Eutelsat, ictQATAR ink satellite deal
Doha, May 11, 2010
The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology of Qatar (ictQATAR) said it has signed a partnership agreement with global satellite operator Eutelsat Communications, to launch a new satellite by the end of 2012.
As per the agreement, ictQATAR, the regulator of Qatar telecommunications market, will invest in and operate a new high-capacity satellite at Eutelsat's 25.5degrees East location, one of the two longstanding and anchored neighbourhoods serving the fast-growing markets in the Mena region.
Dr Hessa Al Jaber, secretary general of ictQatar and Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO signed the partnership agreement on Monday at the Emiri Diwan in the presence of Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani and Eutelsat chairman Giuliano Berretta.
To be launched at the end of 2012, the new satellite will provide both a significantly expanded mission and superior coverage and power across the Mena and Central Asia to follow-on from Eutelsat's Eurobird 2 satellite, which is currently operated at 25.5degrees East.
In addition to securing Ku-band continuity for Eutelsat and additional Ku-band resources for ictQATAR, it will initiate a Ka-band capability opening business opportunities for both parties.
This multi-mission architecture will enable both partners to respond to the fastest-growing applications in the Middle East and Africa, including video broadcasting, enterprise communications and government services.
The television market will in particular benefit from the installed base of more than 13 million satellite homes already equipped for Direct-to-Home reception from this neighbourhood, said the two companies.
"Qatar is pleased to enter into this strategic partnership with Eutelsat with a satellite resource that we have named "Es'hail", said Dr Hessa Al Jaber.
"The deal is important for us as it will secure our strategic interests in communications capabilities in terms of broadcasting, communications, government services and any other future innovative services that our local market will require," she remarked.
Michel de Rosen said, "We are honoured to partner with ictQatar and are convinced that together, we can represent a strong and complementary force that benefits the expansion and continuing sophistication of digital services across the footprint of our future new satellite."
"We look forward to developing this new relationship with ictQatar, which further anchors on a long-term basis our commitment to markets in the Mena region," he added.
The duo will place the order for the new satellite by the middle of 2010, with launch in late 2012. This programme is part of the capex plan communicated by Eutelsat Communications for the 2009-2012 period.-TradeArabia News Service