Middle East and Africa
Eutelsat Signs Multi-Year Agreement with Afghanistan MCIT
Eutelsat Communications has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Afghanistan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), giving the country satellite resources to enhance deployment of its national broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructure and its international connectivity.
Eutelsat will deploy the satellite Afghansat 1 in February, delivering full national coverage and extensive reach of Central Asia and the Middle East.
“This MOU represents the fastest and most effective route to accessing infrastructure configured to deliver full coverage of Afghanistan and surrounding regions. It enables Afghanistan to scale up capacity as and when needed and to offer broadcasters, telcos and ISPs the immediate benefit of resources providing exceptional reach and performance,” said Michel de Rosen, chairman and CEO of Eutelsat.
Bentley Walker Expands Avanti Contract for Capacity on Hylas 2
U.K.-based satellite service provider Bentley Walker has extended its reach across Africa and the Middle East using Avanti’s Hylas 2 satellite through a multimillion dollar contract extension.
“The flexibility of Avanti’s network has given us the opportunity to develop a range of both niche and mass market services at affordable prices. Avanti satellites also provide 100 percent coverage of the key countries that we want to target,” said Anthony Walker, CEO of Bentley Walker.
Bentley Walker plans to use Hylas 2’s Ka-band services across Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Zimbabwe.
MTG Launches Second African Free TV Channel
MTG has launched its second African free-TV channel under the TV1 brand. The new channel is broadcast to Tanzania where it reaches up to 16 million people out of the country’s population of 48 million.
TV1 follows the launch of Viasat 1 in Ghana in 2008. Viasat 1 Ghana has grown rapidly since launch, and is now the country’s second largest free-TV channel with 24 percent of the commercial share in its target audience group. Four of MTG’s Viasat thematic pay-TV channel brands are also available on networks in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Mozambique.
GS Group Survey Shows Pakistan Awaits DTH Services
A study conducted by GS Group showed a high demand for quality digital TV among both mass and elite sectors in Pakistan, but also unveiled the problems influencing the quality of TV services.
Results showed that 73 percent of respondents are not satisfied with the quality of their cable TV services, and 93 percent would change their TV provider to receive better services. The decision to switch the country to digital TV services has been postponed for the last 10 years, leaving Pakistan’s TV services lagging behind neighboring countries.
Thuraya Launches SatSleeve for Android
Thuraya Telecommunications has launched the latest version of Thuraya SatSleeve for Android-based smartphones. This new product, compatible with Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, allows users to turn their personal phone into a satellite phone to send SMS messages, make phone calls and access apps through Thuraya’s satellite network.
The SatSleeve provides uninterrupted coverage in remote environments that are not reached by terrestrial GSM networks. The device also serves as a security backup, and functions with either a Thuraya SIM cars or a standard GSM SIM card. SatSleeve users include many industry corporations, government personnel, mountaineers, and explorers.