Spacecom, an Israeli satellite operator, recently launched its Amos-5 satellite with more than 50 percent of its capacity already sold. Spacecom, which operates the Amos fleet of satellites, is targeting emerging markets such as Africa and Eastern Europe for its capacity and services. Spacecom president and CEO David Pollack talks about the operator’s vision of becoming a multi-regional satellite operator.
VIA SATELLITE: What do you see as the major growth drivers for Spacecom in 2012? How much capacity have you sold on Amos-5? Is this in line with expectations?
Pollack: Spacecom’s Amos-5 satellite began commercial operations in late January, so we very much expect to have it contribute to our growth in 2012. At launch, we had pre-sold more than 50 percent of the satellite’s capacity to a variety of telecom providers, government agencies, broadcasters, teleport service providers and other communications entities.
We are already seeing an uptick in requests for services following the launch and are currently closing more deals. We are looking forward to this continuing throughout the year and into the future. As with our satellite hotspot at 4 degrees West, where the fill rate is more than 90 percent, we are working towards a high fill rate on the Amos-5. Yes, our expectation is to make this happen and Amos-5 will be a prime carrier of communications services in the years to come for both broadcast and data.
VIA SATELLITE: Could you tell us about your capital expenditure plans for new satellites? What are your plans likely to be in the next two to three years?
Pollack: Spacecom’s vision of becoming an emerging multi-regional satellite operator is on its way to success. Following the successful commercial operations of Amos-5, we are currently planning the launch of Amos-4 in 2013 to the 65 degrees West prime orbital position to service more than 80 percent of Russia’s population and over the Indian sub-continent in Asia. Following this, we are scheduling the launch of Amos-6 in 2014 to provide more services over Europe and the Middle East, as well as expanding our services over Africa. The satellite will be substantially larger than Amos-2 and Amos-3 together and will include a new Ka spot beam technology for broadband services in Africa and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region.
Whereas Amos-4 is well along its way in construction and testing, we are currently in the RFP process for Amos-6, which we expect to close and finalize within the next few months. We are looking at various options for financing the satellite including within Israel, abroad and with Export-Import banks. The package that we arrange will depend on the company we choose to design and build the satellite. We are very excited by our options and as a publicly traded company, we will make them public when we are able to do so.
We are also looking at further opportunities for cooperation in other markets and how to develop Spacecom’s business farther into the future. This includes seeking and securing new orbital locations that fit with our business strategy to provide high-quality, reliable satellite services to growing markets.