CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum 2012: good news for Asian satellite sector

Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 26-06-2012

The annual CASBAA Satellite Industry Forum concluded on 18 June on a strong note as delegates agreed that growth opportunities for the sector in Asia remained emphatically positive.

Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat, illustrated the potential of the satellite industry in Asia-Pacific thanks to the region's high population growth, incomplete terrestrial infrastructure and strong GDP prospects.

He added that satellite services have an assured future because of their cost-effectiveness as an unrivaled platform in terms of distribution costs per channel per home and in the ability to deliver quality TV with the bandwidth to handle HD signals especially ultra-high definition TV. He noted that 90% of his company's revenues in Europe are generated by video, and that Asia should be heading in the same direction.

However, Barry Matsumori, SVP, Commercial Sales & Business Development, SpaceX pointed out that with global mobile data traffic forecast to surpass 10 exabytes (1018 bytes) per month in 2016, according to a recent Cisco report, capacity will still not meet demand.

Terry Bleakley, regional VP, Asia Pacific Sales at Intelsat, acknowledged that ethnic DTH and the globalisation of Asian content are major drivers for the growth of TV in Asia while the migration from SD to HD is just one of the reasons for increased data demand.

To help solve the upcoming data crunch issue, Intelsat recently announced its "Epic" satellite solution, a high-performance, high throughput satellite combining spectrum rights in the C-, Ku- and Ka-bands to increase capacity by as much as tenfold. Featuring switchable bands, frequency reuse benefits and backwards compatibility, Epic has been touted as "a game changer" that will ultimately lower cost per byte.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairman & CEO, of launch specialists Arianespace noted the importance of creating tailor-made solutions for satellite launch customers. He added that project financing through export credits and assistance with ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations), Arianespace "remains creative in order to bring more to the launch service than science."

However, David Hartshorn, secretary general of the Global VSAT Forum, pointed out that as a result of decisions taken during the World Radio Conference 2007 in Geneva, there are now higher levels of signal interference across Asia-Pacific, with degraded end-user signal quality and potential financial losses due to spectrum grabs by terrestrial service providers.