Show season is in full swing and after SATELLITE 2013 and NAB, we look forward to CommunicAsia, the biggest event of its kind in its region. Given the size of populations and the potential demand for communications services, Asia has long been a target for many companies in the satellite sector. However, regulatory issues have continued to hinder progress. DTH players in India, in particular, are capacity constrained at the moment. I was struck by Tata Sky CTO’s Yigit Riza’s comment that the operator could easily use double the number of transponders it has – 12 at the moment – and that still would not be enough. India’s DTH players are probably more hungry for capacity than just about any other set of DTH operators anywhere in the world.
Following our successful launch of a dedicated edition of Via Satellite for Asia (which I would strongly recommend you check out: http://ow.ly/kzIW1), this issue also has a strong Asia theme at its core. We put the spotlight on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in our main article and examine how these emerging global economic powers are impacting our industry. In another feature, we talk to the technology decision makers of four of India’s biggest DTH players (such as Riza) and examine their needs for satellite capacity, as well as how they need to invest in new infrastructure to cope with the meteoric rise of DTH services in the country. And where capacity is constrained, bandwidth management comes into sharp focus, another hot topic for our industry.
This issue of Via Satellite also has a special feature on the hosted payload sector, which has really kicked into gear this year with deals such as AsiaSat/GeoMetWatch, Arabsat/EMC and Iridium/Harris being announced. This is obviously good news for the industry, and will hopefully provide more real world examples of the benefits of going down this route. It seemed for the last two years, when talking about hosted payloads, we would always get back to the Intelsat/Australian Defence Force (ADF) deal. While no doubt, this was an important agreement and the poster boy for the hosted payload sector, I am delighted to see new deals this year. We still await with baited breath to see whether the U.S. military also does something along these lines. If it were to happen this year, it would be a seismic year for the hosted payload sector.
On a sad note, we received news that Robert (Bob) Nelson, a former technical editor and long-time friend of Via Satellite passed away after a battle with cancer. I would like to pass on my condolences to his family. Bob was a gifted technical writer, who brought sharp, insightful content to our audience. He will be missed.