SES at CABSAT - What's in store?

SES at CABSAT - What's in store?

SES-9, SES-12, Ultra HD and SAT>IP on the programme

CABSAT will take place on the 10th - 12th March in Dubai. It will be the opportunity for SES to present our innovative new developments, show exciting new projects we are working on across the region and more importantly, describe how our solutions can help extend your reach across the Middle East and beyond.

Hussein Oteifa, General Manager, Commercial Middle East, gives us an insight of what's in store this year at CABSAT.

Q1: What are SES’ plans for CABSAT 2015?

CABSAT is a big show for many of our customers in the region. At SES, we will take this opportunity to meet and catch up with our customers and partners as well as take this time to showcase some of our new assets which can help our customers extend their reach and deliver new, optimised solutions across the various vertical segments.

Q2. What products/systems are you debuting for the first time in MENA?

There are 3 main things which we will be showcasing this time round. 

Firstly, we have the upcoming satellites, SES-9 and SES-12 which will have coverage over MENA. These new satellites reinforce SES’ further focus on the key business segments - specifically video, data, mobility and government solutions - where we can bring our global industry expertise alongside our local on-ground knowledge to benefit our customers here in MENA. This is further complemented by a full array of SES services which means that customers will enjoy a robust and reliable ground and space infrastructure across MENA.

On top of this, we will also be showcasing Ultra HD and SAT>IP at the SES stand. And while Ultra HD display and our SAT>IP technology are not making its debut in MENA, we are here to update where we stand with Ultra HD broadcasting and the next stage of SAT>IP technology. 

There are currently a lot of developments in the field of Ultra HD across the US and Europe. We know that many world class broadcasters here in the Middle East are keeping a close eye on these developments given the Middle East’s appetite and speed in adopting new innovative technologies. Hence we want to take this opportunity to showcase some of the work around Ultra HD. It is also worth mentioning that SES has already successfully broadcast the world’s first live concert (Linkin Park) late last year in Berlin, Germany. 

The technology of SAT>IP has further extended with more players in the market realising the importance of being able to convert satellite signals into IP signals and therefore allowing everyone to enjoy good quality satellite TV on their IP devices.

Q3. What makes these products/systems unique in this highly competitive market?

SES offers a unique combination of GEO and MEO connectivity. SES’ geostationary global fleet, future high throughput satellites (HTS) and the O3b medium earth orbit data satellites, coupled with our own and partner teleports around the world; ensure that our customers stay connected to their business. 
On the asset front, SES-9 and SES-12 are satellites with dedicated beams that are most ideal for mobility or otherwise also known as communications on the move.

We are constantly thinking of the best solutions to help our customers meet the changing demands in the evolving communications landscape. SES-12 is our first hybrid satellite with traditional wide beams and steerable high throughput payloads in Ku-band that will allow our customers to use their existing equipment and deliver cost effective solutions to the market. This coupled with our offering of O3b satellites will offer customers the flexibility and variety they are looking for.

SES' decision to further focus in the different market segments is also our way to ensure we are tailoring to our customers' unique needs stemming from different markets. For example, tapping on the rise of in-flight broadband connectivity, we have been working with leading industry partners like GEE to deliver solutions to facilitate airlines to roll out an immersive in-flight experience for airline passengers who want to stay tuned to live sports, breaking news on their own iPads or smartphones via satellite.

Q4. What are the trends that you have seen in the satellite industry in the Middle East?

Satellite remains indispensable in connecting VSAT networks in a region like the Middle East which has a challenging terrain. Whether it's banking networks, connecting schools and offsite offices, satellite is the ideal solution as it is reliable and secure.

That aside, there are two relatively new and interesting trends that we have seen in the region that illustrate the connected world of tomorrow.

The Middle East is one of the biggest markets for superyachts ranging between 80 to 100 metres. When these superyachts are sailing in the Mediterranean and the Gulf, people onboard expect to be connected at all times. We have been seeing a surge in demand for connectivity services on these yachts and have been providing connectivity to quite a number of them. We believe the popularity of portable devices such as smartphones and tablets will further accelerate this demand for connectivity.

We are also seeing more demand for connectivity is in the aeronautical demand. Airlines passengers flying between continents and countries would still like to check their Twitter and Facebook accounts, send emails, watch a live football game and access the internet – just like when they are on land. Through our partnerships with Global Eagle Entertainment and Gogo, both system integrators offering end-to-end connectivity solution to airlines, we are already serving quite some airlines with connectivity in the skies and are certain that this demand will also grow.

Q5. Do you have any set expectations/hopes for this year’s show?

Being a global satellite operator, we hope to bring our global expertise across the different business verticals to our customers in MENA. We have a track record in delivering new and innovative solutions for customers all around the world and customers here in MENA would benefit not just from our experience but also to leverage on some of the global partnerships we have.

The annual CABSAT show is of course also a good platform to meet with customers and more importantly, take the time to understand the new challenges they may face in the year ahead and what we can do to help them.

And on a personal note, I am very excited to have this chance to showcase some of the next generation satellites during CABSAT.