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Stay Ahead Of The Curve At SATELLITE 2008

By | February 1, 2008

      After the normal holiday break, the satellite industry jumped into 2008 with little hesitation, and a number of announcements made in the first several weeks of January will give the industry plenty to talk about on the SATELLITE 2008 exhibition floor as well as in the conference sessions.

      In the latest development for the expanding satellite broadband sector, Eutelsat and ViaSat ordered a pair of Ka-band satellites under a collaboration to develop more capacity around the globe. While terrestrial broadband continues to expand, “more than 15 million homes in Europe and as many in North America will still be beyond range of terrestrial broadband networks in 2010,” Eutelsat Chairman and CEO Giuliano Berretta said. With the size of the untapped market, there is little wonder why these companies and others are committing funds to developing more broadband offerings.

      During SATELLITE 2008, the broadband market will be discussed in detail at sessions such as “WiMax and Broadband Wireless Networks: Opportunity or Threat for Satellite Communications?”, “Satellite Broadband: Is Ka-Band the Way to Grow?” and “Delivering Broadband Anywhere: The Next Generation of Mobile Satellite Communications.”

      Hughes, which has its own stake in the satellite broadband market, also is making moves to strengthen its position in the IPTV arena with its planned acquisition of Helius Inc. The combination will give Hughes more capability to provide end-to-end content management services and will be just one of the developments discussed in sessions such as “Corporate Satellite Networks: Building Value on the Bottom Line” and “Digital Signage: Bringing the Message Out of the Home and Onto the Store Floor.”

      EchoStar Communications Corp. began 2008 with its new corporate structure that saw the company split into two businesses. The Dish Network Corp. entity will retain the pay-TV business and Dish Network, while EchoStar Holding Corp. will hold the technology infrastructure, which includes EchoStar’s satellites, uplink centers, set-top box business and certain satellite assets used to provide fixed satellite services. Industry veteran Dean Olmstead has been named to oversee EchoStar Holding.

      These moves, along with EchoStar’s announcement that it is freezing the price of its most popular satellite-TV package indicate that EchoStar is concerned both about growing competition in the pay-TV market as well as preparing to be a stronger competitor in other satellite business sectors. Find out more about this and other market prospects in sessions such as “IPTV: Ready for Primetime?” and “Mobile TV: The Role for Satellites in an Increasingly Hybrid, Multimedia World.”

      Another major move in early January was a decision by Canada’s MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. to sell its space businesses to ATK, which will combine the assets with its current space operations under the new ATK Space Systems business group. Carl Marchetto, executive vice president of Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Space Systems Group, will lead the new ATK effort. These moves and other issues will be talked about in sessions such as “Help Us Help You: Assuring Access to Satellite Communications” and the various sessions that will be held under SATELLITE 2008’s broadcast track, military track and others.
      We look forward to seeing you in Washington starting Feb. 25.

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