IctQATAR signs up SS/L for satellite venture
Doha, July 15, 2010
IctQATAR, the supreme council of Qatar's information and communication technology and Eutelsat Communications, part of top satellite operator Eutelsat, have selected Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) to build their high-performance satellite.
The powerful satellite, to be jointly owned by Eutelsat, and ictQATAR, will enter into service in early 2013.
The selection of prime contractor marks the next step forward in the partnership signed in May by Eutelsat and ictQATAR to invest in and operate a high-capacity satellite at 25.5° East, one of the two longstanding and anchored neighbourhoods serving rapidly expanding markets in the Mena and Central Asia regions.
The duo said it selected SS/L to deliver a spacecraft with a over15-year design life based on Space Systems/Loral 1300 satellite bus, which is a decades-proven, modular platform with high power capability and flexibility for a broad range of applications.
The satellite, once in operation, will provide a significantly expanded mission and superior coverage across the Mena and Central Asia to follow on from Eutelsat's Eurobird 2 satellite, which is currently operated at 25.5 degrees East.
In addition to securing Ku-band continuity for Eutelsat and additional Ku-band resources for ictQATAR, it will initiate a Ka-band capability to open business opportunities for both parties.
The spacecraft's multi-mission architecture will enable ictQATAR and Eutelsat to respond to demand for the fastest-growing applications in the Mena, 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 a top official.
Dr Hessa Al Jaber, ictQATAR secretary general said: 'This is an important step forward as we work to meet the rapidly growing communications needs in the region. The collaboration between ictQATAR and Eutelsat on this strategic satellite is already proving advantageous as both teams were able to bring complementary insight and expertise to the decision-making process.'
'In selecting Space Systems/Loral we followed a fair and transparent process,' he stated.
Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, said, 'Following on from the historic partnership signed with ictQATAR only two months ago, we are delighted to take a further step forward with the selection of prime contractor for our jointly-owned satellite.'
'The close and positive collaboration with ictQATAR during this process adds even further weight to our conviction that we have begun a lasting relationship that will benefit both organisations.'
'The powerful new spacecraft delivered by Space Systems/Loral will equip Eutelsat with the continuity we need at the 25.5 degrees East position, which is already a pillar for video broadcasting in the Middle East and North Africa regions, and usher in new business opportunities for us in the Ka-band,' he added.
John Celli, president of Space Systems/Loral said: 'We look forward to working with Eutelsat and ictQATAR to help broaden the availability of communications technology in the region. SS/L provides satellites to the world's leading satellite operators and we are pleased to add Eutelsat and ictQATAR as new customers.'-TradeArabia News Service