Space-Communication Ltd. (Spacecom) hopes its Amos-5 satellite, scheduled for launch in 2010, will enable Spacecom to become a key player in Africa, essentially a new market for the operator. David Pollack, Spacecom’s president and CEO, says Africa is a “great opportunity” and discusses the operator’s plans in Africa as well as traditional markets such as Europe.
VIA SATELLITE: What impact will Amos-5 have in Asia and Africa?
Pollack: With 36 powerful C-band and Ku-band transponders, the satellite will provide tremendous coverage throughout the African continent and into Europe and the Middle East. We are planning to have one dedicated pan-African C-band beam and three steerable Ku-band beams to serve the burgeoning African market. Amos-5 will place Spacecom at the forefront of operators delivering comprehensive and flexible services to a wide range of DTH broadcasters, VSATs, telecommunication operators and others. Our goal is to reach pre-launch sales of at least 50 percent of the capacity on Amos-5 by the middle of next year. Based on the market’s response so far, I think we are on track to meet this target.
The Amos-4 program, initiated in mid-2007, is a longer term program than the Amos-5 program and is on track to meeting its construction milestones and goals. Amos-4 will provide services in the East, Central and Southern Asian markets as well as augment those of Amos-5 in Africa to truly extend Spacecom’s reach and transform us into a global satellite service provider.
VIA SATELLITE: What are the new market opportunities for Spacecom?
Pollack: We see Africa, with its growing broadcast and telecom markets, as a great opportunity for Spacecom. I believe our competitive advantages will enhance our penetration to the sub-Saharan market. From an economic point of view, these are not the best of times, but I have learned that hard times generate business opportunities. Even though there may be a great deal of uncertainty out there, our job is to capitalize on these uncertainties and turn them into opportunities by making the right moves, decreasing risks and helping our clients achieve their goals.
VIA SATELLITE: How much capacity do you have sold across your fleet? What trends are you seeing in terms of transponder pricing?
Pollack: We have worked hard to make our 4 degrees West neighborhood over Central Eastern Europe very attractive, and I am happy to say our fleet is almost fully occupied with fill rates in the range of 90 to 95 percent.