SES still looking for Mid East partner

Chris Forrester

SES’ Romain Bausch confirmed at the Washington ‘Satellite 2009’ show that the satellite operator continued to seek sensible acquisition targets, and that the Middle East and Africa remained of particular interest.

While SES has some coverage over Africa from its Astra and New Skies fleet, it is very much seeking to add extra capacity to its portfolio of satellites. However, the booming Middle East still represents something of a ‘black hole’ in the MENA region.

Earlier this week we reported on Eutelsat’s fresh links with Egypt’s NileSat, and Arabsat has an aggressive slew of new satellites coming on stream over the next 3 years. Meanwhile there are other local projects under development, not least the well-advanced YahSat scheme for two satellites from the United Arab Emirates, and the ‘SmartSat’ plan for what is described as the region’s “first privately-owned satellite”. SmartSat is backed by Kuwaiti and Jordanian investors.