SpeedCast CEO Planing Multi-Vertical, Geographic Market Expansion in 2011
[Satellite News 03-07-11] Satellite telecommunications service provider SpeedCast has seen solid growth in recent years and expects this trend to continue in 2011 as it begins an initiative to expand its presence in Africa, according to CEO Pierre-Jean Beylier.
“We have nearly doubled our turnover in three years and saw 21 percent revenue growth in 2010,” Beylier told Satellite News. “We see key contributors continuing to be maritime and growth in value-added-service sales, as well as the Middle East and our main targets in the African regions.”
Africa, which is traditionally underserved by highly available and highly reliable telecommunication solutions, is still outpaced by Asia in terms of requirements. But, as Speedcast’s business connection between Africa and Asia continues to strengthen, Beylier said the key of his business model is to support the African expansion plans of its Asian customers.
In 2010, SpeedCast opened a new regional headquarters in Dubai in efforts to replicate its Asian infrastructure in Africa and offer the same level of service and support to customers in both regions, said Beylier. “SpeedCast has already experienced significant success in the region with wins for our maritime business in the Middle East, wins for our cellular backhaul business in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as a major oil and gas project in northern Africa. The Middle East and Afghanistan have been key growth engines for us in 2010.”
Speedcast also has seen tremendous growth in the use of maritime Ku-band, primarily driven by the connected vessel concept and the need to provide crew welfare. “Inmarsat’s maritime broadband has also grown fast so, clearly, all types of sea-going vessels are becoming broadband enabled. Short of any global recession, we certainly see this trend accelerating in 2011. For SpeedCast, we are well positioned as a pioneer of global maritime Ku-band broadband and we are upgrading the global platform to DVB-S2 this quarter,” said Beylier.
In February, the company announced a major deal with Korea Telecom (KT) to provide access to its global Ku-band maritime network for KT’s international maritime customers. In return, KT will provide SpeedCast with access to its own Ku-band coverage along the Korean coastline and beyond using its Koreasat 5 satellite.
“This business alliance between the two companies will give great benefit to our international maritime customers, with the ability for them to roam globally along the major shipping lanes. This partnership with SpeedCast represents an important step forward in expanding our maritime portfolio to include a global satellite network based on Ku-band services,” KT Senior Vice President of Satellite Yeong Mo Kwon said.
SpeedCast also announced in February that it was launching new flexible on-demand service plans under its FlyCast portfolio of rapid deployment products to serve the mobility needs of customers in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. SpeedCast’s FlyCast portfolio of products are designed for rapid deployment, featuring satellite-based broadband service, using portable antennas, secure transmission and supporting voice, video data, and Internet applications. The service aims to allow users to enjoy the same level of Internet access, VPN support, voice calls and video conferencing that they would in their office environment.
“Speedcast is adding new on-demand and flexible plans to better serve our customers for their variable usage patterns. In this way, customers no longer pay for the airtime but rather pay for the right to use the airtime. Furthermore mobility is an increasingly important overall trend in the VSAT market and providing additional flexibility serves as a powerful complement to our infrastructure quality and customer support,” said Beylier. “Listening to what customers are asking for, our decision to launch this service was driven by a number of distinct needs for temporary airtime. Customers across enterprise, disaster management and civil service sectors wanted to reduce high-usage cost of other L-band communication kits and to have access to higher speeds, security and portability. Media and global news agencies required stories to be uploaded or broadcasted live from the field.”
Beylier sees the combination of equipment and flexible service plans allowing products to meet the needs of multiple industry verticals, such as the oil and gas, government, disaster management, and media sectors. “However, we acknowledge that customers of our FlyCast solution are not from an IT/telco background and would like to further refine the line – to have a ready-to-run Internet access with an even more intuitive set-up at an even more reasonable cost. Our product development team is working on this challenge to further improve the FlyCast line.”