat, and the company’s continuous growth as one of the world’s leading satellite operators.
Can you tell us about your recently announced partnership with OSN?
We are very proud of our partnership with OSN, the Middle East’s leading pay-TV provider that has increased its presence at our 7/8° West video neighbourhood, the number 1 position for TV in the Middle East. Additional capacity will enable OSN to host new HD channels and also sets the stage for the arrival of future Ultra HD (4K) TV. OSN’s trust in Eutelsat reflects our ability to provide customers with a service that suits their needs – premium signal quality and broad reach. OSN will use this capacity to address 2 million TV viewers receiving TV via our flagship TV position in the Middle East and North Africa.
How does Eutelsat address broadband scarcity in certain regions? For example, are you actively involved with helping to provide broadband to unconnected regions?
Eutelsat was an early adopter of satellite broadband capabilities and we are convinced satellite has a significant long-term role to play in connecting users to the internet. For countries with large landmass and low population density, satellite is often the only viable route to connectivity. A major advantage of satellite solutions is that they deliver the same quality to all users in its footprint. We provide broadband capacities for consumers as well as schools, hospitals, government agencies and enterprises, operating in finance, oil & gas and retail industries. As an infrastructure provider, we also provide capacity to telcos to secure or complement their fixed and mobile infrastructures.
250 million viewers watch channels via Eutelsat’s flagship TV neighbourhood at 7/8° West in the Middle East. How do you feel about this? Do you have plans to expand this even more?
Eutelsat’s 7/8° West neighbourhood is the first choice for multi-channel viewing in the region, with a penetration of over 90 percent of satellite homes in MENA. So how can we do more? One of our objectives is to respond to viewer demand for choice and higher signal quality, from digital to High Definition and beyond that to Ultra High Definition. The new capacity we launched in 2015 also enables us to increase diversity by accommodating more channels.
In February, we announced that Eutelsat had reached a new record of 6,000 TV channels broadcasting via our fleet. This is a huge milestone for us. It shows that we are further consolidating our position as a premium satellite operator and service provider to the global broadcasting industry. We are committed to pursuing this path of excellence.
Can you tell us about Eutelsat’s joint venture with ViaSat to expand satellite broadband in Europe?
This agreement is part of our global strategy in satellite broadband. We are partnering with blue chip partners in the telecommunications industry and starting to attract Silicon Valley companies. We recently announced a partnership with Facebook in Africa, and with Hughes Network Systems in South America. In both cases the objective is to provide internet access to users deprived of good internet connectivity. We have also partnered with ViaSat, a proven stakeholder in the American market, with over 700,000 subscribers. Using our KA-SAT satellite, we expect to merge our expertise with ViaSat to develop retail services in Europe that expand the share of satellite broadband in this market.
Can you tell us more about your KA-SAT satellite?
KA-SAT is a broadband infrastructure covering Europe and the Mediterranean Basin that suits user profiles that include consumers and enterprises. In terms of performance, it enables consumers to access the internet with speeds of up to 20 MB and 6 MB upstream. It is an unequalled route to a quality broadband connection for the many users beyond range of terrestrial broadband and the first pillar of a broadband strategy that we are deploying in other regions of the world, using improved technology as it becomes available.
Looking ahead, what is the future of Eutelsat? What projects can we expect from you in the future?
We want to continue to be part of the evolving broadcasting landscape in the Middle East. Our next step is to help increase signal quality by accompanying the transition of television signals to HD and Ultra HD while also proposing new television experiences for our customers such as multi-screen. We’ve invested over US$1 billion to future proof broadcasting and broadband services in the MENA region and we will continue to invest and innovate with passion in the years to come.
Singtel takes capacity on Eutelsat
Singtel has selected capacity on global satellite operator Eutelsat's 70B satellite to support network connectivity in South-East Asia. Eutelsat said: "Singtel is establishing a new relationship with Eutelsat through a flexible contract that enables it to progressively ramp up capacity over the coming 12 months as demand grows."