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Jean-Philippe Gillet, Intelsat’s Regional Vice President, Europe and Middle East

By | March 12, 2009
      As the Middle East market continues to produce for satellite operators, more regional players are trying to develop capacity to keep the revenues closer to home. But global players such as Intelsat will continue to play a major role in the Middle East and other markets around the globe.
          Jean-Philippe Gillet, Intelsat’s regional vice president, Europe and Middle East, spoke with Jason Bates of Cabsat e-Daily about the global satellite operator’s plans for the region.

      Cabsat e-Daily: Is the shortage capacity in the Middle East as bad as customers claim?

      Gillet: It’s very clear today that there is a shortage, and there are a number of launches planned in the next 24 months. What we see is a market that is still growing at a fast pace. On the broadcast side, we don’t see it slowing down. There are new channels and new companies and new ISPs going up. It’s still a very dynamic market for VSAT. There are new licenses for network operators. The market is growing but not at a pace it should go until you add new capacity.

      Cabsat e-Daily: What does Intelsat plan to offer the Middle East market?

      Gillet: We have a number of satellites already in plan. Today have a very good view of what will be launched in 2011. There are satellites dedicated to the region, with a mix of replacement and new.

      Cabsat e-Daily: What applications will drive your business in the Middle East?

      Gillet: What you see as VSAT applications for corporations is a driver. Mobile activity in the Middle East is a driver. A lot of operators in the Middle East are expanding in Africa. This is a big driver for capacity for government projects such as school networks. Demand is really coming from all of these sectors at the same time.  For us, oil and gas is a big driver, as is the maritime market. All of these markets right now are in need of more satellite-enabled services.

      Cabsat e-Daily: Do you see the economic crisis having an impact on your business in the region?

      Gillet: For the moment, we don’t see a significant impact. But it’s very difficult to predict the future. We are very diversified in the region and in applications, and because of this diversification, we believe we are in a position to be less impacted. That being said, I don’t think anybody can ignore that the financial crisis is there.

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