NewSat, the Australian satellite company, hopes to launch a plethora of satellites during the next few years and become an emerging force in the satellite market.
The company is a big believer in Ka-band and could announce plans for multiple high-throughput satellites in the near future. Adrian Ballintine, CEO, NewSat, talks about how the company’s ambitious strategy is taking shape, and how the operator aims to be a key player across multiple regions, with up to 17 new satellites commissioned in the next few years.
VIA SATELLITE: How much capacity do you plan to have sold on Jabiru-1 by the time it launches?
Ballintine: NewSat fully intends to populate as many orbital slots as quickly as it can. It is driven in that regard by demand, and in terms of which slots are available. Certainly demand in the Middle East and over South Asia and into Africa is strong, and because of this Jabiru-1 already has about 33 percent of the capacity sold on it. We do not expect to sell much more on Jabiru-1 at the moment. We hope to announce Jabiru-3 and Jabiru-4 during this calendar year, and we will pre-sell the required amount of capacity to get those satellites funded. Those satellites are carrying footprints over the Middle East and into Africa, and it is clearly those areas that are driving our business.
VIA SATELLITE: Could you tell us the significance of the recent deal with Measat regarding the levels of capacity you hope to have sold on the Jabiru satellites?
Ballintine: Measat has taken a 15-year, $186 million contract to broadcast into South East Asia for DTH and some other existing businesses. That is a good and solid 15-year piece of business for Jabiru-1. We have taken capacity on Measat-3b, and that capacity is for the oil and gas and mining clients of ours in Papua New Guinea and Australia, predominantly Western Australia. We also have the naming rights on that satellite, so that will be called Jabiru-2.
VIA SATELLITE: Which growth markets will NewSat be targeting going forward?
Ballintine: I think we are different from most of the world’s satellite providers, which are targeting DTH in 80 percent of the world. We are in the middle of oil and gas and mining and government. From our perspective, in areas such as the Middle East and Africa, we feel there are great opportunities, but also you have countries like Indonesia and other areas of Asia that are very interesting for us as well. Having said that, we have aspirations that Jabiru-5 will be a satellite over Latin America and this will serve environments similar to those in Australia, so predominantly oil and gas and mining companies. We have a lot of business in that very niche market and we think those areas will continue to be very good for us going forward.